Getting to Ireland

Cobh, County Cork

Getting to the island of Ireland is simple, with nine airports and five ports providing easy access by air and sea

Hundreds of flights and ferries arrive every day from all over the world, so wherever you’re coming from you will be able to jump right in to your Ireland adventure!

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By air

Most visitors to Ireland arrive by plane to one of Ireland’s cities or main travel hubs, before continuing on their journey around the island.

Dublin Airport
Located just outside Dublin, Dublin Airport is the Republic of Ireland’s national airport, serving major airlines worldwide. Several easy options are available here for travel around the island of Ireland, including public and private bus and coach transport, and a wide range of car rental companies. Some buses offer direct transport to towns and cities around the island, while others bring you into Dublin city centre, from where you can connect with a wider range of travel options.

Belfast International Airport
Belfast International Airport is a 40-minute drive north-west of Belfast, an exciting, historical city with a thriving arts culture and delicious food heritage. The airport is easily accessed via the major road and motorway network, and regular bus and coach services are available from the front of the terminal building to Belfast, Lisburn and Derry~Londonderry. The Airport Express 300 service to Belfast city runs every 15 minutes at peak times, and operates seven days a week. There are several car hire companies in the arrivals hall of Belfast International Airport, and a car can be reserved in advance of your trip.

George Best Belfast City Airport
Belfast City Airport is just five minutes from the city centre, and has excellent links to public transport and all roads. The nearest train station is Sydenham, and there is a free shuttle bus to and from the terminal. From Sydenham train station it is just a 10-minute journey to Belfast Lanyon Place or Great Victoria Street station, which both have routes to towns and cities across the island of Ireland. You can also get to Belfast city via the Airport Express 600 Service, which takes 10 minutes and runs every half hour, or hire a car from one of the car hire companies within the terminal.

Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport is the second busiest airport in Ireland and is a significant connections hub for international flights. There are transport services to all major cities by public and private bus operators, as well as taxi and car hire available onsite. Shannon Airport is a great stop for those heading to the west coast of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way. The 51 and X51 buses run hourly, taking 30 minutes to reach Limerick, an hour and 10 minutes to Galway, and two and a half hours to Cork.

Cork Airport
Cork Airport is located just south of Cork City, roughly a 20-minute drive away. From there, you can journey to the spectacular coasts of West Cork and Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way. Bus and coach services run to Cork, Galway, and Limerick, while taxi and car hire are also available. For passengers wishing to connect to train services, the 226 bus operated by Bus Eireann, located outside the main terminal runs a twice hourly service to Cork Kent station.

City of Derry Airport
City of Derry Airport is a 15-minute drive from Derry~Londonderry and serves as the main gateway for the entire north west of Ireland. Several easy options are available for travel around the island of Ireland from City of Derry Airport, including public and private bus and coach transport, and a wide range of car rental companies. The airport is a short drive from the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route across the north coast of Ireland, as well as being located a few miles from County Donegal, an area of great natural beauty and the starting point of the famous Wild Atlantic Way.

Ireland West Airport Knock
Ireland West Airport Knock is conveniently located in the heart of the west of Ireland, just an hour’s drive from the coast. The airport is on the main N17 north-south road, halfway between Galway and Sligo. There are daily flights from UK regional airports and regular flights from Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands. Bus Eireann operates coach services to Ireland West Airport Knock from Galway, Sligo, Donegal and Mayo.

Kerry Airport
The nearest airport to the famous Ring of Kerry route, Kerry Airport is a small hub offering a limited number of flights per day. Bus services from Kerry Airport to Tralee, Killarney and Limerick are available outside the main terminal, while the nearest train station is a 10-minute walk away in Farranfore village. There are several car rental companies located in the Long Term Car Park, a one minute walk from the main terminal.

Donegal Airport
It has been voted the world’s most scenic airport and landing on the picturesque airstrip at Donegal Airport is an arrival you won’t soon forget. Located at Carrickfinn on the west coast of County Donegal, the airport is approximately 15 minutes’ drive from Dungloe and Gweedore, 40 minutes from Letterkenny and one hour from Donegal town. Bus and taxi transfers are available in the airport, but it is recommended that you book these in advance.

By sea

Ferries can be the ideal way to visit, allowing you to bring your car for the ultimate Ireland road trip, while cruise ships can take you to Ireland from anywhere in the world.

Dublin Ferryport
Dublin Ferryport is situated two miles from the centre of Ireland's vibrant capital city, and is accessible from Ireland’s road and rail network. Dublin Port Tunnel is situated within the port complex and provides quick access to the M50 and M1 motorways, the main routes to the north and south of the country. A public bus service and an Express Bus Transfer operate from the terminal building to the bus and train stations in Dublin City Centre.

Belfast Harbour
Belfast Harbour is easily accessible from Belfast city, located close to the motorway network off Junction 1 of the M2 Motorway. The 96 Metro bus service runs frequently from Upper Queen Street, near Belfast City Hall, to the terminal. There is also a taxi-share scheme in operation to the city centre, which is offered by black public hire taxis just outside the main terminal building.

Port of Cork
Cork Ferry Port, also known as Ringaskiddy Ferry Port, is situated on the south coast, about 30 minutes drive away from Cork city and 25 minutes from Cork Airport. There is easy road access to and from the ferry terminal, and taxis are available outside. There is no train connection, but Bus Éireann runs a regular service between the terminal and Cork city.

The Port of Cork also has a dedicated cruise terminal in Cobh, where luxurious liners stop each day to take in the pretty harbour town. This was historically the last stop for ships on their way to America, and it was here that the Titanic picked up its final passengers. Cobh is just 25 minutes from Cork city, with regular trains and buses running from the town.

Rosslare Ferry Port
Rosslare Ferry Port is situated in the south-eastern corner of Ireland and offers easy access to the midlands, south and south west of Ireland via the N25 and along the east coast to Dublin via the N11. There is a train service to Dublin only, but the train station is situated 15 minutes’ walk away from the terminal. There are bus services to Dublin as well as numerous services to Waterford, Cork and Killarney, and it is an ideal location to start exploring Ireland’s Ancient East.

Port of Larne
Larne ferry terminal is just seven minutes from Larne town and 35 minutes from Belfast, making it an ideal spot to start your Ireland journey. Translink runs train services to Larne town and Larne Harbour stations from a number of destinations, including Belfast Lanyon Place and Belfast Great Victoria Street. The coast around Larne is renowned for its beauty and The Gobbins cliff path, about 20 minutes drive away, is a must-visit. Carnfunnock Country Park also lies relatively near Larne and is popular with caravaners due to its camping facilities.

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