The DART is a public transport service owned by Iarnród Éireann (the Irish Railways), which serves the city of Dublin and the surrounding area. Fast and inexpensive, it is similar to the Parisian RER, and allows you to travel through Dublin, its municipalities and other chic tourist suburbs in less than an hour on a rather comfortable train that runs along the Dublin coast from south to north.
It takes no less than an hour to travel from end to end through the 30 stations served by the DART. Faster and more reliable than the bus, the journey starts from Greystone south of Dublin and ends either in Howth or Malahide, on the north coast of Dublin’s capital.
It is possible to take the DART in Dublin city centre itself, thanks to the stations at Connolly Station, Pearse Station and Tara Street Station, 3 platforms that will allow you to visit the surroundings of Dublin without having to take a bus or other more expensive and less reliable means of transport.
The route it takes from Greystone is simply exceptional. You will be able to admire the splendours of Dublin’s south coast, with the town of Bray, then you will gradually go deeper into the city, and then come out again, crossing a few kilometres of austere industrial centres, to reach the very pretty towns in the north, such as Malahide, a small bourgeois port town, where Dubliners like to go for a walk during the weekend.
The operation of the DART is similar to that of a normal train. Also, you will find an ATM at each station entrance, or a reception desk with an agent to help you pick up your ticket. Finding the destination of your choice is fairly easy overall, due to the reduced number of stations served compared to a normal train.
DARTs generally operate Monday to Saturday between 6:20 a.m. and 00:00 a.m., and Sunday from 9:20 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Count about 7€ for a day ticket (with as many trips as you want). This allows you to stop at the stations of your choice, visit the area, and then leave to new destinations, without additional cost.
There is also a package at 8€20 for one day, allowing you to take the DART, and combine it with buses . Thus, as soon as you arrive at the station, you will be able to take the bus to go deeper into the port cities or other remote corners of your choice!
Be careful, however, if you choose your travel times: like many public transportation systems, the DART is saturated at peak times between 7:20 and 9:20 a.m., as well as during office hours, at noon, and between 4:20 and 7:00 p.m. Therefore, try to avoid crowds by choosing off-peak hours: this will save you the inconvenience of a saturated train!
The DART only serves the city of Dublin and its suburbs… Here is an overview of its different stations (from south to north) :