* Prices may differ from that shown
Dublin Bus is the main bus company in Dublin, it covers the majority of the inner city services, including the airlink bus and the city tour bus.
The Dublin bus office is based on Upper O'Connell street which all buses that go into the city centre stop on.. The office is open from 08:30 - 17:30 Monday and 09:00 -17:30 Tue - Fri. Its only open half day on Saturdays and closed Sundays and public holidays. The office its self is quite easy to navigate round, there are information leaflets/ maps and a area where you can locate bus timetables. The staff are very friendly and are happy to help and offer you information. I had used the city bus tour some years previously but my partner had not, therefore we decided to book some tickets for this tour at 15euros each. There is another bus tour in the city that is slightly cheaper, however most of those buses are recorded audio.
The city tour has both live audio and multilingual buses available, the multilingual are few and far between and if you are trying to avoid the multilingual ones (which I would advice to do so) you will only have to wait another ten minutes for a live audio bus. The buses are big green buses that arrive a designated stops ten minutes apart, they stop at a total of 23 stops and are valid for 24 hours. Therefore if you are staying over in Dublin I would recommend validating your ticket later in the day so you can use the bus ticket over 2 days and that way you don't feel you are on buses all day! The total tour takes on average 1.5hours, however most people use the tour to get to popular destinations and hop on and hop off throughout. The buses are very clean and the top decks are open top which can get pretty blustery but well worth it if you can cope with the cold as you get some nice views.
The drivers of these buses are fantastic, very helpful, will happily give you advise, as we were getting off one stop they checked with us that we knew where we were heading and advised we waited until the next stop as it would be closer to our destination. The bus drivers talk about the city of Dublin and give you some very interesting facts about the city, they also advise which attractions are well worth a visit and having encountered on many of these attractions I have to agree. The bus drivers are very humours and often make jokes at people coming back from the brewery tours, they also ensure they get the whole bus laughing and joking by singing popular Irish songs and making silly jokes. The tour is worth it just for the entertainment from the drivers!
The tour stops at the following locations:
1) Tour Starts Here - Cathal Brugha Street.
2) Abbey Street - Lower O'Connell St
3) Trinity College Dublin - College Green
4) Nassau Street - Nassau Street
5) National Gallery. - Merrion Square West.
6) Government Buildings - Merrion Sq West.
7) St. Stephen's Green - Grafton Street.
- great for shopping!!
8) Tourism Centre - Suffolk Street
9) Temple Bar - Dame Street
- Best place in Dublin!
10) Dublin Castle - Cork Hill
11) Christchurch / Dvblinia - Christ Church
12) St Patrick's Cathedral - Patrick Street.
13) Guinness Storehouse - St James's Gate
- see separate review
14) Museum of Modern Art - Royal Hospital
15) Kilmainham Gaol - Old Kilmainham
- well worth a visit
16) Heuston Rail Station - St. John's Road
17) Dublin Zoo - Phoenix Park.
- lovely park location with deer.
18) Ryan's Victorian Bar - Parkgate Street.
19) National Museum - Collin's Barracks
20) Old Jameson Distillery - Smithfield
- Brilliant tour much better than the Guinness tour
21) Liffey River Cruise - Bachelor's Walk
- easy to walk to shopping area from here.
22) Dublin Bus HQ - Upper O'Connell Street
23) Writers' Museum - Parnell Square North
Another note regarding the drivers are they are much better than the tourist information centre as they actually give you helpful information, tourist information didn't bother to tell us that the museums are closed on a Monday but the helpful drivers did.
I only used one of the general buses but again the bus was clean and well kept and the driver was very efficient.
The Airlink bus costs 6Euro each, which I would say if there is a few of you travelling you would be cheaper hiring a taxi, this bus runs every ten minutes from O'Connell street from 5past the hour onwards. Throughout the day I noticed these buses seemed to be travelling on time and seemed to be efficient, therefore we decided that as we were not flying until 8pm and had already checked on the 6:15pm bus would get us there in plentiful time. Wrong!! Unfortunately the bus did not turn up until 18:30 and there were a lot of people pilling on the bus due to the lateness. We finally set off, all ok and we were not too worried as we would still be there in plenty of time..... Then the bus broke down!!
