- 1 Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath, Town of the Hurdled Ford) – Dublin is the capital of Ireland and has population of over 1.6 million in the Greater Dublin Area
The main access points when it comes to getting into Leinster are by road, sea and air. Traditionally Leinster has both been the most developed area in Ireland and the most populous area in Ireland. As a result the road infrastructure in Leinster is very good as it radiates out from Dublin.
While there are other airports in Leinster which do cater for international flights, (Baldonnel Casement Aerodrome and Weston Executive Airport), the only international airport is Dublin Airport (DUB).
Leinster is served by Dublin Port (serving Liverpool and Holyhead), Dun Laoghaire (serving Holyhead) and Rosslare Europort (serving Fishguard and Pembroke).
While the rail services in Ireland are not at the level of other European countries, things are improving in terms of station upgrades, investment in rolling stock and the number of trains that run daily. In Leinster there are four main lines operated daily by Irish Rail:
- Dublin to Belfast
- Dublin to Cork (serving Portlaoise, Thurles, Mallow)
- Dublin to Limerick
- Dublin to Rosslare
- Dublin to Waterford
- Dublin to Galway
Cities and townsEdit
Urban bus networks operate in the following cities and towns:
- Dublin - An extensive urban bus network with over 100 routes operates across the city and its surrounding suburbs. All cross-city and city centre-bound routes are operated by Dublin Bus, while local routes in suburban areas are operated by Go-Ahead Ireland, although both operators share a common fare structure and ticketing system. Buses run every 10 to 15 minutes along all main routes, and less frequently on other routes. Two routes (15 and 41) operate a 24 hour service, while a number of late night routes also run at the weekends.
- Athlone - Bus Éireann operate two cross-town routes, A1 and A2, every 30 minutes, while Flagline operate route Ath1 around the southeast of the town, every 15 minutes.
- Balbriggan - Bus Éireann operate the town service route B1 every 20 minutes.
- Drogheda - Bus Éireann operate three town service routes. Routes D1 and D2 operate every 15 minutes between Drogheda, Bettystown and Laytown, while route 173 operates every hour around the northside and southside of the town.
- Dundalk - Bus Éireann operate town service route 174, every 30 minutes.
- Navan - Bus Éireann operate three town service routes, 110A, 110B and 110C.
Regional, commuter and ruralEdit
An extensive network of regional bus services operate across the region. However, the frequency of routes can vary significantly, from high frequency routes between nearby towns, to rural services running only once a week. The majority of services are public funded and operated by Bus Èireann, Go-Ahead Ireland and Local Link, although in some areas commercial services also play a large role in providing transport.
The main regional bus networks are:
- Bus Éireann operate an extensive network of regional bus services across Ireland. Commuter services are provided along routes into the main cities and towns, while in rural areas there are routes connecting many villages and small towns into their nearest large town or city. Most routes are shown on the Bus Éireann network map. Routes are numbered by region, with the 100's in the east, 200's in the south, 300's in the midwest and southeast, and 400's in the west and northwest.
- Go-Ahead Ireland operate commuter routes between towns in Kildare and Dublin City. These are numbered routes 120 to 130, and use the same fare structure and ticketing system as the Bus Éireann Dublin commuter services.
- Local Link is the brand name for all services funded under the rural transport programme. There are over 1,000 rural bus routes serving nearly all corners of the country. These range from regular scheduled routes running several times a day between nearby towns, to door to door routes running only one day per week. The regular scheduled routes operate like normal bus routes, with fixed routes and timetables, however the door to door routes can vary and may require advance booking, so it's best to inquire with your nearest Local Link office [dead link] the day beforehand.
Other standalone public funded routes include:
- JJ Kavanagh operate route 139 from Naas to Blanchardstown
- Go-Ahead Ireland operate route 197 from Swords to Ashbourne
- Bernard Kavanagh operate route 817 from Kilkenny to Dublin
- M&A Coaches operate route 828 from Cashel to Portlaoise
- Andrew Wharton operate route 975 from Cavan to Longford
The main intercity routes operating within the region are:
- Dublin - Newry - Belfast: Bus Éireann Expressway routes X1/X2a/X5 [dead link], Aircoach route 705X [dead link], Dublin Coach route 400
- Dublin - Omagh - Derry/Letterkenny: Bus Éireann Expressway route 32, Goldline Express routes X3/X4, John McGinley Coaches routes 932/933
- Dublin - Cavan - Donegal: Bus Éireann Expressway route 30
- Dublin - Longford - Sligo: Bus Éireann Expressway route 23
- Dublin - Longford - Ballina: Bus Éireann Expressway route 22
- Dublin - Athlone - Galway: Bus Éireann Expressway routes 20/X20, GoBus route 720 [dead link], Citylink routes 760/761/763
- Dublin - Limerick: Bus Éireann Expressway route X12, Dublin Coach route 300, JJ Kavanagh route 735, Eireagle route  [dead link]
- Dublin - Cork: Bus Éireann Expressway route X8, Aircoach route 704X [dead link], GoBus route 707 [dead link]
- Dublin - Kilkenny - Clonmel: JJ Kavanagh route 717
- Dublin - Carlow - Waterford: Bus Éireann Expressway route 4/X4, Dublin Coach route 600, JJ Kavanagh route 736
- Dublin - Wexford: Bus Éireann Expressway routes 2/X2, Wexford Bus route 740'
Travelling by car around the East Coast and Midlands of Ireland is not the arduous task that it used to be. The road infrastructure is the subject of continuous improvement as many of the main arteries connecting Dublin to the rest of Ireland are upgraded to motorway standard.
