Getting around Ireland by coach is a pretty nifty way of experiencing the island. You have no worries about maps or directions, and can happily watch the countryside glide by in comfort.
Bus Eireann in the Republic of Ireland and Translink in Northern Ireland run coaches all around the island. There's also a huge selection of private coach tour operators, with scheduled tours, airport transfers, city-to-city trips, extended tours, themed trips, corporate travel, social excursions, golf trips and private holidays. Coach tours afford you the chance to let someone else worry about getting there, so you can sit back, relax and experience the glories of Ireland at your own pace.
The Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland has a list of approved members.
And now, it gets even easier to travel in Dublin! The brand new pre-paid Leap Visitor Card is a prepaid pass that allows you to travel on all Dublin Bus, Airlink 747 buses as well as the Luas and DART for a whole 72 hours (3 days) from its first use. Simply use your card to Touch On Leap Card Validators before or as you board the bus/train/tram and Touch Off when you alight or leave the station and the journey is registered on your Leap Card. It's that easy.
Being a foreign exchange student is an advantage too: the Leap Trainee Card is available through your language school and directly from Dublin Bus. You can avail of a 1-week up to 4-week card, meaning you can hop on to the Luas, DART, Iarnród Éireann’s short-hop zone and Dublin bus at your convenience.
The Leap Card isn’t just good for getting around the city: you can use it to explore Dublin far and wide, including coastal villages, suburban towns and everything in between.
Travelling in Northern Ireland? Use iLink
Similar to the Leap Card, iLink <http://www.translink.co.uk/Fares/Translink-Products/iLink/> is a smartcard that gives you unlimited daily, weekly, and monthly bus and rail travel.
The iLink smartcard is available for Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus services within 5 zones. You can also top up your card at selected stations. Read this handy user guide <http://www.translink.co.uk/Global/4525%20ILink%20User%20Guide.pdf> for information on full iLink services.