Dublin Bus, Dublin
A couple of times I used the local buses to go around Dublin. Dublin has an extensive Bus network and this was an easy way to get around the city.
Dublin is divided up into 'stages' and the cost of your ticket will depend on the number of 'stages travelled'.
Stages and Prices
1 - 3: EUR 0,90
4 - 7: EUR 1,30
8 - 13: EUR 1,50
14 - 23: EUR 1,75
Over 23: EUR 1,85
For more information on fares and 'stages' check out: http://www.dublinbus.ie/fares_and_tickets/fares.asp#1
First of all make sure you have the correct change on you cause if you throw extra money into the slot you can only reclaim the difference at the bus HQ in Upper O'Connell street.
There is a small inner city zone in which you will only be charged 50c otherwise your fare is more likely to be Eur1.15. The 16A bus goes to the airport and costs Eur2.20 but apparently takes about an hour.
Buses are slow in Dublin due to the congestion but also fairly frequent. Be warned that as O'Connell street is very long your bus stop may be a bit of a walk away particulary annoying if you have a heavy backpack. Ring the bell for your driver to stop.
Why pay €45 for a taxi from Dublin Airport to the heart of the city?
The one-day bus pass, which is available from the ticket machines opposite the bus stop allow one day's travel on all Dublin buses.
We were able to use this extensively to get around the city on an extremely rainy day.
For a few Euros more you can add DART usage to the pass.
Dublin Bus actually has improved enormously over the past 15 years, thanks to lots of things like investment and neccessity :-) But fair play to them, they did improve. The only issue about this now is that unless you know exactly where you are going and when to get off then you could very easily get lost. Asking the driver to give you a shout when you get to your destination has often led to long journeys and no shouts. Don't rely on this. Other passengers will be more reliable.
I recently visited friends living in the Dublin area and found the public transportation very friendly and easy to use.
First, visit the city center comonly known as St. Stephens Green. From there you catch a tour bus to visit all the city's major tourist attractions. The buses run from early morning till around 5 or 6 pm. You pay one fee around $13 euro and can catch a ride all day long traveling the downtown area. There are only two or three city tour bus companies which are color coded and they have stops every few blocks. I never waited more than 10 minutes to catch a ride to a different location. It was an easy, safe, and smart way to easily navagate the city and get my bearings.
After feeling more confident with the area I typically walked or caught a local city bus for about $1.50 euro. There are so many buses but the locals are more than friendly if you should need help. I found that the merchants often had bus schedules and that they were more than happy to assist me to figure out which one I needed to catch.
While my friends worked durring the week I set out on some day trips to Waterford and other areas. You can take a train called the DART to many areas. I booked online and took taxi to my destinations. Many taxis will offer you a card so that you can call them for a ride back to the station that same evening. If you give thier card to a merchant and make a kind request, they will call for you.
Overall, my exsperience in Ireland was very nice and hassle free. The Irish are sooo friendly and accomodating. As a single female traveling alone throughout the week I never once felt afraid for my safety or worried about being scammed. Basic rule of thumb, don't be afraid to ask for assistance. It's so easy to get around with mutiple modes of public transportation available. Taxis are great, but seriously, the tour bus runs all day long you can hop on and off as many times as you want for one fee and see the whole city.
One last tip. Wear a light weight fleece or windbreaker at all times. It rains daily somewhere there for a few minutes at any given time. Get a compact umbrella to put in a purse or pocket. Wear good walking shoes. The cities are small and easy to navigate if you have decent footwear.
Awhile back I met a woman here in Germany who used to work in Dublin. The one thing she always complained about was the buses and how they were never on-time. I've since lost touch with her but her complaints stuck in my mind and when I decided to go to Dublin I felt prepared to be standing forever waiting for the bus. When I got there I found that the mental preparation wasn't needed. The buses were quick and on-time everytime I wanted one, except once and even then the next one came punctually. Who knows what became of the one that never showed up
So Dublin bus is easy to use if you know where you want to go and even easier if you have some idea how to get there in the first place. Being a "planner" I looked all of that up before hand on their website (Link provided below). I decided for getting around Dublin for 5 days and needing to go to and from the airport the 5 Day Dublin Rambler ticket was the best way to go. It is good on the AirLink buses as well as all regualr Dublin bus services. I wasnt sure if I would really use it on the regular buses since Dublin is rather compact but after so much walking, especially to Guinness I was glad I went ahead and bought it.
