The seaside retreat of Dingle Town is set 212 miles (341 km) directly southwest of Dublin. At 4.5 hours, the fastest and most convenient way to make the journey is by rental car (or private transfer). The route mainly follows major highways, passing through the cities of Limerick and Tralee. If you have a few extra days to extend your trip, you might enjoy this 6-day walking itinerary on the picturesque Dingle Peninsula.
Trains travel between Dublin and Tralee and require one connection in the town of Mallow. From Tralee, a regional bus will take you all the way to Dingle Town.
If you prefer to just stick to the bus, you have two options. In about 5.5 hours, you can take a private company—Dublin Coach—to Tralee, then switch to the regional bus. Otherwise, the regional bus runs the entire route—requiring two connections in Cork and Killarney—arriving in Dingle in about 8-9 hours.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 4.5 hours, more with stops
The fastest way to reach Dingle Town from Dublin is by rental car or private transfer. This is also the most convenient way, following major highways the entire route. As you leave Dublin via highways M50 and N7, you’ll head southwest toward the towns of Kildare and Portlaoise. Kildare, home of the country’s famous horse races, is a good place to stop for a coffee.
Eventually, you’ll veer right onto highway M7 and pass through the city of Limerick—a great stopping point for a coffee, lunch, and a lot of history. Some other interesting sites along the way include the historical town of Roscrea, a five-minute detour from the highway, and the 13th-century Adare Desmond Castle. You'll also pass through Moneygall, a small town made popular by Barack Obama's visit in 2011.
After Limerick, you’ll continue on the two-lane road N21 until Tralee where you’ll switch to a very scenic road, N86. This route follows the coast and gives glimpses of the Slieve Mish Mountains.
Duration: 5 hours
The train is the fastest option and requires just one 10-minute connection in the town of Mallow. Trains leave regularly from Dublin’s western Heuston station and arrive in Tralee, the transportation hub of the Dingle Peninsula, in about 4 hours. The scenic route weaves through Ireland’s southwest region, full of rolling green hills and small towns.
Once in Tralee, you can grab a 1-hour regional bus operated by Bus Éireann straight to Dingle.
Duration: 6-9 hours
The longest option is the bus, either private or regional. The private company Dublin Coach runs a direct route to Tralee in about 4.5 hours. From there you can connect to Bus Éireann the rest of the way. In total, this combination will get you to Dingle in about 5.5 hours. If you’d rather just stick to Bus Éireann, the journey will take longer at about 8-9 hours depending on departure time.
Keep in mind that the regional route requires numerous stops, as well as two connections in both Cork and Killarney. The bus stations are central in both cities, though, so you can easily grab a snack as you wait for your connection.