Day Trips from Dublin
Besides all of the amazing thing you can do in Dublin itself, there are a bunch of places to explore that is only a few hours away. With Dublin as our home base, my buddy Nichole and I found our way all over the island, seeing as much as we could in the little time we had. Here are just a few of the many exquisite day trips from Dublin:
This sleepy, compact town with winding roads leading to fantastic old churches, cathedrals, and a castle. The main road, High Street, is full of cute shops and pubs, where you can easily get lost exploring the many wonders (as I did). The Kilkenny Castle sits on an expansive, gorgeous estate next to the bank of River Nore. The best place for a view of the whole town is upon St. Canice’s Cathedral’s round tower, where you can see for miles, if you can survive the shifty stairs to the top. The mossy cemetery down below is somber yet incredible and conveniently placed should you slip on said stairs.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Easily some of the most amazing views in Northern Ireland come from the little island. The thin bridge might be scary for those afraid of heights, however, this bridge is fortified with countless wire cables, netting and only a limited number of people allowed on at a time. The view is worth it!! The tall cliffs with their layered stripes and little caverns are stunning next to the dark blue waters. Agile sea birds are flying all over the caves and the nearby hills are dotted with lazy, grazing cattle and sheep. Castle ruins perched atop the cliffs spark your imagination and it’s easy to see why shows like Game of Thrones were filmed here.
The legend behind the name involves a challenge between two giants and the stepping stone bridge (or Causeway) that they built to connect Northern Ireland to Scotland. This geological wonder seems straight out of a magical fairy tale with over 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns. It is both a World Heritage Site and a Natural Wonder of the U.K. so check that off both lists!
Glendalough & Wicklow Mountains
Driving through the Wicklow Mountains National Park was striking with the lush colors and all of the quaint little towns we passed through. Glendalough Valley, inside the Wicklow Mountains, was remarkable with its monasteries and cemeteries. The main Monastic Site with the Round Tower had gorgeous lakes and wooded trails to explore. The cemetery even has a large cross that is rumored to predict finding love within one year if you can reach your arms all the way around the base. Seems biased for only predicting love for the long-armed people…
Cliffs of Moher
It is hard to prepare yourself for the sights at Moher. The cliffs seem to go on for miles with their jagged edges and soft green grass on top. There is an insane urge to look over the edge and most people climb over the warning signs to take a peek and the obligatory “falling off the cliff” picture. The strong winds threaten to actually blow you off the cliff but the pictures are well worth the risk (just don’t tell my mom).
There is such a vast amount of places to see and things to do on the Emerald Isle, my list could go on and on! Next time I visit Ireland, I’d love to see Killarney National Park, Trinity College, the Blarney Stone, Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, and all of the amazing castles that cover the island.
Do you have any suggestions for day trips from Dublin, Ireland? Be sure to recommend your favorites and remind me of any place I missed!
A few tips:
- Check out my Irish Itinerary to see how I managed to see so much of Ireland!
- We were really happy we brought extra layers since anything on the coast was SUPER windy and rainy!
- I also wished I had brought some snacks, as did Nichole, since she had to deal with “hangry” Jessie.
- We priced it out and the most economical method to reach the places up north was through a guided tour bus, which came with excellent tour guides.
- If you are headed to Northern Ireland, they use a different form of money, the pound, so come prepared. We found out later that their pound is also different than the British currency. and not transferable in some places.
- The Irish word for “Cheers” is “Sláinte” (slahn-cha). You will use and hear this word frequently!