Dublin to Belfast by Train or Bus

Traveling from Dublin to Belfast? This post will cover the routes by train and by bus, featuring prices and train stations overview in both cities

This guide will cover the best options to travel from Dublin to Belfast using both the train and the bus.

Dublin. Photo by Jadh Gonzalez

Whenever we start planning a trip, one of the most common questions is with regard to the transport. Which is the fastest option? What would be the most cost-effective option? Would it better be a train or a bus?

If you are planning to visit Ireland, and Northern Ireland, the respective capitals Dublin and Belfast cannot be left out of your plan.

In this article, you will check out the different options to go from Dublin to Belfast, by train and bus.

Dublin Connolly Station

If you are traveling by train from Dublin to Belfast, your journey will start at the Dublin Connolly Station. The Connolly Station is one of the two main stations in the Irish capital, being Heuston Station, the other one.

The station is extremely well connected to the Dublin public transport network, as well as the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit). The Busáras is also next to the station, if you prefer to take the bus from Dublin to Belfast and other cities in Ireland.

You can buy train and bus tickets for this route on the Trainline website.

Belfast Central Station

There are two major railway stations in Belfast. They are the Belfast Central Station and the Belfast Great Victoria Street.

If you are coming from Dublin using the Enterprise line, the train ends its journey at the Belfast Central Station. The Central Station is at a walking distance to most attractions in the centre of the Northern Ireland capital.

Dublin Airport to Belfast by Bus

The best route in this scenario is rather relative. First of all, you need to have in mind which cities you would like to cover, and after, you have to decide in which order you are going to do it.

When we are talking about Dublin and Belfast, maybe, Dublin would be a better option to arrive and also to leave the country. The main reason for this is the high number of low cost flights available in Dublin, what can help those which have a short budget.

Having this in mind, the best thing to do is, arrive at Dublin airport, and go straight to Belfast in order to start your tour there. This way you can visit the city of Dublin after you return from Belfast.

The only way to go to Belfast straight from Dublin Airport is by bus. There are basically two companies that makes the journey, are they: Aircoach and Expressway (sometimes operated by Bus Éireann and also by Translink).

The journey with Aircoach takes around 1h50min, there are no stops, the bus goes straight to Belfast. A single journey cost €15 and they have buses every hour from 04:00 am up to midnight. You can take the bus right outside of the Arrivals Terminal.

With Expressway the journey takes around 2h50, stopping in Newry, Banbridge, Sprucefield before arriving in Belfast. A single ticket cost €18,10.

You can also take the bus from the Dublin Busáras, which is just next to the Connolly Station.

Dublin City Centre to Belfast by Train

However, if before traveling to Northern Ireland, you decide to spend the day in Dublin, you have also the option to go to Belfast by train.

From Dublin airport, you have to take the general city bus, to the city centre. The best route from the Airport to Dublin City is the route 16. The ticket costs €3,30 and is available on the machine at the bus stop or directly with the bus driver. But remember, in Dublin the general city buses just accept coins, if you do not have coins, you must get some change or purchase the tickets on the machines before get into the bus.

As soon as you are into the bus you can enjoy the journey to Dublin City Centre. If you are not sure where to drop off the bus, you can ask the driver to let you know when it is near O’Connell Street, the city centre of Dublin.

To take the train to Belfast, just go to Connolly Station, around 10 minutes walking from O’Connell Street. The Enterprise train services is an InterCity train connecting the Connoly Station to Belfast Central Station.

A single ticket costs around €20 and the journey takes approximately 2 hours. You can either purchase the tickets online at the Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) website or at the Station.

There are trains running from early in the morning until the evening, with intervals of average 2 hours between each departure.

The Enterprise from Dublin to Belfast Central Train Station stops in Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry and Portadown.

Dublin to Belfast Guide

You can check our page on the best places to stay in Belfast, featuring a cost of travel insight on Northern Ireland. You can also check our best places to stay in Dublin guide, for the Irish capital.

Hotels in Dublin

Drury Court Hotel – One of the best choices in central Dublin, this hotel is just a short walk to the Grafton Street.

The Marker Hotel – One of the most luxurious hotels in Dublin, located in the Grand Canal Square.

Hotels in Belfast

Dukes At Queens – One of the best options if you are staying at the Queen’s Quarter in Belfast.

The Gregory – This cosy property is just a short walk to the Belfast Botanical Garden and ideal if you are traveling by car.

Train Travel Resources

Booking.com: the most complete website for finding hotels and accommodation anywhere.

Trainline: the best site to search and book train tickets in Europe.

World Nomads: if you are travelling abroad, you can get insurance from World Nomads. With a vast coverage in number of countries and activities, World Nomads is a great option for any kind of traveler.

Jetradar: probably the best site to compare and book airline tickets online.

Train Travel Guide: in our railway travel guide, you will learn how to choose and ride the most scenic train routes around the world, always in the most comfortable way with optimal prices to enhance your travel experience.