How to get to Southern Ireland
Southern Ireland is a magnificent holiday destination thanks to its charming and historic towns, relatively untouched landscapes, and a plethora of ancient castles fit for your favorite fairytales. Given all its cultural goodness, it's little wonder why travelers from all over the United Kingdom and Europe flock to its lush countryside and coastal vistas. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get to Southern Ireland, however, the best form of transportation largely depends on where in the UK or Europe you're travelling from.
If you're located closer to Southern Ireland (or you want to embark on an epic road trip) then driving it's a great option that also allows you to soak up as much of the spectacular Irish scenery as possible. If you're coming from further away, flying is the quickest and best option. Or, if you're budget-conscious, you can always catch the Translink cross-border train and start your holiday in comfort.
Driving to Southern Ireland
Driving to a city or region within Southern Ireland can be easily done and is one of the best ways to experience Ireland's breathtaking natural scenery. Embarking on a road trip also gives you the flexibility to explore any small towns or natural attractions that you come across along the way and won't take you that long if you're coming from a nearby city.
The major motorways leading into popular destinations such as Cork or Tralee are well maintained and looked after and feature plenty of roadside signs with bold lettering for easy navigation. However, some routes include narrow and winding country roads so take care when driving and head any speed restrictions. The amount of traffic you experience will vary depending on the time of day you're driving but if you avoid peak periods, any traffic you come across shouldn't add on any extra travel time. Also, be mindful of the weather conditions when driving, especially in winter or late at night, so you can arrive at your final destination safe and sound and ready to explore.
Catching a train to Southern Ireland
One of the best ways to get to Southern Ireland is via the Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) as it's budget-friendly, easy to navigate, and relatively time-efficient, but this form of transportation only really makes sense for travelers coming from a destination that's already in Ireland such as Dublin. The Iarnród Éireann provides a modern, clean, and comfortable journey and operates frequent services to southern destinations such as Cork, Tralee, and Limerick departing from Heuston Station in Dublin. To book your train tickets, visit the Iarnród Éireann website here.
Flying to Southern Ireland
Flying is the quickest way to get into Southern Ireland if you're travelling from neighboring cities in Northern Ireland such as Belfast or from cities further afield such as Glasgow or London. Cork, Ireland's second-largest city, has an airport (ORK) that welcomes several flights from other regions in Ireland, the UK, and Europe daily making it extremely easy to travel to the southern part of the country. These flights are facilitated by airlines such as RyanAir, Aer Lingus, and British Airways and start at around GBP£30. See below how long it will take you to travel to Cork by air from popular neighboring destinations in Northern Ireland and the UK:
- Flying from Dublin to Cork will take you around 45 minutes and cost upwards of GBP£30.
- Flying from Belfast to Cork will take you around 3 hours and 40 minutes (one-stop flight) and cost upwards of GBP£50.
- Flying from Glasgow to Cork will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes and cost upwards of GBP£45.
- Flying from London to Cork will take you around 1 hour and cost between GBP£30 - GBP£70.
Ticket prices and flight availabilities can change with the seasons so expect the cost of flying from the above destinations to go up during summer. To avoid this, try booking your flights well in advance.