Looking for the best day trips from Dublin? Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and the largest city too. Day trips from Dublin are manageable, you can go anywhere in Ireland and back again in a day. Touring outside Dublin is best done when you rent a car (just be sure to get insurance, as there are lots of narrow streets).
Cliffs of Moher, the biggest attraction in Ireland, takes 3 hours from the capital but it is worth it once you get to see the breathtaking view, the beautiful cliffs are 700+ feet above the big Atlantic Ocean. In the south part of Ireland, the greenery of the Wicklow Mountains lie.
Another adventurous activity is to go north at the Giant’s Causeway (one of the natural wonders of the world) which is made up of more than 37,000 basalt rock columns almost perfect volcanic hexagonal tubes.
Nearby Giant’s Causeways is a rope bridge, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge suspended almost 100 ft above sea level, connecting the cliffs across the Atlantic Ocean. To polish off the outdoorsy phase of your Ireland tour, Howth is the best spot for it, as you can have the fresh sea air, coastal crafts and a scrumptious seafood meal before heading to the city capital.
For city dwellers hop at Belfast (Titanic’s shipyard) and Galway known for its culture, live Irish music and popping pubs along the pedestrian-friendly street.
The town of Kilkenny near the Wicklow Mountains, have one of the finest 12th century Norman castle in the world is located, the Kilkenny Castle. Take a stroll at the quaint shops of this town, the narrow streets are composed of colourful structures and a noteworthy nightlife. Another architectural experience are the medieval remains in Glendalough.
Day trips from Dublin are so majestic and worth a detour!
1. Cliffs of Moher
You cannot go to Ireland and not visit the Cliffs of Moher. This is one of the most popular destinations for Dublin day trips. Located in Clare County, it is also one of the most photographed tourist attractions in Ireland.
The Cliffs of Moher is a towering sea cliff that soars up to 700 feet high over the Atlantic Coast. It has been named as a UNESCO Global Geopark, which gives you even more reason to add this to your Dublin day tours. Being atop the cliffs can make you feel like you’re boarding a magnificent ship as you marvel at the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. Aside from the cliffs, there is an abundant array of wildlife that calls this area home. From razorbills to the elusive peregrine falcons, you can find them here.
Another attraction to look out for when you visit the Cliffs of Moher is the O’Brien Tower. This tower marks the highest point in cliffs. Aside from the view, you could spot some whales and dolphins, if you’re lucky! These are just a few of the reasons why you cannot miss the Cliffs of Moher day trip from Dublin.
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. It is known as the birthplace of the Titanic, which sunk in 1912 when it hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. You can learn more about this history linked to Belfast when you visit the Titanic Quarter. This attraction is a dockyard that has been renovated into a tourist area, most notably featuring the Titanic Belfast–a museum that is shaped like a ship’s hull.
When visiting Belfast as part of your day excursions from Dublin, there are more attractions to explore. The Belfast City Hall is an ornate government building constructed in 1906. It also houses a public art exhibit, a Titanic garden, and a café. Another notable landmark worth seeing is the Belfast Castle. It is found within a country park located on a hilltop and was built in 1870. If you have more time, do check out the Ulster Museum and St. George’s Market, too.
Read More: Best UK Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks
3. Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ireland. If you love to seek out unique attractions, this is one of the best day trips from Dublin. This site is managed by the National Trust.
The area is notable for its over 40,000 basalt columns that have naturally formed over thousands of years. These stick out from the sea and create a dramatic sight that has inspired many legendary stories. This striking feature is one of the most unique attractions for your day trips out of Dublin.
Galway is another destination to consider if you are looking for the best Dublin day tours. Many would say that Galway is the most beautiful urban area in Ireland. For a country noted for its natural beauty, this is saying a lot.
Galway is a relatively small city, so you could easily spend a day to explore its major attractions. Lynch’s Castle is one of the must-see sights during your excursion. This medieval building’s most prominent feature is the presence of stone gargoyles that stick out from the walls. This is known as the only non-religious medieval building still in existence in Galway today.
Another notable attraction is the Galway Cathedral, which is an expansive green-domed structure. It features Renaissance-style architecture that is modern and airy at the same time. If you have more time, visit the Spanish Arch and the Galway City Museum as well.
Cork is another famous destination for tourists going on Dublin day tours. It is home to a number of famous tourist attractions in Ireland, with the Blarney Castle among them. This is a medieval castle with a baronial mansion attached to it. It has been around since 1446, which makes it a stronghold in Blarney, Cork, Ireland.
The most popular attraction within the castle is the Blarney Stone. This legendary object is made of limestone and built into the battlements of the castle. Kissing the stone is believed to endow you with the gift of the gab. Make sure to book your Blarney Castle day trip from Dublin for this unique historical and cultural experience.
If you wish to explore the counties of Ireland, Killarney is a great place to start. It is home to numerous attractions such as the Killarney National Park. This park enables you to see the beauty of the lakes and mountains in this part of Ireland.
It is also great for adventure seekers as you have the opportunity to climb the highest mountain in the country. If you plan to stay a little longer, the Kerry Way is a must-do for visitors. It is a 213-kilometre trail that can be completed in eight to 10 days. It offers the best views of the Iveragh Peninsula.
To see more of what Killarney has to offer, you can combine this with a scenic drive at the Ring of Kerry.
7. Ring of Kerry
You cannot come up with a list of the best day trips from Dublin without including the Ring of Kerry. This is a scenic drive to County Kerry, which is located in southwest Ireland. It is 179 kilometers long and is a circular route (thus, the name Ring of Kerry).
This route takes you through verdant landscapes and rural seaside villages. You can also spot the 7th-century monastery Skellig Michael on this route. If you like going on road trips and enjoying scenic yet rugged seaside views, this is a must when in Dublin.
8. Castle Ward
If you are a fan of the Games of Thrones TV series, Castle Ward should be on your list of Dublin day trips. This historic farmyard is the location of the fictional Winterfell in the HBO show. This location served as the backdrop for the series through most of its seven seasons.
Take a tour of Castle Ward and enter the magical world of Game of Thrones. Relive your favourite scenes at the Winterfell Archery Range. Some of the tours available here enable you to dress up as your beloved characters. This tour experience lets you step into the characters’ world, which is a must for any fan of the show.
9. Antrim Coast and Glens
Another notable Dublin day trip for Game of Thrones fans is the Antrim Coast and Glens. Located in Antrim County, this region is recognized as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This recognition is awarded only to a select few that have preserved and protected their natural beauty and scenery. It is also recognized as a way to optimise efforts for its preservation.
The area is known for its dramatic headlands, gentle bays, farmlands, moorlands, and glens (valleys). There are also numerous archaeological sites, historic monuments, and listed buildings within the region. It is no wonder why this area was chosen as part of the film locations for Game of Thrones.
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