Many tourists every year take trips to Dublin to visit where their ancestors came from. This is very popular among American tourists who want to explore the cities of their family members and learn more about their Irish heritage and culture. Dublin is an amazing place to stay there are tons of great food options and fairly walkable. It’s a great place to stay centrally located and if you are like me and hate dragging your suitcases along, here are some of the best day trips from Dublin you can take during your Ireland itinerary.
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The Best Day Trips from Dublin
The great thing about Ireland is how small the island is. It is fairly easy to get around which makes it a great place to visit and be able to see a lot during a week’s time frame. Here are some of my favorite Dublin day trips we took that I wanted to share with you.
RELATED: 2 Days in Dublin
Dublin Day Trips | Southern Ireland Day Trip: Rock of Cashel, Blarney Stone, and Cahir Castle
So for options 1 – 3 it was easy to do these tours with a tour bus and guide. However, I’m sure it’s just as easy to do on your own if you plan to use a vehicle and drive yourself around. Just keep in mind that Ireland has some narrow roads and they drive on the left side of the road.
BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE: Southern Ireland Day Trip
Rock of Cashel
This is a popular destination and usually included in a lot of tours that are based out of Dublin. This location is about 2 hours away from Dublin and is a great first stop before hitting some of the other touristy spots. It’s a pretty iconic place to visit with a large graveyard, gorgeous views of the rolling green hills of Ireland, and is known as the seat of the High Kings of Munster. You can see a lot of Celtic art and medieval architecture here.
The Blarney stone is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland. What makes it so famous is the legend that is told about the stone. If you kiss the blarney stone, it is said that you will be blessed with the gift of gab, also known as the ability to talk eloquently. Kissing the blarney stone is something that has been done by millions of tourists. There are rumors that the stone has been pissed on by locals, however, from what I was told by our tour guide is the story is fake to prevent people from actually kissing the stone.
This is one of the largest castles and best preserved in Ireland and was built in 1142.
Dublin Day Trips | Western Ireland Day Trip: Kinvara, the Burren, Doolin, and Cliffs of Moher
The best day trips from Dublin include the natural beauty of Ireland in Option 2. This includes many of the western locations to visit in Ireland.
This is one of Ireland’s most beautiful natural formations. It is one of Ireland’s most visited attractions with over 1.5 million visitors each year. You can get a beautiful view of the cliffs, oceanside, and more. It’s absolutely breathtaking and something you should definitely see during your visit to Ireland.
BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE: Cliffs of Moher Tour
Not too far from the Cliffs of Moher is the Burren. The word Burren comes from an Irish word to mean rocky place. At the Burren, you will see Limestone Pavement, Calcareous Grassland, Hazel scrub, Ash/Hazel Woodland, Turloughs, Lakes, Petrifying Springs, Cliffs, and Fen.
Afterward, take a lunch stop in the charming town of Doolin. Doolin is in close proximity to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, you could consider staying here if you did not want to take a day trip and just wanted to start your day early. Here you can check out some delicious restaurants, local shops, and stores. Don’t forget to listen the day away to some traditional Irish music.
On the way back to Dublin, take a pit stop to Kinvara which is a local sea village. If interested you can even check out the Dunguaire Castle which has a tower that overlooks Galway Bay.
Dublin Day Trips | Western Ireland – Galway City
You can either choose to do another day trip from Dublin to Galway or stay the night and spend 2 days in Western Ireland. These are some additional activities to do in Western Ireland probably best for another day.
If you happen to be a John Wayne fan, this was a place he fell in love with. This is a small village that has a well known abbey from the 12th century. You may also take a visit to Ashford Castle which is now currently a hotel. The castle overlooks Lough Corrib, which is a beautiful lake.
This is one of the largest lakes in Ireland. It’s a great lake to go biking, fishing, kayaking, and take long walks. You can easily hop on a lake cruise as well with cocktails and live music.
This a beautiful place to take a coastal drive along the wild atlantic way. While in Connemara, be sure the visit the beautiful Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden. This beautiful monastery is located along a gorgeous lakeside with beautiful views.
