Which Dublin Bus Tour is Best?

In this post, we will provide information to help you pick the right Dublin bus tour. In addition to details such as ticket prices and availability, we will also explain some of the differences between each individual service.

 

 


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. This section will compare and contrast each of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours available. 


Big Bus Tours

This is one of the most well known and respected tour bus companies in the world, and you can expect the same level of quality in Dublin. They provide 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. In addition to the tour itself, each ticket includes two children’s tickets for no additional cost and a free walking tour. As if that weren’t enough, you can also use your tickets on either Big Bus or City Sightseeing buses.

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

72-Hour Ticket

  • 72-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Tour Included
  • Bike Tour Included
  • Pearse Lyons Distillery
  • Free Walking Tour
  • 2 Kids Go Free

 

Click here for a larger map.

Big Bus Dublin Route 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.

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.

With services provided internationally in several popular travel destinations, Big Bus Tours is one of the most highly rated hop-on-hop-off bus tour companies in the world. 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.

 


City Sightseeing

Much like Big Bus Tours, this company is also known worldwide for their excellent hop-on-hop-off bus service. When it comes to their Dublin bus tours, you can expect the same general routes and ticket prices as Big Bus. As a matter of fact, if you have a Big Bus ticket, you can actually use it on City Sightseeing bus tours as well.

 
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. Live commentary is provided on their Blue route while audio commentary in 8 different languages is available on every third Red Route.

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

72-Hour Ticket

  • 72-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Tour Included
  • Bike Tour Included
  • Pearse Lyons Distillery
  • Free Walking Tour
  • 2 Kids Go Free

As you can probably tell, City Sightseeing offers almost exactly the same service as their competitors, which is probably a result of the two companies teaming up. Their two routes are also identical when it comes to the stops they make and the overall length of each tour.

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). Most reviewers indicate that they provide a very fast and informative ride to many popular sites in Dublin. Although there were a few complaints about unclear directions, a majority of customers appreciated and enjoyed this hop-on-hop-off bus tour.  

Note: The 72-hour tour is run in collaboration with Big Bus, reviewed above.

 


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 uses 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

48-Hour Ticket

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

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. For more details, make sure to check the Discounts and Passes section.

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. Of course, this will only be a concern if you have more than two kids with you.

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.

Some guests indicated that their driver would even sing songs during the tour, adding an extra level of fun to their experience.

 


CityScape

This may be the most affordable hop-on-hop-off bus tour in all of Dublin. That being said, there are some notable differences between CityScape and their competitors.

For one thing, they only offer two ticket options: a 1-day or 3-day ticket. The reason for this is that they are essentially giving you an extra day for the same price as a 2-day ticket. It’s also notable that there are only 29 stops on this tour.

Even though they don’t provide as many stops, the tour route provided by CityScape actually extends further south than their competitors, allowing you to visit locations that aren’t included with other bus tours. If you want to visit locations such as Aviva Stadium or the Royal Dublin Society, this is the only hop-on-hop-off bus tour that will take you there.

In addition, this service includes special discounts and freebies. As with Big Bus Tours and Do Dublin, they also let 2 children ride for free with every adult ticket purchased.

1-Day Ticket

  • 24-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Greyhound Racing Track Admission
  • Free Glass of Guinness in VAT House
  • 2-for-1 Meal Deal at Murray’s Bar & Grill
  • 2-for-1 Meal Deal at Kumpir Cafe
  • 30% Discount on Aviva Stadium Tours
  • 2 Kids Go Free
  • Discounts on Entry to:
    • Teelings
    • Dublin Zoo
    • Guinness Storehouse
    • EPIC: The Irish Immigration Museum

3-Day Ticket

  • 72-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • All Discounts from 1-Day Ticket
  • All Concessions from 1-Day Ticket

 

A CityScape tour bus. Image Source: CityScape.

 

TIP: There are additional discounts available for customers who purchase a CityScape ticket. For more details, please read our Discounts and Passes section.

