Getting around in Dublin
Public transportation has improved massively over the last few years, but it is still worse than in other European cities. This is more of a problem for the commuter than the visitor to Dublin, however, as the city centre is easy to get around on foot.
By train / tram
The Luas (a tram/light-rail system) runs frequently and reliably, and is handy for getting around the city centre. There are two lines - red (running from Connolly railway station and the Point Theatre to the suburb of Tallaght) and green (running from St. Stephen's Green to Bride's Glen in Cherrywood), a third line; the Luas Cross City is under construction. The current lines do not connect. The distance between Abbey Street on the red line and St Stephen's Green, the start of the green line, is about a 15 min walk.
Construction work which will extend the green line, connecting and extend the two lines began in June 2013 and is currently in it's final stages with completion expected in early 2017. Tickets can be bought on the platforms at the machines and do not need to be validated. The fare structure is based on zones, with rides within the central zone costing €1.50. A large amount of further expansion of this network is expected within the next decade.
The DART suburban rail service runs along the coast between Greystones in the south and Howth and Malahide in the north. Tickets can be bought in the stations, from a window or a machine. There are four other suburban rail lines servicing areas around Dublin, three of these lines operate from Connolly Station, the other from Heuston Station.
Image: Getting around in Dublin, Dublin Bikes
An extensive bus service operated by the state-controlled Dublin Bus serves the city and its suburbs, right out to the very outer suburbs. There are around 200 bus routes in Dublin. However, the route numbering system is highly confusing, with numbers having been issued non-sequentially, with suffix letters and alternate destinations. The bus will display its final destination on the front of the bus, but there are no announcements for intermediate stops; therefore, obtaining a route map from Dublin Bus is essential.
By bicycle / motorbike
Hiring a bicycle is a handy way to get around if you want to get outside the very centre of the city and are comfortable cycling in traffic. That being said, the city is not very bicycle-friendly, either in terms of quantity & quality of bike paths, pedestrians and drivers honouring the bike paths, road space available where there is no bike path (i.e. numerous narrow roads), or driver attitudes in general.
There are bikes to hire in several locations around the city centre with the Dublinbikes scheme, there is also a bike hire place located at the entrance to the Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. When cycling in the Phoenix Park, note that while there is a dedicated cycle lane on both sides of the main thoroughfare unfortunately pedestrians also use these.
When cycling in the city centre, be aware that cycle lanes, where they exist, are generally shared with buses, taxis, motorcycles, and parked automobiles; cyclists should pay particular attention when approaching bus stops where a bus is pulling out.
Motorbikes are not allowed to use the cycle lanes, but many still do so. Passing on the left is also allowed only in limited circumstances but is in fact still common.
Driving in Dublin is not to be recommended for much of the day, particularly in the city centre. Traffic can be heavy and there is an extensive one-way system, which some say is explicitly designed to make it very difficult for cars to enter the city centre. There are a large number of bus lanes (only buses, taxis and pedal cycles are permitted, others are promptly fined.) It is often legal to drive in bus lanes at certain off-peak times; these times and days are clearly signed. If you absolutely must travel into the city by car (perhaps to load or you have a disability), it is advisable to do research on your required route (using GPS or even Google Maps) and to seek suitable parking in advance.
It can be difficult to find parking other than in multi-storey car parks. On-street parking for short periods is allowed at parking meters, but beware of over-staying your time or you will be "clamped" by the clamping companies who patrol frequently - clamp release fees vary from €70-150 per 24 hours.
A system of two ring roads around the city has been introduced in recent years, with colour coded signage in purple and blue. The M50 is Dublin's motorway, it connects to the M1 (to the north of Ireland and Belfast) near Dublin airport and to the M11 (servicing Wicklow, Wexford and the South) south of the city and to other motorways and national roads along its "C-shaped" route. It has recently been upgraded so is less congested, and is well signposted.
Outside of the city centre, parking is generally not an issue, and ample free parking can be found outside of the M50 (and in certain areas within the M50 ring road).
Taxis were de-regulated in 2001 leading to a massive oversupply with Dublin now having more taxis than New York City. This is bad news for taxi drivers but good news for tourists, as taxis are now extremely easy to come by. They may be ordered by telephone, at ranks, or just on the street. Point-to-point trips in the city centre should cost between €6 and €10: many taxi drivers will also offer a set fare if asked. There is a national standardised rate for all taxis. The 'Hailo' smartphone app for taxis (operating on a similar premise to Uber) is used in Dublin.