UK to Ireland for the price of a coffee!

Boarding the Stena Line ferry at Dublin Port

Boarding the Stena Line ferry at Dublin Port

Recently we travelled from Dublin, Ireland to England by way of bus. After four months of backpacking we were looking for the cheapest way to cross the Irish Sea. After researching all options, by far the cheapest was the recently introduced MegaBus service from Dublin to the UK (Chester, Manchester and London) with prices starting from a phenomenal £1 each way (excluding 50p booking fee).

In comparison, London to Dublin by Sail Rail costs £38 while the cheapest Ryanair air fares begin at £9.99.

We’ve complied the cheapest options for travelling the Irish Sea and we’ve noted that Megabus is by far the cheapest with Ryanair obviously being the fastest. Check out our chart below for all the options for travelling between the most frequented route between the two countries; London and Dublin.

Click our chart to see the cheapest options for travelling between the UK and Ireland

Click our chart to see the cheapest options for travelling between the UK and Ireland

The Extras

Megabus (www.megabus.com): Megabus offers services from London Victoria Coach Station
(plus Manchester) and drops you at Holyhead ferry terminal in Wales. From here you board the Stena Line Adventurer ferry using your Megabus ticket (so don’t throw it away!). Megabus
It’s a relaxing journey and arrives at Dublin Port in 3 1/2 hours. The ferry is very clean, it’s safe and it offers bars, restaurants, movies and shopping. Very surprising was the food and drink on offer, £2.50 for a pint and £5 for a full dinner or breakfast, perfect after a long bus journey! Plenty of quiet areas with large sofas to get some sleep also. Please see below for details on getting from Dublin Port to the city centre.

Ryanair (www.ryanair.com): Ryanair offer the lowest airfares between the UK and Ireland. It is the best option if you are travelling lightly however you must factor in the transfers to the airport – for example London Stansted to Dublin would include £8 on the Stansted Express train and the €3.10 bus fare into Dublin city centre.

Sailrail: For train travel between the UK and Ireland, the man in Seat61 has all the details on getting from to and fro. Prices from London start at £38 and it takes between 7 and 13 hours. As with the Megabus, you must catch a shuttle bus from Dublin Port to the city centre. Please see below for details.

Irish Ferries (ticket only): Prices for a passenger ferry ticket on Irish Ferries begin at crazy £29. Of course, you still have to get to Holyhead, by train, bus or the free option, hitch-hiking. Although if you have a scheduled ferry to catch hitching may not be the best option!

Dublin Port to Dublin City Centre
Stena Line Adventurer bar area

Stena Line Adventurer bar area

  1. Stena Line (the ferry company you will use if taking the Megabus) offer a shuttle bus upon each ferry arrival. It costs €2.50 and brings you directly to the heart of Dublin city centre. They also offer the service in the opposite direction. For more details on the Stena shuttle bus, Click here.
  2. If going by SailRail you will be taking either Stena Line or Irish Ferries. If taking Irish Ferries, there is a shuttle bus to Busaras (Central Bus Station) in Dublin city centre. It costs €3.00 and for more information click here.
  3. Dublin Bus local route number 53 services Dublin Port however this route only operates hourly between 0700 and 1900 so it is not as helpful as the shuttle buses above. The timetable is available here.
  4. Of course, you can walk the 5.5km from the ferry terminal to Dublin city centre. It’s not the most scenic of walks, but it is pretty cool walking through the busy port early in the morning as the sun rises. The Port is located to the east of the city centre, so one minute you will be walking through containers and next you’ll be surrounded by sleek office blocks and the half built ruins of the Celtic Tiger boom. Once out of the port it’s a pleasant walk along the refurbished River Liffey quays into the city centre.

    Dublin Port at sunrise



If you have any questions about the above, or any amendments needed, please let us know 🙂

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