Dublin Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Don't let the rain ruin your trip to Dublin! There's a very comfortable and easy way to visit the city, and that's on board a sightseeing bus. Read on and discover all the advantages

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

5 min read

Dublin Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Sightseeing bus through the streets of Dublin | ©bug weiser

Walking is the most common way to get around a city, but it's not always the most comfortable. If you want to get out of the rain without giving up visiting Dublin or if you have little time and want to see everything the capital of Ireland has to offer, I recommend you buy a pass for the tourist bus.

1. The tourist bus in Dublin

Views of the city centre
Views of the city centre

It doesn't rain all day in Dublin, but it does rain (almost) every day. Sightseeing and getting around the city in the rain can be quite a hassle, which is why the tourist bus is so popular in the Irish capital.

How the Dublin Sightseeing Bus works

The Dublin Sightseeing Buses operate on a hop-on hop-off basis, meaning that as well as taking the whole tour, you can use the service as an additional mode of transport. For as long as your pass is valid (usually 24 or 48 hours) you can take the bus as many times as you like, hopping on and off at as many stops as you wish.

There are different tour bus companies operating in the Irish capital, but you can usually buy a 1 or 2 day tour bus pass depending on how long you are going to be in Dublin. It will be activated the first time you use it and the time you use it is counted in hours (not calendar days).

There are different points of sale in the city for each of the companies, but I recommend that you buy it online as you will receive it directly in your email, you will have a period of twelve months from the time of purchase to activate it and you can cancel it up to 24 hours before the day you start your trip to Dublin.

2. Advantages of using the Dublin sightseeing bus

Dublin from the top of the Dublin Sightseeing Bus| ©William Murphy
Dublin from the top of the Dublin Sightseeing Bus| ©William Murphy

Personally, before I used it for the first time on one of my trips, I was somewhat reticent about the concept of a sightseeing bus. For this reason, now that I have used it, I think it is important to highlight what are the advantages or differences of this service compared to the regular buses:

  • There is no limit to the number of journeys during the time your pass is active.
  • It connects all the points of interest in the city; if you follow the whole route you won't miss anything in Dublin.
  • It is much faster and more convenient than a regular bus, as the route is designed around museums, monuments and neighbourhoods that are important historically and culturally, eliminating the detours or "side" stops that regular buses do have.
  • It has panoramic views
  • It has audio commentary in several languages
  • Use entitles you to a number of additional benefits such as guided walking tours.
  • Children accompanying an adult with a pass travel free of charge.

3. 1 or 2 day pass for the Dublin sightseeing bus with free stops

St Patrick's Cathedral| ©Sonse
St Patrick's Cathedral| ©Sonse

City Sightseeing sightseeing buses are distinguishable by their red colour and double decker structure. In Dublin they are available every day of the week from 11am to 4pm with a frequency of 60 minutes.

You can buy a Dublin Sightseeing Bus Pass for one or two days. On a full 1 hour 45 minute route, the Dublin Sightseeing Bus covers sights such as Temple Bar, the Guinness Storehouse, the Cathedral and the Museum of Modern Art.

The Dublin Sightseeing Bus Pass also gives access to a number of discounts and privileges. Among all of them, I have to highlight the guided walking tours of the city centre which you can enjoy for free. Other benefits include a 10% discount on: a visit to the Irish Whiskey Museum, bike hire or selected excursions around Dublin.


  • Irish Whiskey Museum
  • Dublin Castle
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • St Patrick's Cathedral
  • The Dublin Liberties Distillery
  • Guinness Factory
  • Pearse Lyons Distillery
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art
  • Kilmainham Gaol
  • Heuston
  • Parkgate Street
  • Collins Barracks
  • Smithfield
  • Temple Bar
  • The Writers' Museum
  • O'Connell Street Upper
  • General Post Office
  • Irish Emigration Museum
  • Dublin Convention Centre
  • Windmill Lane Recording Studios
  • Ballsbridge
  • RDS Hall 1 (Main Hall)
  • Simmonscourt Road
  • Morehampton Road
  • Leeson Street Upper
  • Merrion Square South
  • Merrion Street Lower
  • Saint Stephen's Green
  • Dawson Street

Ana's Traveller Tip

Activate your pass first thing in the morning to get the most out of your usage time.

4. Dublin Pass with the Sightseeing Bus Pass included

Jameson Distillery Tour| ©Neil Turner
Jameson Distillery Tour| ©Neil Turner

If you are determined to use the sightseeing bus in Dublin, before you buy your pass I recommend you take a look at the Dublin Pass Tourist Card. With it you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Big Bus tourist bus service during 24 hours, but it also includes many other advantages that can be useful during your visit to the Irish capital.

The first thing you need to know is that you can buy online the Dublin Pass + use of the Dublin tourist bus for 24 hours and receive it conveniently in your mail along with a guide of the city without having to go to a physical point of sale once you arrive in Dublin.

You can choose between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 day options depending on how long you are going to be in the capital and the museums and places you want to visit. To get the most out of it, I would recommend a minimum of two days.

In addition to the 24-hour Dublin Sightseeing Bus Pass, the Dublin Sightseeing Pass includes discounts in shops, museums and other establishments and free access to over 25 points of interest in the city. Read more about Dublin Pass.

What's included

  • Entrance to the Guinness Factory
  • Admission to the Irish Emigration Museum
  • Entrance to St. Patrick's Cathedral
  • Entrance to Dublin Castle
  • Entrance to the Small Museum of Dublin
  • Visit to the Jameson Distillery
  • Visit to the National Wax Museum

Also, please note that many of these sites will allow you to enter directly without waiting in line. You can present your Dublin Pass in physical form or access it via the Dublin Pass mobile app.

5. If you're interested in taking a sightseeing bus tour of Dublin, you'll also be interested in

Visit Howth and be swept away by its charm| ©Ana Rey
Visit Howth and be swept away by its charm| ©Ana Rey

The ideal complement to the sightseeing bus tour is to take one of the many guided walking tours that are organised in the city centre and its different neighbourhoods. With your 24 or 48 hour pass you have free access to some of these tours, but if you want more, I invite you to visit this article about the city centre. Best Tours and Day Trips from Dublin.

On board the tourist bus you will enjoy audio commentary in several languages, but on the guided tours the guide's explanations have a completely different approach. On the tourist bus you will learn about the official history, with a local guide the legends and customs of the city will be the protagonists.