Which Dublin Bus Tour is Best?

In this post, we will provide information to help you pick the right Dublin bus tour, including tickets, availability, and what sets each apart. 

 

 


HOP-ON-HOP-OFF BUS TOURS

These tours will allow you to jump off wherever you wish and take a look around at various landmarks around Dublin. After you’re done at one stop, you can hop back on and resume the tour.

Most hop-on-hop-off bus tours include both a live guide and an audio guide. While the live guide will provide commentary in English, the audio guides are available in multiple languages.

These tours are an excellent way to get an overview of the city, and the flexibility allows you to discover the city at your own pace.

That said, it should be noted that hop-on-hop-off bus tours only offer basic commentary on the city, seating is first come-first served, and there are more efficient tours that will take less time.

There are frequent stops provided at or near each of the following locations:

  • Dublin Castle
  • Marion Square
  • Parnell Square
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • St. Stephen’s Green
  • National Art Gallery
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Teelings Whiskey Distillery

If this sounds like an interesting service, consider one of the following options.


Big Bus Tours

This company provides three different ticket options for between 24-72 hours at a time.

Riders will have the opportunity to visit 36 different stops spread across the two routes offered by Big Bus Dublin.

 

A Big Bus Tours double-decker bus. Image Source: Big Bus Tours.

 

Unlike other hop-on-hop-off bus tours, this one includes live tour guides who will provide a lot of valuable information about the area.

As if that weren’t enough, you can also use your tickets on either Big Bus or City Sightseeing buses.

Classic Ticket

  • 24-hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Free Walking Tour
    • €22/Adults | €10/Children
    • €54/Family (2 Adults + 2 Kids)
    • Save 20% when you book online.
    • Purchase or learn more.

Premium Ticket

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Free Walking Tour
  • Night Bus Tour

Deluxe Ticket

  • 72-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Pearse Lyons Distillery
  • Free Walking Tour

Each ticket is valid for use on any date within 6 months of your original purchase. If you buy either the 48 or 72-hour ticket, you must use it on consecutive days.

You can choose to either print your tickets out or use the Big Bus Tours app to present your e-ticket when hopping on board.

Customers frequently give them a score of at least 4 out of 5 stars, so you can expect a reliable, fun, informative and safe ride on their buses.

Routes

 

Big Bus Dublin Route Map

Click here for a larger map.

 

There are two tour routes to choose from during the day. Take a look at the main differences between each route:

Blue Line:

This is the longest and most extensive route offered by Big Bus Dublin. It’s also the only route which includes commentary from a live tour guide. 

The entire tour will take 2 hours to complete.

Red Line:

This route is a bit more concise, focusing on the most popular sites around Dublin. There is no live tour guide for the red line, but they do provide an audio guide.

The tour takes 1 ½ hours to complete.


City Sightseeing

Much like Big Bus Tours, you can expect the same general route and ticket prices as Big Bus.

City Sightseeing offers free admission for kids age 4-12 when joined by an adult. They do have tickets for children, but they are only necessary if you have more than 2 kids per every 1 adult.

 

A double-decker bus from City Sightseeing Dublin. Image Source: City Sightseeing Dublin.

 

There are more than 30 different stops on this tour, including sites such as The Guinness Storehouse, Phoenix Park, Dublin Castle and more.

24-Hour Ticket

  • 24-hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Free Walking Tour
  • 2 Kids Go Free

48-Hour Ticket

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Free Walking Tour
  • 2 Kids Go Free

As you can probably tell, City Sightseeing offers almost exactly the same service as their competitors.

The main difference between these two services is that you cannot use a mobile voucher with City Sightseeing. You will need to print out your ticket and present it when you get on the bus.

If you need to cancel your ticket for any reason, make sure to do so at least 3 days before the printed date in order to get a full refund.

City Sightseeing has an overall rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and other services (read reviews here).

Routes

This company currently offers only one route which will take you throughout the city to 31 different stops. This route includes commentary from live guides as well as a free audio guide.

The entire tour will take approximately 2 hours to complete.


Do Dublin

Much like their competitors, this company also provides more than 30 stops throughout Dublin.

You’ll be able to tell these two services apart simply by the color of their buses; while Big Bus and City Sightseeing both use a red bus, Do Dublin has a fleet of green buses.

 

A Do Dublin bus passing by the Guinness Storehouse. Image Source: Do Dublin.

 

Tickets are available for 24, 48 and 72 hours. Live tour guides will provide commentary about the city, but they also have audio guides available in several different languages.

As with Big Bus Tours, every adult ticket includes a free ticket for 2 children and a free walking tour. In addition to those concessions, they also offer free entry to the Little Museum of Dublin.

24-Hour Ticket

  • 24-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Little Museum of Dublin Admission
  • Free Walking Tour
  • 2 Kids Go Free
  • $5 off an extra tour

48-Hour Ticket

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Little Museum of Dublin Admission
  • Free Walking Tour
  • 2 Kids Go Free
  • $5 off extra tour

Do Dublin Card

  • 72-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • 72-Hour Unlimited Airlink
  • 72-Hour Unlimited Public Bus
  • Little Museum of Dublin Admission
  • Free Walking Tour
  • 2 Kids Go Free

TIP: Do Dublin also provides a few combo tickets which will allow you to save money on both their bus tour and additional attractions. 

