Hop on Hop off bus- Dublin
Dublin city seemed relatively small in comparison to other capital cities that I have been to in Europe. Perhaps it wasn’t as small as I think, but I know for sure most of the main sites were easily within walking distance. It wasn’t really necessary to pay for a pass for the hop-on hop-off bus, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone taking a trip to Dublin. From our downtown hotel it was an easy walk to Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Guinness Brewery, Jameson Distillery, Temple Bar and St. Patricks’s Church. With a decent map, it’s very easy to find all of these.
We lost money buying the passes online prior to leaving. This is a perfect example of how being too prepared before you go on a trip can not always turn out for the best. Sometimes, no matter how much research you do, and no matter how prepared you are, you just really don’t always know what’s the best route until you are actually there. Again, you win some and lose some. That is the nature of travel so don’t get too upset about it or you’ll ruin your vacation with coulda, woulda shouldas.
When deciding whether to go with the hop on hop off bus on your vacation, I suggest going with the flow and just deciding when you get there. Now when I go to the capital cities, I feel it out when I get there and decide if I want to buy a pass or not. No matter where you go, it’s easy to book a hop on hop off tour if you decide to when you are there. In some cities it’s a great option if it’s large and you want to just hit the key sights and don’t have a lot of time. London and Paris are great places for this.
Ireland is cheaper to visit than many of the other countries in Europe. You can get cheaper hotels, flights, activities, food and souvenirs. I absolutely loved Dublin, but it seemed there was much more to do and see in cities like Rome and London. I would recommend touring several parts of Ireland if you go. I don’t think you really need to spend more than a few days in Dublin unless you day tour out of the city like we did. If I could do it again, I would stay 2-3 consecutive days in the city and then rent a car for the rest of the trip staying in different parts of the island so you can really see the countryside and the true beauty of Ireland without a tour group dragging you down with a strict agenda.