Today, you’re going to discover the best day trips from Dublin.
Many of us who travel to Ireland’s rocky shores use Dublin as a home base-if only for a part of our trip.
And why not?
Dublin’s smack dab in the middle of some of the best sites, landscapes, and cities, the emerald isle offers.
But some great day trips in Dublin help you when avoiding crowds, and visiting an off-the-beaten-path place, like the Latin Quarter. Or explore new destinations, visit UNESCO-listed archaeological sites, or go on a family-friendly adventure.
THE ULTIMATE LIST OF DAY TRIPS FROM DUBLIN.
I’ve visited Ireland many times. And during part of every trip, I use Dublin as a launching point to explore everything from the big cities to the nook and crannies of the country.
Below, you have the best places I’ve found outside of Ireland. Here are the best day trips from Dublin, and also some weekend trips from Dublin.
THE BEST DAY TRIPS In DUBLIN Ireland
In this section, you’ll find a collection of vibrant cities, ancient sites, crumbling castles, scenic landscapes, and various other attractions.
And while we break this blog post down into sections, like day trips by cities, towns, or sightseeing, these are the top day trips from Dublin that I recommend. Dublin’s a great home base to explore some of the best places to visit in Ireland. And not just because it is easy to get a dose of caffeine, since Dublin is a coffee obsessed city.
If there’s one ancient site, I will encourage you not to miss it on a day trip from Dublin; it’s Newgrange.
This stone chamber dates back to 3,200 – 3,100 B.C! Yep, these Neolithic tombs are older than the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, and the Minoan Palace of Knossos.
Despite its age, this UNESCO World Heritage Site certified site remains in remarkable condition. Shuffling through the narrow entryway, you soon come to a massive burial chamber with three grave sites.
They built the whole monument with mathematical perfection. And during the winter solstice, a beam of light pierces through a small hole in the wall and fills the chamber with light.
Walk around Newgrange and look at the 97 kerbstones surrounding the tomb. Some of these kerbstones still have faint traces of megalithic art etched into them. (The best example is the entry kerbstone).
Newgrange is one of the most significant Neolithic burial chambers in the world
GETTING TO NEWGRANGE FROM DUBLIN
Like most day trips from Dublin, the easiest way to reach Newgrange is via rental car or day tour.
Public transport is available but isn’t an ideal option as you have to take a public bus to Drogheda and then take a cab to Newgrange, which isn’t cost-efficient.
NEWGRANGE HOURS, PRICES, AND TOURS
Hours: Daily from 09.00 – 17.00
(Double-check: Hours change by season)
- Adult: €11
- Senior/group: €8
- Child/student: €6
- Family: €28
WICKLOW Mountains & GLENDALOUGH
Those seeking the famed Irish landscape plan a day in the Wicklow Mountains. In this national park, you’ll find untouched Irish hills and forests (It is almost as beautiful as Camping in Yosemite). But also thousands of years of history, and ruins.
One perk of visiting the Wicklow mountains is that it offers day-trippers a wealth of options.
Spend your day meandering through the emerald forest and taking in the view from the top of verdant windswept hills. Or enjoy a scenic drive through the park before heading to the nearby quaint medieval towns of Kilkenny and Avoca.
The 6th-century monastery, in the Glendalough valley, is the highlight of Wicklow National Park.
The medieval monastic settlement now lies in tatters. But a well-preserved round tower still stands tall among the crumbling gravestones and dilapidated buildings.
A thickly wooded section sits right outside this ruined monastic settlement that’s good for short hikes.
For those looking for fresh snaps for their Instagram head to Wicklow Gap.
The untamed beauty, well-worn ruins, and pristine views have turned Wicklow National Park into one of the most popular day trips. And because it’s so close to Dublin (just over an hour), you can opt for a tour or rent a car and head to Wicklow mountain to explore the area yourself.
This might be the best day trip from Dublin. Partly because the Glendalough Tour is one of the most popular Irish day tours in the country.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO WICKLOW
Getting from Dublin to Wicklow is easy. If you have access to a car, head south on the N11 for around an hour. Multiple buses head deep into the Wicklow mountains daily.
