15 Best Day Trips from Dublin

Written by Veronique Raes
Updated on
Our travel recommendations are based on our personal experiences and research, written by locals and travel experts with deep familiarity with the destination. When you book a hotel or tour that we link to, we may earn a commission.

Dublin is a city rich in history and culture. Home to the famous Temple Bar and Molly Malone statue it’s easy to fall madly in love with the rustic charm of Ireland’s capital.

With a whole host of famous landmarks and cultural sights to explore, a visit to Dublin surely keeps you on your toes.

Ireland is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in Europe and thankfully this is an island designed for adventure.

With some of the country’s most significant and stunning sights only a matter of hours away, Dublin makes the perfect base for an eager day tripper.

Let’s take a look at the best day trips from Dublin:

1. Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs Of MoherSource: shutterstock
Cliffs Of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are a beautiful introduction to the rugged and raw coastline of Ireland.

Incorporated into a day trip from Dublin that also includes the ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery and The Burren the Cliffs of Moher are a hidden gem.

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the most scenic driveways in Ireland and around every corner you turn you shall be greeted by a landscape even more impressive than the last.

Dunguaire Castle and the 12 Bens mountain range are not to be missed along the drive.

Around the Cliffs of Moher there are wonderful walking trails to enjoy.

2. Cork

Cork, IrelandSource: Madrugada Verde / shutterstock

Lying inland from the South West Atlantic Coast the city of Cork falls on the River Lee.

Home to Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral and the Fota Wildlife Park, Cork has a lot to offer.

Should you be interested in expanding your historical knowledge of Ireland then the Cork City Gaol is the place to visit.

Once a holding venue for prisoners bound to Australia the Gaol is now home to a fascinating exhibition about the building’s varied history.

The Shandon Church is the symbol of Cork city, it sits high on the hilltop and boasts an impressible steeple.

3. Rock of Cashel

Rock of CashelSource: Thomas Bresenhuber / shutterstock
Rock Of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel is one of the most iconic spots in Ireland.

A magical collection of Medieval buildings set in a huge rock.

Including the Circular Tower, a Gothic Cathedral and a beautiful traditional Irish Celtic Cross, Rock of Cashel is not to be missed if you’re seeking a comprehensive Irish experience.

A visit to the Rock of Cashel can be a relaxing and fulfilling day trip in its own right.

However, should time be of the essence it is possible to team the Rock of Cashel with a visit to Cahir Castle and even a whistle stop visit to Cork city.

4. Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Mountains National ParkSource: shutterstock
Wicklow Mountains National Park

The Wicklow Mountains provide Ireland with their most impressive visual landscape.

Home to quaint villages like Avoca there is plenty to explore in Wicklow.

Be sure to bring your hiking boots as there is a good number of hiking and rambling trails to enjoy around the Wicklow Mountains.

Pass through the Wicklow Gap and snap those all important holiday photos at one of Ireland’s most picturesque spots.

Glendalough is the highlight of a day trip to the Wicklow Mountains.

There is such romance to this landscape, it is a truly inspiring and memorable day.

5. Malahide Castle

Malahide CastleSource: neuartelena / shutterstock
Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle is the perfect day trip from Dublin should you wish to explore the rich variety of landscapes found on Ireland’s northern coastline.

Nestled away in over 250 acres of rolling parkland Malahide Castle dates back to the 12th Century and was built over 800 years ago.

The town of Malahide itself is quaint and charming.

The Howth Harbour is home to some of the most picturesque view points on the Northern coast.

A humble fishing village, Howth has a number of traditional pubs serving up great Guinness and lovingly home cooked seafood dishes that will warm the cockles no end.

6. Newgrange & Hill of Tara

Newgrange, IrelandSource: Remizov / shutterstock

Officially older than the Egyptian pyramids the Newgrange and the Hill of Tara provides an interesting and informative day trip from Dublin.

A certified UNESCO site, Newgrange is one of the largest Neolithic burial chambers in the world, not to mention the oldest.

The Hill of Tara was also the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and was the epicentre for political and religious development in the years after Christ.

Holding great religious and historical significance there is something mystical about a visit to the Hill of Tara and the Newgrange tombs.

7. Connemara

Connemara, IrelandSource: Aloneontheroad / shutterstock
Connemara National Park

Connemara is an untouched, unspoiled area of Ireland that is not only breathtaking in terms of beauty but inspiring in terms of culture too.

Connemara is a cultural region of County Galway and the people here have a strong sense of Irish identity, many still speak Gaelic as their first language.

The Gateway to Connemara can be found at Oughterard and from here you pass through countless rural villages that will no doubt make you dream of upping sticks and moving to Ireland.

The Connemara National Park has a number of hiking trails to enjoy and routes can be found at the visitors centre.

8. Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s CausewaySource: S-F / shutterstock
Giant’s Causeway

Easily one of the most recognisable coastal landscapes in the world the Giant’s Causeway is a true wonder of the natural world.

Shrouded in myths, folklore, legends and central tales the Giant’s Causeway has a whole host of stories to learn.

