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Parking at Dublin
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As you’d expect from such a busy airport, Dublin has a very large car park capacity, with plenty of options to suit, whether you need to store your car for a month or you’re just dropping off loved ones.
There are multi-storey short-stay and outdoor long-stay car parks at Dublin Airport, giving you the freedom to leave your vehicle securely for anything between an hour and a month. While it’s not essential to book ahead, it’s highly recommended to both secure a spot and to get the best parking rates.
Customers can choose between the nearest long-term car park to the terminal, Express Red, or one that’s typically easier on your budget, Holiday Blues.
The long-term car parks use licence plate recognition technology if you book ahead, which allows hassle-free ticketless entry and exit.
Free shuttle buses from the long-stay car parks operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The journey time is 5-10 minutes, with buses running every 8-15 minutes, so you can expect to be at the terminal within 30 minutes of dropping off your car.
The airport also offers 24-hour support and assistance in case your car battery has died or you have a flat tyre.
You can leave your vehicle for short weekend breaks or business trips in the multi-storey car parks at DUB. Car Park A is a two-minute walk to either terminal, Car Park C is ideal for T1 at around a three-minute walk to the terminal (six minutes to T2), whilst Terminal 2 Short-Term Car Park is about a three-minute walk to the terminal via a covered walkway.
Dublin (DUB) is the busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland; over 27.9 million passengers came through its terminals in 2016. While the most popular destinations are within the UK, Dublin flies to over 180 destinations worldwide, including North America and the Middle East. In 2016, DUB was voted the third-best European airport for customer service and ranked the 10th-best airport in the world.
Dublin Airport, which is owned and operated by Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), is conveniently located approximately 6.2 miles (10 kilometres) north of Dublin city centre.
Driving to DUB is straightforward from anywhere in Ireland, being accessible via the M1 motorway and the M50 orbital toll road (tolls payable via the eFlow website). Driving from Dublin City can take as little as 20 minutes. As there’s currently no rail link to the airport, a taxi or bus connection from Heuston or Connolly station will be necessary. The Airlink 747 bus runs from Dublin city centre to the airport via Heuston station.
A new north runway is planned to be operational by 2020 to reduce delays and allow airlines to expand their services, whilst plans to create a Metro rail link to Ireland’s main airport are underway.
The first official flight departed from Collingstown Airport, as it was then known, in 1940. The schedule consisted of a single daily flight to Liverpool operated by Aer Lingus. During World War II, the airport was virtually brought to a standstill with just two Liverpool flights a week. DUB has had its fair share of celebrity passengers including Frank Sinatra, Pierce Brosnan, Bono and Colin Farrell. Two of the most notable visits were from JFK in 1963 and Pope John Paul II in 1979.
With an innovative design to emulate the lines of a large cruise liner, the original terminal building won many architectural awards and is now a listed building. Over the years, the terminal has been extended and modernised, but part of the original building is still in service today and many of the original design features are intact. Terminal 2 carried on the tradition of cutting-edge architecture, winning several design awards since its opening in 2010. An 11.5% rise in passenger numbers in 2016 made Dublin one of the fastest-growing airports in Europe.
Whether you’re flying off yourself or waving off a loved one, Dublin Airport has a host of great facilities in both terminals to keep you entertained, fed and watered.
You can choose from a wide selection of food and drink outlets, both before and after passport control, including a gourmet burger joint, noodle bar and a more traditional restaurant with table service. If you need coffee to keep you going, there are coffee shops to top up your caffeine level before the flight.
Helpfully, Dublin is one of very few airports outside of North America where passengers heading for the USA can be precleared for customs and immigration, which saves considerable time at the destination airport.
If you require help or special assistance, you can use one of many help points located throughout the terminals. If you have reduced mobility, it is recommended that you contact your airline or travel agent to request assistance at least 48 hours before flying from DUB.
Dublin Airport has the following facilities:
If your flight is in the early hours of the morning, you can make your life easier by staying the night at a nearby hotel. Free 24-hour shuttles will get you to your terminal with time to spare.
DUB has two hotels on its site, both offering convenient accommodation and parking packages. The Maldron Hotel offers a ‘Stay, Park & Fly’ package, meaning you can relax the night before and arrive at the terminal more refreshed. This hotel is perfectly situated just a three-minute walk from either terminal; alternatively, you can take advantage of their free, 24-hour shuttle service.
Slightly further away is the Radisson Blu Hotel, which is either a 10-minute walk from the terminals or two minutes away via their free shuttle service. Their ‘Park, Dream & Fly’ package removes the stress associated with travelling to the airport on time. Staying at the Radisson Blu will also give you complimentary access to a nearby leisure centre.
