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Birr: 24km (15 miles) E of Portumna. Athlone: 97km (60 miles) E of Galway

Getting There & Getting Around 

By Car -- By far the best way to get to and around the Midlands is by car. Although Athlone is easy to reach by public transportation from Galway or Dublin, you’ll need a car to see the smaller towns and remote sites. Major roads that lead to this area are the main Galway-Dublin road (N6) from points east and west, N62 from the south, and N55 and N61 from the north. For car rentals from Dublin, check the city's travel guide.

By Bus -- Bus Éireann (www.buseireann.ie; 061/313333) runs buses every half hour to 90 minutes, from the main bus station in Galway City to Athlone (journey time between 80 and 100 min.). There are also several buses a day to Birr (around 4 hours), changing in Athlone or Limerick. From the main bus station in Dublin, buses also go to Athlone about every hour (2–3 hours journey time), and a handful of times a day to Birr (3–4 hours).

By Train -- Irish Rail operates direct trains from Galway to Athlone Station, Southern Station Road (090/647-3300) every 1 to 2 hours; the journey takes 90 minutes. From Dublin trains go to Athlone about every hour; most journeys takes just over an hour.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.