Hop-on Hop-off City Bus Tour

hop on hop off Busker on Dublin's Grafton Street2

On the 12th of March I went on the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour of Dublin City with a friend of mine.

We had gone on similar bus tours of Edinburgh, Barcelona and Budapest and found them a great way of getting to know a city. Even as a local, it was brilliant craic exploring the history and culture of Dublin.

The buses come every 10 to 15 minutes and the tour usually lasts around 1hr 30mins, if you just stay on the bus. It can take a bit longer if you are hopping on and off at different destinations. Two Day Tickets are €18, or €16 for seniors and students, but that doesn’t cover the cost of admission to any exhibits. They run daily from 9am to 6.30pm and you can hop on at any of the 24 stops. Both a “live” English speaking tour and a multilingual pre-recorded tour are available on the same route.

We set off from Cathal Brugha Street. On Abbey Street Corner, the driver gave us the history of the Spire and the GPO before we moved on to Trinity College, where we got to see the Book of Kells. From there, it was on to Nassau Street and the National Gallery, Leinster House and the Dead Zoo. After St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street (where you can see numerous street entertainers and buskers, pictured) we turned into Temple Bar and Dame Street and down to see Dublin Castle, Cork Hill and Christ Church/Dublinia, all of huge historical interest. This was followed by a great tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

We got off for some light refreshments at the Guinness Storehouse, St. James’s Gate before getting back on the bus for the Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham Gaol and the Royal Hospital.

We went to Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park, the third oldest zoo in the world after Paris and London, before pushing on to Ryan’s Victorian Bar on Parkgate Street, where Bill Clinton is known to have a drink when he’s in Ireland. The National Museum and Collins Barracks were next followed by a hop-off at the Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield, where we had to sample the best whiskey in the world.

We headed back towards the city centre passing the Four Courts, Ormond Quay and Bachelors Walk and ended up once again on Upper O’Connell Street. This time with a better view of the Spire from a southern perspective and a little more history on the GPO before finally going to the Writers’ Museum on Parnell Square North, the final stop.

A great day out, especially if the sun shines.

By Jason McDonnell
Photo by Karen Madsen