Though the distances involved aren't great, traveling from the winding streets and warm, welcoming pubs of Dublin to the grand architectural splendor of Edinburgh means leaving Ireland and entering the United Kingdom. As well as crossing the Irish Sea, you must pass over or through Wales and England before reaching the capital of Scotland. ‌In terms of travel options, air travel is the quickest method of reaching Edinburgh from Dublin, but when traveling by ferry and train or car, you have the opportunity to see the beautiful British countryside close up.

Air Travel

Aer Lingus, Aer Arann and cheap flights on Ryanair fly direct from Dublin to Edinburgh. ‌Direct flights depart from Dublin Airport and land at Edinburgh Airport Monday through Sunday, beginning at around 8 a.m. every day for round trip.‌ The last flights of the day leave at roughly 8 p.m. Check with the airlines for exact departure times. The journey takes an hour, and Monday and Tuesday schedules have the most flights per day. The cost of flights increases as the departure date draws closer, so for the cheapest airfares, book several weeks early. ‌The least expensive days and times to fly are at midweek in the evening.‌ There are also flights that leave from glasgow, Belfast, and London. Make sure to check throughout the week for new flight deals or possible cancellations, in order to get the best price possible and avoid hassle at check-in. Traveling with just a carry on is a good way to start.

Sail and Rail

Ferries depart from Dublin Port and sail to Holyhead in Wales, where passengers can begin a rail journey to Edinburgh.‌ Irish Ferries' fast ferry completes the first leg of the trip in one hour and 49 minutes, while the same company's cruise ferry and Stena Line's ferry take around three hours 15 minutes. Some ferry companies apply baggage restrictions, but others have no limitations on luggage. Sail and Rail tickets allow you to book the entire trip to Edinburgh in one go, including the ferry passage and all train journeys. Passengers must change trains at a train station to complete the entire trip. Purchase tickets online through ferry companies like Stena Line or Irish Ferries, or train ticket vendor websites like Trainline. Stena Line also has a ticket office at Dublin Port where you can buy Sail and Rail tickets.

Ferry and Car

Traveling by ferry and rental car from Dublin to Edinburgh would allow you flexibility and freedom during the journey.‌ Stopping to enjoy the view or taking a detour aren't a problem when you travel by car. Stena Line and Irish Ferries offer seven sailings per day from Dublin to Holyhead. After arrival in Wales, driving to Edinburgh takes a little less than six hours nonstop. Most ferries departing from Dublin can carry passenger cars, and some Irish car rental companies may allow their cars to be driven to mainland U.K. on a one-way trip. However, it's likely to be much cheaper and easier to hire a car in Holyhead for the onward journey to Scotland.

Travel Requirements

U.S. travelers leaving Ireland to enter the United Kingdom should be prepared for border control and a different currency. ‌To enter the U.K., U.S. visitors must hold a passport that's valid for the duration of their stay, and ideally for at least six months afterward.‌ The currency in Ireland is the Euro; in Britain, the British pound sterling is legal tender. Electronics from the United States don't work in Ireland or the U.K. without power converters. However, power outlets are the same in both countries, so travelers can use the same adapters that hold three square prongs.

Climate and Geography

Whatever the time of year you go, be prepared for rain in Dublin and Edinburgh, but expect differences in geography. ‌Both cities experience cool, moist climates.‌ In winter, temperatures hover a little above freezing and snow falls only occasionally. In summer, the temperature rarely climbs higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so pack a jacket or sweatshirt. Yet travelers arriving in Edinburgh from Dublin may work up a sweat when walking the hilly streets of the Scottish city after leaving behind the flat, level lanes of Ireland's capital.