9 Most Popular Day Trips from Dublin

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If you’re in Ireland and want to take a few day trips from Dublin, there are many to choose from! Some are full-day trips that will take you away from the city for the entire day. If you’re limited on time, you can take half-day trips to closer destinations! 

The best day trips from Dublin are through tour groups. This way, you have transportation and food included. Traveling around Dublin in a car when it’s your first time visiting can be intimidating. I booked tours for all my Dublin day trips because it was faster and easier!

Ready to check out the best day trips in Ireland from Dublin? Add a couple of these to your bucket list! 

bridge in dublin at sunset, dublin day trips

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Visiting Dublin 

As the capital of Ireland, Dublin is one of the most visited places in the country. Hundreds of thousands of tourists go every year to see famous sites like Trinity College and The Guinness Storehouse. 

When you get tired of the city, make sure to check out a few of these day trips to see more of the beauty of Ireland:

large stones in giant's causeway, day tours from dublin
Giant’s Causeway

Cliffs of Moher 

The Cliffs of Moher is the most popular day trip from Dublin. If you only have time for one day trip, Cliffs of Moher should be at the top of your list. Not only are the cliffs themselves stunning, but the drive there is breathtaking. 

You will drive along the coastline and see some of the best landscapes in Ireland. The drive is called the Wild Atlantic Way and takes you up the entire west coast of the country. 

If you book a Cliffs of Moher tour from Dublin, you can combine several sites together. Many people visit the Kilmacduagh Abbey and Dunguaire Castle on the same day to cover more ground if they have limited time. 

cliffs of moher at sunset, day trips from dublin by train, cliffs of moher tour from dublin
Cliffs of Moher


If you’re interested in Irish history and the traditional Irish way of life, head to Connemara. Compared to other areas of Ireland, Connemara is relatively untouched and undeveloped. Most people live in rural villages and work by farming and living off the land. 

Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear many people speaking English here! Gaelic is still the first language. 

Most tours will take you through the villages, where you can meet locals and see the beautiful green scenery. 

You can also visit Connemara National Park. Stop in the visitor center for a map of the trails and most common spots to see wildlife. 

Giant’s Causeway 

One of the best day trips from Dublin, Giant’s Causeway is a must-see. It’s located in Northern Ireland, making it one of the further day trips from Dublin. You’ll need to get up pretty early in the morning, but the early wake-up call is worth it. 

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was formed by a volcanic eruption almost 60 million years ago. 

Try to go on a day when the weather is less rainy and foggy so you can see more of the landscape. You will even be able to see the Scottish coastline on a clear day! 

From Giant’s Causeway, you can also see the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can cross over this bridge to get a good view of the sea below. 

Belfast and Titanic Quarter 

Another day trip in Northern Ireland, head to Belfast and Titanic Quarter. It’s a great day trip on its own, or you can combine it with Giant’s Causeway. 

The Titanic Quarter is the most popular tourist attraction in this area. You can see where the Titanic was built and visit the exhibits to see the history of the ship. They even have replicas of some of the ship decks and cabins. 

As the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast has plenty of things to see and do once you’re done in the Titanic Quarter. You can check out the Botanic Gardens or stroll through St. George’s Market. 

titanic exhibit in belfast, day trips in ireland from dublin
Titanic Quarter

Howth and Malahide 

This is one of the best day trips from Dublin by train. Take the DART to Howth, where you can see Howth Castle and the surrounding Viking ruins. Make sure to book a tour for this. If you’re not with a scheduled tour group, you won’t be able to go inside the castle. 

You can also check out Howth Head. The area offers small trails where you can get great photos of the Wicklow Mountains and the Dublin skyline. 

After you’re done in Howth, you can catch the DART train again and head to Malahide. It’s a small town, but there is a small castle that is open for tours every day. 


Cork is similar to Dublin in many ways, with numerous pubs and cobblestone streets. It’s more colorful though, especially in the city center near the River Lee. The old buildings and homes are different shades of pink, yellow, and blue. 

There are many different places to visit, including the famous Shandon Bells &Church. From its position high on the hill, the church has some of the best views of the city below. 

The city also has a long and somewhat dark history. Most people think of the Cork City Gaol when visiting Cork. It was built in the 19th century to hold prisoners. 

From the outside, it looks like a castle. The inside has been transformed into a museum where you can take a self-guided tour. 

colorful buildings in cork, day trips from dublin

Other Things to Do in Cork

After visiting the museum, you can do many other amazing things in Cork, including heading to:

  • Blarney Castle: This medieval castle is stunning. It has a themed garden with exotic plants like mandrake and wolfsbane. It’s also home to the Blarney Stone. Rumor has it that if you kiss it, you will get the gift of eloquence. And if you have time, check out Durty Nellie’s, a truly historic pub and an experience!
  • The English Market: This market is stunning on the inside and has all the fresh produce you could dream of. They also have fresh meat, herbs, and baked goods. It’s the perfect place to try traditional Irish cuisine, including blood sausage and dried salted ling. 
  • Elizabeth Fort: This fort has been around since 1601 but has only been open to the public since 2014. It was used as a food warehouse during the Great Famine and as a place to keep prisoners before that. You can walk around the fort and grounds. There are plaques and signs around that tell the history of the fort. 

