Searching for the best day trips from Dublin? This guide has every single day trip from Dublin that’s worth the effort. There are so many day trips from Dublin that are fantastic. Will you choose to visit the pretty historic city of Howth? Or will you venture out into nature to see the Cliffs of Moher? No matter which day trip from Dublin you choose, it’ll be amazing.
One of the biggest mistakes that visitors to Ireland make is spending too much time in Dublin. If you’ve already booked more than a couple of days in Ireland’s capital city, consider taking a few day trips from Dublin! There’s so much more to see in this beautiful country than just the capital city.
From day trips from Dublin that are within just 1 hour in the city’s limits, to those that require you to venture up to 2 plus hours away, we highly encourage you to go beyond the city and explore the beauty that Ireland has to offer!
17 Best Dublin Day Trips Worth The Effort
Best Dublin Day Trips Within 1 Hour
Howth is one of the prettiest small towns in Ireland, and, because of its proximity to Dublin, it’s one of the best day trips from Dublin. As you make your way from Dublin to Howth, you’ll get stunning views of this beautiful country, as you can see from our photo essay of Howth.
One of the best things to do in Howth is to tackle the Howth Cliff Walk Loop, one of the easiest hikes in Ireland! This trail is filled with towering cliffs and gorgeous views that will make you want to snap a few pictures every few feet!
Another must-see stop in Howth is Ireland’s Eye. Between the stunning views and sandy beaches, there’s something for everyone here. Going to Ireland’s Eye is only about a 15-minute boat ride and there is so much to do once you arrive. If fishing is one of your hobbies, there are some fantastic tours you can take. Or if you are an avid bird watcher, they have guides that can take you to view some local species.
Lastly, Howth also happens to be home to an 800-year-old castle known as Howth Castle. While this castle is still inhabited by the original homeowner’s descendants, the family allows visitors on weekends. So if you happen to be in Howth on a Saturday or a Sunday, be sure to make Howth Castle a stop on your list of things to do!
To get from Dublin to Howth, you can drive or take a high-speed train and arrive in about half an hour. As an alternative, you can also take a tour that includes transportation.
Book Here: Guided Tour Of Howth From Dublin
Bray, Ireland is another stunning day trip from Ireland, one that warranted a photo essay of its own.
This little Irish city is filled with natural gems. Bray Head is a hill alongside the water, which you can climb to the top of and even continue to hike around on the Bray Head Cliff Walk. This Irish town is also home to the Powerscourt Waterfall, one of the prettiest waterfalls in Ireland, and the beautiful National Gardens Exhibition Center.
Bray also features a stunning waterfront promenade. As a matter of fact, this Victorian-style promenade has made such a name for itself that Bray is sometimes known as “the Brighton of Ireland.” Basically, if you get the chance, be sure to make Bray one of your day trips from Dublin.
To get from Dublin to Bray, you can drive or take a train and arrive in about forty minutes.
Ireland is filled with charming, picturesque towns, and the town of Malahide is no exception. Boasting historic character and a towering castle, there are so many things to do in this amazing Irish town.
By far, the most popular thing to do in Malahide is visit the Malahide Castle. This structure is one of the oldest castles in the entire country. If you would like, you can take a tour of the inside of the castle and learn everything there is to know about this architectural wonder – from its history to its potential hauntings!
If history isn’t quite your thing, Malahide is also great for a casual day on the town. Walk along the marina and the beach, grab a delicious bite to eat, do a little shopping, and simply enjoy the atmosphere of this cute Irish town.
To get from Dublin to Malahide, you can drive or take a high-speed train to arrive under half an hour. As an alternative, you can take a Dublin day tour that includes transportation.
Book Here: Malahide Castle & Howth Day Trip From Dublin
Book Here: Malahide Castle Entrance Ticket
Hill Of Tara
Ireland’s ancient ruins are known across the globe, and the Hill of Tara is home to some of them. The Hill of Tara was a significant site for Celtic royalty. It served as an important spot from the beginning of a king’s rule, as it was the point of the inauguration, until the very end, as it also served as the burial site of Celtic Kings.
To fully experience of the Hill of Tara, we recommend taking a tour. Context is so important to appreciate the ruins and landscapes at the Hill of Tara, and a local guide will be able to provide just that.
To get from Dublin to the Hill of Tara, we highly recommend driving for forty minutes or taking a tour that includes transportation. While you can take a train from Dublin to the Hill of Tara, it takes between an hour and fifteen minutes and an hour and a half.
