a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis
Hi -we're looking at booking a package from the U.S. that'll be going to Killarney (4 nights) and Kilkenny (3 nights) but not signing up for any of the additional day tours in favor of doing all of our sightseeing on our own. Hate the tours - they herd you through too much. in too short a time, with too many people!
Anyway, we'll only have two full days in Kilkenny and I figure we'd take one to explore the town, and I'd like to spend the second day in Dublin. I'd like to go by rail as it's probably fastest. Has anyone done this, is it difficult to figure out, and will we have enough time to hit the high spots of Dublin? I figure it may take and hour and a half or so to get there? Am looking at first train out - probably last train back. Appreciate any advice/insight you could throw my way!!
See the railway website at http://www.irishrail.ie/home/
Note that there aren't that many trains from Kilkenny to Dublin daily (6 or so?), and the trip takes 1.5 to 2 hours each way. I did see on the front page of this website a "deal" on a return ticket for this trip (take a look).
My recollection is that Ireland, unlike many European countries, depended a lot more on buses than trains, so I would spend some time looking for bus service as well, on the off chance that a bus may be faster (no guarantee on Irish roads ;-) )...
The first train from Kilkenny to Dublin is at 06:56 (arriving in Dublin at 08:45), and the last one back is at 18:25 (arriving in Kilkenny at 20:05).The price is €55 return, but you might get a discount depending on whether you have a tourist card or something to that effect. Here's the link for more information:
That doesn't really give you much time to explore a whole capital city. However, if all you want to do is walk the city and maybe visit one or two of the top attractions (like the Guinness storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, etc) then you might just do it.
"The price is ?55 return" Yikes! Well, all the more reason to look at http://www.irishrail.ie/home/ and see if you can get the 22 euro roundtrip - "Kilkenny to Dublin return from €22"...although I don't see how to do it yet...
Oh, very nice, the http://www.iarnrodeireann.ie/ website listed above not only leads to the rail website I listed, but also the bus website at http://www.buseireann.ie/site/home/
Hmmmn, it looks like the bus is indeed somewhat slower (2.3 hours?), but may be much cheaper - I think I saw a midweek adult return ticket for between 10 and 11 euro...do go look...
Oh hold on, I thought the fares they showed were single tickets but they seem to be return for €27.50 which strikes me as a little on the cheaper side then usual. That website is a tad on the ambiguous side!
there could be some private buses who do the Kilkenny-Dublin route?
But Kilkenny is only 70 miles away from Dublin, so a day trip is doable. I've done it many times myself.
Thanks for all of your help - it looks like this thing is doable! I know the train will be more expensive than a bus, but I'm pretty sure doing this on our own (vs paying for the day trip our tour package offers) will be cheaper than what they'll want for it. They'll also "do" Dublin for even a shorter amount of time than we can do it on our own. We won't see it all but can spend our time as we wish rather than herded through too many sites in too short a day. I'd love to really do some walking and experience a bit of the local flavor vs going site-to-site on a tour bus. We'll likely skip the Guinness tour but may pop up to their bar for a quick pint - the view is supposed to be very nice! As one of you mentioned, the rail website is a little ambiguous so thought it best to poll those of you who've done this. Now we just have to decide which marvelous things to see while we're there!!! I'll keep checking back in case you have more good ideas....