One of my challenges here when planning a flight with my partner, who works a crazy schedule all over the place and I don’t drive, is figuring out how to meet him somewhere if he can’t come pick me up. I always work out a public transportation plan – just in case. I will book flights to the States for after 11AM, leaving us all sorts of options. That’s easy when you can pick any connecting flight to Portland, but when your destination is Málaga, Spain – your only option is the 7:20AM flight. Period. Let’s see: be there 2.5 hours before your flight, staying some 150km away, only nearby bus comes after flight leaves, partner working until late nowhere near you, hmm…*
Door #2 – find a hotel near the airport and a bus that goes there. Pulled up booking.com and though still a crapshoot, I settled on the Metro Hotel for a good Dublin Airport price (see picture below for better booking direct deals!). And after further research, I learned that the very frequent #4 Dublin Bus from O’Connell Street would get me there for under 3 euros. Sold. (#13 also gets you there)
The Metro Hotel is at the intersection of Ballymun and Santry in the suburbs of Northside Dublin, with a nearby view of the South’s only full service IKEA. I didn’t venture out to see what was in the surrounding area for shops or food – it seemed the hotel was a lovely oasis in itself for our overnight stay. If staying longer, a quick bus ride would get you back in to the city centre where the choices are limitless for to dos.
The building is older yet refurbished quite nicely and the staff we encountered were all top notch – friendly and helpful. Guests are buzzed inside to the lobby area on the ground floor, which has a cozy sitting area with a fire, a residents lounge and the Bistro 9 restaurant. I had a beautiful Spanish red blend and a delicious dinner made easily gluten free, and the atmosphere felt safe, inviting & comfortable.
For €5 each (w/o parking) you can be shuttled off to the airport, only 10 or so minutes away. Bargain at 4:30AM. With their Park & Fly deals, you get underground parking (€4/day) and shuttles to and from the airport (€2pp) for those with cars. That’s quite a savings for a long trip compared to the airport parking rate of €9.50/day.
All things considered, we would definitely stay at the Metro Hotel again when flying out from the Dublin Airport.
*Door #1 was a 2AM cab to a bigger city and a 2 hour bus to the airport. BTW I LOVE playing “How am I going to get there?” It’s like a rubix cube or a sudoku puzzle. I’ve become a master of public transportation using their extremely convoluted websites to figure out routes, timetables and fares. I really should offer a consulting service. 😜
Update: There was a fire at the Metro in March 2018. Check their website to see if they are up and running. A great alternative is the Clayton Hotel in Leopardstown. Right on the LUAS green line (will take you right to the city center for 2-3 Euros) and with front door service to the Dublin Air Coach, with direct runs to and from the airport.