As you can see, this is actually one of the most affordable hop-on-hop-off bus tours in all of Dublin. In addition to the low price, they also offer discounts that aren’t available through their competitors. That being said, they don’t offer the additional tours or museum admission provided by Big Bus Tours and Do Dublin.

In addition to taking you near sites such as Aviva Stadium and the Royal Dublin Society, this company also offers stops at some of the hotels in the Ballsbridge area. If you plan on staying at a hotel in this part of Dublin, CityScape will probably be the best choice for you.

CityScape enjoys an overall rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Many guests choose this hop-on-hop-off bus tour because of the price, and a majority of them report that it’s definitely an excellent value.

That said, there have been a few complaints about infrequent buses and long waits, so it’s definitely a case where you get what you pay for.

Despite the sometimes slow service, a lot of reviewers indicated that their tour guides are very friendly and informative.

 


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History & 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 their 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.

Some suggest that this tour might not be well received by the prudish, but if you’re open to some filthy jokes every now and then, you’ll probably have a good time.

 


1916: Rise of the Rebels Bus Tour

If you really want to learn more about the history of this city, this is one of the most interesting bus tours you can take.

With a focus on the 1916 Uprising in Dublin, your tour guides will be dressed in period appropriate attire as they tell the tale of this historical moment. Along the way, you’ll see some of the landmarks where battles were lost and won and hear about how these events have shaped the modern structure of Dublin.
 


 

Ticket Information

If need be, tickets can be canceled up to 24 hours before the tour.

Much like the Comedy Bus, this tour bus has been customized, and in this case to make it easier to imagine what life was like during the 1916 Uprising. This tour bus does not make stops where you can freely hop on and off, but they do provide a unique look at Dublin with the goal of providing you a deeper look at some of the history behind this city.

This company has a very positive rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars (read reviews here). Many customers report that the tour is very informative, providing them with the information they didn’t know about that you might not hear on other Dublin bus tours.

Several guests indicated that this tour is well worth both the time and the price, noting that their tour guides gave an excellent performance that helped to transport them to another time and place.

 


 The Dubliner Bus Tour

For those who want to learn more about some of the famous people who once lived in this city, the Dubliner bus tour is an absolute must.

During this trip, you’ll discover why notable figures such as Bram Stoker and James Joyce once called Dublin their home. Uncover the history of this city by hearing about the men and women who would help to shape its culture.

 Ticket Information

As with most specialty bus tours, you won’t be able to hop on and off at your leisure. That said, your professional tour guide will provide a lot of valuable details you might not learn about on other bus tours. If you decide not to take the tour, you’ll have until 24 hours before it begins to get a full refund.

Unfortunately, this bus tour is still very new and they do not yet have any ratings. Even so, they provide a somewhat unique service that you won’t find with other companies, so you might still want to give this one a chance.

 


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Night & 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

  • €25 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.

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). Many customers have left comments indicating that they appreciate the atmosphere created by the decorations on the bus and the tour guides themselves who dress the part for this spooky outing. While some guests were more interested in the information provided, others enjoyed the humorous and fun experience. 

 


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.

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 Passes

There are a few different ways to save money on Dublin bus tours. One option is to purchase a discount pass, but you could also choose to get a combo deal instead.

This section will provide all the information you need to get a better deal on bus tours and other services in Dublin.

 

 


The Dublin Pass

This tourist pass will allow you to pay one flat price for a wide variety of attractions and activities in Dublin. Rather than pay per activity, you’ll pay for either a 1, 2, 3 or 5-day pass which you can use at over 30 locations such as the Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, the EPIC: Irish Emigration Museum and more.

In addition to free admission to several popular sites, you’ll also receive a free hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

For more information on this opportunity, make sure to read our post about Dublin tourist passes.


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
    • €44 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
    • €38 per person

EPIC Museum Combo

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Entry to EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum
    • €30 per person

GPO Witness History Combo

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Entry to GPO Witness History Exhibit
    • €27 per person

Purchase or learn more about these discount packages