As you can see, the 72-hour option is actually known as the Do Dublin Card. This ticket includes unlimited access to public buses and Airlink (a transfer service which will take you to and from the airport).

 

 

It’s worth noting that this option will cost the same for children as the 48-hour ticket, so you may want to consider it as an alternative if you have more than 2 kids with you.

Both their 24-hour and 48-hour tickets also include additional discounts on other tours run by Do Dublin such as their Ghost Bus.

The entire tour will take roughly 2 ½ hours to complete. If you want to know more about the places you will visit on this hop-on-hop-off bus tour, check their full tour map.

Do Dublin has received an overall rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars (read reviews here). Many reviewers indicated that their tour guides are informative and funny, providing a unique historical look at the city.

 


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COMEDY BUS TOURS

If you’re looking for a bus tour that will focus on specific details about Dublin’s history and culture, consider one of the following options.

In this section, we will provide information about specialized Dublin bus tours including some of the locations you’ll visit, how long the tour will take, and ticket prices for each service.

 

 


The Comedy Bus

As the name implies, this bus tour will take you on a trip through some of Dublin’s comedic history. Professional comedians will host your journey and tell jokes about some of the more hilarious things that have happened in this city.

See sites such as the Garden of Remembrance, Guinness Brewery and St. Patrick’s Cathedral while riding around with some of the funniest tour guides in Dublin!

Ticket Information

This company has altered its buses to create a stage-like atmosphere in which their comedians can perform.

Although you will be transported around the city to see a lot of the most famous landmarks, this bus tour does not allow you to hop on and off at your own leisure and there are no stops during the trip.

If you need to cancel your ticket for any reason, you can do so up to 24 hours before the tour begins.

The Comedy Bus is still relatively new, so there aren’t many reviews for the service just yet. That said, many customers who have left a review indicate that this bus tour is very funny and informative.

 


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NIGHT AND GHOST BUS TOURS

Visitors who are more interested in the spooky side of Dublin’s history might want to think about taking either a night or ghost bus tour.

 

 

This section will provide details about these tours, including the length of the tour, which subjects and locations are covered and the price of each service.


The Gravedigger Ghost Tour

This is a somewhat spookier alternative to the Comedy Bus Tour, as it is both creepy and humorous.

Rather than just scare the daylights out of you, your tour guides will keep things a little more lighthearted while telling you some of the most disturbing stories from throughout Dublin’s history.

In addition to this trip around the city, you’ll also get a free brew (either with or without alcohol) at the Gravedigger’s Pub!

 Ticket Information

  • €28 per person
  • Includes free brew at Gravedigger’s Pub
  • Availability: Daily at 7:45 pm
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Purchase or learn more.

Tickets can be canceled at any time up to 24 hours before the tour begins for a full refund.

The Gravedigger Ghost tour takes place aboard a uniquely designed bus which includes a lot of decoration for the experience.

Your tour guides will be dressed up as ghouls, ready to terrify you with tales of Dublin’s haunted past – if they don’t make you bust a gut instead!

As with most of these specialty bus tours, you won’t have the option to hop on or off at your leisure. Instead, you will be taken around the city to see major sites and learn about their spooky past.

With an overall score of 4 ½ out of 5 stars, it’s clear that most people who take this bus tour really enjoy themselves (read reviews here).

Many customers described the outing as both entertaining and informative, suggesting that it wasn’t necessarily a serious history tour, but there were a lot of interesting facts provided during the trip.

Some even described this service as goofy and fun, indicating that it might be good for families. 


The Dublin Ghostbus Tour

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Gravedigger tour, this is an excellent option. Much like their competition, they provide a spooky and fun trip through the streets of Dublin. While there is a focus on somewhat disturbing and frightening stories of the city’s history, your tour guides will also keep things fun and humorous with a comedic take on the macabre.

Ticket Information

  • €28 per person
  • Includes a free walking tour.
  • Availability: Mon – Sat at 8 pm
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Purchase or learn more.

NOTE: There is a combo ticket available which will save you $5 on the tour. Read more about this opportunity in our deals & discounts section.

Tickets can be canceled up to 24 hours before your tour date for a full refund.

The main difference between the Ghostbus and their competitor is the free services they offer. While Gravedigger provides a free brew at their pub, the Ghostbus includes a free walking tour covering the highlights of this city

When it comes to presentation, both companies take a similar approach to decorating their bus in order to make the experience even more creepy.

This is not a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, but you will have the opportunity to stop at several notable locations and learn about some of the more twisted tales from Dublin’s history.

While on this tour, you will enjoy various activities such as a trip to a haunted museum, a stroll through St. Kevin’s Graveyard and more. 

The Dublin Ghostbus has an overall score of about 4 ½ out of 5 stars (read reviews here). 


Ghostbus Kids Tour

If you’re looking for a paranormal outing that your children can enjoy, Ghostbus offers a tour designed specifically for younger guests. 

