The 25 BEst Day Trips from Dublin (NEW 2020)

Best Places to visit in Ireland

Today you’re going to discover the best day trips from Dublin.

Many of us that 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, Ireland has to offer.

I’ve visited Ireland numerous times. And during part of every trip, I use Dublin as a launching off 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; The Ultimate List of Day Trips from Dublin.

The Ultimate List of Day Trips from Dublin

Day Trips from Dublin: The Best of the BEst

In this section, you’ll find a collection of vibrant cities, ancient sites, crumbling castles, scenic landscapes, and various other attractions.

And while this blog post is broken down in 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.

NewGrange

If there’s one ancient site, I will encourage you not to miss 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 certified site remains in remarkable condition. Shuffling through the narrow entryway, you soon come to a massive burial chamber with three graves sites.

The whole monument was built 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.

Make sure to 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 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)

Ticket Prices: 

  • Adult: €11
  • Senior/group: €8
  • Child/student: €6
  • Family: €28

Wicklow & 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. But also thousands of years of history, and ruins.

One perk of visiting Wicklow 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 to explore the area yourself.

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 then day tour or driving yourself are the best options.

Top Things to do in Glendalough and Wicklow

  • Lough Dan
  • Tonelagee
  • Turlough Hill
  • Camaderry
  • Wicklow Town
  • Wicklow Gaol
  • Sliver Strand Beach

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 a 1 and 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 do 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 Castle

Blarney Castle IrelandBlarney, 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’s bathed in myths and legends that only lends to the 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 moss towers are reason enough to visit.

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 day getaway. 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, 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

Hours

Monday to Saturday

  • Jan – Feb: 9.00am to 5.00pm (Last Admission 4.00pm)
  • Mar – Apr: 9.00am to 6.00pm (Last Admission 5.00pm)
  • May: 9.00am to 6.30pm (Last Admission 5.30pm)
  • June – Aug: 9.00am to 7.00pm (Last Admission 6.00pm)
  • Sept: 9.00am to 6.30pm (Last Admission 5.30pm)
  • Oct: 9.00am to 6.00pm (Last Admission 5.00pm)
  • Nov – Dec: 9.00am to 5.00pm (Last Admission 4.00pm)

Rock of Cashel

Slightly less than 2 hours from Dublin is one of the best sights in Ireland. The Rock of Cashel sits high on top a verdant grass clad hill. It dwarfs the surrounding city and gives awe-inspiring views of 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.

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 in a single trip.

Public transport takes around 3 hours, but it isn’t the most budget-friendly. And plan to pay over $40 for a round trip.

Ticket Prices

Adult : €8.00
Group / Senior : €6.00
Child / Student : €4.00
Family : €20.00

Travel Hack: Spend 15 euros or more in Cashel town and get free admission. Check out the details here

Hours

Mid Sept. – Mid Oct. Daily 09.00 – 17.30 

Mid Oct. – Mid March Daily 09.00 – 16.30 

Mid March – Early June Daily 09.00 – 17.30 

Early June – Mid Sept. Daily 09.00 – 19.00 

Last admission 45 minutes before closing.

Rock of Cashel Tours

Cliffs of Moher

When it comes to sightseeing, the most visited natural attraction in Ireland – and most popular day trip from Dublin – are 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 actually 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. 

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 them long day trip. 

 Driving from Dublin, it takes a little over 3 hours to reach the Cliffs of Moher.

There are also numerous day trips and tours that travel to and from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher every day.

Ticket Prices

Adult / Senior/ Student: Starts at €4.00

Children: Under 16 Free

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.

Cliffs of Moher Tours

 

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 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 a 120-mile driving route and 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 bear in mind to reach the Ring of Kerry from Dublin it 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 absolutely 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 rings 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 better as 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

A lot of 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 verdant, lush 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.

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.

Giants Causeway

Giant’s Causeway lands on this list as Northern Ireland’s most unique attraction. Thousands of strange honeycomb-shaped rocks interlock along the coastline. Varying in different shapes and sizes; the entire coastline looks otherworldly.

Science tells us that these rocks were formed through volcanic eruptions and activity. However, I prefer to believe the legend that they were formed by the angry stomping of 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 own day trip) to your itinerary. Places like Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede, and the Dark Hedges (as seen in Game of Thrones).

Getting From Dublin to Giants Causeway

While it takes around 3 hours to get to Giants Causeway from Dublin, it takes you 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 you Game of Thrones fans and Dunluce Castle.

Ticket Prices

  • Adult: £12.50
  • Child: £6.75
  • Family: £31.25

Hours

  • Visitor Center: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Pathways: Dawn – Dusk

Giants Causeway Tours

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; and the historic Muckross House and attached farmlands.

Getting From Dublin to Killarney National Park

Most travelers start driving the Ring of Kerry at Killarney National Park. 