Although, if you want to see as much as possible, a day tour or driving yourself are the best options. And it is a great way to see one of the best attractions near Dublin. But also take to the Irish countryside and see the Wicklow mountains.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN GLENDALOUGH AND WICKLOW
- Lough Dan
- Turlough Hill
- Wicklow Town
- Wicklow Gaol
- Sliver Strand Beach
- Hike Wicklow Mountains National Park
THE COOLEY PENINSULA & CARLINGFORD
Travel an hour and a half north of Dublin by car and you will stumble upon one of the country’s best-kept secrets. The Coonley Peninsula is in the part of Ireland known as the ancient east.
The scenery is pristine. It’s breathtaking watching the icy rollers of the Atlantic crash into the rocky shores. Charming salt-washed towns pepper the crenulated coast, known more so than the village of Carlingford.
The area has a myriad of hiking routes and footpaths. There are battered castles, rollercoaster hillsides, and carpeted balds. For adventures among you, there are boat trips and various other watersports.
HOW TO GET TO CARLINGFORD
There are a few different ways to get to Carlingford. Expect 1 a half-hour ride if you’re driving yourself.
Public buses exist but take over 3 hours.
There’s no direct train, but if you’re short on time, and have access to a car, you can take the train from Connolly to Dundalk and take a 20-minute cab ride or bus from Carlingford Lough.
Blarney, arguably the most famous castle in Ireland, is a sight to behold. Even by castle standards, Blarney Castle’s a colossal achievement. This tall, imposing castle bathed in myths and legends only led to fame.
At the top of the keep sits the Blarney Stone. Legends say that those brave enough to lie on their back, lean out over the wall, and kiss the stone (while hanging upside down) are bestowed “the gift of gab.”
There’s no argument that kissing the Blarney Stone’s a tourist trap, but hey, it’s fun. And the exceptional design of the castle, the lush gardens, and the moss towers are reasons enough to visit.
BLARNEY CASTLE HOURS
Monday to Saturday
- Jan – Feb: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (Last Admission 4.00 pm)
- Mar – Apr: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (Last Admission 5.00 pm)
- May: 9.00 am to 6.30 pm (Last Admission is 5.30 pm)
- June – Aug: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm (Last Admission 6.00 pm)
- Sept: 9.00 am to 6.30 pm (Last Admission 5.30 pm)
- Oct: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (Last Admission 5.00 pm)
- Nov – Dec: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (Last Admission 4.00 pm)
HOW TO FROM DUBLIN TO BLARNEY CASTLE
Blarney Castle’s a bit of a trek from Dublin and works much better as a couple of of-day getaways. However, if you have a car, it is possible to get to Blarney and back within a day.
From Dublin to Blarney, it’s 163 miles and takes around 3 hours each way. And if you are looking for just a long day road trip from Dublin, Ireland, this is a great option.
ONLINE TICKET PRICES
- Adult Admission €16 (Normally €18)
- Student/Seniors €13 (Normally €14)
- Children (8-16 years / under 8 free) €7 (Normally €8)
- Family (2 adults + 2 children) €40 (Normally €45)
- Souvenir Audio Guide €6
ROCK OF CASHEL
Slightly less than 2 hours from the city, this Dublin day trip is one of the best sights in Ireland. The Rock of Cashel sits high on top of a verdant grass-clad hill. It dwarfs the surrounding city and gives awe-inspiring views of the emerald landscape for far as the eye can see.
Poised on the top, the crumbling keep, and pristine round tower showcase early medieval architecture.
From an architectural standpoint, Cormac’s Chapel, which dates back to the Munster Kings, is one of the most important buildings in Ireland. And is the only Hiberno-Romanesque-style church that remains in its original state.
There are free walking tours throughout the day that shares the history of the rock; although an entry ticket is required. But it has some magnificent views of the Irish countryside.
