Dublin Day Trips
Dublin is a city you can spend many days in and always find something interesting to do but there are also many places just outside Dublin that you can also enjoy. If you’ve been to Dublin city before you may want somewhere different to explore and get out of the city at the same time.
While it’s possible to visit places like the Giant’s Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher or even the Ring of Kerry in one day from Dublin, there’s no need to spend all your time in a bus or car when you can enjoy great places to visit within easy driving distance from the city centre. No matter where you’re staying, in a budget hotel like Travelodge Dublin Hotels or in the most expensive penthouse in the city, here are some of the best day trips you can do from Dublin.
Car Day Trip
Jump into your hired car and start your engine for some perfect day trips from Dublin.
The first location you could try is Glendalough in County Wicklow. Barely an hour from Dublin city centre, this is a stunning location no matter what the weather is like. This former monastic settlement located in a beautiful valley with two lakes has everything you’d want on a day trip. For the walker there are super hiking and walking trails alongside amazing scenic views as soon as you step out of your car. For history hounds there’s a beautifully-preserved round tower amid religious ruins and for kids of all ages there’s a playground with fun activities to be enjoyed.
Wicklow isn’t known as the Garden of Ireland for nothing and the next day trip stop is Lough Tay. Just 45 minutes from Dublin near Roundwood, Lough Tay is a really picturesque lake in the Wicklow Mountains right in the middle of walking and hiking routes accessible for walkers of all abilities. To get the best view of Lough Tay, try the Wicklow Way walking trail where the views of the so-called Guinness Lake are simply stunning. Lough Tay is known as the Guinness Lake for two reasons; the Guinness family own the estate on which it sits and when you see its dark water offset against the bright white sand on the lake’s shore you can’t but think of a pint of porter.
Even closer to Dublin, just half an hour from the city centre, the Powerscourt Estate is a beautiful Georgian house and gardens and one of Ireland’s most famous estates. You’ll enjoy gardens, sweeping terraces, statues, ornamental lakes and secret hollows while Ireland’s highest waterfall, the Powerscourt Waterfall, is just 3 miles from the main house. The views from the main house of the Sugar Loaf mountain and the beautiful Wicklow countryside surrounding it are exceptional.
Train Day Trip
You shouldn’t feel constrained however if you don’t drive or don’t want to hire a car, there are plenty of great day trips you can take using public transport.
Dublin’s Malahide Castle is a short journey from the city centre using the DART, the city’s suburban railway. And it’s well worth visiting one of Ireland’s oldest continuously inhabited castles. The Talbot family held onto it for almost 800 years until 1975 and it’s got everything you would expect from a medieval castle including a ghost or two!
Another journey on the DART will bring you to the Heritage Town of Dalkey and as soon as you step off the train you’ll see why it’s won that award. There are charming tight streets to walk down while browsing in eclectic shops and boutiques. There is the 14th-century Dalkey Castle to explore and the fine Dalkey restaurants and bars to hang out in. With many celebrity residents in this Dublin location, you never know when you could bump into a member of U2 or have Van Morrison growl at you.
Another location you could consider by train is Howth. Take a train to the end of the DART line and you’ll arrive in this lovely fishing village in County Dublin. Stroll along the pier or climb up to the walking trails above the village to take in splendid views of the Irish Sea and Lambay Island. And as you’d expect in a working fishing port, the seafood restaurants are among Dublin’s finest.