Now that autumn is here, and the summer holidays are well and truly behind us, many Irish holidaymakers may be considering a short city trip to keep the holiday blues at bay before Christmas. Although travellers from Ireland can often find cheap flights to many European destinations, many overlook the time and money spent getting from the airport to their city of choice - and on a quick city break, time is everything.
In an effort to help travellers maximise their time travel search engine KAYAK.ie has collected data on the most popular European cities for Irish holidaymakers, revealing the average costs and travel time to expect when visiting these destinations.
For those looking to start their holiday without wasting a single moment, Arrecife, in the Canary Islands is undisputedly the best option. With its airport conveniently located just seven kilometres from the city centre, travellers barely have to wait at all to start soaking up the sights. And with public transport available at just €1.40, the short trip to the airport can save travellers more than €10 on taxi fares.
Other convenient options include Faro, Portugal, as well as Amsterdam (Schipol Airport), both of which are reachable in around a quarter of an hour by public transport (15, 17 minutes). For those who prefer the comfort of a taxi, the quickest options are Arrecife, Faro, Lisbon and Palma de Mallorca, all of which can be reached from the airport in 15 minutes or less. However, travellers should be prepared to pay more: at €27, the quick trip from the Mallorca airport to the city centre will set travellers back €1.80 a minute.
Price-conscious travellers looking to save their money for sightseeing and shopping should probably start their trip by skipping the taxi. This is especially true when travelling to Paris, Rome or London. In each of these cities, travellers can save more than €45 by choosing to use public transport options instead. In the British capital, which has the highest taxi prices out of the top twenty most popular cities for Irish tourists, travellers can save €46 by opting to rely on public transport - and they’ll also arrive in the city 20 minutes earlier compared to those choosing to ride in a taxi.
Apart from Arrecife, with its €1.40 airport connection, the cheapest cities to reach by public transport are Rome (€1.50), Budapest (€1.70), and Lisbon (€1.90). However, holidaymakers can cut their travel time in half (15 minutes) with a reasonable €8 cab ride to Lisbon, compared with the 30 minute journey on the underground.
Higher costs, longer journeys
The analysis also highlights the destinations for which travellers should budget extra time and money to reach the airport: Rome, Paris, and Athens, all famous for their traffic congestion, can each take at least 40 minutes, no matter the mode of travel chosen. However, travellers should also plan extra time if they are travelling to Budapest (45 minutes by train and 30 by taxi), Prague (40 minutes by bus and 30 by taxi), and Madrid (45 minutes by train and 20 by taxi).
When it comes to costs, London and Paris are unsurprisingly the two standouts, with even public transportation options costing at least €10 from airport to city centre. Visitors to the French capital should expect to pay €10.30 for the 40 minute trip to the city centre, while those visiting London will need to shell out a whopping €24.30.
On the home front
What about here in Ireland? KAYAK.ie also took a look at travel times and costs from some of the country’s major airports. Dubliners might be happy to know they stand to pay the least if choosing public transport - just €3.30 - less than travellers from Cork or Limerick. However, they may be less thrilled to realise they’ve only travelled 12km in this time - just 18km an hour. Travellers arriving to Shannon airport can reach Limerick at over twice the speed (25 km in 30 min).
For more impatient Dubliners, there’s always the option of a taxi - by spending an extra €27, travellers can save 20 minutes, arriving in half the time as they would had they taken public transport. Residents of Cork and Limerick have less incentive to spring for a cab to the airport, as it is likely to take just as long as public transportation, while costing nearly four times as much in both cases.
John-Lee Saez, travel expert at KAYAK.co.uk says “Many low-cost carriers are known to fly into airports located on the outskirts of cities, which can be difficult to reach - and sometimes even more expensive than the cost of the flight. Luckily, using KAYAK’s Explore tool, Irish holidaymakers can make sure to find the best flight offers for their respective travel budgets: simply enter a departure airport, the desired date and flight duration, and the amount they wish to spend, and Explore will show them the matching destinations - all laid out nicely on the world map”.