Dublin is full of history, tradition, folk legend, miles of spectacular coastline and unsurpassed natural beauty.
When it comes to things to do in Dublin, the city has lots to offer. Every corner of Dublin is filled with personality, character and enchanting secrets. But, once you’ve walked the museums and experienced the top attractions, you should embark on a day trip and see the iconic rolling hills and craggy coast. Luckily, most of the country’s charms are just a car, train, bus or taxi ride from city center.
Take a look at some of the best day trips from Dublin.
The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are a beautiful introduction to the rugged and raw coastline of Ireland. It’s one of the biggest and most popular attractions, not just in Ireland, but in Europe and well worth the effort.
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. There are wonderful walking trails to enjoy around the Cliffs of Moher
*Note: Seeing the Cliffs is very weather dependent, so keep an eye on the forecast. Fog and rain can make it impossible to see, so if the weather doesn’t look too promising, consider another day trip from Dublin instead.
Glendalough AND Wicklow
The Wicklow mountains aren’t far from Dublin, but the scenery of this area is drastically different. It’s probably one of the most beautiful places in Ireland and was used as a filming location for Hollywood blockbusters P.S. I Love You and Braveheart. Perhaps the most beautiful place in the area is Glendalough famous not only for the beautiful landscape but also the monastic ruins. Nature lovers will feel at home on the extensive network of trails and spiritual sightseers can find solace at the mountain’s timeworn religious sites, while high-end spa treatments help everyone unwind.
You can also add an extra stop on your Wicklow day trip and explore the medieval town of Kilkenny with its impressive castle and the Black Abbey.
The picturesque fishing village of Howth is the closest spot for a proper day out. City dwellers often visit this rocky peninsula to relax and recharge. Looking to get out of There is a castle worth exploring and a couple of great walking trails. Howth is also known for its fresh delicious seafood, so make sure to stay for at least one meal! Plus, if you go on Sundays, you’ll get to experience the local food market. If you are looking for a relaxing day trip that isn’t too far away, then Howth is a great pick for a day trip from Dublin.
*Note: On clear days, Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye nature reserve and bird sanctuary appear on the horizon, so don’t forget to also walk to the Howth Cliff Walk, a family-friendly path with panoramic views over the peninsula.
Galway and Connemara
Every year, tens of thousands of people come to Ireland to see the wild beauty of Connemara in the West of Ireland. Galway, Ireland’s ‘coolest town’ is another must, especially for those looking to experience true Irish craic. Cozy pubs, boutique shops, and buskers in the street add to the fun atmosphere of this charming, coastal Irish city. If you have the time, it’s worth staying awhile, but if not it makes for one of the best day trips from Dublin.
And finally, visit Belfast
Lonely Planet lauds Belfast as one of the top 10 ‘must-see’ destinations in the world. Known as the birthplace of the RMS Titanic and hub of the infamous “Troubles” that divided the nation for decades, Belfast has a more sophisticated vibe than you might expect. It’s the perfect day trip for urbanites and history buffs.
Inspired architecture like the copper-domed City Hall, modernist MAC arts centre, leaning Albert clock, Victorian Grand Opera House, and Hiberno-Romanesque St. Anne’s Cathedral dance along the skyline while intrepid chefs fire up new tastes in the vibrant restaurant scene.
Whatever your interests are, there are plenty of choices for great day trips from Dublin that will allow you to get out of the capital and explore the countryside.