As the largest castle in all of Ireland, Trim Castle is truly a special sight. As a matter of fact, Trim Castle holds a second title: the largest Norman Castle in all of Europe. Construction on this amazing tower began nearly 900 years ago! It is important to note that this castle can get quite busy, especially during the summer months. To avoid lines and guarantee your entry, consider booking a tour in advance.
To get from Dublin to Trim Castle, we recommend driving for about 45 minutes. While you can take a train, it takes an additional half an hour.
Book Here: Trim Castle & Slane Whiskey Distillery Tour
The lovely town of Greystones is filled with fresh air, kind people, and beautiful nature. Plus, it’s just a few miles away from Bray, so you could likely combine the two together for one packed day trip from Dublin.
Greystones is most well-known for its many walks. The most popular one is the Bray Greystones Cliff Walk, a stunning coastal path between two beautiful Irish towns. There is also the Greystones Way, the Delgany Walking Trail, and the Mass Path. If you’d prefer to enjoy nature in a different way, consider heading to the marina or Greystones Blue Flag Beach to enjoy the water! Overall, Greystones is a lovely place to take a break from the bustling city feel of Dublin.
To get from Dublin to Greystones, it takes 45 minutes by car and one hour by train.
Best Dublin Day Trips Under 2 Hours
The Republic of Ireland is much more popular than Northern Ireland, but Northern Ireland is definitely worth a visit! The city of Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is home to so many wonderful things to see and is a great stop on an Ireland road trip!
Did you know that Belfast is actually where the Titanic was built and originally set sail from? Be sure to learn all about that event at the interactive Titanic Museum.
Another must-see stop in Belfast is the bustling Cathedral Quarter. The Cathedral Quarter is a fantastic place for to grab a bite to eat and to visit to one of the many pubs. If you have time, you can even take a pub tour or walking tour around Belfast.
To get from Dublin to Belfast, it takes about two hours either by car or by train. As an alternative, you can book a tour from Dublin that already has the transportation figured out for you.
The town of Wicklow is known for its stunning natural landscapes, as it is home to the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park. There are tons of beautiful walking paths throughout the national park, or, if you prefer, you can also take a drive. Be sure to visit Glendalough, the most famous part of Wicklow Mountains National Park. The rolling green hills and beautiful lakes of Glendalough draw in thousands of visitors each year.
We highly recommend the Ballinstoe Woods Boardwalk if you like magical photography places!
Wicklow Mountains Naitonal Park isn’t all that Wicklow has to offer. This town is also home to the Great Sugar Loaf hill, a popular hiking location. And if hiking isn’t your thing, how about a relaxing day on the secluded Silver Strand Beach?
To get from Dublin to Wicklow, it takes about an hour and fifteen minutes by car or by train. You can also take a tour from Dublin that includes transportation.
Book Here: Wicklow & Glendalough Day Trip From Dublin
Rock Of Cashel
This Irish small town of Cashel is a top destination for so many people – and for good reason! While this small village includes historical museums and a wonderful town center, most people visit Cashel for the Rock of Cashel.
The Rock of Cashel is a huge fortress that also has a 13th-century cathedral and Hall of Vicars. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this historic, picture-worthy destination on your trip to Ireland!
To get from Dublin to the Rock of Cashel, you must drive for just under two hours. There is no public transportation option available. As an alternative, you can also take a Dublin day tour that also includes stops at Blarney Castle and Cahir Castle.
This Gothic-style castle is a popular day trip from Dublin. Once upon a time, Charleville Castle was just a doodle on scrap paper. Yet in 1798, that very same year, those doodles were transformed into a towering, breathtaking castle. And is if the castle itself weren’t enough, the area surrounding Charleville Castle is also amazing. It’s situated within woods filled with huge, ancient oak trees! It’s truly a sight to see.
To get from Dublin to Charleville Castle, it takes an hour and a half by car. While you can also reach Charleville Castle by train, it takes an additional 45 minutes.
Best Dublin Day Trips Over 2 Hours
Cliffs Of Moher
Out of all of the day trips from Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher is the most popular by far. With striking cliffs that can reach up to 700 feet above sea level and stretch for over five miles, this sight is unlike any other in the world.
During your time at the Cliffs of Moher, you can visit the Visitor Center for some education and also grab a bite to eat before checking out the views! You can stay on the Cliffs of Moher visitor center property, or you can go outside of the property and walk on top of the Cliffs themselves. Do know that walking along the cliffs can be quite dangerous, due to the strong wings and the steep drop-offs, so please be careful!
To get from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, we highly recommend driving or taking a tour. The drive takes just over three hours each way, but it’s worth it to see this amazing natural landscape!