 

 

While on this trip, your kids will hear about some of the creepiest stories from throughout Dublin’s history. Tour guides will take special care to ensure that the details they share are appropriate for younger audiences.

Unlike their main Ghostbus tour, this service does not include an additional walking tour.

Ticket Information

As with their other services, this company offers free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour begins. 

Guests can expect to hear about a variety of subjects such as Mad Willian, Misery Hill, and the legend of the body snatchers.

As previously established, this company has an excellent reputation and they routinely receive excellent reviews.


Night Bus Tours

If you’re not interested in a ghost tour, there are still a few options for taking a bus tour after dark.

The main hop-on-hop-off bus tour companies provide their own night tours, allowing you to see what this city looks like when the sun goes down and learn a bit about the history of Dublin along the way.

 

Dublin Night Bus Tour Route

 

Both Big Bus Tours and City Sightseeing provide a night bus tour which includes 11 stops over the course of one hour after dark in Dublin. In addition to learning more about the city, you’ll also enjoy some music along the way.

  • Ticket Price: €15/Adults | €10/Children
  • Included for free with the 3-Day Ticket
  • Availability: Daily at 8 pm & 9:30 pm
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Purchase or learn more

 


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DAY TRIPS FROM DUBLIN

There are a lot of different day trips offered from Dublin. Each of these services uses a coach to transport you to-and-from a number of different locations. Here are just a few of the places you can visit:

  • Blarney Castle
  • Connemara
  • Wild Wicklow
  • Glendalough
  • Kilkenny
  • Giant’s Causeway

If you’re interested in seeing any of these places while you’re in Dublin, visit this page to find the day trip you want to take.

 


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DISCOUNTS AND DEALS

There aren’t many discounts available on these types of bus tours, but if you’re also interested in a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, you could save some money with combo packages and other services.

 

 


DoDublin Combo Package

If you purchase either a 24-hour or 48-hour hop-on-hop-off DoDublin bus tour ticket, you will receive admission to additional activities such as a walking tour and entry to the Little Museum of Dublin.

In addition to those extra attractions, you’ll also get a map, discount guide and €5 off any additional tour provided by DoDublin, including the following options:

  • Ghostbus Tour
  • Malahide Castle & Howth Day Trip
  • Glendalough & Powerscourt Gardens Day Trip

Purchase this combo ticket or learn more.

Visitors who are planning to enjoy more than one bus tour may want to consider this opportunity to save a few euros.

For more details, make sure to read our post covering hop-on-hop-off bus tours.


Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour Deals

There are several different discounts available for hop-on-hop-off bus tours in Dublin, including deals through tourist passes and combo packages.


The Dublin Pass

The Dublin Pass is currently the only service offering admission for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. This all-inclusive pass includes entry to dozens of popular activities for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, or 5 days).

In addition to including a classic ticket from Big Bus Tours, this service also offers the entry to the following locations and activities:

  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Jameson Distillery Tour
  • Teelings Distillery Tour
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Croke Park Stadium Tour
  • EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum
  • Newbridge House and Farm
  • Irish Rock & Roll Museum
  • Aquazone Aquatic Centre
  • National Wax Museum
  • Malahide Castle
  • Dublin Castle
  • Dublin Zoo
  • Vaults Live
  • And more!

Pass prices start at just €62 per day, so you’ll need to use this service for at least 3-4 activities before you start saving money.

If that sounds like a fun challenge and an excellent opportunity to save a few euros, please read our post covering Dublin tourist passes for more information.


Combo Packages

There are currently two major hop-on-hop-off bus tour companies offering combo deals in Dublin: Big Bus Tours and Do Dublin.


Big Bus Tours

Considering that their Premium and Deluxe tickets include activities such as a walking tour, a night bus tour and even entry to Pearse Lyons Distillery, one could say their basic services are already combo packages!

 

 

That said, it’s worth noting that this company does offer a few additional combination deals which include their hop-on-hop-off bus tours.

Classic Ticket + Guinness Storehouse

Premium Ticket + Guinness Storehouse

Classic Ticket + Teeling Whiskey Distillery


Do Dublin Combo Packages

This company offers a few different combo packages which include their 48-hour bus tour and one additional activity.

 

 

Guinness Storehouse Combo

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Fast Track Entry to Guinness Storehouse
    • €46 per person

Jameson Distillery Combo

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Entry to Jameson Distillery
  • Guided tour of the Distillery
  • Complimentary drink in JJ’s Bar
    • €43 per person

EPIC Museum Combo

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Entry to EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum
    • €36 per person

GPO Witness History Combo

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Entry to GPO Witness History Exhibit
    • €31 per person

Teeling Whiskey Distillery Combo

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Entry to Teeling Whiskey Distillery
    • €38 per person

Purchase or learn more about these combo deals.


Discount Sites

Depending on when you choose to visit Dublin, you may find some pretty good deals on bus tours with sites such as Groupon.

In addition to whatever deal the tour operator may offer to begin with, these discount sites typically offer coupon codes that you can use to save an extra 10% – 20% off local activities.

Before you make a purchase, make sure to check the top and bottom of the page for banners that may include coupons you can use to save a few more euros!

 


 


 

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