Mid Sept.-Mid Oct. Daily 09:00 – 17:30
Mid Oct. – Mid March Daily 09:00 – 16:30
Mid-March – Early June Daily 9:00 – 17:30
Early June – Mid Sept. Daily 9:00 – 19:00
Last admission 45 minutes before closing.
DUBLIN TO THE ROCK OF CASHEL
The Rock of Cashel lies a couple of hours away via car from Dublin. Jumping on an organized day trip is another option.
Many of these day trips combine sites like Blarney Castle, the Rock of Castle, and Cork on a single trip.
Public transport takes around 3 hours, but it isn’t the most budget-friendly. And plan to pay over for a round trip. You could also plan a trip with Google Maps.
Adult: €8.00Group / Senior: €6.00Child / Student: €4.00Family: €20.00
Travel Hack: Spend 15 euros or more in Cashel town and get free admission. Check out the details here.
CLIFFS OF MOHER
For sightseeing, the most visited natural attraction in Ireland-and the most popular day trip from Dublin-is the Cliffs of Moher.
Plastered on postcards, posters, and brochures across the country, there’s a good chance you know what to expect when visiting these cliffs.
These sheer, sea-stained cliffs jut up out of the swirling Atlantic and dominate Galway Bay. Sitting on top of the cliffs are grassy balds, a ruined castle, and green meadows. They are one of the most imposing and breathtaking sights in the country.
The Cliffs of Moher sits on the opposite side of the country from Dublin-and is a 3-hour drive each way.
Because of this, the most popular way to see the cliffs is on an organized tour.
However, you can easily drive yourself. And if you do, then make a pit stop in nearby Doolin, which we will talk about soon. And this Dublin day trip is one of the most popular in all of Ireland. Plus, you can hop on a Moher day tour to choose from.
CLIFF OF MOHER HOURS
January & February: 09:00-17:00.March & April: 08:00-19:00. May to August: 08:00-21:00. September & October: 08:00-19:00. November & December: 09:00-17:00.
DUBLIN TO THE CLIFFS OF MOHER
The Cliffs of Moher are on the opposite side of the country from Dublin. Luckily Ireland’s small, which means it is possible to visit their long day trip.
Driving from Dublin, it takes a little over 3 hours to reach the Cliffs of Moher. So it is a long Dublin day trip. But worth it.
There are also many day trips and tours that travel to and from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher tour every day.
Adult / Senior/ Student: Starts at €4.00
Children: Under 16 Free
RING OF KERRY
I almost hate to suggest the Ring of Kerry as a day trip, because it has a big downside – the distance from Dublin.
But if you are traveling to Ireland for the landscape (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), then you won’t want to miss the Ring of Kerry.
The Ring of Kerry’s is a 120-mile driving route and is hailed as the most spectacular drive in the country. The winding road takes you along rocky coasts, tall peaks, mossy lakesides, and tattered castles.
One hundred twenty miles might not seem like a massive road trip. But remember to reach the Ring of Kerry from Dublin takes three and a half hours.
And if you are planning on traveling the entire ring and returning to Dublin, then plan on at least 9 -10 hours (depending on how much you stop). Doable, yes. But it makes for a long… long day.
The good news is that the Ring of Kerry is mesmerizing from start to finish. So even if you don’t have enough time to drive the entire thing, it’s still worth it.
For example, if you just want to venture to Killarney National Park (the ring’s unofficial starting point) and check out Ladies’ View, Torc Waterfall, and Ross Castle, it’s still worth the journey.
And by only doing part of the ring, you can spend some time in the lovely town of Killarney.
DUBLIN TO THE RING OF KERRY
The Ring of Kerry is one of the longest day tours from Dublin and is a ton of driving for one day. To appreciate all the beauty, it is better than a weekend trip.
But driving part of Ireland’s most scenic drive is doable. Reaching the start of the Ring of Kerry takes around 4 hours from Dublin.