The road network in Ireland radiates outwards from Dublin City and the M50 ring road from the N1 to Belfast to the N11 to Wexford.
- N1 - Dublin to Belfast
- N2 - Dublin to Derry and Galway
- N3 - Dublin to Ballyshannon (serving Monaghan, Cavan and Enniskillen)
- N4 - Dublin to Sligo
- M7 / N7 - Dublin to Limerick (serving Portlaoise, Cashel, Mitchelstown) and M8 / N8 to Cork
- N11 - Dublin to Wexford
By rental carEdit
Car rental in the East Coast and Midlands area is mainly confined to Dublin Airport and Dublin City although some car rental companies have locations at Dun Laoghaire Port and Rosslare Europort. While all car rental companies in Ireland have rental desks in the arrivals hall of Dublin Airport, the list of car rental companies with inner city locations is far less. Some of the car rental companies will advertise city centre locations, but these locations are mostly only drop-offs for which an additional charge will added.
- Dublin city will take you some time to absorb. The best of it is south of the river, from Merrion Square and Trinity College to the Castle.
- Interesting small towns lie along the coast, easily reached by the DART metro service, such as Howth, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey.
- Malahide has a fine castle-come-mansion.
- Just outside Kildare town are the Japanese Gardens and the Irish National Stud.
- Castletown is a great Palladian mansion at Celbridge that often hosts events.
- Slieve Bloom Mountains form the border with County Offaly.
- Abbeyleix has a bog that's notable even by Ireland's demanding standards, with a 3.5-km boardwalk.
- Rock of Dunamase is a rocky outcrop and castle east of Port Laoise.
- Emo Court is a 19th-century neo-classical mansion northeast of Port Laoise.
- Gash Gardens are in Castletown, while Heywood Gardens are in Ballinakill southeast of Abbeyleix.
- The Cooley Mountains and Old Mellifort Abbey
- Brú Na Bóinne Archaeological Park is one of Ireland's top sights.
- The site of the Battle of the Boyne is nearby.
- Hill of Tara was the ceremonial seat of the High Kings of Ireland.
- Celtic High Crosses in Kells - but the famous book is nowadays in Dublin.
- The Christian monastic site of Clonmacnoise has large Round Towers and beautifully decorated high crosses.
- Charleville Castle in Tullamore is gothic, set in an ancient oak forest.
- Durrow Abbey is an early monastic complex.
- Moneygall was the home of Barack Obama's great-great-great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney.
- Glendalough is a monastic town with ruins and a Round Tower.
- Powerscourt near Enniskerry has an impressive mansion, gardens and waterfall.
- Kilmacurragh is a botanical garden and arboretum 5 km west of Wicklow town.
- The Wicklow Mountains rise to 925 m, with bog, conifer and gorse, and lots of scenic walking trails.
- Go to the races at The Curragh in Kildare (which hosts the five Irish Classic Horse Races), Punchestown near Naas which is a steeplechase course, or Fairyhouse in Meath.
- Play golf: courses include the K Club (which hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup), Carton House, Castlewarden, and Tullamore.
- Lough Boora Parklands are the closest boglands to Dublin, with firm footpaths and a sculpture park.
- The Grand Canal, and the Royal Canal to the north, stretch from Dublin all the way west to the Shannon. They're navigable and have good towpaths.
- Mountains to climb, none difficult, include Lugnaquilla (3,018 ft (920 m)), Mullaghcleevaun (2785 ft), Tonelagee (2681 ft), Djouce (2379 ft) and Arderin (1,729 ft (527 m)).
- Long distance trails could take 2-3 days, or be broken up into easy hikes, such as the Wicklow Way, Offaly Way and Westmeath Way.
- Dublin has got the lot.
- Wicklow: Good spots are Roundwood Inn in Roundwood, Strawberry Tree in Aughrim, Happy Pear in Greystones and Ashford Oriental.
- Kildare: Naas and Kildare town have the most choice.
- Offaly: There's a good selection in Tullamore and Edenderry.
- Dublin around Temple Bar is tourist-trappy, with raucous hen parties upchucking onto the cobbles. Go a little way west or south for pubs of real character.
- Offaly will satisfy thirsts in Tullamore, Birr and Edenderry.
- All the transport routes radiate out from Dublin, so a few hours on the road will bring you anywhere across Ireland.
- This region stretches to the border at Dundalk, so next stop north is Northern Ireland. Belfast is the big draw, but don't overlook Armagh or scenic Antrim.
- South is Southeast Ireland with attractive Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny.
- West cross the bogs and low-lying fields into Shannon Region and West Ireland, with prehistoric sites, the cities of Limerick and Galway, and the Atlantic crashing against the Cliffs of Moher.