So like that day trip, Killarney National Park is far from Dublin. Driving it 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

Admission: Free

Day Trip from Dulbin: 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 own 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. 

Places in This Section

Galway

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 retains 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 good 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. 

Actually, the only thing keeping Galway aforementioned best of the best list is the distance (It makes for a long day trip, and works much better as a weekend getaway.) 

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 the two. 

That means you can eat breakfast in Dublin, lunch listening to live music in Galway, and back to Dublin before dinner.

Things to do in Galway

  • Reenagross Park
  • Kenmare
  • Ring of Kerry
  • Cromwells Bridge
  • Kenmare Heritage Centre
  • Kenmare Bay
  • Our Lady’s Well

Galway Tours

 

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Belfast

Belfast’s an easy, 2-hour day trip North of Dublin. The city’s distinctive vibe and atmosphere make it a trip that’s worthwhile.

Belfast – the capital of Northern Ireland – acts as one of the biggest cultural powerhouses in the country.

Much of the cities’ 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 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. 

And since Northern Ireland is in the UK, you’re technically traveling to a new part of the world.

Things to do in Belfast

  • Titanic Belfast
  • Belfast Castle
  • Belfast City Hall
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Carrickfergus Castle
  • Ulster Museum

Cork

After smooching the Blarney Stone head to nearby 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.

Surprisingly 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 do-able 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
  • Sain Fin Barre’s Cathedral

Limerick

Limerick has an incredible, iconic castle, and walkable city walls, which alone are enough reason to visit. 

Beside 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 from 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

  • Kings John Castle, Hunt Museum
  • Treaty Stone
  • St. John’s Cathedral
  • Milk Market

Day Trips from Dublin: Castles & SIghtseeing

Some of the best sightseeing in Ireland lies 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

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 that 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.

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 different. As you schedule a block for you 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 na 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 this mystical hill has been known as Temair, which means the dwelling of the gods.

There’s also the nearby earthworks and burial chamber of Newgrange, which dates 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 main attraction.

Awash in the Irish legends of gods, myth says that when the true king of Ireland touches the stone that 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 located in the Boyne Valley. Making it easy to see them all in 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, and Newgrange makes for one epic day trip from Dublin.

Getting From Dublin to Battle of the Boyne Visitor Center

Battle of Boyne Visitor Center sits 31 miles from Dublin along the M2.

By Car: 45 -50 minutes. 

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 to 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’s rarely more than one or two other people visiting. Meaning you get this slice of history to yourself. The Hill of Slane is free to enter and 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 too.  

By Car: 45 -50 minutes. 

By Bus: An hour and a half.

Hellfire Club

A mere 40 minutes from downtown Dublin rests 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 this dark and mysterious building was built by a local who tore down an ancient cairn to erect his home. 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 has been a string of murders in this home, and the house has withstood numerous 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

Kylemore Abbey has steadily increased in popularity and now considered one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland. 

Built in the 1800s this ineffable abbey is surrounded by Victorian gardens, 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 actually 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; located 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.

By Car: 3 hours and 40 mintues

By Bus: 4:30 – 5 hours.

Ticket Prices (Online)

  • Adult: €13 -€14
  • Senior & Student: €10
  • Family: €28 – €38

Kylemore Abbey Hours

  • November to March: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • April to July: 9.30am to 6.00pm
  • July & late August: 9.00am to 7.00pm
  • September to October: 9.30am to 5.30pm

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, 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

Waterford’s a fun 2-hour jaunt from Dublin in the area of Ireland known as the ancient east. Waterford 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 short tours take you through the factory to look at some fantastic pieces; and even lets 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: It takes 2 hours to reach Waterford by car.

By Bus: By bus expect it to take around 2 and a half hours. 

Howth Peninsula

Sitting in the Dublin Bay, the Howth Peninsula’s a perfect day trip for those who don’t want to stray too far away from The Pale.

The small eponymously named coastal town is easily reached in about 30 minutes by bus 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. These easy hikes take you along the edge of salt-washed cliff sides. Along the way, treating you to picturesque views lighthouses, harbors, cliffs, and ocean.

While not nearly as impressive as the Cliffs of Moher, these are a good 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

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. (This castle was gifted from the Butler Family to the City for 50 pounds)

Known for its iconic dark marble Kilkenny has been nicknamed the marble city. And its 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’s less than two hours from Dublin, it makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway.

Getting From Dublin to Kilkenny

There’s 80 miles between Kilkenny and Dublin.

By Car: Driving takes a little over an hour.

By Bus: Bus takes to 1 -2 hours.

There we go! All the day trips from Dublin you could ever want!

While look at the map it might look like some of them see far. However, remember that Ireland’s not a big country and its easy to whip from one side to other. 

Which one looks the most appealing to you? Or which ones have you already done? 

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