Formed from a volcanic eruption centuries before us the Giant’s Causeway spans over 6 km and has over 40,000 hexagonal columns layering on top of one another.

Located across the border in Northern Ireland a day trip from Dublin to the Giant’s Causeway offers you the opportunity to compare and contrast these two united nations.

9. Blarney Castle

Blarney CastleSource: Patryk Kosmider / shutterstock
Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle houses the famous Blarney Stone that, when kissed, gives you ‘the gift of the gab’ a much needed asset on a trip in Ireland.

As one of the country’s most beloved landmarks it’s safe to say that no trip to Ireland would be complete without a visit to the magnificent Blarney Castle.

Encompassed by spectacular gardens and parkland the Blarney Castle is a truly romantic day out.

Walking routes wind along the course of the River Martin though to the arboretum.

An incredibly popular tourist destination, be prepared to queue to get to the Blarney Stone itself.

It’s worth the wait, however.

10. Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle, IrelandSource: Madrugada Verde / shutterstock
Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny is a medieval city home to an ancient castle and cathedral.

The Saint Canice Cathedral is a quirky building to say the least.

With a circular tower and housing the tombs of Knights of the Realm the Saint Canice’s Cathedral is a curious place to visit.

The City of Kilkenny has embodied the same historical charm as its cathedral and castle.

The winding streets are lined with bookshops, gift shops and cafes galore.

When in Kilkenny be sure to visit the Dunbrody Coffin Ship and the Hook Lighthouse.

Fascinating and informative additions to a laid back day trip to Kilkenny.

11. House of Waterford Crystal

House of Waterford CrystalSource: Erin Costa / Flickr
House Of Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal haw been creating some of the world’s most intricate and elegant ornaments and glassware since 1783. A trip to Waterford Crystal is inspiring, not only to see how the business started from humble beginnings but also to learn how these artisans create their work.

Master crystal craftsmen demonstrate to visitors how they use diamond-tipped instruments to cut and craft the crystal into its most beautiful forms.

Of course, no visit to Waterford Crystal would be complete without a visit to the gift shop.

Just watch where you put your hands, literally everything can smash.

12. Belfast

BelfastSource: Leonid Andronov / shutterstock

Two capitals in one day, a trip to Belfast means crossing the border into Northern Ireland to discover the Irish capital of the United Kingdom.

A reborn and rejuvenated city Belfast makes for an exciting and enlightening day trip from Dublin.

Highlights include the incredible Titanic Belfast Museum and the Botanic Gardens too.

Budding historians should visit the Ulster Museum and be sure to take a moment to appreciate the grandeur of Belfast City Hall.

The historic docklands alone are enough to fill a day.

Remember they use Pound Sterling in Northern Ireland, not the Euro.

13. Galway

Galway, IrelandSource: Rihardzz / shutterstock

Taking a surprise upturn in tourism thanks to Ed Sheeran and his ‘Galway Girl’ the colourful city of Galway is a joy to explore.

Centred around the 18th-Century Eyre Square, Galway has a lot to explore.

From the meandering cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter to the modern boutique shops on the high street Galway is charming and welcoming.

Locals love their rugby, hurling and Gaelic football, you’ll certainly know if there is a game on in town.

Galway is home to hundreds of traditional Irish pubs where you’ll find dozens of locals keen to share their hints and tips with tourists.

14. Kerry

Gap of Dunloe, County Kerry, IrelandSource: Stefano_Valeri / shutterstock
Gap Of Dunloe, County Kerry, Ireland

Country Kerry makes for a varied day trip from Dublin.

The famous Ring of Kerry is of course the highlight, in close competition with Dingle Bay.

The town of Killarney is the gateway to County Kerry and was voted as the best place to live in Ireland.

Peak through the windows of the estate agent’s office and get dreaming.

Dingle Bay is simply beautiful and home to resident dolphin, Fungie.

Making an appearance for almost every boat cruise, Bottlenose Fungie will steal your heart.

Driving along the Wild Atlantic Way allows you to take in as many of the stunning scenic views as is possible, there are plenty of safe stopping points too.

15. Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore AbbeySource: Noradoa / shutterstock
Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery that dates back to 1920. Still a functioning monastery today Kylemore Abbey lies on the edge of Pollacapall Lough.

With woodlands and walled gardens to explore a visit to Kylemore Abbey is a relaxing and peaceful way to spend a day.

The Kylemore Abbey Cafe boasts a wonderful range of home-baked treats as well as tea in winter and chilled soft drinks in summer.

The Kylemore Abbey Pottery range is beautiful and made by the nuns who reside at the monastery.

The perfect keepsakes for a special trip in Ireland.

15 Best Day Trips from Dublin:

  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Cork
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Wicklow Mountains
  • Malahide Castle
  • Newgrange & Hill of Tara
  • Connemara
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Blarney Castle
  • Kilkenny
  • House of Waterford Crystal
  • Belfast
  • Galway
  • Kerry
  • Kylemore Abbey