Most of Ireland can be visited on a day trip from Dublin. Even neighbouring Northern Ireland is on the cards. With natural and manmade wonders aplenty, there are many possible itineraries to choose from.
Manmade monuments in Ireland within range of Dublin include the ultra-modern to those that date back thousands of years. But nature is not one to be outdone on the Emerald Isle, with cliffs, rock formations and lush valleys all vying for attention. Figuring out where to go is the hard part when you opt to take a guided tour, but the how part is easy, because all the other details are handled by somebody else. And we’ve even done the hard work of whittling down the exhaustive list of tours to these top five, based on things like itinerary, price and previous guest reviews.
Day Trip to the Cliffs of Moher
Dramatic, sheer cliff faces hurtle down into the Atlantic Ocean at County Clare’s most revered natural landmark. The Cliffs of Moher are reached in an air-conditioned coach that sets out early in the morning from Dublin. The drive alone takes you through picturesque countryside, but that rarely prepares people for the beauty of the cliffs. The guided tour also stops at the quaint village of Doolin and the lunar like landscape of Burren National Park, before returning to Dublin. From €51 per person.
Giant’s Causeway and Belfast City Day Trip
Northern Ireland is well within a day’s reach of Dublin, and tours to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Giant’s Causeway are well worth the three-hour coach journey. You will have the chance to explore the famous hexagonal natural wonder, and on clear days there are fantastic views northwest towards Scotland. Next, a tour of Belfast provides a chance to learn more about the Northern Irish capital city’s heritage, culture and art. This tour lasts around 12 hours and departs on most days of the year. From €65 per person.
Celtic Boyne Valley Day Trip from Dublin
All across Ireland, the Celtic heritage is palpable in everything. While there is a strong strain of it in modern Irish culture, this tour explores the origins in the land and human history of the country. There is the chance to witness 6000-year-old petroglyphs in the Loughcrew Cairns, which are walk-through tombs of ancient rulers. An expert guide will be on hand to add context to the things witnessed on this trip. This tour also visits the Hill of Tara, and many other archaeological treasures of the Boyne Valley region. From €50 per person.
Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough Tour
Verdant rolling peaks and troughs south of Dublin form the Wicklow Mountains National Park. This day trip passes through them, stopping at the photogenic Glendalough valley, where your guide will show you the best viewpoints. There is a stop at the ruins of a 6th century monastery, one of Ireland’s oldest, where saints are said to have once lived, all the while travelling through this remarkable Irish countryside, where scenes from movies such as Braveheart were filmed. This is a five-hour tour departing twice daily in the morning and afternoon from Dublin. From €25 per person.
Malahide Castle and North Coast from Dublin
North of Dublin is Malahide Castle and Gardens, a 12th century castle near the coast with a storied past. The tour also takes in some pretty fishing villages like Howth, aboard a green double decker bus. The big bonus of this five-hour tour though is the shorter distance, meaning more time is spent on location rather than in transit. This tour’s price includes the entrance ticket to the castle, with time allotted to exploring its medieval halls and lovely gardens. From €26 per person.