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 Éireann in the Republic of Ireland and Translink in Northern Ireland run coaches all around the island.
You know more of a road by having travelled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
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.
Travel cards in Dublin and Northern Ireland
Dublin: The 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; for the train or tram, remember to 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.
Buy your Leap Visitor Card online and get it delivered to your home before you travel.
Pick up your card when you arrive from a number of different agents in Dublin.
Northern Ireland: Use iLink in Northern Ireland.
Similar to the Leap Card, 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 for information on full iLink services.