Tickets for Dublin public transport
Leap Cards: the cheapest way to travel in Dublin
You can buy tickets for Dublin’s trains, trams and buses at individual stations or on buses. However, it is cheaper to use a ‘Leap Card’ to travel around Dublin on public transport. This is a smartcard ticket which saves you up to 24% on your travel.
There are two types of ‘Leap Card’: the regular version or a ‘Leap Visitor Card.’
Regular Leap Card
The regular Leap Card can be topped up with travel credit as and when required, and is best suited to people who commute regularly in Dublin, or for those who are going to be travelling around Dublin for over 7 days.
Leap Visitor Card
A ‘Leap Visitor Card’ is valid for 1, 3 or 7 days depending on how much you pay. The prices are as follows:
1 day – €10.00
3 days – €19.50
7 days – €40.00
A Leap Visitor Card allows you unlimited travel after the first time you use it (for the period you have selected) on the following public transport services:
Airlink 747 and 757 Dublin airport bus services
All Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead bus services (note: not valid on tours)
All Dublin tram (‘Luas’) services
Dublin rail services in the Short Hop Zone
You can buy a Leap Card in advance of your visit to Dublin from the Leap Card website. Please note however that your Leap Card is not an e-ticket — your card will be delivered to your postal address. This means that you’ll need to allow enough time for delivery before your trip to Dublin.
Alternatively, you can purchase a Visitor Leap Card from the following outlets:
Bus and Travel Information Desk (Terminal 1 Arrivals)
Spar (Terminal 2 Arrivals)
WHSmith (Terminal 2 Arrivals)
Public transport zones and ticket pricing in Dublin
How much you pay to travel in Dublin depends on the mode of transport you’re using and how far you are travelling.
Tickets for Dublin buses
For nearly all buses, prices are calculated according to the number of stages (stops) you travel on a bus for. For certain routes, however, a flat fee applies: Xpresso buses (express services) and Route 90 (the bus between Dublin’s Connolly and Heuston mainline stations).
The table below explains these costs:
|Journey type||Leap Card fare||Cash fare|
|1-3 stops (normal bus)||€1.50||€2.10|
|4-13 stops (normal bus)||€2.15||€2.85|
|13+ stops (normal bus)||€2.60||€3.30|
|Xpresso (express services)||€2.90||€3.65|
|Route 90 (train connecting bus)||€1.50||€2.10|
You can buy tickets on buses from the driver — however, no change is provided and if you do not have the correct fare, you will not be refunded for any overpayment. For this reason — and to avail of cheaper fares — it is advisable to use a Leap Card for your travel on Dublin buses.
Tickets for Dublin trains (DART and Commuter)
Train fares in Dublin depend on how far you are travelling, and whether your journey takes place in the ‘Short Hop Zone’ or not. Travelling within the Short Hop Zone will result in lower fares.
The Short Hops Zone includes all stations in the Dublin area from
Kilcoole to Balbriggan
Central Dublin to Kilcock
Central Dublin to Sallins and Naas
You can view these boundaries on our Dublin train map.
The best way to see how much a ticket costs is to use Irish Rail’s Fare Calculator. This allows you to select the stations for the start and end of your journey and view prices for a variety of ticket types.
You can buy tickets at Dublin train stations, either from a ticket office (in manned stations) or from a ticket machine (most accept both cash and cards). As with all other modes of Dublin transport, however, it’s cheaper to use a Leap Card than to buy regular tickets.
Tickets for Dublin trams (‘Luas’)
Dublin’s Luas tram network is divided into several zones — you can view an official map of them here. These can be a bit confusing to understand however, so rather than using this map, we suggest using the Luas fare calculator to work out the cost of your journey and the best sort of ticket to buy. How much a journey costs depends on how many Luas zones you are travelling through — fares range from €2.10 for travel within one zone up to €3.30 for travel within 8.
You can buy tickets at Luas stops from the ticket machines provided (most accept both cash and cards). As with buses and trains however, using a Leap Card is an easier and cheaper way to pay for travel.