Rambler tickets come in 1, 3, 5, and 7 days. Prices availble on the Dublin Bus website under daily fares. They can be purchased at the Tourist information center or CIE Bus and Rail Info at the Arrivals level of Dublin Airport or at Dublin Bus at 59 Upper O'Connell Street.
Buses in Dublin are not very reliable but if you want a really interesting experience get the nightlink and you'll see what I mean.
4Euros (in coins they shout) and they run every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 4am.
At the bus station on O'Connell, you can buy a month-long pass for about 80 euor or a weekly pass for about 20 and get bus-taking directions to any spot you want to visit in or around Dublin. I enjoye taking the bus, talking to locals and getting some good advice about what to see and do during my visits on my rides.
Always late (blame the traffic, not the actual bus :) , awkward, and stinking. What can you do. Keep in mind that your bus fare depends on where you're going. For example 1-3 stages you'd be paying 1 euro, and anythink over 23 stages would cost you 1,90.
So do your math and decide if you want to buy daily, weekly, family,..or any other type of tickets in advance instead.
Nitelink is always 4 euro. It doesn't usually go from the same spot as your "normal day-time bus" and the number could be different so check it first. There is no nitelink on Mondays.
If you come via Dublin airport, I recommend getting the bus to your destination. If you pop into some of the shops at the airport then you should be able to get a family day ticket for the buses, which lasts all day. This only cost us 7.50 euros - for the both of us, and you can hop in and off at your leisure.
The normal cost of the ticket to the hotel in the City would have cost us 5 euros each - one way!
We got our tickets simply by buying some mints, and the lady at the cash register simply offered us the chance to buy them.
I bought a 3 day rambler ticket for 9.50 euros from the Bus Information desk inside the airport. You can buy these tickets for 1, 3, 5 or a week long period. This ticket entitles you to a seat on the 747 or 748 - Airlink Buses (see photo) from right outside the aiport into the city centre. It also gives you unlimited travel for 3 days on all scheduled Dublin Buses inside the city. Excellent value seeing as it costs you about a euro for a single journey. The buses seemed to arrive every ten minutes and were very well maintained. Buy a rambler ticket and explore the city yourself avoid the crap bus tours that are too expensive.
Extensive (though rarely punctual) Bus service around Dublin city and suburbs.
Some routes are regularly changed to work around the roadworks going on in the city centre for Luas. Check the Dublin Bus link.
When boarding you can either pay the driver (and queue longer) or use a pre-paid ticket and get a seat before everyone else. I recommend getting a pre-paid ticket. You can get them in newsagents where you see the Dublin Bus Sign. Tourists usually get the Rambler tickets, where you can go whereever you want in either 3, 5, or 7 days.
Again, check the link to see the types of pre-paid tickets. You cannot use these pre-paid tickets for the Nightlink or the Airport bus.
Buses - These get really complicated and in recent years Dublin Bus don't publish a general timetable anymore either so it pays to have internet access when sussing out bus times. The city service is divided into different types - smaller buses (Imps) that run very frequently on shorter routes and larger doubledeckers that run less frequently on longer routes. On top of that you also have Dart Feeder buses, Nightlink (after pub closing time) buses on special routes and Car Park Feeder buses. Fare is paid (you must have exact change) into a machine when boarding, having told the driver where you are going. Alternatively a daily or weekly travel card can be 'swiped' on boarding. Locating the correct bus stops in the city centre for the correct route number can be a real pain. In the end it's quicker to ask a local!
Take num 41 is the cheapest one, only 2.20 euros, it runs on about a 20 minute frequency and in 30 minutes you reach Dublin, take the correct fare because driver don’t give you any change. The bus stop on Dublin airport is next to stop number 747, there is a vending machine in the stop where you can buy the ticket. The bus line has stops on Lower Gardiner Street and Lower Abbey Street just off to Busaras and O´connell Street.*
Run by Dublin Sightseeing, which also runs the Dublin Hop On Hop Off Tours, the Ghost Bus Tour is the macabre introduction to Dublin. It features sites connected with Bram Stoker (author of "Dracula" - betcha didn't know he was a Dubliner, didja?!?), the Haunted Steps, St. Kevin's Graveyard (bodysnatching) and others.
My daughter, upon hearing me breathlessly describe this even thought I was saying "ghostbusters"!!
You can order tickets on-line with the benefit of garnering a 15% discount off the 28 euro price.
Photo: April 2010