Twenty four hours in Dublin from Donegal Airport

IT’S amazing what you can pack into 24 hours in Dublin – especially with a quick flight from Donegal Airport.

We arrived at Donegal Airport on Thursday morning at around 6.30am,checked in and even had time to enjoy a sneaky sausage roll from the cafe before boarding the 7.50am flight to Dublin.

Donegal News team Gary Doherty-McClenaghan and Emma Ryan.


It was the most chilled out experience I have ever had in an airport. Car parking is a dream as there was no need to book and its only €5 a day – bargain for airport parking.

Also noticeable was the swift security process. You can now carry your liquids without having to seal them in a clear plastic bag and without size restrictions in your carry-on luggage and a big shout out to the lady who gave me bags for my feet to hide my odd socks…whoops!

Around 45 minutes later and barely enough time to finish our inflight coffees, we landed in Dublin ready for a busy day of exploring the capital.

First on the agenda was finding our way from the airport to the city centre which was made extremely easy with Dublin Express buses.

We met with General Manager Rory Fitzgerald who told us a bus leaves Dublin Airport six times an hour and goes through the Port tunnel, the fastest way into town.

Gary Doherty-McClenaghan of Donegal News with Dublin Express General Manager Rory Fitzgerald.

He said, “There is a bus leaving the airport from either terminal every ten minutes and it is every bit as quick as a taxi.

“For anyone coming from Donegal for a day trip or even for work, we are right outside the front door of the airport and we are fast, reliable and great value too,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Once we hit the city centre, we took a dander and visited St Patrick’s Cathedral and took a walk around the grounds.

We then headed to Teeling Whiskey Distillery for a tour and to learn all about the history of whiskey in Dublin.

Our tour guide, Anna Marie, was fantastic and really informative, while the whiskey sampling was also great craic! If you’re a whiskey lover, I would definitely recommend it.

Gary Doherty-McClenaghan, Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour Guide Anna Marie and Emma Ryan.


After a quick bite to eat, we made our way to Dublin Castle.

The Castle, operated by OPW, is simply stunning.

A must see if you’re visiting Dublin – each room is packed with Irish history and memories of times gone by.

The tour is informative and interesting while the decor and displays are like something from a fairytale.

Next up, we jumped on the ‘Big Bus’ sight seeing tour which took us to the home of the black stuff, The Guinness Storehouse.

The Storehouse is a self guided tour but interactive and so well done that it is impossible not to enjoy it.

We even got a ‘stoutie’ which includes a picture of your face on the head of the pint – I almost didn’t want to drink mine.. almost.

The highlight of the tour for me was the Gravity Bar Experience which showcases breathtaking 360-degree views of the city from high up in the sky.

After the storehouse, we hopped on the ‘Big Bus’ and traveled around the city seeing all the main landmarks including Phoenix Park, St Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square and Temple Bar.

Tired from our busy day of sight seeing, we boarded the DART to Dun Laoghaire and within 30 minutes, we were warmly greeted by the friendly staff at The Royal Marine Hotel.

We met with manager Jeff Hogan who was extremely helpful as we enjoyed our dinner in the lounge overlooking magnificent views across Dublin Bay.

The hotel has the most stunning views but unfortunately the weather was not on our side or a walk along the pier would have been the perfect way to unwind from our day in the city.


As a welcome, we arrived in our room to a tray of fruit and sweet treats which was a lovely touch while our lovely bedroom boosted stunning views of the seaside and the marina.

After a good night’s sleep, our alarms went early on Friday morning as we swiftly (and sadly) departed the hotel and made our way on the DART back into the city centre – or so we thought!

With sleepyheads and engrossed in our phones, it took us a while to realise we were going the wrong direction.. but we jumped off one train, got one another and were quickly back on schedule – thank God Gary insisted on leaving us extra time for mishaps.



We arrived in Tara Street and once again hopped on a Dublin Express bus, making it to the airport with lots of time to spare. After a sausage and bacon sandwich, it was back on the plane and ready for home.

The plane was very busy as an influx of people were coming to Donegal for the Sult Festival, including performer DJ Jenny Greene.

Once in the air, we were very excited to see the views of the ‘most scenic runway in the world’ and it did not disappoint.

Donegal’s coastline, golden beaches and green hills could be seen for miles. It is truly worth flying into Donegal Airport for the views alone – the excellent and convenient service are just a bonus.

As we landed in Donegal, we were once again greeted by friendly staff as we made our way back to the car park after a fun 24 hours in Dublin from Donegal Airport.

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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