Dublin is a popular city to live, work and study – and its popularity is growing. This means that finding comfortable, affordable student accommodation can be challenging. Things are improving, however. New laws to control rent and encourage more building are coming into effect; with a bit of planning and persistence, you can find a great place to live at a price you can afford.
Dublin is a compact and highly walkable city which is also well served with public transport. A number of its colleges and universities, including Trinity College (TCD), NCAD and The Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) are located in the heart of the city centre. Others, like UCD, DCU and DIT are situated nearby. Maynooth is in itself a university town. Here’s a rundown of how to get to them.
City centre universities & colleges
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
TCD is located in central Dublin. Its campus is serviced by a full range of public transport, including mainline railway stations.
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
NCAD is located on Thomas Street in central Dublin. The number 13, 40 & 123 Dublin Bus routes pass by the front door. The Luas and Heuston mainline railway station are also nearby.
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI)
RCSI is located on Stephen’s Green directly adjacent to the Luas stop. It’s easily accessible by bus too as most routes run through the city centre.
Law Society of Ireland
The Law Society is located at Blackhall Place in central Dublin and is served by the 37 and 39 Dublin Bus routes.
The Honorable Society of King’s Inns (HSKI)
King’s Inns is located between Henrietta Street and Constitution Hill in Dublin 7. Dublin Bus route no 83 is the most convenient. Other routes that service the area include the 11, 11A, 13A, 16, 41, 41B, 41C, 51A, and 746. The Luas offers another transport option and parking facilities are also available.
Suburbs and further afield
University College Dublin (UCD)
UCD‘s main campus, Belfield, is located on a 132 hectare site, 4 kilometres south of Dublin city centre, on the R138 main road. The campus provides its own charge point for electric cars. You will find stops for the following Dublin Bus routes on-campus: 25x, 27x, 32x, 39a, 41x, 51x, 66x, 67x & 77x. Another eleven routes will leave you close to the gates.
Dublin City University (DCU)
DCU‘s campus is located in Glasnevin, on a 60 hectare site, 4 kilometres north of Dublin city centre. It’s serviced by Dublin Bus routes: 1, 4, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 23, 41, 41abc, 44, 104 & 174.
Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
While some faculties of DIT are still housed at various locations in the city, it is expected that by 2020 the move to a single new campus in the suburb of Grangegorman will be largely complete. The campus is located just 1 kilometre from the city centre. Its close neighbours include Smithfield to the south; Stoneybatter to the west; Broadstone to the east; and Phibsboro and the North Circular Road to the north.
Located just west of the city’s St Stephen’s Green park, this campus is served by Dublin Bus routes: 9, 14, 15, 15a, 15b, 15d, 16, 65, 65b, 68a, 83 & 140.
DIT Kevin Street
Located just around the corner from the Aungier Street campus, Dublin Bus route 151 stops on the street; routes 16, 56a & 77a will bring you within easy walking distance.
Maynooth University (NUIM)
Maynooth University is located in Ireland’s only university town, 25 kilometres west from the centre of Dublin, its campus is closely integrated with the town of Maynooth, Co. Kildare. It’s easily accessible by car, bus, bicycle and train.
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT)
IADT is located in Dun Laoghaire, a seaside suburb about 13 kilometres from the city centre. Bus, Luas, DART and car travel options are all available to students.
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB)
ITB is located in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, about 15 kilometres west of the city centre.
Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT)
ITT‘s campus is in Tallaght, about 12 kilometres south-west of the city centre.
Out late? Here’s how to get home
‘Late’ in Dublin when it comes to transport is after 11pm.
The last regular Dublin Bus services leave the city centre for the suburbs around 11.30pm.
On Friday and Saturday nights, however, the Nitelink service operates approximately 20 bus routes from the city centre to the suburbs. This service begins at midnight and runs until 4am. Buses operate at regular intervals for most routes; schedules are posted on revolving notice boards at bus stops.
You can buy a prepaid ticket at a number of stockists in the city centre. Alternatively, you can use a Student Leap Card (see below) or coins – but not notes – to buy a ticket on board. Keep in mind that you won’t be given any change.
The fare is €6.60 or €5.29 if you’re paying with a Leap card. View all routes and schedules.
Luas, DART & train
The Luas, Dublin’s tram network, operates its last service from the city centre stop outside the General Post Office stop at 00:47 on weekdays and Saturdays – and its last from St Stephen’s Green at 00:41. On Sunday nights those times are 23:47 and 23:41.
Irish Rail’s DART (Dublin Area Rail Transit) train leaves Pearse Street station travelling north in the direction of Howth between 23:19 and 23:51. If you’re travelling south to Dun Laoghaire, the last trains leave around 23:30, depending on the day of the week. View all routes and schedules here.
Irish Rail also operates a commuter train service on five routes – from the city to Dundalk, to Portlaoise, to Longford, to Dunboyne/M3 Parkway and to Gorey. View all routes and schedules.
The minimum taxi fare goes up to €4.45 after 20:00. That’s for the first kilometre of your journey. Additional kilometres are charged at €1.03 and that rate goes up €1.35 after 15 kilometres
The main ranks in the city centre are on O’Connell Street (the Parnell Square end) and on College Green (opposite the Trinity College’s main gate). Additional nighttime taxi ranks operate between 20:00 and 6:00 on several locations in the city centre, including Dame Street and Merrion Row.
The queues at taxi ranks can get quite long at night, especially after the pubs and clubs close. If you don’t want to queue up, you can hail a taxi on the street. Good places to catch an empty taxi include the north Liffey-side quays Arran Quay, Inns Quay and Ormond Quay. South of the river, Camden Street, Wexford Street and South Great Georges Street are good spots to try. The most popular taxi-hailing apps are Lynk and Free Now
Want to save on travel? Get a Student Leap Card
The best way to pay – and to save money – is by getting a Student Leap Card. It’s a reusable smart card that allows you to save up to 50% on commuter rail services, Dublin Bus, DART and Luas.
Your Student Leap Card also entitles you to discounts on leading brands and products all over the country. What’s more, you can also use it as an ID card when you buy special student tickets for major public transportation providers in the Republic of Ireland.
There’s no way around it, Dublin is expensive. But with a bit of savvy budgeting, it is affordable. Here’s an overview of what it might cost you to live here.
Your first days in a new city can shape your overall experience. With that in mind, here’s a short checklist of things to do shortly after you arrive. Ticking them off will help you have a fun and hassle-free time in your new city.