Day Tours from Dublin

Dublin has more than enough attractions to keep you busy on your holiday to Ireland but while you are here you may want to see other parts of the country. As Ireland is relatively small and well linked with rail lines and motorways, it's very easy to see a lot in a short space of time.  

One of the best ways to travel in Ireland is by train, fortunately we are well situated here as we are directly across from the Grand Canal Dock Dart station. If you are driving we have a car park here and we offer free parking to guests who book directly with us. Below are some of the many places you can visit for a day trip. 

Causeway Coastal Route

The iconic natural wonder that is The Giant's Causeway must be seen while in Ireland. It is located in Northern Ireland in Co. Antrim.
There are many day bus tours which leave from Dublin daily. If you are a Game of Thrones fan you can do that tour – you will get to visit the main sights along the Causeway Route. The Giant's Causeway was formed over 60 million years ago, it resulted from lava flowing into the sea and cooling rapidly forming hexagonal basalt columns that we can see today. It is fascinating to watch the waves crash into these large columns of rock.  
Have you heard of the rope bridge in Ballycastle? This little bridge was built over 350 years ago by fishermen, it leads you from the mainland to a little island. Thrill seekers from all over the world have been coming to walk across the wobbly bridge. 2016 saw its largest amount of visitors. The views are amazing from the 1km walk along and across the 30ft high bridge you will see the waves crash beneath you.

Some trips may stop off at the Bushmills Distillery, this distillery is 400 years old and it has expanded massively over the years. There are many tours daily. The tour guides show you around the distillery while going through each process of the whiskey making, it will make you appreciate whiskey more the next time you have it. You also receive a sample of Bushmills at the end which is nice to taste the end product.

All along the Causeway Coastal Route there are some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. Check out this day tour from Dublin, it takes you to all the iconic sites in one day: Giant's Causeway Tour

Causeway Coastal Route

Donegal

County Donegal is one of the most unspoiled areas in Ireland, it is truly magnificent. 
Sliabh Liag are the tallest sea cliffs in Europe, they are three times the size of The Cliffs of Moher. You can choose to get a boat trip by a lovely local man named Paddy which will bring you all around the cliffs, tourists can choose to go for a swim in the usually turquoise water and he will pick you up again on his next tour (an hours’ time). You can chill out on the remote beach while lies directly under the 601meter cliff and take in one of Ireland’s most spectacular views.
Then we recommend that you head up to the viewing point and walk up along the cliffs – the views are spectacular. Some travel from all over to do the one man pass but we not recommend that as it is highly dangerous narrow bit of the cliffs which one has to get down on their hands and knees to crawl across. The local towns and villages remain non-commercialised making this place magical and unique. 

Donegal

Belfast

A buzzing city which is both aesthetically beautiful and packed with history and culture. You can get the train to Belfast for a day from Connolly station or you can choose from the many bus tours available. The titanic museum is located in the heart of the city, it is a fantastic tour. There are also ‘Game of Thrones’ tours if you’re a fan. You can get the train from Connolly Station to Belfast and it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. Check out the train timetables here

Belfast

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are located in Co. Clare is roughly 3 hours from Dublin by car/bus. There are numerous tours heading there daily. These cliffs are 120 meters in height and they are well worth the visit. As you delve deeper into the west of Ireland you will notice a sudden change in landscape, the Burren is a unique limestone platform which stretches for miles. While you are in Clare, if you have the time we recommend getting a boat trip to Inis Oirr, it is a stunning little island with 300 residents who speak Irish. It’s a real step back in time with stone walls, tiny roads, few cars and traditional Irish music in some of the pubs all day and night. You can tour the island by bicycle, by horse and cart or in a tractor and trailer (ideal).  Lovely day trip!

Also while you're in Clare you will pass the Burren on most bus tours. The burren is 1500 hectares of Limestone Pavement, Calcareous Grassland, Hazel scrub, Ash/Hazel Woodland, Turloughs, Lakes, Petrifying Springs, Cliffs and Fen. It is interesting to look at as seeing grey rock formations for miles isn't something you can see elsewhere. 

Cliffs of Moher

Kilkenny

Kilkenny is a small city in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.
For a time during the 17th century it was the unofficial capital of Ireland with its own parliament. Today, Kilkenny is famed for its medieval streetscape which hides a wealth of culinary, cultural and artistic delights. While there you must visit Kilkenny castle and tour the grounds, they are fabulous. Kilkenny is great for shopping too and in winter or summer there is always a great buzz around the town.

Kilkenny

Blarney

Blarney Castle in Co. Cork is famed for the Blarney stone. Legend has it if you kiss the stone you will receive the ‘gift of the gab’, which means you’ll never be stuck for words. This ancient myth is still believed today by many and numerous tourists head up to the top of the castle to kiss it daily. Other than kissing a big magic rock, the castle itself is stunning and the grounds are well worth the visit. Blarney village has some cute art and crafts shops where you can pick up some cool gifts. While in the Rebel County, it is worth making the short trip into Cork city. It’s filled with great shops, restaurants and the famous ‘English Market’.

Blarney

Kerry

Kerry, one of Ireland’s most beautiful counties. It’s filled with picturesque scenery and mystical history. It has of course the sweet gem that is Killarney. Killarney is known mainly for its national park which consists of many walks, hills and lakes. Visitors can get a horse and cart ride around the park which is a lovely experience. Kerry is home to the largest mountain in Ireland so if you’re interested in hiking it is definitely worth the trip. Dingle is a quaint little village on the coastline. It is filled with old Irish pubs which still maintain their old set up, some still are both a grocery shop and a pub. With traditional Irish music and contemporary music beating through the streets of Dingle at night time it is a unique Irish experience. Head out on a boat trip while you’re there to see Fungi a famous dolphin who resides there.

Kerry

Explore Ireland

If you want to travel around Ireland for more than a day you can also opt to go on week long tours of Ireland which start and end in Dublin. These are a great way of seeing the country in a short space of time. Our good friends over at Vagabond have some brilliant tours which last from 6 to 12 days depending on what you prefer. Their trips are different to other ones as the groups are small and there are activities included along the way such as hiking, kayaking, horse riding and cycling so you really get to make the most of your trip around Ireland. 

As Ireland is relatively small and well linked with rail lines and motorways, it's very easy to see a lot in a short space of time. You can download the Wild Atlantic Way app which is handy if you are driving around Ireland, it will tell you where to go as well as giving you tips and hidden gems. Check out Ireland's Ancient East Website for information on the east of the country and for the north of Ireland the Casueway Coastal Route website is very informative you can download maps on there. Alternatively check out train time tables here.

Bus Eireann have 'Open-Road' tickets you can purchase online. This pass allows you unlimited travel for 3 days out of 6 days for €60. You can tour Ireland's Ancient East or the Wild Atlantic Way with this pass. For more information click here

Grand Canal Hotel is ideally situated in the heart of Dublin just beside a Dart station, check out the Dart timetables here. There are many places to rent cars in the area too if taking a bus or a train isn't for you. Book your stay with us now and plan your adventurous tour around Ireland! 

Explore Ireland