There are a few companies that do the 'tour bus' route in Dublin. They all do the same route (as far as I can work out) and cahrge the same prices. The only exception to this is the 'viking splash' tour that takes to the waters.
Sourbugger and co took the Dublin bus version for no other reason than there was an offer on one of those 'voucher' websites that brought it in at 6 euro per adult rather than the extortionate 18 euro that is usually charged.
On the plus side the ticket lasts 2 days (and as far as I can work out you could arrange with another couple to swap the tickets after day 1), children under 16 are free and in the summer they throw in a free walking tour as well.
Approximately one-thirds of the buses are 'multilingual' where you can pug into a pre-recorded tape in a variety of languages. The majority feature a 'live commentry'. The trick here is to do a 'full circuit', taking about 90 mins with a guide you like before using the buses as a 'hop on-hop off' service. The best guides have the gift of the gab, or have 'kissed the Blarney stone' as we say here, but also may treat to you some wry Dublin humour, the odd song and even the odd comment on locals going about their everyday business.
Try to sit towards the front upstairs as hearing the commentry can be a little difficult when its windy or noisy.
Oh yes, and I almost forgot, you might pick up some of the history too,
A 1 hour 15 minutes fully Guided Tour. There are 19 stops each located at the more popular attractions, where you can hop off visit an attraction and hop on the next bus (every 15 minutes).
It covers not only the usual tourist attractions but also the Guiness Store House and Jamesons Distillery. By the end of the tour you are usually life-long friends with everyone on the bus, including the driver.
It also shows you parts of the city you would never normally get to see.
We joined one of the free walking tours of Dublin. The tour lasted three hours, with just one short break of about 20 minutes. It was a very interesting tour, covering a lot of Irish history and Dublin sights. Of course, there was not time to go into great depth, but for a short overall introduction into Dublin this walking tour was great.Our tour guide was Ali and he even played some Irish music for us.
My favourite story was the one about the memorial plaque on O'Connell bridge. Someone had put this plaque there, in memory of Pat Noise who"died under suspicious circumstances"...
Only he had not, since he had never even lived. When the city authorities found out - two years later - they wanted to remove the plaque. The people,however, loved the story and put flowers and candles there, and now the plaque can still be seen.You can read the whole story here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Pat_Noise
Had I not been told about this plaque, I would have walked right past it and not seen it at all. This is the great advantage of the walking tours, if you have a good tour guide you get to see things you'd miss otherwise.
The tour is really free, the tour guides are paid by tips only. Ali certainly deserved his tips, he was doing a great job.
The pace of the tour is fast, it's not for anyone who has trouble walking.
We have travelled to many cities throughout the world but Dublin is the first time we have taken a Hop On Hop Off Bus. We were so tired from our flight from Australia I said we should try the Hop On Hop Of Bus.
What a treat, we sat on the top deck and watched the city go by accompanied by a good commentary. In the main city area the traffic was slow which gave us more time to enjoy the sights and take photos. It was overcast and the rain held off until the tour finished.
The tour takes approximately 90 minutes with 23 stops at Places of Interest. We used the bus for an overview of the city and only left the bus at Stop #15 Kilmainham Goal where we took another tour for an hour.
Back on the bus 2 hours later we continued to the last stop #23 Writers Museum at Parnell Square North.
These tours are ideal for a city overview or visitors with limited time. With Seniors discount the cost was 13.50. Good Value.
Thef Hop on Hop off tours are designed to give tourist freedom to explore Dublin. You ride a double decker bus, with open top and explore Dublin while listenting to live commentary from the guide (in one of the tours it is the driver, in the other a separate guide).
Since all guides are locals they are very entertaining and can show you the city in the specific way - not only boring (not always) historical facts, but jokes, anegdotes everything very amusing. The tour have a lot of attractions along its route and you can freely get off the bus, tour the attriacition and hop back on when you are done. The buses opperate frequently (every 5-10 minutes) so you don't waste too much time waiting. The tickets are valid 24 hour which allows you to see as much as possible, you could even start your Dublin tour in the afternoon and come back to see more the following morning. (have in mind though that major tourist attriactions close at 5pm in Dublin).
There are a couple of tours that opperate right now in Dublin, their routes do not vary that much (Dublin Bus tour enters Pheonix Park and the others don't), but the Red and Yellow buses have combined ticket so you can enter both of them at a stop (you'll now what I am talking about once you are there). If you are not sure which one to pick ask at the Tourist Office at O'Connell's street (where you purchase tickets and where most the buses start their tour).
The prices for this tour are: 15,50 or 16 euro for the City Sightseeing bus (students 12,50 or 13).