Panic sets in!! Luckily another bus came by and crammed us all on 2 minutes later and we were on our way. We arrived at the airport for just after 1900hrs and if it wasn't for the useless security at the airport we would have had plenty of time ( but will review the airport and explain more on that later!!)
The bus drivers were apologetic and again very friendly and unfortunately vehicles do break down so I can't really put the blame on the bus company for this.
The company as a whole are much better than most bus companies you would find in England and the drivers are very helpful I would just say it would be better if the company had a few extra buses on the airlink during the busy period early evening to ensure that people get to the airport on time!
You've gotten to Dublin, found your way out of the airport with more twists and turns than the Crystal Maze, dumped your bags in the hotel and now you're ready to go! Although Dublin is a fairly small city some of the sights are a little hard to find and quite far apart, What to do? To save on the old shoe leather there's only one way to see the sights in Dublin and that's on one of the tour buses which can be seen all over the place. We went with the City Tour buses and the price for an all day ticket was only 10 euros (when am I going to get that symbol on my keyboard?). This allows you to travel non-stop around the whole city and get on and off at any of the stops. This particular tour has 16 stops. These are: 1) McDonalds (the start of the tour) 9) Dublin Castle and City Hall 2) Writers Museum 10) St Patricks Cathedral 3) GPO/Henry St 11) Dublinia 4) Trinity College 12) Guinness Storehouse 5) Nassan Street 13) Museum of Modern Art 6) National Gallery 14) Dublin Zoo 7) St Stephens Green 15) National Museum 8) Tourism Centre 16) Old Jameson Distillery and The Chimney This may seem to be only a few stops but most other sights can be seen from here, for example at stop number 2, there is also the National Wax Museum and the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. Along with you ticket you also get a really useful map of the area with all the historical landmarks on it, there's also descriptions of each place. It also displays opening times, prices, addresses and phone numbers. But most useful of all the guide has vouchers and details of money of prices al the attractions, you only have to show your bus tickets at the admission desk to take advantage of the discounts. We had the most wonderful tour guide who sounded like your stereotypical Irishman, his knowledge of Dublin, historical events and local legends was fantastic, unfortunately his j
okes were amongst the worse that I had ever heard! But he was really helpful, answering any question and making sure people knew where they were going. We even got a friendly little wink and he dropped us of at the Jamesons Whiskey Distillery after earlier dropping us off at the Guinness Storehouse. 'Twas a pity about the second who had a really thick accent and spoke so monotone and boringly I couldn't understand a word he said! The buses are top-notch, they're clean and spotless, no vandalism whatsoever, no broken seats, etc. 10 euros (around £8) may seem a bit expensive but if you really want to see all the sights and hear all about Dublin's history this is the best way to go. Just make sure you get a funny guide and sit up on the top deck!
