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Ireland/Ireland on public transportation


Hi David,

a friend and I are planning our first trip to Ireland. we will arrive in Dublin and plan to visit the Cliff of Moher and either Killarney or Killenny; we  had a hard time choosing between these 2, what's your advice on this?
we are wondering about traveling through public transportation, both within and outside of Dublin, how much longer would that take us compare to driving on our own? we drive in canada but driving one the left-hand side would be a first so we are not sure about that... we've heard and read that buses are not reliable and expensive in Ireland so we better off rent a car, is that true?

we plan to have a day in Belfast before heading off to Scotland, what would you suggest for Belfast?

also, what's your recommendations on Irish beaches? Thank You


Hi Evelyn, thanks for the question.

To answer your questions one by one....

I assume that you mean to stay in Kilkenny.   It is a lovely city and while it hasn't got the mountains, lakes and views of Killarney, it has a vast history and it is a picturesque city.    Both have good night life and both are in rolling countryside so spoil yourself and visit both!

In relation to buses, they are fine in Ireland, albeit a bit disjointed at times.  Price wise they are grand, just be sure to check out that places you want to go are connected to where you are starting from.   A rental car has obvious benefits like it being on hand when you need it plus it's good for luggage etc.   Driving is not difficult though you are right to say that it will be somewhat different to what you are used to; you will also need a good road map on hand just in case.

An alternative to both driving and public transport is to consider using tour travel companies to visit attractions.   Railtours do guided day tours from Dublin to Killarney, Kilkenny and the Cliffs of Moher and have an excellent reputation; their prices include all applicable entry fees and transport per day.    

Belfast is a great city to visit has tour buses on hand, the Ulster Transport Museum and the legendary Giants Causeway while the Titanic Exhibition is recently open and doing big business.  There are also cab drivers who do tours based on the Troubles; your hotel will have details on all of these attractions.

Lastly, the east coast has beaches that are miles long; counties Wicklow, Wexford, Meath and Louth especially.   You will need a car to get to many of them but Sandymount, Bray, Malahide, Portmarnock are in Dublin city itself while Donabate, Skerries, Gormanstown and Laytown/Bettystown are all easy to get to from Dublin via railway.    There are lots of beaches all over the country but those I mentioned will be easier to get to.

Any other questions, fire them away and I'll do my best to help you.



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David Walsh


I am one of two Ireland Expert's on this site resident in the country and and a citizen of Ireland. I have travelled all over Ireland and I have been in every county at least once and have seen a lot of what happens in this country. A lifelong resident of Dublin, I know the city very very well and have seen all sorts of interesting nuggets and corners; wee shops in funny places and pubs that have the best beer and food. I also write table and pub quizzes so I know a little bit about everything, so to speak, including some of the quirky stuff! If it's about Dublin, I'll be hard pressed not to know something about it; the pubs, sights, history, stories and more so try your luck on me! NB, if you are asking questions relating to suggested sights things to see in Ireland or suggested travel itinerary's, I'd appreciate it if you have a wee look through my past answers first off; it may give you the information that you require already.


I have been working as a taxi driver for several years so I know every nook and cranny of Dublin. As somebody who studied media, I am also interested in transport and current affairs and am passionate about Ireland, Irish affairs and Irish life. I've traveled the country over the years and have seen many of Ireland wonderful sites and sights, some well known; others less so! I've also done some tour guide work taking people around the country so I'm well travelled and well sussed as to what's where.

I have an Irish Leaving Certificate; I also undertook the first year of a H Dip in Radio with Journalism, so it goes without saying that my communication skills are up there.
While I lack latin certs on my wall, life experience has left me with a lot of common sense experience that no institution can teach you.

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