Start off your Irish adventure with a cheap flight to Dublin. Once here, you can get an unconventional introduction to the country's Viking history at The Brazen Head, a pub that's been around since 1198 and where an order of Guinness is an essential; stroll along the winding Liffey River and enjoy enthusiastic busker performances, poetry recitals, and even the occasional magic trick; work towards your 'expert taster' certification at the Jameson whiskey distillery; or follow the locals' good example and slip off to St. Stephen's Green for a quick afternoon snooze in the grass.
For a St. Paddy's Day celebration that you won't ever forget, there's no place on earth that surpasses Dublin — the festivities often last an entire week and you'll soon discover how the Irish earned their reputation as fun-loving, cheerful people. But no matter what time of year you book your flights to Dublin, the city's nightlife will not disappoint. You can find nightclubs that are crowded into the wee hours of the morning, quiet local pubs where the older generations gather for their daily pints, and chic bars that have very happy hours indeed, often serving cheap drinks for four hours or more.
Dublin attracts a cosmopolitan mix of people from every corner of Ireland as well far-flung corners of the world like Australia and South America, thus making it seem like home for almost everyone who visits. So whether you're seeking the rugged Ireland of Joyce and Beckett, the magical one of legends and leprechauns, or just a relaxing vacation through the green countryside, a flight to Dublin is best the way to get going.
Most visitors to Ireland book flights to Dublin Airport (DUB) as it is served by more airlines than any other airport in the country and is a mere 10 km from the city centre. Stiff competition between local carriers as well as international airlines such as American, Continental, and Delta, means that passengers can get cheap tickets at almost any time of year. For those travelling from within Europe, Irish carriers like Aer Arann, Aer Lingus, and low-cost airline Ryanair have frequent international flights to and from Dublin while visitors from Canada can get direct flights with Air Canada, Air Transat, and Sunwing from cities like Toronto and Montreal.
Whenever you're flying to Dublin, be sure to pack an umbrella and a light jacket for the trip. The Irish countryside retains its famous 'greenness' largely due to the frequent showers which are more concentrated from November to March, but make regular appearances during the summertime as well.
Dublin flights are most expensive from June to August when the weather stays between 15-20°C and daylight lasts for up to 18 hours, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy Dublin's delights. Barring the weeks around Christmas and New Year, airfares are cheapest from November to February when the city is cold, wet, and windy, although temperatures rarely fall below 4-5°C. For those who don't mind a little rain and slightly cooler temperatures, September, October, April, and May are good times for cheap flights to Dublin.
Dublin Airport has two terminals and the majority of airlines with flights to Dublin land at Terminal 1. Terminal 2 is served by American carriers such as Continental and Delta as well as Aer Lingus. The airport's website has a Journey Planner tool which can be used to estimate travel times and routes, while passengers with connecting flights can use the pedestrian route that connects both terminals.
Public Transit: Buses are the cheapest option for travel into the city and stops are located outside both terminals. You can choose from Routes 747, 41, 16a, and 102 depending on which way you're headed. On-board tickets can only be purchased with coins and fares vary from €1.20 to about €4 on the basis of pre-determined zones. If you're planning on using the bus service extensively during your stay, it may be cheaper to buy a Rambler ticket for less than €7 which allows you unlimited travel for one day (until midnight) and remember to buy discounted tickets if you're a student or travelling with children.
Airport Shuttle: Airlink, Aircoach, Flybus, and Urbus offer shuttle buses and coaches from the airport to destinations in and around Dublin. You can also connect to cities across Ireland with companies like Citylink and Bus Eireann - a convenient options for travellers who are flying into Dublin but travelling straight on to other destinations. A one-way adult ticket to downtown Dublin averages €7 and you can get discounts for booking children's tickets and return trips.
Hotel Shuttle: Several hotels around the airport area as well as a few in downtown Dublin offer their guests courtesy pick-up services from the airport. Be sure to confirm with your hotel if this service is included in your booking arrangements and inform them of your flight's arrival gate and time.
Taxi: Taxi stands and dispatchers can be found outside both terminals and trips from the airport to downtown Dublin will cost you about €18-€28. Always ask for a receipt and prepare to pay more for travel during premium times (8 p.m. to 8 a.m, Sundays, and public holidays) and an extra €1 for each additional passenger.
Chauffeured Car Service: Limousine and luxury car companies are not located at the airport but can be pre-booked independently at least 24 hours in advance. A chauffeur meeting-point is conveniently located at the arrival area exits, just outside the baggage claim areas.
Car Rental: Car rental companies like Hertz, Budget, Avis, Sixt, and Europcar have kiosks at both terminals and provide advance booking and on-demand services to passengers arriving on Dublin flights. Companies like Thrifty, Enterprise, Dan Dooley, and Country Car Rentals are present only at Terminal 1 and only accept advance bookings.