Dublin (IATA: DUB), Shannon (IATA: SNN) in County Clare, Cork (IATA: ORK), and Ireland West, Knock (IATA: NOC) in County Mayo are the four international airports serving the Republic of Ireland. Dublin, Europe’s eighth biggest airport, is by far the largest and most connected, with flights to many locations throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and the Middle East. Shannon Airport, located near Limerick, offers flights to the United States, Canada, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Cork offers flights to the majority of UK locations as well as a broad range of European cities. It’s easy to get there from any of Europe’s main centers, including all of London’s airports. Knock Airport offers daily scheduled flights to a number of UK locations, as well as a number of chartered flights to (mainly) European vacation destinations.
Donegal (IATA: CFN), Kerry (IATA: KIR), Sligo (IATA: SXL), and Waterford (IATA: SXL) are smaller regional airports that offer domestic and UK flights (IATA: WAT).
The City of Derry Airport, as well as both Belfast airports (City and International), are all within a short distance of the Northern Ireland/Southern Ireland border, particularly the former. (Note that these three airports are all in Northern Ireland.)
Aer Lingus and Ryanair, Ireland’s two main airlines, are both low-cost carriers. This implies that all extras, like as airport check-in (Ryanair only), luggage check-in, meals on board, and so forth, will be paid to passengers. Ryanair also charges a fee for being one of the first passengers on the aircraft. The websites of Dublin, Shannon, Cork, and Knock airports provide comprehensive lists of airlines flying directly into Ireland, as well as destinations and schedules. Aer Arann offers a regional service, including domestic flights within Ireland and international flights mostly to and from the United Kingdom.
The Enterprise service, which runs from Belfast Central to Dublin Connolly and is jointly operated by Irish Rail and Northern Ireland Railways, is the sole cross-border train.
There is also a Rail-Sail Scheme that connects Stena Line or Irish Ferries with rail connections in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They mostly run from UK cities through the Cairnryan-Belfast, Holyhead-Dublin, Fishguard-Rosslare, and Pembroke-Rosslare sailing routes via the different Irish and British Rail networks.
Ulsterbus and Bus Éireann, as well as a number of privately held businesses, provide cross-border services in County Donegal.
Eurolines, in collaboration with Bus Eireann and National Express, provides services to the United Kingdom and beyond (Great Britain). Bus Éireann also runs regular routes to and from Eastern Europe, namely Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Several services from the United Kingdom and France serve Ireland:
- Irish Ferries run between Holyhead, North Wales, and Dublin, as well as Pembroke, South Wales, and Rosslare, Ireland.
- Stena Line – Holyhead to Dn Laoghaire (Co. Dublin) (approximately 8 km south of Dublin city center) and Fishguard, South Wales, to Rosslare are served by the Stena Line.
- Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries – Ferries from France (e.g. Roscoff) to Rosslare and Cork are provided by Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries. Compare costs since Irish Ferries may be considerably less expensive than Brittany Ferries.
- Liverpool to Dublin with P&O Ferries
- Steam Packet Company — Runs services from Liverpool, England, to Dublin, and from the Isle of Man to Dublin.
- Celtic Link Ferries – P&O Irish Sea used to run the route from Rosslare to Cherbourg, which is now operated by Celtic Link Ferries.
Many businesses now serve as agents for numerous ferry companies, similar to how Expedia and Travelocity act as agents for airlines, enabling customers to compare different companies and itineraries. Ferryonline, AFerry, and FerrySavers are three well-known brands.
From Great Britain and Northern Ireland
There are no permanent passport restrictions at the land border because of Ireland’s historic connection with the United Kingdom. In reality, the border is seldom marked, making it impossible to determine whether you’ve passed from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland and vice versa. The most apparent indication is that on the Republic side, road signs are usually bilingual (in Irish and English), and speed limits and distances are shown in kilometers. Lines on the road may also vary, with yellow thick lines in the south and white thin lines in Northern Ireland. For travel between the two, EEA and Swiss citizens do not need passports, but they must verify their identity and nationality if stopped for a spot check; all other foreign people need a passport. When flying into an Irish airport from the United Kingdom, you must provide picture identification (driver’s license or passport) to verify that you are a British or Irish citizen.
Despite the absence of border checkpoints, be aware that if your nationality requires it, you must have a valid Irish visa or risk being deported.
If you’re flying Ryanair into Ireland from the UK, you’ll need a passport or other kind of national identification. A driver’s license is not accepted by Ryanair, however it is accepted by Irish Immigration (GNIB).