While the Cliffs of Moher are known for being an amazing, unique natural landscape, Giant’s Causeway is just as amazing and is a little bit more under-the-radar.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site looks like a landscape from a movie that had to be created by CGI, except it’s absolutely real. The 40,000 small, hexagonal-shaped stones are naturally stacked on top of each other to create an oceanfront landscape unlike any other. While there, simply take in the views, hop around the stones, and snap a bunch of pictures of this otherworldly location.
To get from Dublin to Giant’s Causeway, it takes just over two hours by car or by train. You can also take a Dublin day tour that includes transportation.
Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone, draws thousands of visitors every single year. Many visitors think they’ll just show up at the castle, kiss the stone, and leave, but there’s so much more to the experience than that.
Blarney Castle is located on Blarney Estate which is a huge property right outside of Cork, and you could honestly spend a whole day there. Try to plan for at least 3 hours to kiss the Blarney Stone in Blarney Castle, to explore the amazing Blarney Manor, and the explore the precisely manicured grounds.
To get from Dublin to Blarney Castle, it takes just under three hours each way by car. If you’d prefer not to drive, consider taking a tour that includes transportation from Dublin.
Book Here: Blarney Castle Day Trip From Dublin
Known as one of Ireland’s prettiest towns, Adare has a ton of things to offer! This extremely picturesque, this small Irish village filled with quaint cottages has been designated as a Heritage Town by the Irish Government.
One of the most beautiful places in this lovely town is the Holy Trinity Abbey Church. This church is one of the best places to take photos and travel to because of its gorgeous stained glass. And while the glass is amazing, you’ll want to take a peek at the precise stonework as well.
Adare also hosts a string of cottages built in the 19th century by landlord Earl of Dunraven. The small village in Ireland used to house workers building Adare Manor, but now these buildings are used to house craft stores and fine dining restaurants.
Finally, as with many Irish villages, Adare is home to a castle, Adare Castle. Built nearly 800 years ago, this castle stood tall until the Cromwell Troops ruined the castle in 1657. That said, most of the Great Hall, bakery, and kitchens are still standing.
To get from Dublin to Adare, it takes about two hours and fifteen minutes by car. If you’re relying on public transportation, it will take an additional hour.
The city of Waterford, Ireland is most well-known for Waterford Crystals. You can actually visit the factory and watch the experts cut and polish these expensive gems. If you would like, you can even purchase one at the factory store, which has the largest collection of Waterford Crystals in the entire world.
But crystals aren’t all that Waterford has to offer. Consider wandering around the Viking Triangle, checking out the Reginald’s Tower, and taking a relaxing walk around the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens.
To get from Dublin to Waterford, it takes about two hours by car and two and a half hours by train.
Book Here: Waterford Crystal Factory Tour
Tollymore Forest is one of the coolest hidden gems in Ireland – and if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, this day trip from Dublin is definitely for you. Located in Newcastle, this huge and magical state forest park has several trails for walking and exploring, and the Shimna river that runs through it can be crossed over by 16 bridges.
Tollymore Forest is one of the most iconic Game of Thrones shooting locations. There are so many bridges, rivers, pathways, and viewpoints that you should definitely budget at least a few hours to explore everything that this Northern Ireland national park has to offer.
To get from Dublin to Tollymore Forest, it takes just over two hours by car. As an alternative, consider taking a Game of Thrones tour that leaves from Dublin.
Made famous by Ed Sheeran’s song, Galway Girl, the Irish city of Galway is a fantastic city to visit as a day trip from Dublin.
Galway is the music hotspot of Ireland. If you want to get your share of both traditional and Irish music, Galway is the place to be – particularly in the city’s Latin Quarter. Wander around pubs, bars, shops, and restaurants until you hear some music that suits your fancy.
One of the best beaches in Ireland happens to be located in Galway: Dog’s Bay Beach. Situated on the western coast of Ireland, Dog’s Bay Beach is shaped sort of like a bay. This means that the beach is quite sheltered, which makes for calmer waters to enjoy water sports like swimming and kite surfing.
If you happen to be a history or architecture buff, Galway has its fair share of its activities for you as well. The limestone building of Galway Cathedral stands out from the rest of the city, Lynch’s Castle has been standing since the 14th century, Dunguaire Castle may be the most photographed castle in the entire country, and Ballynahnich Castle Hotel is one of the only Irish castle hotels.
And there you go! There are a bunch of the best day trips from Dublin! There are truly so many amazing adventures that you can take when considering Dublin day trips. Whether you want to take in some natural landscapes or historical sites, you don’t want to miss out on day trips from Dublin, as they are all truly worth it!