THE VILLAGE OF DOOLIN
Many people just pass through Doolin on their way to the Cliffs of Moher or the Aran Islands. But, those passersby are missing out on one of the best villages in Ireland.
This little ocean-side town’s enveloped by a verdant landscape, tall grassy knolls, and craggy cliffs. And while the landscape is worth writing home about, it is the charm and local culture of the town that’s special here.
Doolin is a hotspot for old Irish culture, local craic, and traditional music. The relaxed vibe and homely locals instantly make you fall in love with the town.
If you are driving to the Cliffs of Moher, then plan to spend two or three hours in Doolin. Some organized tours stop here, as well. This city is compact. But it might just be my favorite tourist destination in Ireland. One easily one of the best quaint villages in the country.
DUBLIN TO DOOLIN
By car, the ride from Dublin to Doolin takes around three and a half hours. And while Doolin is excellent, the long journey doesn’t warrant it. Rather,
Doolin’s more of a pit stop for those already embarking on the day trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
Castletown House is a great day trip from Dublin, with beautiful gardens, stunning views, and a stunning interior.
Castletown House is at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East, a region rich in history and culture.
The house itself was built in 1720. And one of the most important examples of Palladian architecture in Ireland.
You can visit Castletown House on a self-guided tour or take a guided tour. If you’re lucky enough to be there during the summer months (June-August), you’ll also be able to enjoy the gardens and parkland surrounding the house.
Giant’s Causeway lands on this list as Northern Ireland’s unique attraction. Thousands of strange honeycomb-shaped rocks interlock along the coastline. Varying these basalt columns in different shapes and sizes the entire coastline looks otherworldly.
Science tells us that it formed these rocks through volcanic eruptions and activity. However, I prefer to believe the legend that the anger formed them stomping the Giant Finn McCool.
Sitting on the Causeway Coast–one of the best sections of Ireland-means that Giant’s Causeway pairs well with other day trips to Northern Ireland.
And your chance to add some minor spots (that aren’t big enough to warrant their day trip) to your itinerary. Places like Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede, and the Dark Hedges (as seen in Game of Thrones). This is one of the best UNESCO-listed and best day trips in Dublin. And is one of the best iconic areas of the countryside in Ireland.
GIANTS CAUSEWAY HOURS
- Visitor Center: 09:00 – 17:00
- Pathways: Dawn – Dusk
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO GIANTS CAUSEWAY
While it takes around 3 hours to get to Giants’ Causeway from Dublin, you take through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland, like the Causeway Coast.
And there are other sites along the way, such as the Dark Hedges for your Game of Thrones fans and Dunluce Castle.
GIANTS CAUSEWAY TICKET PRICES
- Adult: £12.50
- Child: £6.75
- Family: £31.25
Carrick-a-Rede is one of the most popular day trips from Dublin. The island is located just off the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Irish Sea, as well as the cliffs and rocks that make up the island. There is also a small beach where you can relax and take in the scenery. Carrick-a-rede is perfect for those seeking an adventure.
If you are looking for a day trip from Dublin, we have a few suggestions. The first is to take the train out to Trim Castle. The ticket price can be as low as €10.50 each way and it takes about 45 minutes to get there.
The medieval town of Trim is a great day trip from Dublin, in County Meath. The town is famous for its historic castle, which was built by Hugh Tyrrell in 1172 and still stands today.
KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK
Speaking of the Ring of Kerry and Killarney, let’s take a second to focus on Killarney National Park.
Seeking the famed landscape of Southern Ireland but don’t want to spend an entire day, in the car, driving the Ring of Kerry? Then head to Killarney National Park.
The park’s brimming with beauty. Small pools are nestled amidst the rolling green hills. Winding roads lead you to panoramic viewpoints. Showcasing grassy balds and lush valleys stretching off to the horizon.
There are thickly wooded areas containing a myriad of footpaths. But Killarney National Park isn’t all-nature. There’s the well-preserved Ross Castle, the historic Muckross House, and attached farmlands.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK
Most travelers drive the Ring of Kerry at Killarney National Park.
