If you find yourself unable to use a car in Ireland like me, this itinerary will help you discover the best of Ireland by bus!
The trains in Ireland are kind of expensive, so if you have five days to see as much as you can, bus Eireann is your best option! If you want more links to the bus stops/times, go here!
Day 1: Dublin/Galway
Day 2: Galway
Day 3: Ballybunion
Day 4: Dingle
Day 5: Dublin
So! If you’ve read any of my other Ireland posts, you’ll notice that I was unable to use a rental car and was stranded for the night at the Dublin airport. To make the most of it, I immediately purchased a ticket to Galway, Ireland. I knew that there was one thing I HAD to see, and that was the Cliffs of Moher.
I boarded the first direct bus to Galway which left at 5:50 am and was to Galway from the Airport.
To find the airport bus station, walk out of the main exit, walk across the first street and you will walk through the next building. It has a cafe in it but in general its just a small, silver, building. Once you walk out the other side, you will see the bus stops and numbers.
The journey takes about 3 1/2 hours, so as soon as you get to Galway make your way to your hostel to store your luggage.
I stayed at Salmon Weir Hostel and was happy with the cost and function of the hostel.
After I dropped off my stuff at the hostel, I walked around the town and took some pictures.
You can a more in-depth itinerary of my one day trip to Galway HERE.
After making my last stop for the evening the grocery store, I made dinner at the hostel and called it an early night because I was desperately in need of a good night’s sleep.
I woke up around 11, walked to LIDL conveniently located right down the street & grabbed makings for lunch and my late breakfast.
I went back to the hostel, packed up a day pack & went to the bus station for the bus to the Cliffs of Moher. For 20€ return ticket, I was able to board the 350 line and make my way to the Cliffs.
I arrived at 15:15, so be prepared for a long drive, but an oh so stunning drive. The scenic drive is incredible.
The Cliffs are free to go to, so just make sure you bundle up and bring your camera.
The wind on top of the cliffs is quite strong, and the weather is very unpredictable. It could be pouring one minute and calm and sunny the next.
The return bus from the Cliffs picks you up at 18:20, and this is the last bus back, so MAKE SURE YOU are on it. Or you may be walking…
Thankfully, grabbing the last bus allows you to get breathtaking sunset pictures….
The bus gets you back around 20:30, so it’ll be a late dinner, but you can also spend some time in the local pubs!
I woke up early to catch the bus to Limerick.
In Limerick, I spent three hours just walking around and taking in the history of the city.
If you want a more in detail Limerick walking guide, click here.
From Limerick, I caught the bus to Listowel and another coach to Ballybunion.
I ended up in Ballybunion around 17:00, and I made it just in time to grab some groceries for dinner and then to snag my camera to catch some amazing sunset pictures.
After sunset, I went back to Ocean Bar and Hostel to make a scrumptious dinner and work on some homework.
One of the employees at the hostel/bar was more than delighted to give me a ride to Listowel, so I did not have to take an extra bus to my next destination. Thank you for that!
From Listowel, I went to Tralee, and Tralee I went to Dingle.
I picked the BEST weekend of the year to go to Dingle.
It was their infamous food festival, and boy did it not disappoint.
After devouring a beautiful and mouth-watering steak burrito from Brendan’s Burritos, I walked around Dingle and enjoyed some fantastic water views and even saw the infamous Dingle Dolphin.
I caught the last bus from Dingle to Annascaul, which is where Dingle Gate Hostel is located.
Here, I was more than entertained all night with the little kids who had taken over the hostel because of all the families in town for the food festival.
I met a young girl from Germany, and we talked hours about politics and teaching.
After a great night of socializing, we went to bed to catch the early bus to Tralee.
After waving the bus down from the side of the road in Annascaul, we took the 1 1/2 bus to Tralee. From Tralee, I boarded a train to Dublin.
This was the only train I took the entire trip, but for 30€ I was able to get across the country much faster than the bus. This allowed me to walk around Dublin until my flight later that evening.
From the Dublin train station, I stored my luggage at Tipperary House Dublin for just 3€, and I was able to spend my afternoon taking pictures of Dublin.
To see my more in detail Dublin self-walking tour, click here.
After eating some local Dublin food and enjoying what little sun Ireland gave me, I caught the airport bus from the train station, and that was it!
I originally planned for a very different route in Ireland, but without a car, this was the best I could do with my time.
Ireland did not disappoint, and it is possible to see the country without a car.
Just remember that if you are under 25, you cannot rent a car in Ireland, if you have a student card bus travel will be LOADS cheaper, and remember to take in all of the beauty that Ireland has to offer because it is incredible.
Cheers my friends.