Guidebooks and other information sources keep saying that Dublin is a small city so it is easy to navigate on foot. To some extent this is correct but also bear in mind that Dublin can be very cold and wet and getting around under these circumstances is not pleasant if you are walking. As well as that there are several attractions that are much further from town than is comfortable to walk. These include the Guinness Storehouse, Collins Barracks (part of the National Museum), the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham Gaol and Phoenix Park.
If you want to get a quick feel for the city’s landmarks, I suggest you invest in a Dublin Bus City Tour ticket. These are 15 Euros for an adult and 13 Euros for a student or senior. The tour operates as a hop-on-hop-off service with stops near all the main sights. There is a commentary and your ticket entitles you to a discount to some attractions. The complete tour lasts about one and a half hours but your 24-hour ticket allows you to explore at your own pace. Buses run every 10 or 15 minutes from 9.30 am until 5pm then every 30 minutes until 6.30pm.
An extension of this is the 25 Euro Dublin Freedom ticket which allows you to use the City Tour bus, other Dublin Bus services throughout the city, and the Airlink Express service for three consecutive days. Tickets are available from the Dublin Tourism office at the airport or central Dublin, from Dublin Bus in Upper O’Connell Street or from some hotels.
During the summer months there are several organized walking tours of the central city. One is a day-time historical tour conducted by graduates from Trinity College but there are also evening Literary Pub Crawls and Musical Pub Crawls for those so inclined. Tickets for these are generally available from Dublin Tourism.
Dublin Bus operates the city’s bus routes. There is an extensive network throughout the city. This is the most effective way of getting to many parts of Dublin but it can be difficult to establish which bus goes where. Details of routes, timetables and special value tickets are available from any Dublin Tourism Office. One thing to particularly note is that the service operates an exact fare policy so no change is given. It pays to have a selection of coins ready when you board the bus as fares are dependent on age and destination.
The other two modes of public transport worth exploring are the DART, a suburban train system that links Howth to the north of the city with Bray to the south, and the tram called Luas. The DART is useful if you wish to visit any part of Dublin close to the Bay. The Luas is a modern light rail transit system that runs on two tramlines which travel through the city. Unfortunately they do not intersect anywhere so that restricts there usefulness for the visitor. The Green Line starts at St. Stephen’s Green and heads south while the Red Line travels from Tallaght in the southwest to Connolly train station in the north.