It might surprise you that a terminal building can double as an art gallery, but in T2, you can see the acclaimed Faces of Ireland exhibition by Kevin Abosch. The exhibition is comprised of 250 large photo portraits of people of all ages from all over Ireland and from all walks of life.
Play like Tom Cruise in The Color of Money at the back of the Oak Café Bar in Terminal 2. Its dramatic wooden installation adds to the ambience.
The R108 (old Airport Road) runs parallel to one of the runways, where you can get a fantastic view of aircraft taking off and landing. It’s around a 30-minute walk from the terminal, so great if you have time to kill before your flight.
There are plenty of comfortable seats for snoozing, but if you really want to zone out, head for the lounge seating area in T1. You’ll find colourful pods recessed into the wall where you can find your inner zen.
Both terminals have executive lounges that are free for club-class passengers. Other travellers can enter for a modest fee. These lounges offer complimentary food, drink, newspapers and magazines for all visitors.
What’s more, the lounges have a business centre with computer access and the lounge in Terminal 2 even has showers in case you need to freshen up during a long layover.
The US preclearance lounge in T2 (51st & Green) is now available to all passengers for a fee and is the closest to an active runway, so it offers a comfortable location for plane-spotters.
Dublin Airport’s shopping area, known as The Loop and accessible in both terminals, boasts great savings on high-street prices for fragrances and cosmetics. Get advice on which Irish Whiskey to choose or have fun sampling the latest designer perfumes. If you’d like some help with your purchases, you can book a personal shopper to assist you. Phone +353 1 8145735 or email email@example.com book your helper and feel like a VIP.
Jo Malone, which is located in The Loop, offers a free arm and hand massage, which is perfect if you’ve been lugging heavy bags or unruly children around.
Aveda offers free, three-minute hair fixes for both men and women, so whether you need to de-frizz or add some volume, they’ll have you looking fabulous in no time. If you’d like to make your eyes pop and even out your skin tone, you can book a make-up experience at MAC. They offer free walk-in demos or you can pay to have a full makeover with tuition.
If you’d like to give your trip an impressive start with a taste of luxury, pop along to Flutes Champagne Bar in T2. Here you can find an array of champagnes and sparkling wines to quaff, while watching the hustle and bustle of a busy airport.
Dublin Airport is very family-oriented with both terminals providing soft-play areas in convenient spots near places to eat. Allowing the little ones to let off steam before travelling can really pay dividends, especially if you have a long flight ahead of you.
Chocoholics can go behind the scenes at this famous chocolate factory, which opened in 1932, to have a go at making their own yummy edible creations. Tours last approximately 90 minutes and if you’ve got even more time to spare, you can book a cookery class that lasts 2.5 hours. Just a 15-minute drive from the airport, Butlers Chocolate Experience is a delicious way to kill some time.
History buffs will enjoy a tour of Glasnevin Cemetery, where you can learn about the cemetery’s inhabitants and their unique stories. Afterwards you can search for a long-lost relative via the Glasnevin Trust’s comprehensive genealogy records. The cemetery is about 30 minutes from the airport by car, or 45 minutes by bus (41/16C/700 from DUB, changing at Drumcondra to 40/40B/40D). Cemetery tours take approximately one hour.
No need to be a keen gardener to visit these beautiful gardens. Situated adjacent to the Glasnevin Cemetery, these scientific gardens are home to an amazing array of plants, including 300 endangered species. Tours are available, although it’s equally pleasant to wander through the gardens and glasshouses at your own leisure.
One of the best ways to get a real flavour of what Dublin has to offer is by taking a tour on an open-top bus. You can take in the most notable landmarks such as St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Guinness Storehouse, National Gallery and Dublin Visitor Centre. This hop-on/hop-off bus tour of Dublin has the added advantage of a return airport coach transfer included in the ticket price.
If your children are bouncing off the walls with boredom, let them put that energy to good use at this indoor play centre and trampoline park. The various physical challenges will exercise their minds and bodies, whilst mum and dad can bounce away the tension on one of the 5,000 square feet (464.5 square metres) of trampolines at the park. Galaxy Fun Park is less than a 10-minute drive from DUB.
This is one of the most famous pubs in Dublin, having been around for 160 years. Experience Irish hospitality at its best with great conversation (craic) and traditional musicians performing through the night. Enjoy a Guinness with some fresh oysters in the perfect local Irish pub, located in the centre of Dublin, just 30 minutes from the airport.
If you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, spending a day at Dublin Zoo is ideal. One of the oldest zoos in the world, there are 69 acres (28 hectares) of animal habitats, gardens and lakes to enjoy. Home to over 400 animals, including endangered species such as orangutans, this zoo will delight visitors of all ages. Allow an hour for public transport and around 20 minutes if you’re travelling by car.