So, like that day trip, Killarney National Park is far from Dublin. Driving takes around 3 hours and 40 minutes for Dublin.
THINGS TO DO IN KILLARNEY
- Ross Castle
- Muckross House
- Torc Waterfall
KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK INFO
Mid Mar – Sept: Daily 09:00 -17.30
DAY TRIP FROM DUBLIN: CITIES
The cities are one – of the many – reasons you’ll fall in love with Ireland. Each city feels incredibly different from its counterparts, with its history, atmosphere, and vibe. Yet, they seemingly all still feel “Irish.”
If you’re looking for a day trip to other cities in Ireland, then you can’t go wrong with any of these.
Galway has something undeniably special about it. Within moments of being in the city center, you find yourself cast under its spell. And while Galway is a big city, it keeps the feeling of a small, albeit energetic village.
Galway has everything you are looking for on a day trip. The city has a vibrant pub culture, massive parks, stony streets, beautiful architecture, and wonderful shopping.
More than just things to do, Galway is overflowing with charm and atmosphere.
Known more for its lively pubs and the best live music in Ireland, Galway seems to never stop celebrating. And the city has an infectious energy.
From the first line of a local tune filling the pub, cities like Galway will have you under their spell.
The only thing keeping Galway on the aforementioned best of the best list is the distance (It makes for a long day trip, and works much better as a weekend getaway.)
You could easily make this Galway city a full-day tour.
One of the best places to visit in Galway is the 18th-century eyre square!
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO GALWAY
Galway sits on the opposite coast of the country from Dublin. However, it only takes two and a half hours to drive between Galway and Dublin City Centre.
That means you can eat breakfast in Dublin, have lunch listening to live music in Galway and go back to Dublin before dinner.
THINGS TO DO IN GALWAY
- Reenagross Park
- Ring of Kerry
- Cromwells Bridge
- Kenmare Heritage Centre
- Kenmare Bay
- Our Lady’s Well
Belfast’s an easy, 2-hour day trip North of Dublin. The city’s distinctive vibe and atmosphere make it a worthwhile trip.
Belfast – the capital of Northern Ireland – acts as one of the biggest cultural powerhouses in the country.
Much of the city’s allure lies in the narrow, stony streets and still waterfront. And while Belfast is beautiful, there is much more to the city. It’s a place drenched in history – often tragic history.
They built the “unsinkable” HMS Titanic in Belfast. And the Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic experience, is one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland.
Another tragic part of Belfast’s history is the violence between Catholics and Protestants. You can see the massive “peace wall” that, during the time of “the troubles,” separated the two groups to keep the peace.
Luckily, we don’t need to worry about violence today. And some interesting tours teach the sad, yet important, history of this time in Belfast’s history.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO BELFAST
Belfast is two hours north of Dublin via car and bus. Making it a great day trip to check out another city in Ireland apart from Dublin. So Belfast day is great for your Ireland Itinerary. You can do a detour and see more of the Wild Atlantic Way.
And since Northern Ireland is in the UK, you’re technically traveling to a new part of the world. Belfast is an amazing city, and you can easily turn this into one of the best weekend trips from Dublin.
THINGS TO DO IN BELFAST
- Titanic Belfast
- Belfast Castle
- Belfast City Hall
- Botanic Gardens
- Carrickfergus Castle
- Ulster Museum
Cahir Castle is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles. It is on a rocky island on the River Suir, in the county of Tipperary, and can be reached by crossing over a bridge that spans the river. The castle is a rocky ruin that tells a great story about the medieval era in Ireland.
They built Cahir Castle in the late 13th century. And can easily be reached by hopping on a Dublin bus for as little as 18 euros. Or get on one of the many Irish day tours that visit this historic monument.
It might be the best day trip from Dublin.
After smooching, the Blarney Stone head to the nearby county of Cork. This maritime metropolis is only 5 miles from Blarney Castle.
Cork comes in as the second-largest city in Ireland. Unquestionably, the star of the city is St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral. This 150-year-old church rivals the famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.