Newgrange & Hill of Tara

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site near Dublin, Newgrange & Hill of Tara is a famous Neolithic burial chamber. It’s the largest and oldest burial chamber in the world. It’s older than the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge!

Newgrange & Hill of Tara is also an important religious site. During the early years after Jesus Christ died, the Hill of Tara served as the official seat of the high kings of Ireland. It was also a place where early Christians gathered to tell of their new faith and try to get people to convert. 

The best way to see Newgrange & Hill of Tara is to book a tour. There is so much religious and historical significance here. You want to make sure you have a seasoned guide that can take you to all the different monuments and burial chambers. 

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Besides Wicklow Mountains National Park, Kilkenny is one of the most popular day tours from Dublin. It’s a small city with the beautiful Kilkenny Castle and St. Canice’s Cathedral. One of the best parts of Kilkenny is that you feel like you step back in time when you get there. 

The city still has the same streets and many of the same buildings since medieval times. The infrastructure has been redone in many places, but it still feels like a city stuck in time. 

After seeing the castle and the cathedral, you can take a relaxing stroll down the alleys and small roads. There are a few cafes and some bookshops you can check out. 

Cafe La Coco is just steps away from the castle. They have incredible cookie flavors, including some interesting choices like cinnamon oatmeal and blueberry pie. 

kilkenny castle, day trips from dublin ireland


A day trip from Galway to Dublin is a must. It’s about a 2.5-hour drive, so it’s one of the longer day trips on this list. Galway can keep you busy for days. If you have enough time in your schedule, try and stay overnight! 

Here are some of the best things to do in Galway:

  • Latin Quarter: One of the best districts in the city for pubs, restaurants, and shops. You can buy souvenirs here as well as traditional wool kilts. In the evening, there are always street performers and music. 
  • Salthill Promenade: Try to go here on a sunny day as the view of the North Bay is better when the skies are clear. The promenade is filled with pubs, shops, and great places to eat seafood. 
  • Galway Cathedral: Unlike almost every other cathedral in Ireland, the one in Galway is not very old. It was built in 1965. The stained glass windows inside are beautiful. The architecture is also interesting as it’s a mix of Gothic and Renaissance. 

Top Things to Do in Dublin

When you’re not doing day tours from Dublin, you can do these things around the city:

  • Drink a pint of Guinness. You can get Guinness everywhere in Dublin. If you have time, you can tour the Guinness storehouse and see how this famous drink is made. Your ticket also includes a free pint. 
  • Explore the Trinity College Library. This is one of the most famous sites in Dublin and is a must-see. It’s Ireland’s oldest university. You can book a tour, and the guide will take you around the campus and into the library. 
  • Drink whiskey at the Jameson Distillery. Learn how this famous whiskey is made and take a tour of the distillery. The price of the ticket also includes a free tasting! 
  • Go back in time to the Irish Emigration Museum. Learn about the history of Ireland and how they have influenced the rest of Europe. Many of the exhibits are interactive, making this a great place to take the kids. 
  • Stroll through St. Stephen’s Green. If there is some sunshine while you’re in Dublin, spend some outdoors at this public park. You can take a relaxing walk, go for some exercise, or have a picnic in one of the grassy areas. 
  • Tour Dublin Castle. While it’s called a castle, it’s actually a government complex with the old buildings of the Irish parliament. If you’re interested in the history and politics of Dublin, this is a great place to go. 
outside of jameson's distillery
Jameson Distillery

How to Get to Dublin 

The easiest way to get to Dublin is to fly into Dublin International (DUB). They have daily international flights from all over the world. Sometimes though, it can be cheaper to fly to a larger airport like London Heathrow (LHR) and then connect. 

When to Visit Dublin 

Dublin’s weather is unpredictable. You can visit during the summer and still have cold and rainy days. For the best chance at warm weather, visit from June through August. 

The holiday time can be pretty cold, but the city is extremely festive and has beautiful decorations throughout the city. 

Don’t Miss These Fantastic Dublin Day Trips! 

From castles to Viking ruins to national parks, the best day trips from Dublin let you see the best that Ireland has to offer! While Dublin also has some not to miss attractions, getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city for a few days is a must. 

Some people find the Irish countryside and the national parks even more enthralling than Dublin! If you can, try to spend two days exploring Dublin and another two or three days taking day trips. 

Are you planning any of these Dublin day trips? Which ones are you doing?

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