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Posted on January 28, 2020

Big Bus Tours Dublin: 5 reasons to add it to your Irish bucket list


big bus tours dublin

It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that the city of Dublin holds a very special place in my heart. Between the vibrant buskers showing off their talents on Grafton Street to the beautiful pieces of street art that spontaneously pop up around town, the city has a plethora of charm and hidden gems that have yet to be explored. 

The Big Bus Tours Dublin offers a lively hop-on, hop-off bus tour experience which allows both locals and tourists alike to explore many aspects of Dublin through a lens which heightens the appreciation for the city’s cultural profile and rich historical background – trust me, I would know. 

big bus tours dublin

I recently had the opportunity to do some sightseeing with The Big Bus Tours Dublin. Needless to say, my love for the big shmoke has massively increased since seeing some of the city’s biggest attractions on an unexpectedly sunny day.

It took a Big Bus Tours experience for me to come to the realisation that after all the years I’ve spent socialising in the city centre’s swanky cocktail bars, nothing can quite compare to the feeling that comes from re-discovering the beauty of Dublin – warts and all. 

So without further ado, here are 5 reasons to add The Big Bus Tours Dublin to your Irish bucket list:

1. Value for money

the big bus tours

There are a number of ticket options available with The Big Bus Tours, each of which offer great value for money. I was gifted with a Premium ticket (€23.20 online) which includes a 2 day hop-on, hop-off tour, 2 free child tickets with every adult ticket, a guided walking tour, a panoramic night tour and free entry into the Pearse Lyons Distillery.

I found this to be an absolute steal, especially since both the night tour and Pearse Lyons Distillery tour alone would cost over €15.00 each. A package deal with the Big Bus Tours is definitely the more reasonable option to me because of all the other added benefits.  

Alternatively, if you are someone who simply wants a bus tour, then you can choose to opt for a Classic ticket (€17.60 online) as The Big Bus Tours tailors to a broad range of sightseers. Other ticket options include: a Deluxe ticket (€29.60 online) or a combined Classic + Guinness Storehouse ticket (€48.00 online).

Note: You can save 20% on selected tickets when you buy online rather than on-street. For information on ticket prices and packages, have a look on the Big Bus Tours website.

2. Hop-on, hop-off

the big bus tours dublin

The Big Bus Tours puts the ball in your court because with a hop-on, hop-off tour, you get to dictate exactly where your journey begins as well as when it ends. If you’re wondering how that works, allow me to give you a low down on the whole thing. 

Step 1: Download the free Big Tours Bus app after purchasing your ticket and use the live bus tracker to find your nearest hop-on stop.

Step 2: Enjoy the views of the city from The Big Bus Tours bus and hop off at any stop to visit your favourite Dublin landmarks.  Buses run every 15 – 20 mins so you can hop back on at the same stop whenever you like.


Step 3: Finish the tour at your own pace and time but bear in mind the last whiskey tour at Pearse Lyons Distillery is at 5pm!

When I did the day tour, I hopped on at St. Stephen’s Green and stayed until the second last stop. My day tour lasted about 1hr 15mins but it didn’t feel like it at all! 🙂

3. Free whiskey tasting

Free entry into the Pearse Lyons Distillery with a Premium or Deluxe ticket gives guests a full guided tour with a whiskey tasting at the end. As someone who is not green to whiskey tours, I have to say the Pearse Lyons Distillery really hit it out of the park. 

Our tour guide Sheila was very educated on all things whiskey, her love and passion for the Pearse Lyons Distillery overall was beaming throughout the tour adding to everyone’s excitement for tasting the product. 

pearse lyons distillery

The guided tour lasted for about 50 minutes before finishing with the much-anticipated tasting. Safe to say, I had a few Robin Scherbatsky ‘dayum! that’s smooth’ moments throughout the tasting with my favourite one being the 12-year-old single malt Founder’s Choice. 

pearse lyons distillery

Cherry on top? We even got the opportunity to try Mil Gin – it is heavenly!

Since we are on the topic of free drinks, I should also note that Big Bus Tours ticket holders get a free glass of Guinness at Nancy Hands Pub at stop 26 and 28 – I did say value for money, didn’t I? 🙂

4. Dublin after dark

The free Big Bus night tour is included with a Premium and Deluxe ticket as well as an upgrade to Classic Ticket holders. With the night tour, there is only one starting point (O’Connell Street) as it is a panoramic tour, meaning you cannot hop on or off.

Driving over O’Connell Bridge which is said to be the only traffic bridge in Europe that has the same width as its length, the evening tour guide proudly points out some fantastic pubs and bars around town so you can plan the rest of your evening. 