Cork’s known for its markets, art galleries, tippled pubs, and great shopping. The port has a quiet waterfront that’s ideal for grabbing a steamy bowl of seafood chowder and soda bread.
Cork has a wealth of things to do, and a town worth exploring for a few hours. Blarney Castle and Cork combined to make a fun and doable day trip from Dublin.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO CORK
Cork is 161 miles from Dublin along the M7 and M8.
By Car: 2 1/2 hours
By Bus: 3+ Hours
THINGS TO DO IN CORK
- Blarney Stone / Blarney Castle
- English Market
- Blackrock Observatory
- Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral
Limerick has an incredible, iconic castle, and walkable city walls, which alone are enough reasons to visit.
Besides the castle, the most popular attraction is the Milk Market. This market dates back to the mid-1800s, and it’s still going strong.
In recent years, the city has been making a name for itself as the artistic center of Ireland with galleries, plays, and art events taking over the city. You can easily spend an entire day wandering Limerick and have a great time. And it’s only a little over 2 hours from Dublin.
Often overlooked, Limerick is a great day trip for those who want to visit another Irish city, yet get away from the tourist crowds.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO LIMERICK
Limerick lies around 126 miles from Dublin along the M7.
By Car: 2 hours and 20 minutes.
By Bus: 2 hours and 45 minutes
THINGS TO DO IN LIMERICK
- King John Castle, Hunt Museum
- Treaty Stone
- St. John’s Cathedral
- Milk Market
DAY TRIPS FROM DUBLIN: CASTLES & SIGHTSEEING
Some of the best sights in Ireland lie within a couple of hours from Dublin. Places like the Hill of Tara are drenched in Irish lore and history.
What’s great is that many of these places are close to each other. Meaning you can visit two or three attractions on a single-day trip from Dublin.
Malahide Castle is easily reached via bus 42 and takes less than an hour from downtown Dublin. The castle has four main rooms that the public can visit.
The Oak Room has wondrous scenes carved into the wooden wall panels. You can also visit the massive Great Hall which has art dating back to the 16th century.
The castle has been the home of the Talbot family for generations and has over 800 years of history to explore. And throughout history, Malahide has played a key role in Ireland.
With your ticket, you also get access to the stunning castle gardens, the Butterfly House, and Fairy Trail.
If you’ve opted for the Dublin Pass, you get free entry to Malahide Castle. Which is another reason this is one of the best day trips from Dublin.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO MALAHIDE CASTLE
Malahide Castle is only 10 miles north of downtown Dublin.
By Car: 20 – 30 minutes.
By Bus: 45 – 50 minutes
TICKET PRICES (ONLINE)
Tickets work a little differently. As you schedule a block for your visit. You can get your tickets from their website here.
- Adult: €11.95
- Child: €5.55
- Student and Senior: €7.70
MALAHIDE CASTLE HOURS
Open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
HILL OF TARA AND STONE OF DESTINY
Cnoc an Teamhrach, better known as the Hill of Tara, acted as the seat of the 142 High Kings of Ireland.
And was the center of politics, ceremony, celebration, and religion in the country for thousands of years.
The history of the Hill of Tara dates back thousands of years. Since prehistoric times, we have known this mystical hill as the Temair, which means the dwelling of the gods.
There are also the nearby earthworks and burial chambers of Newgrange, which date back to the Neolithic era.
And a more recently built chapel and graveyard sit at the base of the hill.
However, the Stone of Destiny, a sheer waist-high menhir jutting up from the center of the hill, is the major attraction.
Awash in the Irish legends of gods, the myth says that when the true king of Ireland touches the stone it will let out a tremendous roar.
When I touched the Stone of Destiny… nothing happened. But the views from the top of the hill are worth the quick climb (if you’re lucky enough to have a clear day).
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO HILL OF TARA
The Hill of Tara lies only 26 miles north of downtown Dublin.
By Car: 45 minutes.
By Bus: An hour and a half.
