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Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

California
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Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

We're landing in Dublin in June. From there we were thinking of heading up to Belfast and then off to Derry. We want to get to Giant's Causeway while there. After a few days up there, we would like to work our way back to Galway and explore more from there.

My questions relate to methods of travel to the first few points. What is the best way to get from Dublin Airport to Belfast and then up to Derry and Giant's Causeways? I have looked at some of the bus and train schedules. I am just debating about whether it would be easier and better in the long run to just get a car for the trek into Northern Ireland. I haven't been able to determine if there is a bus or train from Dublin into Belfast and then into Derry, etc.

Obviously, we're not looking at doing all this in one day.

In the other direction, we're looking at going to the Aran Islands out of Galway. Is there a train that reasonably gets from Dublin Airport to Galway and then is the Galway train station anywhere near the boats to the Aran Islands?

Thanks in advance for any help/advise you can provide.

Cork, Ireland
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1. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Brendan I always recommend a car for any trips of more than 4 or 5 days here.

The reason for this is that the public transport system here is quite good between major cities and towns but can be non existent in more rural areas.

There is definitely a train from Dublin to Belfast, and others can tell you about the trip from Belfast to Derry.

There is no train station at Dublin Airport. If you need to get a train from Dublin you must go to either Heuston or Connolly train stations, the former is about a mile from Dublin city centre and the latter is in the city centre.

For Galway you will need to take the train from Heuston. There is a bus service from the airport to both train stations.

Regarding your question "is the Galway train station anywhere near the boats to the Aran Islands?" No it's not, locals in Galway will know where exactly they are.

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Hi Brendan

Dublin Airport to Belfast by public transport:

Bus Eireann and Aircoach both run bus services from Dublin Airport to Belfast.

buseireann.ie/site/…1.pdf

www.aircoach.ie/table.routes.belfast.php

There is also a very good train (The Enterprise) service from Dublin to Belfast. Trains leave from Connolly Station in Dublin and take about 2 hours and 20 mins. For fares and timetables, go to:

http://www.irishrail.ie/home/

To get to Connolly Station, take the Airlink 748 service from outside the arrivals hall in Dublin Airport to Busaras (central bus station). Connolly Station is just across the road from Busaras. For Airlink timetables and fares go to:

dublinbus.ie/your_journey/airport_services.a…

For public transport from Belfast to Derry:

There is a (very scenic) train service from Belfast to Derry. There is also a bus service. Use this link for fares and timetables for both bus and train. You can also get to the Giant's Causeway by bus or by organised tour from Belfast.

http://www.nirailways.co.uk/

For travel from Dublin Airport to Galway:

By train, take the Airlink 748 service to Heuston Station for the train to Galway (Airlink and Irish Rail links are above).

By bus, there is a bus service between Dublin Airport and Galway. Details are on:

http://www.nestorairlink.ie/

For travel from Galway to the Aran Islands:

Have a look at the Aran Islands Ferries website. The ferry company runs a shuttle bus from the centre of Galway to the ferry port outside the city.

http://www.aranislandferries.com/

You can also fly from Belfast to Galway. Details are on this site:

http://www.flybe.com/

Also, there are regular flights from Dublin Airport to Derry. Go to:

britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_gb

Have a great trip.

Ontario
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3. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Not clear if your proposed travel is from Dublin to Belfast or from Dublin Int'l Airport to Belfast. Your first question is about travel from the airport, and from there on it's just "Dublin."

If it's from the airport, you might want to follow Bryno's advice and rent a car. Then you could stop en route at Newgrange (at least as much worth seeing as the Giant's Causeway, in my opinion).

Out of curiosity, why didn't you arrange your flight to Belfast in the first place if that's where your Irish trip is to begin?

California
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4. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Thanks to all for your suggestions. As to why we didn't book to Belfast, we probably should have. When we purchased our tickets, Belfast wasn't really in the plans. - I guess I could look into the possibility of changing the tickets, but I'm not sure how that will go.

If we did rent a car for travel in the North, would you recommend renting one right away at the Dublin Airport, or would it be better to get up to Belfast and rent one up there? Basically, I'm wondering if there are any rental issues and extra costs that would be a problem in traveling across the border and back.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions so far.

Cork, Ireland
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5. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Brendan, as you are flying into and out of Dublin, the cross border car rental issue won't be a problem. I have not rented a car in Ireland but judging by other posters the pick up south, drop off north and vice versa can get complicated.

I do feel you will be very pleased if you have your own transport. It will give you great independence and open up options that will not be available to you using public transport.

Ontario
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6. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Probably it's not worth changing your flight to Belfast now, especially if it would involve going through Heathrow or otherwise complicating things. But do consider a stop at Newgrange between Dublin and Belfast--Newgrange is so impressive that it could make you decide that your "mistake" of flying into Dublin paid off after all!

California
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7. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

As it turns out, we couldn't have flown in to Belfast anyway. We are going on Aer Lingus out of Los Angeles and they don't land/take off between those two points.

I am pretty well set on us getting a car at this point. I looked at a Toyota Avensis on the web (I think that is how it is spelled). It sounds like it should fit four people okay). Does anyone have a familiarity with that car (it's not sold in the U.S.).

Thanks again for the comments from all of you. By the way, we are definitely planning on going to Newgrange.

Cork, Ireland
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8. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Brendan, the Avensis,a very nice comfortable saloon and I believe it comes as a hatchback and estate. The Saloon will be plenty for 4 people. Should have a large enough boot for 4 midsize cases, be creative with your packing and try and keep it to a minimum.

Have a look here for more details on the avensis

http://www.toyota.ie/models/avensis/

davie florida
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9. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Brendan, we made the trip in 2006 from Dublin to Newgrange onto Belfast and then up the Antrim coast to Giants causeway,Carrick a Reade et al. from there onto Derry and then into Donegal down into Galway for a trip ovr to Inishmor and ended up in Doolin.

Traveled via rent a car as public transport is spotty when you get out of the cities. Stayed in B&Bs thruout our trip and had a marvelous time.

Highly recommend the rental car as it allows greater flexability with your plans. Check out the car rental threads thru this website as there is GREAT discussion regarding Insurance CDW etc..often the Insurance is as costly as the car rental.

You will not encounter any difficulties in border crossings as they actually no longer exist (to my knowledge) the only real difference is in the currency.

If you want additional info send an email and will be happy to respond. Enjoy your trip.

Brendan Grubb

California
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10. Re: Dublin To Belfast To Derry To Galway

Thanks Bryno and Flagrubbs for the info on travel by car. Bryno I noticed that you posted on my other posting about the Toyota. I wasn't sure anyone would see my follow up question. We have decided to opt for the car for the whole journey. Flagrubbs, it sounds like we will pretty much be going your loop, at least as far as the Aran Islands. About how much travel time did it take you to get from the Derry area to Galway? We will probably be stopping in Donegal, so we won't be on the road the whole time. However, a sense of how much time the driving will take would be helpful.

Thanks again to all.