This is a great way to get an overview of city of Dublin, plus its history on context with the rest of Ireland. The tours are guided expertly (we found) by graduate history students from Trinity College. You can make reservations, or just meet them at the appointed time and place. The cost cheap.
WEAR WARM CLOTHES!
Take a tour of Dublin on a bus, its a "Hop on, Hop off" service which means that you can leave the tour at any time to see a site and continue the tour when it suits you. The running commentary that the bus driver provides is humourous and informative.
This walking tour starts at Trinity College, and lasts around 2 hrs. Our guide was very eccentric, which kept us quite entertained. The tour went around Dublin, and its stops included Trinity College, Dublin Castle, City Hall, Temple Bar, and a couple other historically significant spots. Our guide was very informative, and gave us a great history lesson on Ireland. I would highly recommend this tour; it was a lot of fun, and gave me a great backround on Dublin.
What do you need to see to see Dublin- I doubt if any two people will agree on this, but here are a few things to include on your list.
A building by James Gandon,
The GPO (General Post Office)
The Bag ladies
The Garden of Remembrance
A City Centre Park
An Art Gallery
Dail Eireann (Parliament)
How are you going to manage all this? Go to the spike and Follow me!
On leaving trinity turn left, towards Grafton St. Molly Malone is across the street on your right. A good statue, It faces south (as the majority of Dublin Statues do, to catch the sun) but is so close to two buildings, it is rarely sunlit and it is hard to get a good picture. You might feel Grafton Street drawing you in, but resist! I will bring you back here shortly. Carry on down Nassau St, take the third Right, Kildare st. The building on the corner (righthand side) is worth a look. Look closely at the windows. Impressed?
(Art stop- to go to the national gallery go straight instead of right. it is the sandy coloured building a short distance up.)
If you haven't crossed the river, do so now. The building you are looking at is the Sunlight Chambers, once owned by Unilever, and the murals depict the making of soap. City hall is nearby, but you will be there soon enough so move on, nothing to see here, continue along the river to the next bridge.
I'm not sure why a lot of people don't like to do the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, but I'm all for it. Especially when time is limited. We found this to be a great form of transportation around the city. And since the tour guides on all the buses were locals, we got a pretty good history lesson too.
Just keep in mind that the Guinness Brewery closes pretty early and it's one of the furthest stops on the bus tour (we didn't get the brewery tour, but we were able to visit the shop - and isn't that what's important? :)
This Company has daytours on offer and I shall give you some examples here.
First day trip: GLENDALOUGH, POWERSCOURT GARDENS AND WICKLOW PANORAMA.
THIS REALLY is an UNFORGETTABLE tour of the "Garden of Ierland" before visiting St. Kevin's Monastic settlements and a panoramic drive across the Wicklow Mountains featuring the rugged beauty of the Wicklow Gap.
Powerscourt House & Gardens are an excellent example of a more aristocratic age displaying splendid statuary and fine furnishings.
High Season: Daily, May 1st - October 31st.
Departs 10.30AM and returns 5.45PM
IN THE LAST OF THESE 4 TIPS I SHALL GIVE YOU ALL WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN MAKE RESERVATIONS (BOOK).
The departure Point = always Central Bus Station (Busaras)
THIS INCLUDES: kilkenny city (very nice place), Duiske Abbey and Nore Valley Drive.
In Kilkenny you will find a very fine Cathedral, the Black Abbey, a very fine church and.......KILKENNY CASTLE which is great especially when you have a guided tour!
This Tour is on Wednesdays only....
4th June - 24th September
How to book: www.buseireann.ie
On the phone: For credit cards bookings using Visa, Accesss or Mastercard, phone Dublin: 873 5022, office hours
In your hotel: your Hotel Porter may book for you phoning: 873 5022 after hours/weekends
In Person: Bus Eireann desk, Tourist centre Suffolk street, DUBLIN 2
Bus Eireann desk, 59 Upr. O'Connell street DUBLIN 1
DUBLIN Tourism: 14/15 Upr. O"Connell street, DUBLIN 1
Central Bus Station, Storestreet, DUBLIN 1
Dublin Tourism, Ferry Terminal, Dun Laoghaire.
The third Tour: CLONMACNOISE and Locke's Distillery Museum.
Visit the early Christian site founded by St. Ciaran in the 6th Century featuring the ruins of a cathedral and round towers (situated on the riverbank or the river Shannon!)
Return via Locke's Whiskey Distillery to sample one of Ireland's finest Whiskies.
On Tuesdays only!
10th June - 16th September
This is the newest TRIP and for departure hours I should advise you to make a phonecall, email or have a look at their website.
All addresses and phone numbers I shall give you in the 4th tip (too many to put here!!