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. Here are the best transport options between the two cities

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

5 min read

How to Get to Cork from Dublin

Cork | ©Ed Webster

250 kilometres 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 the advantages and disadvantages of each method of transport.

If you've already seen and done everything you should in Dublin and have a few 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 return trip from Dublin is very convenient.

Travelling from Dublin to Cork with an organised excursion

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

If you plan to visit the surrounding area, how about visiting Cork? In this case, the best option is to book an organised tour to Cork from Dublin. The great advantage is that as well as including transport, you'll also have a guide and a pre-arranged itinerary to make your trip much easier.

  • Price: From around €80 for adults and €50 for children.
  • Duration and distance: The bus trip takes about 3 hours each way. In total the tour lasts 12 hours from the time you leave Dublin to the time you return.
  • What's included: Return transport, accredited guide and organised itinerary with entrance to the main sights.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for a round trip on the same day and want to have everything organised beforehand.

What you'll see on an organised tour to Cork from Dublin

This small city conquers its visitors first of all through the stomach, as it has one of the most important markets in the north that is considered world class. This is known as the English Market. Founded in 1788, here you can sample 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 centre 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, don't miss the Franciscan Well Brewery, so called because it is located in what used to be a Franciscan monastery and has now become a place of pilgrimage for beer lovers.

Book a Cork City Tour from Dublin

How to get to Cork by train 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 mode of transport, with a journey time of 2.5 hours and a wide range of timetables. Trains run every hour from 7am and the last train back from Cork is at 20:25.

Tickets start from €21.50 although in this case it is almost compulsory to book online to get the best deals. If you wait to buy tickets on the day or at the station you run the risk of paying up to double the price. The company offering these journeys is Irish Rail. From Dublin city centre you can get there by bus 145 in 5 minutes. In Cork, the train station is a 15-minute walk from the city centre, but there are also numerous buses that leave from the station itself.

  • Price: From 21 euros.
  • Duration and distance: 2.5 hours.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for the best option in terms of speed and comfort.

Book an organised tour to Cork from Dublin

How to get to Cork by bus 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. Bus journeys are slightly longer, about 3.5 hours from Dublin to Cork, but you'll save a lot of money. Although there are several companies that offer the journey between the two cities, two are the most recommended because of the wide variety of timetables they offer:

  • The first of these is Aircoach: this company has trips from the airport and from Dublin city centre. The trips from the city centre cost 10 euros if you buy it online or 17 euros if you buy it directly on the bus. If you buy a return ticket, the price doubles in both cases. They also offer trips from the airport which are 7 euros more expensive and take almost 4 hours.
  • The other company to consider is GoBus. It is slightly more expensive as the normal ticket costs 14 euros online and 18 euros from the bus, although the journey time is the same. However, the frequency is a little less and the buses leave every two hours.
  • Price: From 10 euros
  • Duration and distance: 259 kilometres and 3 hours and a half.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for the cheapest option.

Book an organised tour to Cork from Dublin

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

Travelling by Car| ©Jackson David
Travelling by Car| ©Jackson David

If you hire a car, or have one, it is also possible to travel from Dublin to Cork. It is a very convenient journey as it is well connected by road.

There are several routes, but the fastest one is 259 kilometres which takes about 3 hours. There are tolls on this section of the route, which, together with the fuel, is not a cheap option compared to the rest. There are two tolls on the M7 and M8 and each one costs 1.90€.

The main advantage of a car is that it gives you the freedom to make a few intermediate stops at interesting places such as Glendalough, Kilkenny and Rock of Cashel. Hiring a car is not the only option as there are also ridesharing companies such as Blablacar.

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

  • Price:From 80 euros

  • Duration: 3 hours

  • Advantages: Transfer and organised itinerary

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

  • Train

  • Price: From 20 euros

  • Journey time: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Advantage: The fastest and most comfortable way to travel

  • Disadvantage: More expensive than the bus

  • Bus

  • Price: From 10 euros

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

  • Advantage: The cheapest option

  • Disadvantage: Longer journey than by train

  • Car

  • Price: Depends on consumption

  • Journey time: 3 hours

  • Advantage: Maximum freedom of movement

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

Tips for travelling 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-see. To make the journey from Dublin to Cork by the different means of transport on this list you should bear in mind a series 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 in the west of the city. The best way to get there is to take the red tram line which takes about 10 minutes from the city centre or the 145 bus.
  • If you're driving, rather than the tolls or the route, the main thing to bear in mind is that in Ireland, as in England, you drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Air travel 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 organised tour to Cork from Dublin