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Irish Rail and Bus Saver Cards

These are quite often the best value for those planning a tour using train and/or bus, but it is worth comparing them with Eurail Passes and Student/Teacher discounts before deciding which is best for you.

The rail network in Ireland is good if you are traveling to or from Dublin, but quite limited for travel between cities and towns other than Dublin. If you plan to travel without using Dublin as a hub, then choose a card which includes bus travel also. The bus network is extensive and good.

Where to Buy

All Irish Rail cards can be purchased at any rail or bus station at the time of your first journey.

Irish Rail Discount Card Comparison

As well as inter-city travel, these tickets have some other important benefits.

  • Tickets which include train travel also include travel on Dart and Commuter lines.
  • Tickets which include bus travel also include travel on Bus Eireann city routes in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford but not Dublin.
Ticket Description Price Rail Bus All Ireland
Irish Explorer Standard class train travel, any 5 days within a 15 day period. €127 x x
Irish Explorer (Rail & Bus) Standard class train and bus travel, any 8 days within a 15 day period €194 x
Irish Rover Standard class train travel, any 5 days within a 15 day period. €157 x
Irish Rambler 3 days bus travel in 8 day period €53 x x
8 days bus travel in 15 day period €116 x x
15 days bus travel in 30 day period €168 x x
Emerald Card 8 days train or bus travel in a 15 day period €218
15 days train or bus travel in a 30 day period €375

Are they Worth it?

Dublin Bus, by mac_filko

Dublin Bus, by mac_filko

If you will be moving around the country by public transport on at least most of the allowed days of travel, then yes, they are good value.

Bus fares are less expensive. You will find prices for all routes at the Bus Eireann website.

There is a brief guide to current train travel prices below or you can get prices for specific journeys within the next month at the Irish Rail website.

Prices below are valid as of late 2008, are approximate and are in Euro

It is often cheaper to travel at off peak times or at weekends and it’s worth checking the website for special prices.

Journey Single 1-day Return 5-day Return
Dublin – Belfast €38 €40 €55
Dublin – Cork €56 €61 €61
Dublin – Galway Fri & Sun €42 €42 €45
Mon-Thurs & Sat €30 €30 €42
Dublin – Kilkenny Fri & Sun €27 €27 €27
Mon-Thurs & Sat €22 €22 €27
Dublin – Killarney €59 €62 €62
Dublin – Limerick €43 €50 €50
Dublin – Sligo Fri & Sun €36 €36 €36
Mon-Thurs & Sat €25 €25 €36
Dublin – Waterford Fri & Sun €30 €30 €30
Mon-Thurs & Sat €23 €24 €30
Dublin – Westport Fri & Sun €30 €30 €42
Mon-Thurs & Sat €42 €42 €45
Dublin – Wexford Fri & Sun €25 €25 €25
Fri & Sun €20 €20 €25


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