The Deserted Village
This is an abandoned village in Ireland that consist of 80 – 100 stone cottages. These cottages were considered to be like summer homes to people and believed to have been used in the 1800s.
There are a lot of things to do in Galway which makes it the perfect destination for people to visit. Some of the best tourist spots in Galway are the Galway Cathedral, the Latin Quarter, Eyre Square, Quay Street, Salthill Promenade, Galway City Museum, Lynch’s Castle, and Salthill Promenade.
Dublin Day Trips | Northern Ireland Day Trip: Carrick a Rede Bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges, and Dunluce Castle
This is the Northern Ireland day trip from Dublin. However, it does not include Belfast, but more of the natural beauties of Northern Ireland. Fun fact, Northern Ireland is actually part of the United Kingdom and not part of Ireland. Although, Ireland may argue about this. The currency in Northern Ireland is actually the British Pound, however, the euro is still accepted in the area because of its close proximity to Ireland.
BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE: Northern Ireland Day Trip
Carrick a Rede Bridge
This is a popular place that is often photographed within Ireland. It’s quite a walk from where the cars park and have some uphills with stairways. I wouldn’t suggest going all the way down if you struggle with stairs or hiking, but you can still walk along the cliffside which is flat and get a great view of the bridge, Carrick A Rede island, and ocean. The bridge is a rope bridge that connects the mainland to the tiny Carrick A Rede island, hence the name of the bridge.
This is a popular natural location in Ireland because of the beautifully formed rocks. These basalt columns or rocks were formed from the aftermath of a volcanic fissure eruption. The place gets its name because legend has it that the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. These rocks have a gorgeous view and you can easily walk on them and take photos. There are some very interesting columns also known as chimney stacks surrounding the area as well.
This became a popular location due to so many people’s love for the Game of Thrones in the episode “King’s Road”. If you are a huge game of thrones fan, I suggest you go ahead and visit the area. However, they are a bunch of trees that kind of give an eerie or creepy look that arch over a fairly empty road. There is a legend that the hedges are visited by a ghost called the Grey Lady, who travels the road and flits across it from tree to tree.
On your way back, visit the Dunluce Castle which is on a beautiful cliffside. This is a medieval castle in Nothern Irelands.
Dublin Day Trips | Belfast
Belfast is a popular destination to visit for a full day rather than jam-packing it into a day trip with a lot of activities, I suggest you take the time to visit the city for a day trip. It takes about 2 hours to get here from Dublin which makes it a great place to visit and access.
BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE: Beflast Day Trip
Belfast is known for building the Titanic. The ongoing joke about Belfast is how proud they are of their city and being known for the Titanic. They always tell people, the Titanic was fine when it left here. At the Titanic Belfast, you can visit the monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built.
If you are still keen on visiting more of Ireland’s castles, I suggest you visit Belfast castle. This castle was built in the 12th century and made of stone and timber. It is actually quite beautiful and different from many of the stone castles you see throughout Ireland.
You can visit one of Ireland’s oldest pubs in Belfast called Kelly’s Cellars. It was built in 1720 making it almost 300 years old.
Dublin Day Trips | South-Eastern Ireland Day Trip: Kilkenny and Wicklow
If you are a huge braveheart fan, this is the perfect tour for you. Many of the places you will visit in this tour will feature many of the popular spots from Braveheart and P.S. I love you.
Known for its beautiful scenery, this is the popular spot for the Braveheart wedding scene. Here you can check out St. Kevin’s Cross and its round tower while enjoying a walk along the river through the woods to the lakes and waterfalls.
These are the largest continuous mountains are the Republic of Ireland. This is a large natural park where many of the Braveheart scenes were filmed because of its natural beauty.
This used to be the medieval capital of Ireland back in the 11th century. Visit the Norman Castle and walk through the beautiful gardens. You can also check out the cobblestone streets, the Cathedral of Saint Canice and its round tower, the Black Abbey, enjoy lunch, drink, and do some shopping.
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