After an extremely unexpected bump in the road, I was unfortunately not allowed to rent a car in Ireland. I had this extensive plan about where and how I was going to get to see all of Ireland with the use of a car, but… that didn’t happen. After spending the night in the Dublin airport, I realized that the only way I was going to make the most of my trip to Ireland was going to be through bus travel. Here, I will show you how to use the bus travel in Ireland at the best price & convenience.
Bus Lines & Prices
The links have the schedules attached.
From the beginning, I started at the Dublin Airport and I knew that I was going to hit four destinations: Galway, Ballybunion, Dingle, and finally back to Dublin.
In the morning, I opted for the earliest bus I could get to Galway, the biggest city closest to the Cliffs of Moher; the only destination I was certain I was going to see in Ireland. I left the airport Mcdonald’s at 0530am to find the bus stop; which is super easy to find! Just walk out the departures exit, walk through the building straight in front of it, once you walk through the cafe and out the other side, you will see all of the buses lined up and ready to go. If you have Maps.me, it is super easy to locate the bus stop. I went ahead and bought my ticket online at Bus Eireann. While I thought that this was the only option, it’s not!
I actually spent more money on the app then everyone did because somehow they all got a free bus ride. I spent 15€ on the bus from the airport to Galway, and it was not direct.
If I were to start this bus journey over, I would want to know three things.
- You can buy your bus ticket with the driver
- If you have ANY student ID, your ticket will almost be 1/2 price when buying it with the actual driver. If you buy it from a station, they only accept Ireland Student ID’s
- Look for X or Express trips, because most of Ireland doesn’t have a real city bus system, it’s these across country busses that pick up the locals.
Anywho, I needed the sleep on the bus, so I enjoyed the four-hour ride across the country.
When I made it to Galway, I decided to stay in Salmon Weir Hostel. Quiet, and outside of the main square, but this place was great for the price.
Galway has an amazing bus station, and thankfully everyone in Ireland speaks English. So you can ask as many questions as you want, you may just have a hard time decoding their accents.
I took the 350 from Galway to the Cliffs. You can find the schedule here!
The journey is AMAZING. I totally recommend taking the 1500 bus to the Cliffs so that way when you take the 1820 bus back, you get amazing sunsets like these!!
(taken from bus window)
The bus round trip for the Cliffs from Galway cost me 20.38€.
The next morning, I woke up early, and my final destination for the day was Ballybunion.
I decided where I was going to stay based off of the cheapest hostels on the western side of Ireland.
I had to take a bus from Galway to Limerick. line X51 for 16€.
In Limerick, I walked around for a couple hours until I was able to catch the 1500pm bus to Listowel which would allow me to connect to the Ballybunion bus. line 13 to connect to 272. This cost me 20€.
When I was in Ballybunion, I stayed at this awesome hostel, I recommend to everyone named the Ocean Bar and Hostel.
In the morning, the lady who ran the bar was more than willing to give me a ride to Listowel, so I didn’t have to take an extra bus to my destination of Dingle for the evening.
From Listowel, I took a bus to Tralee the 272, and from Tralee, I got a connection line 275 to Dingle. This cost me 17€.
I discovered that my Dingle Gate Hostel was not actually located in Dingle, but 16km out of it in Annascaul, after I had arrived in Dingle. So I hung around Dingle for the day and caught the same bus back at 1730pm back to my hostel costing me 7€.
This 275 line was what I took the next morning to get back to the Tralee station for 12€. In order to get back to Dublin, I booked a train for 30€. It was the cheapest and fastest way to get back to Dublin so I could at least walk around most of the city.
Overall, I spent 137€ on bus and train travel in Ireland. I spent more than I needed to because I did not always use my Student ID, so definitely do that if you have one. Bus travel does take a lot of time, but I was able to get a window seat for every ride. I made the best out of my terrible situation, and the views of Ireland were INCREDIBLE.
I hope that you enjoy Ireland as much as I did!