Cover Photo by Victoria Shkut (@vikashkut)

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4 Mindblowing Day Trips from Dublin

The Isle of Ireland boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. Make it a point to visit at least one of these day-trip destinations if you have spare time in Dublin.

You can book these trips through local tour operators, hotels, hostels, or online via Airbnb Experiences or Get Your Guide. Alternatively, you can choose to rent a car and drive to these locations, enjoying the flexibility to go at your own pace.

Now, let's dive into four beautiful trips you could take from Dublin.

1. Cliffs of Moher & Galway

The Cliffs of Moher are high jagged cliffs that make up the west coast of Ireland, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. They're absolutely stunning!

From Dublin, it's going to be a beautiful 5 hour drive to the west edge of the island from where you can explore The Cliffs.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Make sure you stop by Galway on your way back to Dublin. Galway is a cute town where you can spend 2 hours in for lunch and a coffee.

Below are some options for day trips to The Cliffs of Moher that start in Dublin.

2. Howth

Howth is a local favourite coastal escape that’s just an hour away from Dublin. It's a picturesque small town by the Irish Sea with rugged landscapes, sea cliffs, and panoramas of the Dublin Bay.

Howth, Ireland | Photo by Violaine Jacques (@vbigwanderer)

Howth is much closer to Dublin than any of the other options on this list. If you're really crunched on time and need help to squeeze in a mammoth day trip, you could easily manage a quick visit to Howth.

Below are some options for a day trip to Howth from Dublin.

3. Giants Causeway & Belfast

The Giant’s Causeway is a beautiful collection of thousands of hexagonal rocks stacked along the Northern Irish coast. On a clear day, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Scotland from The Giants Causeway if you're lucky.

According to Irish mythology, an Irish Giant named Finn McCool challenged a Scottish Giant named Benandonner to a fight. Benandonner apparently couldn’t swim and hence couldn’t cross over to Ireland. To ensure the giant had no excuse, Finn began to stand up these hexagonal rocks to create a causeway between Ireland and Scotland so Benandonner could cross over and accept his challenge.

The Giant's Causeway is located in Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), which is a separate country from the Republic of Ireland. As long as you have your passport or relevant ID with you, you can drive from Ireland to Northern Ireland without any issues.

On your way back to Dublin, you can make a stop at The Dark Hedges and Belfast. The Dark Hedges served as a famous filming location for a scene in Game of Thrones, so it's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the series. Belfast, on the other hand, is the capital of Northern Ireland and is a charming city that would make for an amazing stop to enjoy a meal and a coffee before heading back to Dublin.

Titanic Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Below are some options for day trips to The Cliffs of Moher that start in Dublin.

4. Aran Islands & Galway

The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located off the west coast of Ireland. These islands are renowned for their natural beauty, rugged landscapes, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Aran Islands, Ireland | Photos by Victoria Shkut (@vikashkut)

If, for whatever reason, a trip to the Cliffs of Moher does not make it into your plans, you could consider a day trip to Aran Islands as an alternative. The Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands are located in close proximity to each other, to the extent that you can actually see one from the other. However, each destination offers so much to explore that it can be challenging to visit both in a single-day from Dublin.

You could choose to spend a day or more in Galway and use it as your base if you would like to explore both the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.

Weather Advisory: Rain or Shine

Since Ireland is not known for its good weather, you need to choose a day when rain is not predicted. Such days are not common, so when they occur, make sure to have your plans booked.

It's advisable to book these trips closer to the beginning of your stay in Dublin. This way, if you encounter bad weather, you can always reschedule the trip for a later date.

Stay Prepared with Travel Insurance

Like any traveller, I would not like to deal with sickness or an injury while travelling. Having reliable travel insurance helps me maintain peace of mind, knowing that someone is looking out for me if things go wrong. With the unpredictable Irish weather and a busy travel schedule, I don't want to leave anything to chance.

For my last couple of travels, I’ve been using Genki for my insurance. Genki is an insurance company specifically designed for long multi-country trips, making it perfect for Backpackers and Digital Nomads. They provide coverage for every country with a flexible month-to-month plan and no long-term commitment.

Knowing that Genki has me covered makes life a little less stressful for me. If you’re interested, you can use my link and sign up for Genki below.

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And That’s A Wrap

The Isle of Ireland boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes I have ever encountered. If you are planning to visit Dublin, I highly recommend venturing outside the city to one of these day trip destinations. You won't regret it!

Also, for things to do in the city of Dublin, you can check out my personal travel guide. This guide covers everything from attractions and nightlife to where to stay and Irish slang.