Dublin
Day Trips

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5 attractions no Dublin day trip would be complete without

We'd recommend doublin' your time in the Irish capital, but if you really do have just a day to spend here, you'll have some great craic (pronounced: crack) working a day tour around these five Dublin faves!

  • Christ Church Cathedral

    1. Christ Church Cathedral

    St. Patrick's is also worth touring, but if your excursion coincides, don't miss medieval Christ Church's choral evensongs on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and weekends.

  • Phoenix Park

    2. Phoenix Park

    Europe's largest walled city park is home to Áras an Uachtaráin–home to the Irish president. You can also enjoy a wander around the People's Gardens and the old Magazine Fort.

  • Dublin Castle

    3. Dublin Castle

    This unusual castle off Dame Street is worth visiting for many reasons, not least because its garden was once home to the Dubh Linn (dark pool) that gave the city its name!

  • Kilmainham Gaol

    4. Kilmainham Gaol

    Kilmainham is the place to visit if you want to learn about Ireland's struggle for independence. Now a museum, many significant revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed here.

  • Dublin Writers Museum

    5. Dublin Writers Museum

    In a city of exemplary museums, you might only have time for a quick one. Why not immerse yourself in its great literary reputation by learning more about Joyce and Yeats, et al?

Planning Your Visit

  • How to get to the city center from Dublin cruise port?

    The cruise port is just over a mile from the city center, and there is an express bus service that should only take about 15 minutes. Visitors can also take the number 53 public bus, pick up a cab at the taxi rank, or even take a hop on hop off bus directly from the terminal for an easy jaunt around the sights and then back again!

  • How to get around Dublin?

    Dublin's public transport system can be pretty tricky for newcomers to grasp. Fortunately, most areas of interest can be reached pretty quickly by foot. If you really plan on cramming a lot in (and can afford it!) then you'll have no problem hailing a cab. Be aware, though: as well as the initial fare, an extra euro will be added on per passenger.

5 best day trips from Dublin

Day trip to Kilkenny

1. Day trip to Kilkenny

Venture into Ireland’s Ancient East on a day trip from Dublin to Kilkenny. Over 400 years old, this charismatic town is bursting with attractions and things to do. Patrol the old city walls or tour the refurbished Kilkenny Castle and browse the local crafts at the Kilkenny Design Center. To top off your trip, sip a pint of Smithwick’s after a tour of the brewery, which has been serving the city for over 300 years.

How far is Kilkenny from Dublin?

Just about 125 kilometers (77 miles) away, Kilkenny is easy to reach for a day trip. By car, bus, or train the trip should only take about 90 minutes.

Day trip to Howth

2. Day trip to Howth

Spending a day in the charming fishing village of Howth is one of the most popular excursions from Dublin. Home to one of the oldest occupied buildings in Ireland, no trip to the village is complete without a stop at Howth Castle. Built in 1180, the castle has been used as a setting in numerous films and was also featured in the writings of Irish literary giant James Joyce. Before you leave the village, make sure to see the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey, originally founded by the Vikings. If you have time, head out to sea on a boat tour to one of the nearby islands to observe the wild nature of Ireland.

How far is Howth from Dublin?

Just on the outskirts of Dublin, Howth is only 18 kilometers (11 miles) from town. The close proximity gives you plenty of time to spend in the village, with your journey only taking about 30 minutes by car or by bus.

Day trip to Glendalough

3. Day trip to Glendalough

Get outdoors with a day in County Wicklow’s majestic and historic Glendalough. In this “valley of two lakes", travelers can get out and tour the structures of a medieval settlement dating back to the 11th Century. Stroll along the dramatic Wicklow Way, and explore The Gateway and The Round Tower. For the more adventurous, the area’s granite hills have been a long-time favorite destination for rock climbers coming from Dublin.

How far is Glendalough from Dublin?

