The easiest way to get around the city is through the bus system. Each student is given a LeapCard upon arrival at the program and it is preloaded with €5. With the LeapCard, you don’t have to worry about carrying exact change around wherever you go. Instead, you just fill up your LeapCard in advance and you’re good to go whenever you’re ready to explore.

The best place to fill up your LeapCard is at the Centra on campus before you leave. I try to have at least €10 on my card at all times in case I end up going anywhere I didn’t expect to go. On average, each ride usually costs about €2.05 with some of the longer trips being more. It is possible to fill up your LeapCard online, but DON’T DO THIS! If you fill up the card online, you have to take it in to Centra to verify the transaction anyway, so just save yourself the time and effort and go straight to Centra.

When you get on the bus, you can either “tap on” in which case you pay the max fee for all the stops or you can tell the bus driver your stop and he will only charge you according to the number of stops you will be going. Most times, I just tap on, especially if its crowded, to save time, but if you are only going a few stops, just let the bus driver know so you don’t get charged for the whole trip.

I know this was a point of confusion for several people when we started using the bus system, but some people were told that they needed to “tap off” if they “tapped on” when getting on the bus, but you DO NOT NEED TO TAP OFF. Some of my friends got charged a lot of extra money by making this mistake. Tapping off will charge you AGAIN for the max ride length which I’m sure you don’t want. When exiting the bus, you do not have to do anything.

Keep in mind that the bus stops running at 11pm usually. If you are going to be out after 11pm, just split a taxi with your friends. We’ve found it to be about €15-18 when coming from City Centre, which split between 4 people, does not come out to be too expensive.

Overall, the bus system is extremely easy to use and can get you pretty much anywhere, even all the way to Dun Laoghaire.


If you are trying to go a bit further, but not across the whole country, take the DART, part of the Irish Rail system. I only took it a few times to get from City Centre to Dun Laoghaire or from Dun Laoghaire to Howth. It is usually a bit faster and you can still use your LeapCard or you can opt to buy a separate ticket.


If you are trying to get to across the country, use the train! We took the train from Dublin to Galway and it was so incredibly easy and a very nice train ride as well. The train is very clean, with tables and comfortable seats. I would highly recommend heading over to Galway for a weekend by train! You should book these tickets ahead of time if you want to sit with friends. Our tickets to Galway were about €25 round trip. I know you can get to Cork and Belfast on the train as well so definitely check out the train for a few weekend trips!

These are the easiest and cheapest ways to get around Dublin and the rest of Ireland! Take advantage of all the time you have and travel the country because it has so so much to offer!

Grace Heart studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland, in Summer 2017: