Dublin, Ireland: it’s a charming destination in and of itself, where cobblestoned streets and quaint pubs meet cutting-edge art, culture, and cuisine. But once you’ve had your fill of history, literature, and Guinness, why not strike out into the surrounding Irish countryside? Natural beauty and spectacular scenery abound at these five destinations a stone’s throw from the city. And there are day trips from Dublin to suit every type of traveler. So which one’s right for you? Well…

Couple at the Cliffs of Moher, day trip from dublin
Get back to nature and experience the scenic landscapes of Ireland on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin.

If you love a bit of drama…

…then head for the Cliffs of Moher, where Mother Nature unleashes her inner drama queen in style. Here, rugged cliffs meet the Atlantic Ocean to create spellbinding views, not to mention stunning snaps for your travel album. Book a guided tour and you’ll easily be able to combine your cliffside excursion with a trip to the storied Kilmacduagh monastery and the striking lunar landscapes of The Burren. The best part? After a full day of exploring the most dramatic scenery Ireland has to offer, you’ll be back in Dublin in time for dinner.

Visitors to Malahide Castle on a day trip from Dublin
Visit the historic 12th-century Malahide Castle on a half-day tour from Dublin.

If you know your Sussexes from your Cambridges…

…then you’ll want to check out Malahide Castle. Turns out the Brits aren’t the only ones with a few castles to their name. Ireland is just as rich in history-soaked regal architecture. Let a local expert guide you around Malahide, a castle built by one of Henry II’s knights — and watch out for ghosts! This 900-year-old castle is rumored to be haunted. Once you’ve taken in the castle and its expansive grounds, your next stop is the picturesque coastal village of Howth, which boasts a panoramic view over Dublin Bay.

Visit Wicklow National Park on a day trip from Dublin
Get back to nature in Wicklow National Park and visit the medieval monastery of Glendalough.

If your vibe’s more medieval than millennial…

…then travel back in time with a guided tour of the 6th-century monastery of Glendalough. Once you’ve walked its hallowed halls, you’ll stop at Kilkenny, the capital of ancient Ireland, and your expert local guide will fill you in on its rich history. Leave the modern era behind as you wander Kilkenny’s historic cobbled streets…

See the Dark Hedges on a day trip from Dublin
Discover the dramatic landscapes of Northern Ireland on a day trip from Dublin.

If you’re a Game of Thrones superfan…

…then book your spot on a tour to the atmospheric Dark Hedges. Many of the hit HBO show’s most iconic scenes were shot in this avenue of trees near Belfast. And your trip doesn’t stop there. You’ll also take in the fairytale beauty of the Giant’s Causeway and cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. This epic journey will really have you feeling like a king (or queen) of the North.

Ross Errily Friary can be visited on a day trip from Dublin
Leave Dublin for the day and travel back in time to the 14th-century Franciscan Ross Errily Friary.

If you think there’s no such thing as “too charming”…

…then get ready to be enchanted by the picture-perfect scenery of the countryside around Connemara. You’ll tour the quaint streets of Cong Village and venture into the surrounding woodlands, feeling like you’ve stepped through the pages of a picture book. Cap off your day in the countryside with a visit to the 14th century Ross Errily friary, and a stroll along the shores of Ireland’s largest lake, Lough Corrib. All in a day trip’s work!

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