You can make the trip of just over 50 kilometers (31 miles) to Glendalough in about one hour by car. By bus, you will want to plan ahead, as there is only one direct private bus service, which should also take around one hour.

4. Day trip to Drogheda

Take a trip from Dublin and journey into the past to Drogheda, a must for any history lover. Best known for the prehistoric site of Newgrange, travelers can explore the mythological home of deities, with its neolithic burial mounds and rock art. Aside from the archaeological site, check out the Millmount Complex and the towering St. Laurence’s Gate. Don’t forget to make the time to hop over to the Hill of Tara for an experience fit for a king.

How far is Drogheda from Dublin?

Just over 50 kilometers (31 miles) away, Drogheda makes for a simple day trip. By car, you can reach the historic town in just 40 minutes. If traveling by bus, allow for up to an hour and a half.

Day trip to Cork

5. Day trip to Cork

One of the liveliest cities in Ireland, visitors are spoiled for choice on a day trip to Cork. In town, you can admire the gothic Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, take in the views from Elizabeth Fort, or simply explore the English Market for some traditional Irish fare. Nearby, you can visit Blarney Castle to follow in the footsteps of countless authors, poets, and politicians and kiss the famed Blarney Stone to receive the “gift of gab" — if you dare.

How far is Cork from Dublin?

If you plan ahead, the 254 kilometers (157 miles) from Dublin to Cork is well worth the journey. Driving by car or by bus, you can reach your destination in just under three hours.

Dublin day trip FAQ

What transportation options are best for my day trip?

No matter what part of Ireland you’re trying to reach, there are always several different options for how to get there.
  • • Dublin day trips by train

    While train travel is a great option between certain cities in Ireland, the rail network is not as extensive as in other European cities. If you plan to travel by train, make sure you check schedules in advance.

  • • Dublin day trips by bus

    For travelers who aren’t renting a car, the bus is your best option for day trips from Dublin. Buses can reach more rural destinations that may not have train stations or connections. Many guided tours will be conducted by bus as well.

  • • Dublin day trips by car

    If you want to truly take control of your day trip, a car is an excellent option. A car allows you to efficiently reach remote destinations across Ireland that may not have the best bus service, and to truly get off the beaten path.


Should I take a guided tour for my day trip?

A guided tour is always an excellent option, especially for day trips to more rural destinations. Skip the headache of planning, bus schedules, and entry tickets and let a guided tour arrange your day trip. Tour guides can always provide you with insider tips and interesting facts that can turn your day into an unforgettable experience.


What should I pack for my day trip?

Many guided tours will provide everything you need for the day, from tickets to hotel pick-up and drop-off. However, Ireland is notorious for its chilly weather, so extra layers or a light raincoat are always smart to bring along for your trip.


Other Sightseeing Options in Dublin

Want to discover all there is to do in Dublin? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Dublin

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 15,796 reviews

Our journey was unforgettable thanks to the beautiful place that we visited but importantly the amazing guide Bud. Even during the long tour it wasn't boring even for a second and other than being a guide he is a historian. Also he's an amazing driver and has a good humour. Other than the Giants Causeway he organized a Black Taxi for us, his timing was great. Bud stopped at beautiful places so we could take pictures and he cared for his passenger and asked if it's too cold or hot. At the end we sang Molly Malone :)We're really thankful and are looking to our next adventure with yous! Thanks Bud!

It is a very well organized, concise combination of nature, land scape, culture and history. The tour guide (Anthony) is super friendly and knows a lot about Ireland's history. The timings are very well organized. The coach is comfortable and the driver is nice :). If you are in Ireland for a short time and you want to make most out of it, I recommend this tour.

I had an awesome tour yesterdy with anthony and pete. Although the weather is bad, but it wasnt a hindrance to have an exciting tour in killkenny and in the glendalough..

Great tour! Our tour guide/driver, Don, gave a great balance of humour and history. Would recommend to anyone here on a few day break!

It was just not what I expected in fact it was more than that. Loved it and enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you very much.