Getting from Dublin to the centers of Kilkenny, Wexford, or Waterford by public transport is easy. It’s also relatively simple to travel between the three cities. However, as with most rural areas in Ireland, getting around the countryside by public transport once you’re here is extremely difficult. Unless you’re sticking to the big towns, your best option is to rent a car.

By Bus -- Direct buses connect Waterford and Wexford every couple of hours; most journeys take an hour. A few buses per day run between Kilkenny and Waterford; the journey takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on if you have to change buses (which you almost always do). No convenient bus routes connect Kilkenny and Wexford; you’ll have to go through Waterford.

By Train -- A half-dozen or so trains daily go between Kilkenny and Waterford; the journey takes 35 minutes. Getting from Kilkenny or Waterford to Wexford by train involves multiple changes and can take all day; avoid this route if at all possible.

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By Car -- If you take public transport to the Southwest and then want to drive around the countryside, you can easily pick up a rental car in one of the main towns. In Kilkenny, Enterprise-Rent-a-Car has a branch at the Kilkenny Car Complex, Dublin Rd. (www.enterprise.ie; 056/775-3318). Hertz has a branch in Wexford Town, on Ferrybank (053/915-2500), or you can try Budget Car Rental at Rosslare Ferryport (www.budget.ie; 053/913-3318). In Waterford, Enterprise has a branch on Cork Rd. (www.enterprise.co.uk; 051/304-804).

By Ferry -- Driving between Waterford and Wexford involves a circuitous route via New Ross—unless you cut the distance in half by taking the handy car ferry from the poetically named Passage East, about 12km (7 1/2 miles) east of Waterford (www.passageferry.ie; 051/382-480). Regular crossings run April to September, Monday to Saturday 7am to 10pm, Sunday and public holidays 9:30am to 10pm; October to March, Monday to Saturday 7am to 8pm, Sunday and public holidays 9:30am to 8pm. Tickets per car are £8 one-way, £12 round-trip.

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.