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Dublin Hop on Hop off bus

I will be in Dublin only one day, by cruise ship. There are 2 hop o hop off buses in Dublin. I have written to both of them and can't get a straight answer. Which is the better bus to take? (has the most stops) and is there a stop I can get on the bus near to the cruise port?
The cruise line does not offer the hop on hop off bus. With the pandemic situation I don't know if the cruise will be cancelled. It is for August. I would rather pay in Dublin at the bus stop. Can I do this? This is one of many tours I am booking. I do not want to book a bunch of tours and have to track down refunds.

Any help would be appreciated

Thank you


Posted by
1565 posts

Best is a matter of opinion. What do you want to accomplish? If you want a sightseeing tour both buses will probably do, but if you want a way to get from A to B, the regular public transport is probably a better option.

Posted by
6051 posts

If you haven’t already done so do a Google image search of “Dublin hop on hop off” and it will bring up maps of the routes showing the stops. Obviously these could be subject to change when the routes are back in action but it will give you an idea.

I have never known a hop on bus service that didn’t take payments at the stops or on the bus so I wouldn’t worry about booking ahead.

With the lock down I can’t imagine they have many, if any, people working in their offices to answer queries at the moment and even if they are there with all the ongoing uncertainty they probably will struggle to give you a “straight answer” to your queries.

For more information on things like this I have always found comments on Tripadvisor helpful to work out the practicalities of how things work in real life.

Posted by
3060 posts

Hi, Michelle! I feel your pain in trying to do the best for planning and yet remaining flexible.

The most telling part of your question was the phrase, "I will be in Dublin only one day." If I were only going to have one day in Dublin, I would not want to waste time (which is valuable) waiting for a "hop on /hop off bus" to arrive to take me places. If you are wanting to take it simply for an overview of the city, that would make more sense. In either case, your first step needs to be to prioritize what it is that you really want to see in Dublin. Then look at the route maps online and decide which meets your needs.

Many locations are not far from each other when walking or a tram will take you there fairly quickly. I will tell you, that if I were limited on time, I would not put "The Book of Kells" high on my must see list. The entire experience was fairly disappointing.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Castle and spending some time just walking about.

Posted by
1796 posts

Will you be alone? We stopped while on a cruise and hired a private driver through He picked us up at the pier, and took us on a prearranged itinerary. We started at Kilmainham Goal, Guinness storehouse, St Patrick’ Cathedral, then the castle. We ate fish and chips at a place near the castle, Leo Burdocks, then walked around the university grounds. We ended on grafton street for a little shopping. He then dropped us back at the ship in plenty of time. We were 4 adults. We had emailed back and forth and he let us know the times to pre-book the Goal and Storehouse. The other places we just winged it. If I remember, at the time, 2016, we paid around $400.

Posted by
7963 posts

Viator is a 3rd party booker, as indicated owned by TA. I would not book thru Viator for anything - too many disappointing comments on TA and other forums regarding having to deal with them. Plus, according to others here who have tour companies Viator charges a huge amount to the company for their booking "service". Go direct to the company you choose.

It looks like the tour company Viator books is City Sightseeing so if you go with them, I'd want to pay on the spot to the company for that tour.

You've probably come across this page for the Dublin TI office regarding Ho-ho tours.

Posted by
1174 posts

See my response to your Glasgow post.

Posted by
9069 posts

I have taken the HOHO bus in Dublin. I went with the "red" bus company but the route of both companies offering the tour are basically the same. Take the "Original" tour.

There is no need to prebook. Just get to any of the stops and you can buy a ticket from the driver. Most take cash or credit cards. Seriously, I have taken HOHO buses in numerous cities and have never had a problem buying a ticket from the driver. In fact, you will see lots of people around the city selling tickets for these tours. (There might even be people at the cruise port selling tickets including transportation to the HOHO bus. They will be dressed in either red or green depending on the cruise company.)

In one day you aren't going to have a lot of time to get on and off. Some sites, like the Kilmainham Gaol need reservations made well in advance or you might have to wait a long time for a no-show. You could also wait awhile for the Book of Kells/Trinity Library. And if crowds are back when you get to Dublin the Guiness Storehouse will also be busy.

My suggestion is to look at the tour route and see what is important for you to actually get off and visit.

Right now, of course, the tours are not running. No one knows what the schedule will be in August or the frequency of buses.

Posted by
76 posts

We had a poor experience with the "Green Bus." Very long wait times. Several competitor's buses came while we waited at the Guiness Storehouse. Possibly an isolated issue. Just saying...

Posted by
163 posts

I thank all the good advice I have received here. Maybe the HO Ho is not a good idea. I talked to hubby last night and what we think we want to do is get a cab or something to Dublin Castle and to St Pats Cathedral. That are our 2 must sees. Then he can spend the rest of the day pub hopping.. It is Ireland after all and his last name is Doyle.

Does this sound like a good idea? and does anyone knw of St Pats and the Castle are close to each other? If possible we might do a distillery if close by.. But hubby can just buy his drinks in pubs no need for tour freebees.


Posted by
9069 posts

St. Patrick's is about 10-15 minute walk (depending on how fast you walk) from Dublin Castle. You will pass Christchurch Catherdral on the way. From St. Patrick's it's about a 10 minute walk to the Teelings Distillery.

The entire HOHO tour takes about two hours. You could take it to the Dublin Castle stop. Get off to see Dublin Castle, walk to St. Patrick's (it may be faster than waiting for the HOHO bus) and then walk to the Teelings Distillery. The HOHO bus stops at Teelings Distillery so you could pick it up there and take it until you come to the stop where you originally boarded.

This is the company I went with. City Sightseeing has HOHO buses all over the world.

Posted by
1190 posts

I like franks suggestions. Seems like we saw both st pat's and christ church and may have walked the outer walls at the castle.... I remember a Canon.