BATTLE OF THE BOYNE VISITOR CENTER
So far, most of the sites we’ve talked about (The Hill of Tara, Slane, and Newgrange) are all in the Boyne Valley. Making it easy to see them all on one trip. However, history buffs have one more stop that needs to be added to your itinerary. That is the Battle of Boyne visitor center.
The Battle of the Boyne center/museum sits in an 18-century style house and tells the story of the nearby battle for the English Throne. Over 60,000 Jacobites took place in the battle. They ultimately lost the battle, and over a thousand of them never left the battlefield.
The center also has some beautiful gardens and lush grounds for walking. And combined with the Hills of Tara and Slane, Newgrange makes for one epic day trip from Dublin. And one that lets you see the countryside.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO BATTLE OF THE BOYNE VISITOR CENTER
Battle of Boyne Visitor Center sits 31 miles from Dublin along the M2.
Transportation: 45 -50 minutes by car.
By Bus: An hour and a half.
TICKET PRICES (ONLINE)
- Child / Student: €3.00
- Adult: € 5.00
- Family: €13.00
- Senior / Group: €4.00
BATTLE OF THE BOYNE HOURS
Daily: 09.00 – 16.00
(Double-check: Hours change by season)
HILL OF SLANE
The Hill of Slane, within view of the Hill of Tara, plays a part in the lore and religious history of Ireland. The most notable legend about the hill involves Saint Patrick.
Here he lit a fire during the Beltaine Festival, which was forbidden, and defied King Laoghaire’s orders. This was at the start of Saint Patrick’s rebellion against the pagan king and the start of his quest to bring Christianity to Ireland. The ancient King of Slane, Fir Blog, died and was buried on this hill.
But at the moment, the grave’s blocked off to the public. Today, the ruins of an old monastery cover the top of the hill. And there are rarely over one or two other people visiting. Meaning you get this slice of history to yourself.
The Hill of Slane is free to enter and is close to both the Hill of Tara and Newgrange. And you can easily hit all three sites in a day. The journey from downtown Dublin to the Hill of Slane takes around 50 minutes.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO HILL OF SLANE
Hill of Slane, while only 30 minutes for Dublin, takes a little longer to get to.
Transportation: 45 -50 minutes by car.
By Bus: An hour and a half.
A mere 40 minutes from downtown Dublin rests on Montpellier Hill. And while you get expansive views of the city and surrounding area from the top of the hill, that isn’t what draws people here.
Rather, it’s the stone house sitting on top of Montpellier. Legend says that a local who tore down an ancient cairn to erect his home built this dark building. And in doing so earned the wrath of the pagan gods.
Since then, the mysterious and creepy house has had a long history of ghost sightings, been the sight of dark rituals, and devil worship. Legends say there have been a string of murders in this home, and the house has withstood many fires.
This isn’t my type of day trip from Dublin. But if you’re into the paranormal and all things haunted, then Hellfire Club is the sight for you.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO HELLFIRE CLUB
Just outside the city.
By Car: Takes around 30 minutes to drive.
By Cab: expect to pay at least 30 Euros.
Kylemore Abbey has steadily increased in popularity and is now considered one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland.
Built-in the 1800s Victorian gardens surround this ineffable abbey, with towering mountains, and verdant woods. Every inch of the estate and buildings are elegantly designed. And the entire area is breathtaking.
Today, Kylemore Abbey is revered as a holy place and has become the home of Benedictine Nuns.
While Kylemore Abbey’s something special, it might not be the day trip from Dublin for you. Mainly because of the distance; in Connemara, Kylemore makes for a long day of driving from Dublin. But it’s possible if this is one site you can’t miss.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO KYLEMORE
176 miles from Dublin.
Transportation: 3 hours and 40 minutes by car.
By Bus: 4:30 – 5 hours.
