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Lafayette (Indiana)

Ireland, Dublin

Is Dublin a good home base for day trips around Ireland?

In Ireland for 3 nights, departing from Dublin (early October) to come home. If we want to do day trips, is it best to make Dublin our base and do day trips from there? Any day trip suggestions from Dublin?

9 Answers

top answer by
Nick from Dublin

On the back of Kristi's answer. Dublin would be a great place to base yourself. I would also recommend going to Powerscourt Gardens for a gorgeous garden that you can get a Dublin bus to and Johnnie Fox's Pub for a real traditional Irish Pub experience, you would get to this by taxi or bus tour.

Although quite popular with visitors to Ireland, if I were you I'd stay away from Temple Bar which is known for all it's pubs. It's over priced and crowded and not worth it, you can get much nicer bars outside of this area that are much more fun and much more reasonably priced (O'Donoghue's Pub and Grogan's for example) I'd recommend seeing Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and if you're into History Dublin CastleKilmainham Gaol.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Powerscourt Gardens (attraction)
  2. Johnnie Fox's Pub (attraction)
  3. Temple Bar (attraction)
  4. O'Donoghue's Pub (hotel)
  5. Grogan's (attraction)
  6. Guinness Storehouse (attraction)
  7. Dublin Castle (neighborhood)
  8. Kilmainham Gaol (attraction)
6 thanks

answered first by
Dabs from Chicago

Give yourself a full day in Dublin, there's actually quite a bit to see.  For daytrips, I used a company called RailtoursIreland to do a daytrip to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and a short stop in Galway.  I didn't do the Giant's Causeway or The Ring of Kerry with them but both are worth looking into. I also did a daytrip much closer to Dublin, I got an all day rambler pass on the DART and went to Howth, Malahide and Dun Laoghaire.  Paddywagon Tours was the other one I looked at, it seems to get good reviews

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park (hotel)
  2. Cliffs of Moher (attraction)
  3. Galway (city)
  4. Giant's Causeway (attraction)
  5. The Ring of Kerry (attraction)
  6. Howth (city)
  7. Malahide (city)
  8. Dun Laoghaire (city)
6 thanks

answered by
Darren from Dublin

Hi Sierra,

I agree with all the previous answers.

Many of the day tours leave from the Tourist Office on Suffolk Street in Dublin and head to Giant's CausewayCliffs of Moher via plenty of other places. 

These are long days though and your time at each location will be limited.

If you want to do something independent you could get a return train or bus to Kilkenny which is approximately 90 minutes away. It's a perfect place to spend a day with impressive Kilkenny Castle overlooking the river, St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower one of the few round towers that you can climb for panoramic views. Kilkenny is also home to Ireland's oldest brewery Smithwicks Brewery Tour and some of the best, most characterful pubs on the island.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Giant's Causeway (attraction)
  2. Cliffs of Moher (attraction)
  3. Kilkenny (city)
  4. Kilkenny Castle (attraction)
  5. St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower (attraction)
  6. Smithwicks Brewery Tour (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Matt from Kent (Washington)

Dublin would be an ok base for day trips but it will probably be a bit more expensive than staying out in the countryside.   But from Dublin there are some good day trips within easy driving distance and also several good bus tours, and some are accessible via DART.  As another poster mentioned Howth is a great day trip and easy on DART, interesting little fishing village and lots of nice walking paths around the head with some great views.   From Dublin there are good bus tours to Newgrange which is very interesting and definitely worth a visit and then also the Hill of Tara.   The Wicklow Mountains are also not far from Dublin.    One problem with using Dublin as a base is the traffic, I would try to find a place in one of the Dublin suburbs as your base, you'll be away from the tourist stuff and won't have to try and drive through Dublin city center.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dublin (city)
  2. Howth (city)
  3. Newgrange (attraction)
  4. Wicklow Mountains (attraction)
  5. Hill of Tara (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
David from Dublin

If you're just in Ireland for three days then I would say you have two options.

Option A: See the sights in Dublin and maybe do one day trip to somewhere like Powerscourt Gardens in Wicklow. That way you see a little bit of the city life, and a little of the countryside.

Option B: Travel to a few places. Ireland is bigger than people sometimes think. It can take 6 hours to drive from one side to the other, so if you only have 3 days you probably dont want to waste time! Maybe do one night in Dublin, one night in Galway and another in Cork. You could visit some attractions on the way like Newgrange ( its older than the pyramids! ), visit The Ring of Kerry or Croagh Patrick!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Powerscourt Gardens (attraction)
  2. Dublin (city)
  3. Galway (city)
  4. Cork (city)
  5. Newgrange (attraction)
  6. The Ring of Kerry (attraction)
  7. Croagh Patrick (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Matthew from Ireland

Dublin is a good place for day 1. There is a lot to see and do in day if you can time things right! Then I would suggest Galway as your base for the other 2 days. you can drive or get a bus to Galway from Dublin. If you can, I would say drive, there are many places to see on the way to Galway which is easier to see if you drive. Then once in Galway, you can drive or get a taxi to other places along the west coast. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dublin (city)
  2. Galway (city)
3 thanks

answered by
John from Kansas City (Missouri)

The travel times from Dublin to other areas is more than you would think. Depending on what day trips you have in mind, you will likely spend as much time transiting to your destination as you get to spend at that destination. It could be done, but planning would be important.

3 thanks

answered by
Sara from Hermosa Beach

My suggestion is to do at least a day trip to Galway City in Ireland!

You can take an early morning bus directly (Go Bus) from Dublin City or Airport to Galway, and the buses are new with wifi and you also get to see the country-side while you are driving through.  VERY reasonable price as well.

Because it is only a full day in Galway, I would recommend going directly to the down town and walking around - the hustling and bustling of the stores, restaurants and everyone walking around on the cobblestone roads is something out of a movie - I think, one of the most beautiful cities in Ireland.

The people watching is wonderful and everyone is friendly, getting lost on the streets and exploring the art galleries and little book shops and clothing boutiques will take a while.

If you do stay into the night, the cities pubs and clubs come alive and there is a mix crowd with the young college presence there along with the older generation going out as well.  A nice mix.

Also, must see the Spanish Arch and Salthill on a sunny day!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Galway City (attraction)
  2. Spanish Arch (attraction)
  3. Salthill (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Andrea from Varese

I started a long trip in Ireland .. North South East West .. from Dublin ... Dublin is a great city and i think is a good place to start a trip. You must chose which type of ireland you want to visit .. because i think the best part is the Connemara ... and for that i think is better to start from Galway

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dublin (city)
  2. Connemara (city)
  3. Galway (city)
1 thanks

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