Dublin, the capital of Ireland is a bustling city that attracts travellers from all over the world. From exploring the rich history of the city to enjoying the vibrant nightlife, there's a lot to experience in this city. But, if you're looking for a break from the bustling city streets, a day trip could be perfect for you.
From stunning castles to coastal walks, I've compiled a list of 13 one-day trip ideas that are budget-friendly and accessible by bus or train from Dublin. So, whether you're traveling alone or with friends, hop on a bus or train and get ready for an adventure!
The stunning Malahide Castle is located just 30 minutes away from Dublin by bus. This castle is surrounded by picturesque gardens, including a Butterfly House, as well as offering fascinating tours of the castle's interior. Malahide Castle is a must-visit destination in Dublin, where the essence of the city's past is preserved.
Located just 30 minutes from Dublin city centre, Howth is a scenic coastal town that's perfect for a day trip. Take a stroll along the harbour and indulge in some fresh seafood from the local market. Walk uphill to Howth Castle and enjoy the stunning sea views. If you're feeling up for it, take a hike to Howth Summit and cherish the views of the entire Dublin peninsula. Visit Howth for a scenic retreat, where Dublin's skyline kisses the horizon with coastal grace.
Tip: Go by Bus (H3) and return by Dart to enjoy both scenic viewings.
Bray is a charming seaside town that's perfect for a day trip. Hop on a train from Dublin city centre and enjoy the scenic train ride. From the Bray promenade, admire the sea views, and walk along the pier. Escape to Bray, where Dublin's urban energy takes a back seat to the coastal serenity of this charming town.
Tip: Don't forget to take a hike to the top of Bray Head for some breathtaking views.
Located in the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough is a peaceful valley with stunning scenery. Take a bus or a car to this serene destination from Dublin and enjoy a day trip in nature. Walk along the lakes, admire the monastic sites, and breathe in the fresh air. Book your tour at reception or click here.
The Boyne Valley is known for its rich history dating back to prehistoric times and is located only an hour's drive outside of Dublin. This valley is home to Newgrange, a prehistoric monument said to be older than the pyramids. Visitors to the Boyne Valley can also explore the Battle of the Boyne site and the Hill of Tara, along with some quaint Irish villages.
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is a 2-hour train ride from Dublin. Spend a day in this vibrant city exploring the Titanic Quarter, visiting the Belfast Castle, and walking around the Botanic Gardens. Don't miss out on indulging in some local pub grub. Book it with our reception team or click here.
Kilkenny, located 2 hours south of Dublin, is a charming city that's perfect for a day trip. Discover the medieval city of Kilkenny, stroll along the River Nore, which is only an hour and a half away from Dublin via train. Kilkenny features a stunning castle, narrow cobbled streets, and ancient city walls. Visit Kilkenny Design Centre and shop for unique Irish-designed gifts or try some Kilkenny beer in one of the city's many pubs.
Galway, located on the West Coast of Ireland, is a picturesque city that's ideal for a day trip. Take a 2.5-hour bus ride from Dublin and explore the historic town. Stroll around the colourful streets, admire the Galway Cathedral, and indulge in some local seafood.
Tip: A #MustTry, popular and very traditional local restaurant in Galway is Ard Bia at Nimmos, located on the Spanish Arch. A recommended choice is the "Burren smoked fish plate", featuring locally smoked salmon, mackerel, and trout, providing a taste of the region's fresh seafood.
Portmarnock is a beautiful beach located 30 minutes north of Dublin. Take a train or a bus to this serene destination and enjoy a day in the sun. Walk along the beach, indulge in some local ice cream, and relax in nature.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most popular tourist attractions, and it only takes a 3-hour bus ride from Dublin to reach them. These magnificent cliffs rise over 700 feet and are a must-see for all visitors. The Cliffs of Moher provide unparalleled views of the wild Atlantic coastline, the Aran Islands, and Galway Bay. Click here to book it or pop up at our reception.
Cork, located in the South of Ireland, is known for its food scene and vibrant music. Take a 3-hour train ride from Dublin and explore the city for a day. Visit the famous English Market, walk along the River Lee, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Tip: When visiting the English Market in Cork, a delightful treat is to try the traditional Cork dish called "Spiced Beef". This local specialty involves beef brisket, cured with a blend of spices and then slow-cooked.
The Wicklow Way is located in the Wicklow Mountains and is a perfect destination for hiking enthusiasts. Take a bus or a car to the starting point and get ready to spend a day hiking in nature. Enjoy the stunning views of the rolling hills and indulge in a picnic lunch.
Dun Laoghaire is a charming seaside town located just south of Dublin. Take a train or a bus to this quaint town and enjoy a day exploring the local markets and harbour. Walk along the pier, indulge in some fish and chips, and enjoy the sea views.
Don’t forget to invest in a Leap Card for discounted fares on buses, trams, and trains. It's a cost-effective way to navigate the around and use buses and trains around Ireland. Dublin is a fantastic destination for travellers and backpackers looking for adventure. With these budget-friendly one-day trips, you can explore the beauty of Ireland without breaking the bank.
Whether you're looking for a peaceful day in nature or an experience in a bustling city, there's something for everyone on our list. Hop on a bus or train, pack your bags, and get ready to discover what Ireland has to offer!