For those who appreciate a touch of the eerie, a tour of Kilmainham Gaol will definitely fit the bill. Operational from 1796 to 1924, this gaol (jail) had inmates ranging from food thieves to leaders of the various rebellions, many of whom were housed there before being shipped off to Australia. Driving time to this chillingly interesting experience is approximately 20 minutes.
Dublin Airport serves as the headquarters for network airline Aer Lingus, as well as low-cost Ryanair. Short-haul and regional flights are handled through T1 and longer flights from T2. Aer Lingus is an exception, as both its short and long-haul flights are handled through its home in T2.
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The airport can be accessed via Junction 4 of the M50 or more easily via Junction 2 of the M1. Once you exit the motorway, overhead signs will direct you to the appropriate lane for the terminals, as well as for the short- and long-term car parks. The M50 gets very congested during peak times, so factor in extra time if travelling during rush hour.
While DUB doesn’t yet have its own rail link, plans have been approved for a Metro link station to be operational by 2026/27.
There are numerous coach and bus companies operating services to and from DUB including:
Aircoach – 24-hour service to the airport from several locations in Dublin city centre and South Dublin. Travel times from Dublin City are quoted as 25-30 minutes, but it can take considerably longer during peak times. Buses run every 15 or 30 minutes. Check the timetables for more information.
Airlink – The 747 and 757 go from Dublin City to DUB; the 747 goes via Heuston Station, while the 757 goes via Connolly Station. Services run every 10 to 20 minutes. You can download the Airlink bus timetable here.
Airport Hopper – Hourly shuttles with routes from Maynooth and Tallaght to Dublin Airport.
Bus Eireann – Daily coach services to the airport from all over the country, including Cork and Limerick. Some routes require changing to the Airlink 747 in Busaras.
The check-in desks in T1 are located on the first floor of the terminal, while those in T2 are on the ground floor. You’re advised to check in at least 90 minutes before a European flight and three hours before a long-haul flight, especially if you’re going through DUB’s US preclearance. Add an extra 30 minutes if you are using one of the car parks.
While it’s free to drop off passengers in the designated areas outside both terminals, there is absolutely no waiting allowed, which is why it’s important to use one of the short-term car parks nearby if you’re collecting anyone. Unattended cars will be promptly towed away.
If you purchase a Fast Track pass at Dublin Airport, you can get through security in 10 minutes or less and bag yourself 10% off purchases in the shopping facility, The Loop, which is accessible from both terminals.
Not only can you buy online and collect when you get to the terminal, but Dublin Airport also offers a ‘shop and collect’ facility, where you can leave purchases behind and collect after your return journey.
The executive lounges in both terminals are available to non-club class passengers for a reasonable fee. This cost can be offset by the free food and drink on offer in the lounges. You’ll also have comfortable seating, free newspapers, recharging sockets and a business centre to make the most of your time there.
T2’s US Preclearance lounge, 51st & Green, is available to all passengers, although the price of admission is higher than it is for the other lounges. This lounge does offer the closest view of planes arriving and taking off.
It’s just a five-minute walk between T1 and T2 and if all your flights have been booked on the same ticket, you can head straight for the Flight Connections desk, where you’ll have a host to assist you.
There’s even an app to help with your connecting flight: DUBHUB. If you’ve opted for self-connecting, you’ll need to retrieve your luggage from the Baggage Hall and proceed to the appropriate check-in desk for your next flight.
It’s essential that you notify your airline or travel agent if you require a wheelchair at least 48 hours before your flight. Anyone who needs special assistance with mobility or is hearing or visually impaired should make their way to the various Help Points in the terminals.
Passengers with autism can be issued with an ‘important flyer’ wristband or lanyard to make staff aware. A short note from the passenger’s GP confirming the autism diagnosis must be provided.
The only place to smoke at DUB is in the designated area outside of the Garden Terrace Restaurant in T1.
The Loop is the main shopping facility at Dublin Airport. It’s accessible from both terminals and provides everything you could need from an airport, from designer clothing to noise-cancelling headphones. You can get duty-free prices for tobacco products and most alcohol if travelling outside the UK and EU. Purchasing a security Fast Track pass will give you 10% off purchases.
No, there are free charging stations near the seating areas in both terminals, as well as in the executive lounges, which are accessible for a fee.
If you need a quiet spot, head for one of the seating pods in T1 or pay the modest fee to use one of the executive lounges at Dublin Airport. The prayer rooms are generally quiet, too, if you require solitude.
Dublin Airport is not responsible for items left onboard an aircraft or for lost luggage. You must contact the airline to assist you.
The airport’s Lost Property service deals with items left behind in the terminals. Use this form to send them details of what you’ve lost.
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