This page explains how to travel by train & ferry from Dublin & Ireland to Paris, Brussels and other European cities.  Click here to for journeys starting in another cityInformation current for 2022 COVID-19 update.

bullet pointI want to go from Dublin to...

  Belfast   London   Paris   Brussels   Amsterdam
     

Dublin to all other European destinations

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Train travel in Ireland...

Dublin to Belfast from €14.99...

Enterprise train from Dublin to Belfast   Standard class seating on the Dublin to Belfast 'Enterprise'

An Enterprise train arrived at Belfast...

 

Standard class on the Enterprise.  Larger photo.

First class seats on the Dublin to Belfast 'Enterprise'...   Buffet car

First class on the Enterprise.  Larger photo.

 

Buffet car on the Enterprise.  Larger photo.

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Dublin to London or anywhere in Britain for €60...

Irish Ferries ferry Ulysses at Holyhead

Irish Ferries' Ulysses at Holyhead...

On board the ferry   Martello Club lounge on the Ulysses

On board the luxurious Ulysses there are lounges, bars, restaurants, cinemas, kids' play areas & a shop...

 

Tip:  Pay a bit extra for the Martello Club Lounge, with complimentary wine & canapιs...

View from the deck of the Ulysses as she approaches the Irish coast...

Crossing the Irish Sea...

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Dublin to Paris...

Option 1, Dublin to Paris using a direct ferry from Dublin or Rosslare to Cherbourg - several times a week...

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats

Step 1, sail from Dublin to Cherbourg aboard Irish Ferries' WB YeatsWB Yeats photos courtesy of Irish Ferries.

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats club cabin   Irish Ferries' WB Yeats deluxe cabin

Club cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet...

Train from Normandy at Paris St Lazare

Step 2, take a double-deck TER train from Cherbourg to Paris, seen here at Paris St Lazare. Courtesy of Nicholas A Milligan.

1st class on Le Havre to Paris Train Nomad   2nd class on Le Havre-Paris Train Nomad

1st class seats on the Train Nomad TER trains, upper deck.

 

2nd class seats on the Train Nomad TER trains, upper deck.

Option 2, Dublin to Paris by Sail & Rail to London then Eurostar - across the UK, with daily departures... 

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 at London St Pancras...

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier. Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

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Dublin to Brussels...

Option 1, Dublin to Brussels using Sail & Rail to London & Eurostar to Brussels... 

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 at London St Pancras...

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier. Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Dublin to Brussels using a ferry from Ireland to Cherbourg - by-passing the UK.... 

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats

Step 1, sail from Dublin to Cherbourg aboard Irish Ferries' WB YeatsWB Yeats photos courtesy of Irish Ferries.

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats club cabin   Irish Ferries' WB Yeats deluxe cabin

Club cabin on the WB Yeats.

 

Deluxe cabin on the WB Yeats..

Train from Normandy at Paris St Lazare

Step 2, take a double-deck TER train from Cherbourg to Paris, seen here at Paris St Lazare. Courtesy of Nicholas A Milligan.

1st class on Le Havre to Paris Train Nomad   2nd class on Le Havre-Paris Train Nomad

1st class seats on the Train Nomad TER trains, upper deck.

 

2nd class seats on the Train Nomad TER trains, upper deck.

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

Step 3, travel from Paris to Brussels by Thalys See 360Ί photos inside a ThalysMore information about Thalys.

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

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Dublin to Amsterdam...

Option 1, Dublin to Amsterdam using Sail & Rail to London then Eurostar to Amsterdam...

Option 2, Dublin to Amsterdam using Sail & Rail to London, then overnight Sail & Rail to Amsterdam...

Option 3, Dublin to Amsterdam via Paris - by-passing the UK, several departures a week...

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Dublin to all other European destinations...

There are three approaches:  Sail & Rail to London, then Eurostar to Paris or Brussels, then onward trains;  Sail & Rail to London, then Sail & Rail to Amsterdam then onward trains;  Or by-pass the UK, taking a direct ferry from Dublin or Rosslare to Cherbourg and train to Paris, then onward trains from Paris.

...via London & Eurostar to Paris or Brussels...

...via London & ferry to Hoek van Holland

...via a direct ferry from Ireland to France...

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bullet pointFind hotels in Ireland & other European countries

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN...

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

 

Confused.com logo

Always take out travel insurance...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flagIn the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

UK flagIf you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

UK flagYou can use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

  US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

A Curve card saves on foreign transaction fees...

 

Curve card

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then charge you a currency conversion fee.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month at time of writing.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself - I get some commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 


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