How to Get to Cork from Dublin

Dublin and Cork are the two most populated cities in Ireland and therefore one of the most common transfers. I tell you what are the best options for transport between the two cities

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

6 min read

How to Get to Cork from Dublin

Cork | ©Ed Webster

250 kilometers separate the cities of Dublin and Cork. Perfectly connected by public transport and roads, the journey between the two is one of the most frequented in Ireland. By train, bus or car, in this post we will review what are the advantages and disadvantages of each method of transport.

If you have already seen and done everything you should in Dublin and you have days to spare, visiting Cork is a great option. This city in the south of Ireland has several attractions such as the English Market, the old jail or the Elizabeth Fort. The advantage is that the city can be visited in one day and the round trip from Dublin is very comfortable.

Travelling from Dublin to Cork with an organized tour

St. Finbar's Cathedral| ©Charlie cravero
St. Finbar's Cathedral| ©Charlie cravero

If you plan to visit the surroundings of the city, how about visiting Cork? In this case, the best option is to book an organized tour to Cork from Dublin. The great advantage is that in addition to including transportation you will also have a guide and a pre-established itinerary that will make your trip much easier.

  • Price: From about 80€ for adults and 50€ for children.
  • Duration and distance: The bus ride is about 3 hours one way and 3 hours return. In total the tour lasts 12 hours from the time you leave Dublin until you return.
  • What's included: Round trip transportation, accredited guide and organized itinerary with entrance to the main monuments.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for a round trip on the same day and want to have everything already organized in advance.

What you will see on an organized tour to Cork from Dublin

This small city conquers its visitors first by the stomach, as it has one of the most important markets in the north considered world class. This is known as the English market. Founded in 1788, here you can taste first class local and national products. The old city jail is another interesting place to visit. Although it looks more like a castle than a prison, this Gothic style building has a lot of history linked to the War of Independence.

In the city center you will find other historic buildings that are part of the guided tours such as St. Finbar's Cathedral and St. Anne's Church with the Shandon bells. Finally, you can not miss the Franciscan Well Brewery, so called because it is located in what was a former Franciscan monastery and today has become a place of pilgrimage for beer lovers.

Book an organized tour to Cork from Dublin

How to get by Train to Cork from Dublin: the most flexible option

Train from Dublin| ©Giuseppe Milo
Train from Dublin| ©Giuseppe Milo

Travelling by train from Dublin to Cork is the best option all things considered. It is the fastest means of transport, with a journey time of 2.5 hours and a wide range of timetables. Trains leave every hour from 7 am and the last train back from Cork is at 20:25.

Tickets start from 21,50€ although in this case it is almost mandatory to book online to get the best deals. If you wait to buy it the same day or at the same station you run the risk of paying up to double. The company that offers these trips is Irish Rail. From the center of Dublin taking the bus 145 you arrive in 5 minutes. In Cork the train station is 15 minutes from the center on foot, but there are also numerous buses that depart from the station itself.

  • Price: From 21 euros.
  • Duration and distance: 2 hours and a half trip.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for the best option in terms of speed and comfort.

Book an organized tour to Cork from Dublin

How to get by bus to Cork from Dublin: The cheapest.

Aircoach bus| ©Albert Bridge
Aircoach bus| ©Albert Bridge

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the train, the best option is the bus. The bus trips are a bit longer, about 3 hours and a half from Dublin to Cork, but we will save a lot of money. Although there are several companies that offer the trip between the two cities, two are the most recommended for the wide variety of schedules they offer:

  • The first is Aircoach: this company has trips from the airport and from the center of Dublin. The trips from the center cost 10 euros if we buy it online or 17 if we do it directly on the bus. If we take the round trip ticket, the price doubles in both cases. It also offers trips from the airport that are 7 euros more expensive and last almost 4 hours.
  • The other company to consider is GoBus. It is somewhat more expensive since the normal ticket is 14 euros online and 18 euros from the bus, although the duration of the trip is the same. However, the frequency is somewhat lower and the buses leave every two hours.
  • Price: From 10 euros
  • Duration and distance: 259 kilometers and 3 hours and a half.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for the cheapest option.

Book an organized excursion to Cork from Dublin

How to get to Cork by car from Dublin: The alternative.

Travel by Car| ©Jackson David
Travel by Car| ©Jackson David

In the event that we rent a car, or have one, it is also feasible to go from Dublin to Cork. It is a very comfortable trip since it is well connected by road.

There are several routes, but the fastest is 259 kilometers that are covered in about 3 hours. In this section there are tolls so, added to the fuel, it is not a cheap option compared to the rest. There are two tolls on the M7 and M8 and each of them costs 1.90€.

The main advantage of the car is that it gives us the freedom to make some intermediate stops at interesting points such as Glendalough, Kilkenny and Rock of Cashel. Renting a car is not the only option as there are also shared trips through companies such as Blablacar.

  • Duration and distance: 3 hours and 259 kilometers.
  • Recommended if: You want a transport that gives you maximum freedom of movement.
  • Organized excursion

  • Price: From 80 euros

  • Duration: 3 hours

  • Advantages: Transfer and organized itinerary

  • Disadvantages: Limited time to see the city and its surroundings

  • Train

  • Price: From 20 euros

  • Travel time: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Advantage: The most comfortable and fastest transportation

  • Disadvantage: More expensive than the bus

  • Bus

  • Price: From 10 euros

  • Travel time: 3 hours- 3 hours and 30 minutes

  • Advantage: The cheapest option

  • Disadvantage: Longer trip than by train

  • Car

  • Price: Depends on consumption

  • Travel time: 3 hours

  • Advantage: Maximum freedom of movement

  • Disadvantage: Total price between rental, consumption and expenses.

Tips for traveling between Dublin and Cork

Connolly Station,| ©William Murphy
Connolly Station,| ©William Murphy

Dublin has a lot to see and do but Cork is a must visit. To make the trip from Dublin to Cork in the different means of transport on this list you should take into account a number of recommendations that can help you:

  • For the train and bus it is always advisable to get tickets online as they are, in almost all cases, cheaper.
  • Dublin train station is located west of the city. To get there it is best to take the red streetcar line which takes about 10 minutes from the city center or the bus line 145.
  • If you go by car, more than the tolls or the route, the main thing to keep in mind is that in Ireland, as in England, you drive on the left.
  • The plane is not included in this list as there are no direct flights and the price is exorbitantly more expensive than the other options.

Book an organized tour to Cork from Dublin