5. Cultural ‘wokeness’

big bus tours dublin

I sometimes get asked about what to do in Dublin by friends who live abroad. On such occasion, I often find myself almost reiterating the same itinerary I gave to a friend who asked previously.

But after my experience with The Big Bus Tours I feel that I can now give people more specific information about where to go and what to do. More importantly, I can stop them from falling into tourist traps.

As for non-tourists, it can be very easy to get caught up in a rut of doing the same activities or getting too comfortable in a routine. I think The Big Bus Tours can break that cycle by providing a fun day out! 

So there you have it, my top 5 reasons for why I think adding The Big Bus Tours Dublin to your Irish bucket list is something you will not regret!  🙂 Buy tickets online here. 

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*Disclaimer: While this is a sponsored post, all views remain to be my own.

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3 reasons why you should visit Wicklow this summer


As you probably know from my Instagram stories, last Thursday saw yet another picturesque region of Ireland being ticked off my lengthy travel bucket list. Myself and my gal Lorna drove up to beautiful county Wicklow to celebrate the launch of the Garden Rooms & Bar at Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort.

While this was the main motivation behind cruising on the M50 to Chill Mhantáin, that didn’t stop us from making the most out of our day out of Dublin. Prior to our arrival at the stunning Druids Glen, we drove up the Wicklow Mountains and toured some the most precious gems in the county.

For those of you who don’t have a travel bucket list for Ireland, it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to consider compiling one now. With promising blue skies and a heatwave ahead of next week, this is the perfect time to start exploring the scenic hidden treasures of the Emerald Isle.

Without further ado, here are 3 reasons why you should visit Wicklow this summer:

1. Lough Tay

Lough Tay is one of the most iconic places in Wicklow, along with Glendalough. Also known as ‘the Guinness Lake,’ the northern coastline of this small but stunning lake is part of an estate owned by the Guinness family. But that’s not the only reason for the infamous nickname. If you have an eye for detail, you will notice that some of the lake is edged with a white sandy beach. The dark water that follows creates a remarkable semblance to a pint of Guinness – hence ‘the Guinness Lake.’

How to get there:

Driving up from Dublin via M50 took us  just under an hour due to light traffic on the motorway. We did however meet clusters of cyclists on the small countryside roads upon arriving to Wicklow – typical! Other than that, it is an easy drive. If you don’t have access to a car then a tourist bus would be your best bet – we came across a group of tourists when we were enjoying the beautiful views of The Guinness Lake over the Wicklow Mountains.

2. Powerscourt House & Gardens

Powerscourt Gardens was voted #3 in the top 10 gardens of the world by National Geographic. After spending an afternoon enjoying lunch at its Avoca Terrace Cafe and exploring over 200 varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees, I wouldn’t be surprised for a second!

The infamous gardens is not a place you want to visit without being camera ready. Powerscourt Gardens date back to over 150 years and it now has many little treasures to discover including The Japanese Garden, The Dolphin Pond and The Tower Valley.

How to get there:

Powerscourt House & Gardens is about a 20 km drive south of Dublin City Centre. It is located within the 1,000 acre Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, against the backdrop of the famous Sugarloaf Mountain. For specific directions, opening times and fees, visit the website.

3. Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort

This five-star hotel & golf resort combines nature and leisure to provide a next-to-paradise experience. Located in a beautiful setting of 400 acres between Wicklow Mountains and The Irish Sea, Druids Glen is the perfect place to get in touch with your inner zen in a stunning luxury setting. Although we didn’t make use of the unique golf courses, we did have an evening of luxury at the launch of the new Garden Rooms and Bar: mouth-watering nibbles, cocktails, live music – it truly was a magical evening.

The following morning, we made use of the health club and swimming area before indulging in the wide selection of top quality breakfast. The staff were incredibly accommodating throughout our stay,  so much so that neither of us wanted to leave. If you want to experience paradise in South East Ireland then Druids Glen will not disappoint!

How to get there:

Druids Glen is just a 30 minute journey from Dublin. For full directions or bookings, visit the website. Note: They have limited mid-week summer madness offers at the moment – be sure to check that out!

While there was so much more to see and do in the county known as “The Garden of Ireland,” the little time we did spend in Wicklow did not disappoint. We made the most out of what we had and if I’m being completely honest, part of me thinks skipping a few tourist attractions in the first visit comes with its advantages because it gives us an excuse to go back again! Yes, our visit to Wicklow was short. But it was also very memorable….and who knows, maybe next time we’ll get to indulge in summer afternoon tea at Druids Glen! 😉

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