~ ~ Many people who visit the “Fair City” of Dublin these days do so on short or weekend breaks. In fact, only last year Dublin gained the premier spot as the most popular weekend holiday destination in Europe, overtaking both Paris and Amsterdam for the first time. If you are one of these “short break” visitors, it is very easy to allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the vast array of attractions that vie for your attention, and with your time limited, it is almost impossible to fit in everything you would like to see or visit. ~ ~ Dublin Bus, the semi-State company that run the public transport system here in Dublin, have been the subject of much critical debate over the general effectiveness of their city service over the last few years, but one initiative that they have introduced is truly superb. This is their “Dublin City Hop On – Hop Off Tours”. ~ ~ Starting at Dublin Bus HQ in O’Connell Street (just up from the main GPO) these tours run every 15 minutes from 9.30AM to 5PM, and then every 30 minutes from 5PM to 6.30PM. They are designed with the casual visitor to Dublin in mind, in order that they can truly maximise their sightseeing experience, and visit over thirty locations of interest dotted throughout the city. In decent weather (Ha!!) converted open-top double decker buses are used, that allow you to take full advantage of the wonderful Irish sunshine. (twice a year!!) What is so different about these tours (as the name implies) is that you can actually “hop on and hop off” at your own convenience at any of the 13 designated stopping points along the route. If you are really short of time, then you can choose to simply stay on the bus, and be entertained by a highly professional and very amusing tour guide (who know the city backwards) who will tell you where you are and what you are seeing. Some of these guides are real “charactersR
21;, and have developed their very own line of patter to amuse and entertain their passengers. A Scottish cousin of mine who took this tour recently with his family came back singing the praises of the tour guide, and stating it was the best (and funniest) tour he had ever taken. ~ ~ The various stopping points are all very conveniently located to give you the freedom to explore and experience all the different historical and cultural attractions that Dublin has to offer at your leisure. Here’s a list of the main attractions that are convenient to each stopping point. 1. Start Off – Dublin Bus HQ. 2. Dublin Writer’s Museum 3. GPO/Henry Street (good shopping) 4. Trinity College (Old Library and the Book of Kells) 5. Nassau Street (again, good shopping) 6. National Gallery 7. St. Stephen’s Green (wonderful park and good shopping centre) 8. Tourism Centre 9. Dublin castle 10. St. Patrick’s Cathedral (also Christchurch Cathedral) 11. Dublinia Exhibition (Ancient Dublin) 12. Guinness Storehouse (hope you get passed here safely!) 13. Museum of Modern Art (Royal Hospital, Kilmainham) 14. National Museum (Collins Barracks) 15. Smithfield Village 16. Music hall of Fame ~ ~ The tour, if you don’t get off anywhere, will take about an hour and a quarter, and also included in the ticket price are various discount vouchers for many of the attractions. And it’s not that expensive either, at a cost of only £8 (Irish Punts) for an adult, and half price for children up to 14 years of age. (Minus 20% approx for Sterling) As well as the main Dublin Tour, Dublin Bus also runs other bus tours both in the city and about Ireland. There is a very popular “Ghost Bus Tour”, that takes you to all the “spooky” locations in the city, and various other day long tours that take you out of the city to places lik
e “Ballykissangel” and the resorts on the south coast. (ops to follow) ~ ~ So if you do happen to visit Dublin on a tight schedule, then keep this tour in mind. It’s exceptional value, and allows you to get a flavour of the Irish capital in a very short space of time. Recommended by the “mad cabbie”.
I'm not that qualified to write too much on this, since I caught a bus in Dublin a total of twice. But there is information that I thought is useful, and should be shared. On arriving at Dublin airport, it's very tempting to catch one of the Airlink buses from just outside the terminal. Don't. As you come out, turn to the left and walk down to bus stop number 2. Catch a number 41 or a number 41C, and you'll be paying around one third of the price for the same route. Well, nearly the same. The difference is that this bus stops en route, and on the way passes down the lenght of Gardiner Street, where a lot of B&Bs and hostels are situated. So not only will you have saved money, but you'll be closer to where you're staying. Just keep and eye out for the blue roadsigns stuck halfway up buildings, or just ask the driver. Also, when you get to the airport, go and buy a can of drink or something. You need to pay *exactly* £1.20, no more, no less - if you pay more, you won't get any change. There is a change machine at the airport, but it only gives out £1 and 50p coins. And no using Sterling either. As I said, it's not about Dublin buses in general - central Dublin's small enough for you to be able to walk around, and it's lovely enough for it to be nice to walk around - but, well, *I* thought it was useful, so there!
