Dublin bus tours

Best bus tours in Dublin

Taking a bus tour in Dublin is a great way to cover a lot of ground in a shorter amount of time. There are plenty of bus tour options to help you see the best that Ireland’s capital city has to offer, from ticking off the big sights like the James Joyce Centre, Trinity College and St Patrick’s Cathedral to hearing lesser-known and slightly creepy stories on a night time Ghostbus tour. There’s also unique comedy bus tours available as well as ambient evening bus tours, as well as day-trip excursions that transport you through the rolling countryside to historic castles and quaint fishing villages.

  1. Hop-on-hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour
  2. The Glendalough and Powerscourt Gardens Bus Tour
  3. The Malahide Castle and Howth Bus Tour
  4. Ghostbus Tour
  5. Comedy Bus Tour
  6. Night Bus Tour

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Hop-on-hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

One of the top Dublin tours is the humble hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus tour, which allows you to tick off a number of key sights and attractions without having to navigate public transport by yourself. And even if you don’t want to get off the bus, you can stay onboard (if the weather’s nice, sit in the open top deck) and listen to an audio guide commentary as you pass by iconic landmarks like Dublin Castle and St. Stephen’s Green. Even better, the tickets range from single to multi-day options, so you don’t have to cover everything in one go; and if there is something you want to revisit or make the visit to, you’ll know where to go.

Best for: Flexible itineraries.

Top tip: Be sure to stop off at the National Art Gallery and Guinness Storehouse, both cultural institutions in their own right.

2. The Glendalough and Powerscourt Gardens Bus Tour

Leave behind the city life of Ireland’s capital on the Glendalough and Powerscourt Gardens tour, undoubtedly one of the most picturesque Dublin tours you can take. The first stop from Dublin is Glendalough, where you’ll have the chance to wander around the serene lakes, explore the crumbling remains of a monastic city and appreciate the beauty of this tranquil area. Once the bus passes through Wicklow and Enniskerry, you’ll reach Powerscourt Gardens, a historic house that dates back to the Georgian period. Here you can wander around the tranquil Japanese gardens, choose a souvenir from the many traditional shops and stalls and stop for lunch. During the tour, you’ll receive a commentary of the area you’re passing from an expert guide.

Best for: Historic Ireland.

Top tip: This is a half-day tour, so you still have time to explore other parts of Dublin afterwards.

3. The Malahide Castle and Howth Bus Tour

If you’re browsing Dublin holiday packages and are wondering which day trips to take, the Malahide Castle and Howth bus tour is a good option. Departing at 11am, the first stop-off is at the 12th century Malahide Castle, where you’ll receive a guided tour (included in admission price). With its circular turrets partly covered by growing flora, it has a fairytale-esque feel to it. Afterwards, you’ll venture onto Howth harbour, a seaside favourite with the locals. Here is the perfect opportunity to scoff fish and chips while watching the colourful boats in the harbour; and keep an eye out for seals! But that’s not all; on the return journey, the bus takes you around Dublin, so you still get a good look at the city from the comfort of the bus.

Best for: Day excursions.

Top tip: Ask your tour guide to sing a Dublin song or two.

4. Ghostbus Tour

Become familiar with Dublin’s dark side on a spooky Ghostbus tour, where stories are recounted with no gory detail spared. The storytellers put on a great act as the bus navigates through key spooky points of the city centre, from graveyards and St Audoen's Church to medieval quarters; when you get off to explore a particular area, just hope you don’t bump into any unwanted ghouls... During the tour, you’ll learn more than you want to know about body snatching, notorious surgeons and fictional character inspiration.

Best for: Alternative tours.

Top tip: Travelling with kids? Book onto the Ghostbus Kids Tour.

5. Comedy Bus Tour

If you’re up for a laugh, book onto a Comedy bus tour. During the one-hour tour, there aren’t any stop-offs, but chances are you won’t want to leave anyway. Professional comedians take to the converted stage on the bus and, as you’re driven around various hotspots of the city, your comedic guide will tell you the funniest stories and jokes all about Dublin, its attractions and its people.

Best for: A laugh a minute.

Top tip: Once the tour has ended, you can revisit any spots in your own time – and with a smile on your face!

6. Night Bus Tour

The after-dark tours aren’t only the ghostly, spooky ones; in fact, one of the most picturesque ways to see Dublin is on a Night Bus Tour, where the streetlights illuminate the historic buildings, iconic bridges and romantic landmarks of Dublin. This is another hop-on-hop-off tour, but with a difference, as music is played along the way to add to the ambience.

Best for: Evening tours.

Top tip: Buy a tourist Dublin Pass, which can be better value for money than buying tickets for individual tours and attractions.

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