Dublin Airport is the main gateway into Ireland. From the capital city, it is possible to connect to other airports in Ireland, or rent a car and explore the island that way. When you fly to Dublin from the United States you will most likely flight overnight, so remember any items you need to stay comfortable on the red-eye flight. Upon arriving at the Dublin Ireland Airport, which is located north of the city center, you will need to pass through customs and border control before entering the country. On the plane you will fill out a landing card about where you’re staying in Ireland and how long you’re staying for. The border control guard may ask you a question or two upon arrival, and then Dublin is yours to explore.
Dublin Airport parking is available, but expensive. Short-term options aren’t prohibitively expensive, but the costs do rise quickly if flights are delayed, for instance. One alternative to Dublin Airport parking is using the long-term lots that have popped up on the outskirts of the airport. These lots are much more affordable than parking in the airport, and they provide free transportation via a shuttle to the terminal. If you are looking to rent, not park, a car at the Dublin Airport, this is a possibility. The best rates will be found before departure, but if you decide last minute you want to rent a car, you should be able to secure a rental.
Many airlines fly to Dublin, in fact, Dublin Airport is one of the ten busiest airports in Europe—between 60,000 and 80,000 people move through the airport every day. Because of this fact, when you are leaving the airport to return to the States, it is advisable to arrive two and a half hours before your flight. Lengthy lines at check-in (even just for baggage drop) and the security checkpoint will make you glad you gave yourself extra time. Some itineraries experience pre-flight clearance as well, which takes up more time. Allow 30 to 45 minutes to travel to the airport depending on your location in Dublin and on traffic patterns.You can also stay at one of the airport hotels if your departing flight is early in the morning.
After you fly to Dublin, there are many options for transportation into the city. Budget travelers will opt for the bus, as there are no trains connecting Dublin Airport to the city. Specific buses called Aircoach bring visitors to several different locations throughout Dublin. The driver can help you to decide where the best place to get off the bus would be. If necessary, you can continue on to your final destination with public transportation once you’re in the city. These coaches are especially comfortable and plush, so if you plan on returning to the airport the same way, buy a roundtrip ticket to save a few euros. Alternatively, the Dublin City bus also goes into the city center for approximately 2 euro. Be prepared, however, as this bus can get very crowded and there is limited space for luggage.
The quickest way to get into Dublin is by a taxi. Outside of baggage claim there is always a full taxi rank waiting to bring you to the door of your destination. Expect a taxi ride into the city center to cost between 20 and 30 euros, depending on traffic and your destination. Amenities in the airport are top-notch, from food to currency exchange to ATMs to coffee—you’ll find anything you need at Dublin Airport. Recent renovations have brought even more stores and restaurants to the airport. If you’re parked in short-term Dublin Airport parking, keep your eye on the clock! Time could easily pass as you sit at the bar having a glass of champagne and oysters.