Airports in Ireland: Where They Are And Which Is The Best To Fly Into

airports in ireland
Photo right: Serjio74. Left: Peter Gyorfi-Batori

There are a number of different airports in Ireland. Some, you’ll have probably heard of (like Dublin and Shannon) while others may be completely new to you, like Ireland West Airport.

Deciding which airport in Ireland to fly into is an important part of planning a trip to Ireland, as it has a considerable effect on 1, the cost of your trip, 2, convenience and 3, the route your adventure will take.

In the guide below, I’m going to break down the various different airports in Ireland, offer an insight into where each airport is located and what there is to see around it, along with providing info on which ones take direct flights from the US.

A List of the Main Airports in Ireland

The airports below are the ones you can fly in and out of in Ireland on standard flights. There are other airports in Ireland, like Sligo Airport, that aren’t listed as you can’t physically fly into them on a ‘normal’ flight.

  1. Cork Airport
  2. City of Derry Airport
  3. Belfast International Airport
  4. George Best Belfast City Airport
  5. Donegal Airport
  6. Dublin Airport
  7. Kerry Airport (Farranfore)
  8. Ireland West Airport Knock
  9. Shannon Airport

Airports in the Republic of Ireland

We’ll tackle the mains Airports in the Republic of Ireland, first. They are Cork Airport, Donegal Airport, Dublin Airport, Weston Airport, Galway Airport, Kerry Airport, Ireland West Airport Knock, Shannon Airport, Sligo Airport and Waterford Airport.

1. Aer Arann Connemara Airport

The Irish government bought Aer Arann Connemara Airport last year, in 2019, for €2.5 million. You’ll find it 28 km outside of Galway City where it operates flights to the Aran Islands (Inis Mor, Inis Oirr and Inis Meain).

2. Cork Airport

Cork Airport is the international gateway to the South of Ireland. Uniquely positioned at the start of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, it’s a fine starting point for many a great road trip

Cork Airport is Ireland’s second-largest international airport, offering more choice of routes than any other airport outside of Dublin. It’s also a short 6 km from Cork City.

3. Donegal Airport

If you ever have the option to fly into Donegal, do! This airport has won the ‘Most Scenic Airport in the World’ two years in a row, thanks to the views that it offers to those flying into it. You’ll find it in Carrickfinn, a handy spin from Dungloe and Gweedore and just 45 minutes from Letterkenny. 

4. Dublin Airport

Located a 20-60 minute drive (depending on traffic) from Dublin City, Dublin Airport is the busiest airport on the island. It’s a handy place to fly into if you’re looking to start your trip from the capital, and it’ll be easier to get a direct flight here if you’d like to avoid any connections.

5. Kerry Airport

Kerry Airport is located in Farranfore just under 13 km from Killarney. It offers direct flights to Dublin, London-Stansted, London-Luton, Berlin, and Frankfurt-Hahn, along with some seasonal flights.

6. Ireland West Airport Knock

Ireland West Airport, AKA Ireland West Airport Knock, is an international airport located in County Mayo, 20 km outside of Knock Village. 750,000 people used the airport in 2017, which makes it the fourth-busiest airport in Ireland.

7. Shannon Airport

You’ll find Shannon Airport on the west coast of Ireland. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland and your sole focus is to explore the Wild Atlantic Way, then I’d recommend flying into Shannon.

Airports in Northern Ireland

There are a number of airports in Northern Ireland that’ll (hopefully) make things smoother for those of you looking to explore Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Flights arrive and take off from Belfast International Airport, George Best Belfast City Airport and the City of Derry Airport. Now, Northern Ireland airports operate flights to and from most major airports in the UK, however, they only operate flights to and from the United States and Canada via airports in Ireland and the UK.

1. George Best Belfast City Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport can be found at the heart of Belfast City, on the south shore of Belfast Lough. Airlines like Aer Lingus, British Airways, KLM, Icelandair and Eastern Airways fly in and out of George Best Belfast City Airport.

This airport is a single-runway airport and UK’s 17th busiest airport, handling around 2.7 million passengers back in 2016. If you’re looking to drive the Causeway Coastal Route or explore Belfast City, this is a solid option.

2. Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport is Northern Ireland’s main airport. It’s the second largest of the many airports in Ireland and it takes flights from over 70 destinations. Everyone from Ryanair and Jet2 and TUI and Thomas Cook fly in and out of Belfast International Airport.

3. City of Derry Airport

The City of Derry Airport is located 11.2 km outsides of Derry City. This is one of the better connected Irish airports, with direct flights to London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool, along with connections to the UAE, Australia and America via Manchester and Glasgow all available.

Flying direct from the United States to an Airport in Ireland

One of the most common questions that we receive around flights to Ireland and Irish airports revolves around direct flights from the US to Ireland. So, you absolutely can fly direct to Ireland, but only from certain places in the US.

You can fly direct into Dublin Airport or Shannon airport from some cities on the East Coast, like Boston and New York. Once in Dublin or Shannon, you can fly into the smaller regional airports in Ireland, like Knock or Kerry.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

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