Strap on your helmet and put your foot to the pedal around the roads of Ireland
Public transport in Ireland is improving its capacity to carry bikes and lots of places to stay are upgrading facilities needed to keep bikes secure. Also, baggage transfer schemes are operated by some local companies.
Ireland is well served by bus and rail transport, and boat connections to offshore islands. The regional tourism companies or the local tourist office (when you are in Ireland on holiday) can supply full details of their island transport services, which offer combined passenger/bicycle tickets at very reasonable rates.
On the buses
Bicycles can be carried on public buses, provided there is room in the luggage compartment. Special bus tickets of varying duration are also available offering very good value for money, so enquire before you purchase your ticket.
The Dublin-Belfast Express Coach runs seven times daily (four times on Sunday) and takes three hours. (Bikes are charged at a quarter of the adult fare).
On the trains
Bicycles can be taken on most trains for a small extra charge and are stored in the guard van. All the main cities and towns are easily reached from Dublin, with other rail connections from principal ports of arrival. The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) operates along part of the coast north and south of the city serving the port of Dun Laoghaire. Special rail passes can save money, depending on particular requirements.
The Dublin-Belfast express train takes two hours, with eight trains Monday to Saturday in both directions (five on Sunday). The cross-border Enterprise service, Dublin to Belfast, has a single journey fee of £5 per bike, with storage in the guard's van.
Bike hire is available from £35/€50 a week and one-way hire is also available. Most towns and cities have bike rental shops. Some allow you to rent a bike in one place and drop it off in another for a small extra charge. Helmets, panniers and accessories can also be hired.
Hire includes lock, pump, repair kit, mudguards and carrier; and insurance cover is given with all bicycles hired. Children's bikes are also available. In all cases, it’s best to book well in advance, especially in high season.
Dublin Bikes allows you to hire a bike from one of 44 stations in Dublin City at a reasonable cost. For visitors, the best option is the 3 Day Hire for €2. The first half hour is free and after that, some charges apply. Once you’ve finished with your Dublin bike then leave it at one of allocated stations.