How to find out which bus service goes between two places in Galway

There are several ways of finding out what bus-services you can use to travel between places in Galway.

This page lists the tools, and answers some common "how do I get from / to" questions.

Public-transport planning tools

The National Journey Planner

This a website and mobile application produced by the National Transport Authority.   It looks at a database of all licences public transport companies operating in Ireland, and suggests options for specific routes based on this.

How to use the National Journey Planner

  1. Go to the website
    - or use the mobile application (search for "Transport for Ireland" in the Google Play store) - not all options listed below are available on mobile.
  2. Type in the From and To addresses
  3. Enter the time (departure or arrival) and date you are interested in
  4. Choose other options:
    Departure / arrival time time (ie time you want to leave vs time you want to get there)
    Type of transport (train / tram / Dublin Bus / Other buses / Ferry / taxi,
    Your walking speed (slow, normal or fast),
    How many minutes you are willing to walk for ,
    Route options (fastest, fewest changes, least walking),
    Intermediate locations, ie places you want to travel through.
  5. Click Submit
  6. Look at the Journey Options shown.

    Click on each one to open the full details of the suggested route - click it again to close it.
example of route options shown in Ireland's national journey planner for Galway City - shows icons for bus and walking journeys

This tool is not restricted to Galway:  it should give you options for public-transport anywhere in the island of Ireland, ie the Republic or Northern Ireland.

However it only lists services that are open to the general public, not ones that are provided by institutions for their staff and visitors   (eg the NUIG carpark shuttle, the HSE  Merlin / Newcastle shuttle)

Troubleshooting the National Journey Planner

  • If your first search does work, click New Journey (just below the To address) to start again.
  • Take your time entering the From and To locations: the system will show you lists of places that match the text you have entered. If the right match does not come up, you may have to enter the address differently (eg "Fr Griffin Rd, Claddagh" instead of "GTI")
  • The planner only shows route options if there are suitable connections on your selected date/time. This means it sometimes appears to leave information out - for example if you search on a Saturday or Sunday without changing the date, then it will not show bus-services that are weekday only.

The Galway city route summary map

This map shows you, roughly, the routes taken by bus-services in the city.  Two versions are available:

Looking at the map, and comparing the times / frequencies of particular services shown on the city bus services summary gives you a general idea of the options available:  for many journeys, there are several possible buses that you can catch.

Google Tranzit

This is a tool within Google maps, which operates using the same data that is behind the National Journey planner. Some people report that it is easier to use.

Common "how to get from / to" questions

From ATU (previously GMIT) Dublin Rd to GTI

There is no direct bus services between the Claddagh and Wellpark, but there are many buses which go close to both.

The simplest approach is to catch any bus from the Dublin Rd (routes 402, 409, 410) to Eyre Square, and from there either walk or catch bus 401.

From Knocknacarra to Galway Cultural Institute / Salthill

There is no direct bus city services between Barna / Knocknacarra and Salthill.

One option is to catch bus 402 from Knocknacarra, get off at the intersection of Taylors Rd / The Crescent, and walk from there.

Another is to travel in to Eyre Square, and catch bus 401 back out to Salthill.

Some of the regional services from the west of Galway may pick up in Barna and drop off in Salthill, but it is difficult to get definitive information about which ones do this.   It's likely that they will not take any new passengers on board in Knocknacarra.

From ATU (previously GMIT) Dublin Rd to NUIG

Catch bus 405 Ballybane / Rahoon, which goes directly past both places.

From Salthill to Newcastle and NUIG

There is no direct bus option for this journey.   Options:
  • Walk
  • Or catch bus 401 in to town and bus 404 out to Newcastle.
  • Or walk up to Taylors Hill, and catch bus 402 to the hospital.