Contrary to what others seem to say about Dublin Bus's service, it's not anything as good as it could be. Dublin is unfortunately cursed with bad public transport systems which, despite all the complaints about traffic congestion and air pollution, have improved very little in the past few years, despite substantial increases in the fares. Disadvantage 1: they're quite expensive. And, unlike, for example, London's buses, the fares vary considerably, so you're unlikely to know exactly how much you have to pay the first time you use one, until you actually get on. And if you don't have the exact change, well, that's your bad luck. You just pay more. They don't give you change: what you get instead is a receipt which can be cashed in at the Dublin Bus offic on O'Connell Street (but really, who can be bothered doing that?). The company makes a great deal of money from that little swindle. Disadvantage 2: Timetables? What timetables? A perverse sense of humour on the part of some executive has lead to a great number of timetables being removed from bus stops, which means that, even if you're lucky enough to know what bus actually stops there, you won't be able to find out what time it might actually arrive at. Not that they follow the timetables, anyway. A tip for the uninitiated: give yourself at least a half hour more to get to your destination, especially if you live further out. My particular bus service has regular delays of anything up to 45 minutes, for no other reason, it seems, than that the driver wants to read his paper. Disadvantage 3: Every public transport system in Dublin shuts down at 11:30 pm at the latest, leaving the poor late drinker or clubber to the mercy of the taxis: God help us all. At the weekends, Dublin Bus do put on a night service (for, surprisingly, very expensive fares), but some of these routes are very much to be avoided. Furthermore, as a lot of people in Dublin don
't seem to realise that there's a limit on how much a person can actually drink, you're quite likely to have to negotiate a number of pools of vomit when you want to get off. Not fun. Dublin Bus can be absolutely infuriating if you have to use them regularly. A visitor might put the extortionate prices and lazy timekeeping down to Oirish idiosyncrasy, but the truth is, they just couldn't be bothered offering a decent service, because it's not as if they have any competitors, is it? So we must put up with it until the government, in their wisdom, see fit to get rid of the company's inefficient moopoly. But I won't hold my breath.
On a recent weekend trip to Dublin, with a group of girlfriends, on a couple of occasions we took a taxi into the city centre, each time the journey varied and so did the fare. We decided to take the bus, and at first were a little surprised when we found we had to have the correct change. This soon turned out to be the best thing all round because on embarking, you just put your money into the machine and are issued with a ticket. This to me seems a better system, and if you don't have the correct money, just put a little more in.(NO CHANGE IS GIVEN)The journey was no longer than the taxi and as the fares were quite reasonable, it was a lot cheaper.
Dublin buses are perfectly good - as good as anywhere else I've been but they have an interesting quirk. They now have machines that you drop your money into and you must have exactly the right amount. This must be remembered if you fly in and expect to get the bus into town, you must get some change in the airport first. The fares all seem to be under about IR£1.50 so a couple of quid in mixed coins will see you through. Just thought I'd warn you.
Being a Dubliner myself I thought I'd contribute to this section and hopefully make life a bit easier for anybody visiting the Emerald Isle. Let's start from scratch! Dublin Airport doesn't have a rail link (yet) to the city so you have to take the bus! Airlink is the public service (with a half price fare for Aer Lingus passengers) and there is also a private company called AirCoach with a special fare for Ryanair passengers! (Spot the bus wars!!) Using Dublin Bus is the handiest way to get around the city. They are clean, good value, efficient with dedicated bus lanes on many routes; plus you'll get a good view from the top deck. Routes are numbered and the name of destinations appears in Irish and English, so it's an easy to use network. With many dedicated bus lanes it also makes more sense in some areas to use the buses, as Dublins traffic problems get worse year after year. For some bizarre reason Dublin bus have decided to replace most timetables at bus-stops with advertisments for ice cream and crisps, so go to their office in O'Connell Street and get a fistful of timetables for yourself. Most routes have a regular service, some surburban routes may be less frequent however. Last but not least, 99% of buses now use Autofare, in other words you need the EXACT fare and the driver will NEVER EVER give you change no matter if you cry, do an oirish jig or pull that funny face that you tried at Uncle Fred's 40th birthday party. Having the correct fare will save you going all the way back to O'Connell Street to get your change and save the search for cash when you get on. By the way, there's a zillion types of travel card thingys you can buy in shops all over the place so you don't need to worry about cash at all - just swipe it in the machine as you board the bus.