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 2024 Suggested hotels in Dublin.

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 €13.99

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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


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

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

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

Back to top


Dublin to Brussels

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

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, 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 Eurostar See 360Ί photos inside a ThalysMore information about Eurostar (formerly 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.

Back to top


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

Back to top


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

By direct ferry from Ireland to France

By direct ferry from Ireland to Spain

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

Rosslare to Bilbao by ferry. Courtesy of Pαdraic Fogarty

 

Bilbao to Madrid by train.  Courtesy of Pαdraic Fogarty

Back to top


Hotels in Dublin & Ireland

For advice on hotels in Dublin, see the hotels section here.

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

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

Back to top


Travel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct 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 with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

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

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a mobile data package for the country you're visiting and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM card so you don't need to buy a physical SIM, including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility listMaya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.

 

Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  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 money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  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, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than digging a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use 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.  I get a small commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes are often held digitally on your mobile phone, so it's vital to keep it charged.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over if I can't get to a power outlet.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or from Buy from Amazon.com.

 


Back to top

Back to home page