TICKET PRICES (ONLINE)
- Adult: €13 -€14
- Senior & Student: €10
- Family: €28 – €38
KYLEMORE ABBEY HOURS
- November to March: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
- April to July: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
- July & late August: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
- September to October: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
DAY TRIPS FROM DUBLIN VILLAGES
Some of my best experiences in Ireland are far removed from the big cities and popular attractions. They are in the small villages; experiences like singing with a group of locals while drinking pints and walking through small stony streets and quiet neighborhoods.
I recommend getting out of the big cities and spending some time in the small towns and villages.
Waterford’s a fun 2-hour jaunt from Dublin in Ireland, known as Ireland’s ancient east. Waterford is also the oldest surviving city in Ireland, born from the remains of early Viking settlements. And the town predates Dublin by over 70 years.
Foodies will quickly fall in love with Waterford’s fresh seafood scene. And history lovers will want to spend their time wandering the three epic museums showcasing the old Viking history and treasures.
However, the biggest site in Waterford has to be the House of Crystal. Waterford Crystal has garnered fame all over the world. And quick tours that also include taking you through the factory to look at some fantastic pieces, and even letting you see workers forming the crystal into beautiful shapes.
If the food, museums, and crystal don’t appeal to you, then you can still enjoy the relaxed fishing village vibe of the city.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO WATERFORD
Waterford is 106 miles south of downtown Dublin.
By Car: If you want to head there independently, it takes 2 hours to reach Waterford by car.
By Bus: By bus expect it to take around 2 and a half hours.
Sitting in Dublin Bay, the Howth Peninsula’s a perfect day trip for those who don’t want to stray too far away from The Pale.
Bus easily reached the small eponymously named coastal town in about 30 minutes from downtown Dublin. Howth has garnered a reputation for its weekend market, fresh seafood, and quiet waterfront.
But the scenic cliff walks are the main reason travelers flock to Howth Head. These easy hikes take you along the edge of salt-washed cliffsides. Along the way, treat you to picturesque views of lighthouses, harbors, cliffs, and the ocean. And you have Howth Castle as well!
While not nearly as impressive as the Cliffs of Moher, these are a suitable alternative for those pressed for time.
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO WATERFORD
Howth lies just 11 miles north of Dublin. It’s easy to reach by car or bus.
By Car: Traffic dependent, it takes between 25 -35 minutes to reach Howth.
By Bus: By bus expect it to take between 30 – 40 minutes.
Kilkenny’s a beautiful example of a medieval town. The symbol of the city is a well-maintained castle that dates back to the late 1100s. (They gifted this castle from the Butler Family to the City for 50 pounds)
Known for its iconic dark marble, Kilkenny has been nicknamed the marble city, which is a cooler nickname than some of the best nicknames for Chicago.. And it played an important part in the country’s history and acted as the capital of Ireland in the 1600s.
Kilkenny’s a place of towering cathedrals, tall abbeys, and imposing castles. The city has fantastic medieval architecture and old buildings. But while Kilkenny’s old, the city doesn’t feel dated. And somehow it has seamlessly blended the old and the new.
Today the city’s filled with charming boutiques and artisan shops perfect for window shopping or buying souvenirs. And since Kilkenny Castle is less than two hours from Dublin, it makes for a great day trip, weekend getaway, or private tour.
Kilmacduagh Abbey is a former monastery in County Galway, Ireland. It was founded by St. Colman in the 7th century and was later destroyed by the English in the 16th century. The site includes the ruins of the abbey church, as well as a Round Tower and a graveyard.
Kilmacduagh abbey is one of the best day trips in Dublin that you can take!
GETTING FROM DUBLIN TO KILKENNY
There are 80 miles between Kilkenny and Dublin.
By Car: Driving takes a little over an hour.
By Bus: The bus takes to 1 -2 hours.
It is easy to get away from Dublin Castle and all the other things to do in Dublin. Get out and travel to unknown places like county Clare. If you are booking a tour then make sure you are taking safety measures, and doing your research. Also, look for a tour with free cancellation in case your plans change. But there are some great family-friendly adventures, day trips in Dublin, and places for avoiding crowds. These are the best day trips from Dublin!