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Three perfect itineraries for a Saturday in Dublin

With a little help from Transport for Ireland, you can spend an amazing Saturday exploring the beautiful sights of South Dublin.

SATURDAYS ARE PERFECT for going on an adventure.  

If you have some free time over the coming weekends, why not use it to discover more of Dublin? From gorgeous nature to amazing restaurants, there’s a lot on offer in the capital. 

Some recent changes to bus routes in Dublin can help you enjoy the city even more. BusConnects, a programme from the National Transport Authority, is designed to make Dublin, and other cities in Ireland, more connected.  

Part of BusConnects is the network redesign for Dublin. Alongside addressing climate change, the improvements to public transport will provide improved frequencies, with services starting earlier and finishing later.

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The next wave of changes to the bus network will take place on November 26. With the introduction of eight new routes, it will make interchanging between different public transport modes, such as Luas and DART, a lot simpler. 

New routes being introduced:

S2 Heuston Station – St James Hospital – RDS – Pine Road 

S4 Liffey Valley SC – Ballyfermot – Crumlin Hospital – Terenure – UCD

S6 The Square, Tallaght – Rathfarnham SC – Booterstown – Blackrock Station 

S8 Dún Laoghaire SC – Sandyford Luas – Tallaght Hospital – Citywest Campus 

W2 The Square, Tallaght – Newlands Cross – Liffey Valley SC 

74 Dundrum Luas – Marlay Park – Coombe Hospital – Eden Quay 

L25 Dundrum – Dún Laoghaire  

L55 Palmerstown Village – Ballyfermot – Chapelizod  

As well as increasing connectivity across Dublin, the BusConnects redesign can help your pocket too. You can use the TFI network around Dublin for 90 Minutes with your TFI Leap Card, for just €2 for adults, €1 for young adults (19-23) or students, and 65 cent for children. This means you can use all the different modes of transport within 90 minutes of your original journey and pay just one fare. 

Leap card 3 A Leap Card can help you save money on your journeys across Dublin.

We’ve come up with some travel plans that will help you see more of the city for less. These itineraries around South Dublin will focus on the seven new routes, providing you with some inspiration for your next adventure around the city.

See the southwest

First up, we’ll take a trip around the western half of South Dublin. Starting off in Ballyfermot, you can pick up a takeaway coffee at one of the many cafés in the area, but we’d recommend Lock & Brew on the Ballyfermot Road. Their hot chocolates are amazing and perfect for the festive season. 

Next, you’ll want to take the S4 to Drimnagh Castle. This is a restored Norman castle, and the only castle in Ireland that still boasts a moat. It was once the seat of the de Bernival family. You can take a guided tour of the castle to learn more about its rich history.

ireland Drimnagh Castle. Shutterstock Shutterstock

After a pleasant time learning about the castle, it’s time to head back on the S4 going the same way. Bushy Park is next up, and you can get the bus and walk or ride the S4 to the 74, which will bring you closer. Bushy Park has lovely walks along the River Dodder and a skate park for you to discover. You mightn’t feel up for getting on a board just yet, but it’s well worth checking out the experienced skaters.

Lastly, to cap the day off, we recommend heading to dinner in the nearby Terenure village. You can enjoy a walk or hop back on the 74 to Bellagio, an authentic Italian restaurant serving up more than just pizza and pasta. You might enjoy a glass of wine from their extensive collection after a busy day of travelling. 

Shop ‘til you drop

With Christmas approaching, some of us may want to avoid shopping centres. Others would rather thrive in the chaos and with that in mind, we’ve crafted an itinerary that will take you through South Dublin’s biggest shopping hubs. 

Starting off in Liffey Valley, which you can access via the S2 or W4 route, enjoy browsing through some of the stores located there, including Best Menswear, Calvin Klein and Fields. Pop into The Rolling Donut for a pick-me-up coffee and donut before heading south.

tallaghtsquareabstractdecorationsontheceiling The Square Tallaght. Shutterstock / Kris Dublin Shutterstock / Kris Dublin / Kris Dublin

Take the W2 all the way to The Square shopping centre in Tallaght. Your first stop should be checking out the 43,500 square feet Penneys, opened in 2022. If you’ve any last few bits to collect for Christmas, or you haven’t even started your Christmas shopping, now would be a good time to see what you can pick up.

To finish off the shopping centre tour, jump on an S6 bus to Dundrum. The ice skating rink is a must-do for those who are tired of shopping. Once you’ve had your fill, we recommend heading to The Port House Ibericos just beside the shopping centre for some amazing Spanish tapas.

By the seaside

Our last trip around South Dublin takes us to the seaside. Starting off with brunch in Rathfarnham in The Studio Café to set you up for the day, the next step is to hop on the S6 to Blackrock. 

Take a stroll around Blackrock’s busy main street or check out the iconic Blackrock markets. Over 30 stalls are located in the market, with everything you can think of on offer, meaning it’s the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

Once you’ve had your fill, get back on the bus, this time the S8 to Dún Laoghaire. This leaves you at the harbour, where you can enjoy a pleasant stroll, as long as the weather cooperates. If you get caught in showers, make your way to the National Maritime Museum for a fascinating look at Ireland’s history at sea. For smaller visitors, Santa is due to make a number of appearances there in the build-up to Christmas. 

aerialviewdunlaoghairepier-dublinireland Dún Laoghaire pier. Shutterstock / Peter Krocka Shutterstock / Peter Krocka / Peter Krocka

After a nice day beside the sea, you can skip the traffic by getting the DART back into Dublin city centre to indulge in some of Dublin’s nightlife. Take your pick from all of the amazing restaurants and pubs to dine and drink in, before taking one of the many TFI buses running 24 hours to get home.

With the planning done, all that’s left to do is enjoy it. Remember, you can use the different modes of public transport for one fare within 90 minutes, so take advantage of it.

Find out more about the network redesign here.

To help plan your journeys, use the Journey Planner feature on the Transport for Ireland website, or download the TFI Live app.