Jul 6, 2023

How To Use Dublin Public Transport: Buses

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A bus in scenic Dublin

Navigating public transport in a new city can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first day at work or class, but we’re here to help. Read on for our handy step-by-step guide to using the buses in Dublin.

There are three main types of public transport in Dublin: trams (Luas), buses, and trains (DART). Buses are the city's most widespread form of public transport, with over 136 different routes. While this is good news for anyone relying on public transport in Dublin, it can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the city.

1) Find the Best Ticket for You

Buying a Dublin bus ticket

Visitor Leap Card - If you want to make the most of your trip

If you plan to commute almost every day for work or class, then buying a Visitor Leap Card is best. These versatile travel cards allow you to hop on and off an unlimited number of trams, buses, and trains during a set time period. This is a great idea if you want to experience as much as possible while you’re in Dublin. With a Leap Card, you don’t have to worry about taking the wrong bus or train because your fare is already paid for.

How to Buy a Visitor Leap Card: Leap cards can be purchased online in advance and delivered to your door. If you don’t have time to wait around, you can buy them at the Wrights Airport Conv Store (T1 Arrivals) or the Dublin City Centre Bus Office on Upper O’Connell Street.

Single/Return Tickets - If you’ll be using the bus sparingly

For those who will only be taking the occasional trip, buying single or return tickets for individual journeys means you won’t be wasting any money.

How to Buy a Dublin Bus Ticket: Single bus tickets can be bought on the bus directly from the driver. An adult fare won’t ever succeed €2 and drivers don’t give change, so make sure to bring coins.

Top-Up Leap Cards - The best option if you don’t have a Visitor Card

Regular leap cards are the best option if you don’t want to commit to a prepaid card. A bit like a London Oyster card, they can be topped up online or using the tram, train, or bus station ticket machines. They also offer up to 30% discounts on adult and young adult single fairs.

How to Buy a Leap Card: You can order Leap Cards online. It initially costs €5, but this is reimbursed when you start using the card.

2) Plan Your Route

Explore Dublin like a pro by using the bus

There are so many routes in Dublin that it can easily feel overwhelming trying to find the right stop. If you're feeling a bit lost, try entering your destination on Google Maps. The app will often give you exact routes telling you where to get on and off, making the whole process a lot easier. Alternatively, timetables can be found online or at bus stops/stations around Dublin.

3) Start Your Journey

A fair day over the gorgeous River Liffey

When the right bus approaches, make sure to flag down the bus otherwise the driver may not stop. After you board, you can either buy a ticket from the driver or tap your leap card at the point near the doors.

The next destination is always announced on a screen at the front of the bus. When you're about to approach the correct stop, make sure to press the 'stop' button.

Unlike trams, there's no need to 'tap out' when you reach your destination. Simply exit the bus and enjoy the sights!

Studying English in Dublin gives you the chance to visit attractions around the city and take day trips to scenic destinations like Howth and Malahide Castle. If you'd like to combine language learning with cultural immersion, take a look at our English Language courses in Ireland.

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