We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Transportation for 2 week trip

Boston...
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Transportation for 2 week trip

I am planning a trip to Ireland for next spring and I'm wondering if it is worth it to rent a car for the entire trip, or travel by bus/train and do local rentals? I plan to stay for about 2 weeks, starting in Dublin and visiting Galway area, Cork, Killarney, Dingle, and Waterford (not necessarily in that order).

I would like to do a few day tours, but I'm wondering if it will be easier to have my own transportation for the whole trip, or if I can easily get between cities/towns by train or bus and then rent a car if I want to do more exploration of a local area (will probably be spending a few days in each area).

Any thoughts? Is it more cost effective to travel by train/bus? Or will I save a significant amount of travel time with a rental car (instead of spending time waiting for a bus)?

Mentioned in this post
Dublin
Dublin
County Dublin, Ireland
Dursey Island Cable Car
Mass Transportation Systems, Taxis & Shuttles
iDrive
Taxis & Shuttles, Private Tours
Rolla, Missouri
Level Contributor
408 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Transportation for 2 week trip

We spend two weeks touring Ireland in 2007. Flew in and out of Shannon. Our trip (where we stayed) was Doolin, Galway, Dublin (Dun Laoghaire), Kilkenny, Kinsale, Kenmare, Dingle, and Bunratty. We had a car the whole trip and are glad we did. A lot of the beauty of Ireland is seen just driving around, stopping where you want, when you want. Sometimes the best times are spent finding was is at the end of the wrong turn! lol I highly recommend a car. You won't need it in Dublin, but you will everywhere else.

Mentioned in this post
Dublin
Dublin
County Dublin, Ireland
Dublin
Level Contributor
3,297 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Transportation for 2 week trip

RonWhite's advice is spot-on. A car gives you lots of flexibility and gets you to the locations you can't reach by public transport or by organised tours. However, just to underline that usual advice on this forum that driving in central Dublin can be very frustrating for visitors, if there are unfamiliar with the area. and the myriad one-way streets, limited parking etc. Most must-sees in Dublin are best visited on foot and/or by HOHO bus.

Also beware of jet lag and of attempting to drive on the "wrong" side on unfamiliar roads immediately on arrival. Many visitors spend a few days in Dublin on arrival without a car and only pick one up before heading out of town to see other parts of the country.

Mentioned in this post
Dublin
Dublin
County Dublin, Ireland
Charlotte, North...
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Transportation for 2 week trip

Just returned from almost exactly the trip you describe. Rented the car from budget. Having a car allowed a LOT of flexibility but there are big cautions I'd give you. Of course you will drive on the left and the availibility of an automatic transmission is rare and cost a lot more that a manual shift. Don't forget that you will be using your left hand to shift while at the same time dodging very close left side obstacles in the whole of your trip. Only a few major "wide open" roads and when you get into the towns/ cities, this is where the problems can happen because you are trying to navigate in unfamiliar territory. If you are not a very agile driver and a quick learner I would say you have a 10 percent change of an accident, just get ALL the insurance you can. And they do hit you for insurance. That is a lesson unto itself. But for two weeks, we spent (with all the insurance I could buy from them)... about $1,200 dollars. And because I went off season I got upgraded to an automatic. That helped a lot.

Learn fast to pull your rear view mirrors "in" while driving in towns and cities.

Otherwise you will be much more likely to side swipe the tight "left" you will encounter. The round abouts are helpful. Also the markings on the traffic signs as you come into town are great when trying to get to the "downtown" because they consistently say "city center" and just follow them. The "park and pay" system you will have to get too, and they will clamp you if you fail to pay. Here is how that works: You get a space, and if signs say "park and pay" you look for a near by box on the street that is marked for that purpose; aask a local and they are always helpful in showing (at least this dumb American) how to do it...you put the money in, and out comes a receipt which you then go back to your car with and put the "timed receipt" INSIDE the car window so the Guarda (police) can see it. We also had the car in Dublin and used it go get around all over. Use the parking garages. Again, you have to have a sense of adventure if you are going to use a car in tight quarters. If was so good last night to get back to wide roads in USA.

But the freedom of having a car is priceless.

Mentioned in this post
Dublin
Dublin
County Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
511 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Transportation for 2 week trip

I would recommend you get a car but maybe pick it up when leaving Dublin as you will probably not need it there. If going from Dublin straight to Galway you could get a train to Galway and pick up a car there for the rest of your trip,though I would price the train v the car and see which is better. You could fly home from Shannon if this is an option and suits your itinerary. I definitley think you should get a car for at least some of your trip as the beauty of Ireland is often off the main roads and just wandering down side roads,stopping wherever and for as long,or short,as you want.

Mentioned in this post
Dublin
Dublin
County Dublin, Ireland
Rolla, Missouri
Level Contributor
408 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Transportation for 2 week trip

Agree with domhnall. Don't drive in Dublin. We drove from Galway to Dun Laoghaire, parked the car for three days and took the DART back and forth into central Dublin. Worked great.

Agree, get ALL the insurance.

Final advice - get the smallest car that will serve your needs. Ireland is the only time I've ever been upgraded by the rental agency and regretted it. Smaller is better.

Mentioned in this post
Dublin
Dublin
County Dublin, Ireland
6. Re: Transportation for 2 week trip

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 November 2012, 06:15