Hop On Hop Off Dublin Bus Tours

This post provides details about each of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours available in Dublin. We’ll include information about ticket prices, opportunities to save money, and more.

 

 


PROS AND CONS OF HOP-ON-HOP-OFF BUS TOURS

If you’re interested in doing some Dublin sightseeing, hop-on-hop-off bus tours are one of the most popular ways to see the city.

That said, there are some factors you may want to consider before purchasing a ticket.

This section will cover the pros and cons of these services to help you make a decision about whether or not this type of bus tour meets your expectations.


Pros of Hop-On-Hop-Off Buses

Hop-on-Hop-off bus tours can be very helpful for travelers trying to learn about Dublin. Here are a few reasons you may find this service very valuable.

 

Big Bus Hop On Hop Off Dublin Tours

 

Excellent City Overview

There are a lot of different things to see and do in Dublin, and these bus tours provide a great general overview of most notable landmarks.

These tours typically take between 1 ½ – 2 hours to complete, making it easy to get acclimated as quickly as possible. 

Live Tour Guides

If you have any questions about Dublin, you can ask a live tour guide for information. They will also point out most of the popular and historically relevant locations in the city as you make your way around town.

Great Transportation

After you’re done with the tour, you can use your ticket for transportation. Considering that hop-on-hop-off bus tours offer stops at or near the most popular areas of Dublin, this is actually a great way to get around the city.

Flexible Tours

As the name implies, these bus tours allow you to jump off and explore various areas of Dublin at your own leisure. When you’re ready to continue your tour, you can hop back on the bus and pick up where you left off!

Reasonably Priced

Each hop-on-hop-off bus tour is pretty affordable, and their value just increases with each day you add on to the service.

Longer tickets typically include additional activities and attractions for just a few euros more, and they usually cost less per day than a 1-day ticket.

You can also save money on these services by using a Dublin tourist pass!


Cons of Hop-On-Hop-Off Buses

Although there are several benefits to taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, these services aren’t designed for everyone. Here are a few factors you may want to consider before making your purchase.

 

Do Dublin Bus Tour Hop On Hop Off

 

Basic Commentary

These bus tours can help you learn a little bit about Dublin, but they don’t dive deep into the history of this city. If you’re looking for more details, consider taking a walking tour instead.

Not Very Efficient

If you’ve got a limited amount of time to spend in Dublin, this isn’t necessarily the fastest or most detailed tour you could be taking.

A hop-on-hop-off bus tour is better for visitors who have at least a few hours to explore the city at their own pace.

No Seat Assignments

While a fully-guided bus tour typically provides assigned seating to ensure that you have a comfortable place to sit during your outing, seats are first-come, first-served on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

Depending on how busy the tour is, you may not be able to find a good place to sit when you climb on board.

 


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HOP-ON-HOP-OFF TOUR COMPANIES

This section lists the main tour companies that offer hop-on-hop-off experiences in Dublin. 

TIP: Before you pay full price, check out our discount section below to find discounts of up to 40%.


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.

 

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

 

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

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, 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 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.

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

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.

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

 


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NIGHT BUS TOUR

Currently, there is only one night-bus tour being offered in Dublin. Although there are other bus tours that take place after dark, this is the only sightseeing service provided in the nighttime.

 

Dublin Night Bus Tour Route

 

This panoramic tour is offered by Big Bus Tours, and it covers most of the significant landmarks in the city – with special emphasis on the most well-lit sites.

A live guide will provide commentary about the history of Dublin over the course of this 1 hour night bus tour.

  • 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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DEALS AND DISCOUNTS

The following section will cover all of the best hop-on-hop-off bus tour discounts available in Dublin, including combo packages, tourist passes and more.


The Dublin Pass

If you’re planning to enjoy more than just a few attractions or activities during your trip to Dublin, you may want to consider getting a tourist pass to save some money.

 

 

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).

While most people can save at least 30% – 40% off general admission prices by using this type of pass, it’s possible to save 50% or more.

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

Every now and then you can find great deals on hop-on-hop-off bus tours using sites such as Groupon. These services offer discounts on a variety of local activities.

On top of the deals you can get just for using a discount site, they also often provide additional coupon codes for between 10% – 20% off, allowing you to save even more money.

If you’re planning to make a purchase through a service like this, please check both the top and bottom of the page for any banners that might include coupons.

 


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