Best day trips from Dublin

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is located on the east coast of Ireland at the mouth of the River Liffey. Capital of the Emerald Isle attracts many visitors with its history, numerous sights and activities, pubs and friendly people. But, there is much more to see in Ireland and the capital is a great starting point for trips to the rest of the island. Here are a few places that would make unforgettable one-day trips!

1) Galway

This ‘Cultural Heart of Ireland’ located on the west shore of the Emerald Isle is one of Ireland’s most vibrant and picturesque cities. Galway has many things to offer to those that want a peaceful stay, and even to those that don’t mind the wild pub crawls. Take your time and stroll through the city while enjoying the various street entertainers. The famous Galway Cathedral might fool you into thinking it has been there for centuries, but this building from 1960s is the youngest of Europe’s great stone cathedrals. Spend some time exploring the Medieval city and enjoy the Eyre Square. If you need some quiet time, go for a walk in the peaceful countryside or along the Salthill Promenade.

Getting from Dublin to Galway:

  • Bus: There are plenty departures from Dublin to Galway. Buses from Dublin to Galway depart from the Aston Quay station. The earliest departure is at 06:45 and then every hour till 23:59. The journey lasts 2 and a half hours and a one-way adult ticket costs around €13.
  • Train: IrishRail has several daily departures, the usual price is around €20 and the journey lasts for about 2 and a half hours. → timetable

2) Cliffs of Moher

Can you say that you have been to Ireland without visiting the Cliffs of Moher? Located on the Isle’s western shore, the Cliffs are one of the most visited attractions in all of Ireland. The Cliffs run for 14 kilometers and at their highest point they reach 214 meters. Take a walk along the cliff or visit one of 3 primary viewing platforms for a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and distant mountains.

Getting from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher:

  • Bus: You will have to take the bus or train to Galway and from there take line 350 to Coach Park. The journey lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes and one way adult ticket is €17.

3) Belfast

Why not pay a visit to the Northern Ireland? With its old pubs, interesting history and various attractions, Belfast is the right place for your one day trip. This beautiful city has a lot to offer, so pay a visit to the magical Botanic Gardens and the St Anne’s Cathedral. Check out the last Victorian covered market in Belfast, the St. George Market and get your hands on some of that good Irish stuff. Don’t forget to visit the famous Belfast Castle, located only a few kilometres from the city center, on the slopes of the Cave Hill. At the very end go for the ultimate Belfast experience in one of its many charming pubs.

Getting from Dublin to Belfast:

  • Bus: There are several departures from Dublin to Belfast. Buses from Dublin to Belfast depart from the Custom House Quay station. First bus departs at 05:30 and then every hour until 20:30. The journey lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes and one way adult ticket costs around €10.
  • Train: There are several train departures from Dublin to Belfast, the journey lasts around 2 hours and one way ticket is about €20.

4) Kilkenny

The small country town of Kilkenny is located in south-east Ireland, built on both banks of the River Nore. Town’s main attractions, Kilkenny Castle, is more than 900 years old, and its gorgeous park and gardens are a great place for long walks. Majority of the castle was restored in the 19th century, but some parts of the original castle survived. Another place you should visit is the Rothe House with its majestic garden. After checking out the Black Abbey and the Cathedral Church of St Canice go for a walk along the Canal. On the other hand, if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s only a 15-minute drive to the Dunmore Cave, a dark place with even darker history.

Getting from Dublin to Kilkenny:

  • Bus: There are several daily departures and buses from Dublin to Kilkenny depart from the Burgh Quay station. First departure is at 06:00 and then every two hours until 22:00. The journey lasts around 1 hour and 40 minutes, one way adult ticket costs about €10.
  • Train: With IrishRail the journey lasts around an hour and a half and the cheapest ticket costs around €14.

5) Wicklow Mountains National Park

One of the most popular national parks in Ireland, Wicklow Mountains National Park, stretches over the area of 220 km2. The park is located at a short distance south of Dublin, so it would be a nice casual one-day trip. After enjoying the breathtaking mountains, forest scenery and recreation visit Glendalough, valley located close to Laragh village, there you can find ruins of the Monastic City and other historic sites. The entry is free of charge, so why not go and have a picnic?

Getting from Dublin to Wicklow Mountains National Park:

  • Bus: You can reach the national park by bus, the arrival point is in Glendalough at the Visitor Center. The journey lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes and a one way ticket costs around €13. → timetable

6) Trim

Can’t get enough of those Irish castles? Well then, head to the town of Trim where you can see the largest Combro-Norman castle in Ireland, the Trim Castle. The castle was reopened for public back in 2000 and today it is most famous for the part it played in the filming of the Mel Gibson-directed film Braveheart. Also, pay a visit to the Cathedral Church of St Patrick, thought to be the oldest Anglican Church in Ireland. After exploring the remains of churches and abbeys like Newtown Abbey and St. Mary’s Abbey take a nice peaceful walk along the Boyne river.

Getting from Dublin to Trim:

  • Bus: Bus line 111 connects Dublin and Trim, the journey lasts for about an hour and one way adult ticket costs €13. Buses depart from the central bus station in Dublin, Busáras.

7) Cashel

This little town is home to the magnificent Rock of Cashel castle, the prized sight of the city. Originally called the Fairy Hill, this castle located in the Golden Vale was once the seat of the kings of Munster. The magnificent sight of the walled castle high on the hill will take your breath away, but just wait till you hear its rich history and legends that surround it. Even so, there is more to Cashel than the Rock, visit the Cashel Folk Village and the Heritage Centre to learn more about Ireland’s history or head to the Bolton Library that keeps many books found nowhere else in the world. Explore this lovely little town by foot to fully experience all of its attractions.

Getting from Dublin to Cashel:

  • Bus: Line X8 operates between Dublin and Cashel, you can find the timetable here. The journey lasts 2 hours. Buses depart from the central bus station in Dublin, Busáras.

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