From cycling to the LUAS - Your Insider’s guide to getting around Dublin
Dublin is a relatively compact city, and most city centre spots can be easily reached by walking. But if you have a busy day or need to go a little further afield, the good news is that there are lots of options when it comes to public transport – and with a little insider knowledge, it needn’t cost the earth too. Here is Babel Academy’s guide to getting around Dublin – cheaply, safely and quickly.
Just Eat Dublinbikes stations are located all over the city centre, and allow people cycle from one station to another inexpensively. You must subscribe to the service by purchasing either an Annual Card (€25) or a Three-Day Ticket (€5). The Annual Card can be purchased through Dublinbikes.ie, while the Three-Day Ticket can be bought at any Dublinbikes station. The first half hour of any ride is free, after that, a small price is charged, beginning at just 50 cents for an hour’s usage. More information on the Just Eat Dublinbikes scheme, including a map showing the locations of each station, can be found on their website, www.dublinbikes.ie.
If you want the cheapest rates on public transport, then you should first apply for a Leap Card. A Leap Card offers significant discounts of 20% or more on public transport; simply pay what you can afford into your account (at Luas or train stations, online or through participating convenience stores) and top up when your card balance runs low. A student Leap Card is also available, offering even cheaper fares and a daily and weekly cap on each form of public transport. See http://www.studentleapcard.ie for more.
In addition, if you need to use several types of public transport in one journey, the Leap 90 Discount also gives a €1 discount to Leap Card users transferring between Dublin Bus, Luas, and DART/Commuter Rail within 90 minutes of the start of the first journey.
The Dublin City tram service is called the Luas, and it consists of two lines – the Red Line goes from Connolly Rail Station or The Point (3Arena) to Saggart or Tallaght in West Dublin, and the Green Line goes from Broombridge in North Dublin to Brides Glen in the South Dublin Mountains. Babel Academy students will be most familiar with the Green Line, which stops in St Stephen’s Green. The Luas is popular for commuters, but it’s also handy for quick journeys across the city. See the Luas map on luas.ie/map/. The cheapest way to travel is with a Student Leap Card, which offers a discount of 20% over standard fares, and caps daily total spending on Luas at €5. Until December 2018, there’s also a discounted City Centre ticket available during off-peak times, which costs just €1. For more on Luas pricing, go to www.luas.ie.
Dublin also offers a light rail network, which travels from the North County Dublin towns of Malahide and Howth and the North Wicklow towns of Bray and Greystones. The DART (which stands for Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is popular with commuters, but it’s also ideal for days out, as it takes in much of the beautiful Dublin coastline, and stops in popular tourist towns like Greystones and Howth. The cheapest way to travel on the DART is with your Student Leap Card (http://www.studentleapcard.ie), which offers up to 24% discount on standard fares. There is also a cap on frequent daily and weekly users.
Wherever you need to be, there’s such to be a Dublin Bus route to suit. A network of buses serves every part of the city and its suburbs throughout the day; a full timetable and map of routes can be found at www.dublinbus.ie. If you’re heading out at the weekend, the Nitelink late night bus service can be a cheaper alternative to a taxi – with your Leap Card, it costs just €5.29 (€6.60 for full cash fare).
At Babel Academy of English, we want you to make the most out of your studying and living experience in Dublin and Ireland. Simply contact us if you need more recommendations or information – we’d be happy to give you our insider knowledge of this beautiful city and country!