Taking a Day Trip From Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher

· Everything you need to know to plan a cross-country trip to one of Ireland’s most beautiful treasures. ·

Nov, 12, 2021

If you don’t already know, the Cliffs of Moher are one of the most breathtaking places in all of Europe. Believe me – I have seen a lot of Europe. On my most recent trip to Ireland, I decided to take a day trip to visit friends in Galway, which is the closest city to the Cliffs of Moher. Naturally, they told me that a visit to the Cliffs is an absolute MUST.

They were pretty enthusiastic about it, and I was definitely not going to turn this one down.

This post will outline everything you need to know to get from Dublin to Galway, and then from Galway to the striking Cliffs of Moher.

Man on grassy cliff near ocean in Ireland

What Are the Cliffs of Moher?

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most striking natural landscapes I have ever seen. A while back I wrote about the road trip we took along Big Sur in California, and on that trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about how beautiful the Cliffs of Moher are!

While the landscapes are very similar – giant cliffs right along the water’s edge – I personally found the Cliffs of Moher to be even more impressive than Big Sur. Now, to be fair, Big Sur encompasses a much larger area and in that respect might be a bit more impressive. But pound for pound, the Cliffs of Moher take the cake. If you think that the cliffs at Big Sur are sudden and high, just wait until you visit the Cliffs of Moher.

How Do You Get from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher?

There are endless places to visit in Ireland. For such a small country, it really packs a punch when it comes to natural beauty and awesome culture. However, I think that Dublin is by far the most visited place – or at least landing point – in the country.

As the capital and largest city in Ireland, it draws big crowds. In fact, Dublin is where I chose to make my base during my quick visit to Ireland. If you’re interested in reading about Dublin, my Dublin travel guide has all you need to know for your trip.

With that being said, I figured I would write this post from the perspective of someone sitting in Dublin trying to make it to the Cliffs of Moher. After all, they’re on completely another side of the country! To be fair, Ireland is not a big country. Driving from Dublin to Galway, which is literally on the other side of the island, will only take you a bit over two hours.

Anyway, here are the three ways I would recommend getting from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher:

Traveling to The Cliffs of Moher by Car

I usually don’t recommend renting a car, but here is one place where I will make an exception. Ireland is such a beautiful country, and road-tripping around Ireland is a really cool experience. As I mentioned before, driving from Dublin to Galway only takes two and a half hours, so this really is an accessible option.

I do really recommend stopping to explore Galway, but one advantage of having a car is that you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to! If you’d rather skip over Galway, the drive from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher will take about 3 hours and 15 minutes each way.

If you opt to drive, you will need to buy your own tickets to the park. I recommend doing this online, as it will save you a couple of dollars and guarantee that you have a spot. If you buy tickets online, you will need to select the time window in which you will be visiting. If you want to buy tickets online, you can buy your tickets here. Ticket prices range anywhere from 7 to 10 euros.

Traveling to The Cliffs of Moher by Train + Bus

This is what I opted to do, as I thought a train ride through the country would be nice. I was not wrong! This was a beautiful train ride, and it saved us from having to pay to rent a car. Same day round trip tickets for the train cost 4 euros, which is between 4 and 5 dollars. You can buy your tickets in advance on the Irish Rail website HERE.

Once you arrive in Galway, I highly recommend exploring. If you decide not to and would rather head straight to the Cliffs of Moher, I recommend finding a tour company that will take you there. The drive is very short, but the tour companies usually have great, knowledgeable guides that teach you quite a bit along the way and take you for food on the way back.

I went with Lally Tours and had a great experience. Lally offers many options for trips to the Cliffs that also take you to other nearby destinations, but if you opt to only visit the Cliffs the trip will cost you 40 euros, which includes transportation and your park entrance fees!

Traveling to The Cliffs of Moher by Bus

If you want the absolute easiest option (and quite possibly the cheapest, too), you should take a tour bus straight from Dublin. The tour buses from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher are incredibly priced, and a quick TripAdvisor search will give you an endless list of options.

For as little as $60 you can get round-trip transportation from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, entrance to the park, and even some stops at other local destinations! If you want to get the most out of your day trip and don’t want to rent a car, this is absolutely the best bet for you.

While I didn’t use this company myself, the day trip with Wild Rover Tours looks pretty enticing and only costs $58!

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Cliffs of Moher?

The big key to seeing the Cliffs of Moher is doing everything you can to make sure you visit on a day with clear skies. Part of what makes the Cliffs so special is the view, both toward the rest of the cliffs and toward the ocean. As a result, visiting on a dreary, cloudy day won’t leave you with the best experience. It’ll still be great, don’t get me wrong, but not nearly the same.

To do this, there are two main factors that you need to consider: the season in which you visit, and the weather on the given day that you visit. Many people will probably tell you to avoid the cliffs between 9 and 5, but I would argue to the contrary of that. Yes, that is when they are the most crowded, but they’re the most crowded for a reason!

When the sun is at its highest, clarity is at its best. If you want to skip the crowds, try to get there before 9am or after 5pm, but if you want the best views you should head to the cliffs closer to lunchtime.

If you want the best views, plan to arrive at the Cliffs of Moher midday.

Now, regarding the weather…this one is hit or miss, and it’s really out of your control. However, I do suggest checking the weather forecast before buying your tickets to select the day that has the highest chance of being sunny.

This is Ireland after all…only a stone’s throw from the dreary, rainy United Kingdom. Your chances of rain and fog are pretty high, so if you wind up going on a foggy day, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just do your best to pick the sunniest day possible!

Regarding the time of year, the general recommendation is to visit during the summer. The main reason for this is that the weather is typically nicer, which means that the chances of rain are lower and the chances of strong sunshine are higher.

As a rule of thumb, May to August is usually your best bet. Just keep in mind that the crowds are absolutely massive during the peak hours in these months!

Final Tips for Taking a Day Trip from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher

Regardless of which method you chose to get to the Cliffs of Moher, we have a few recommendations that can make your trip even better.

Bring a Sweatshirt

First and foremost, bring a sweatshirt! Even if you’re visiting in July, you will probably want to bring a sweatshirt just in case. The cliffs can get pretty windy and the last thing you want is to be shivering too much to enjoy this spectacular sight!

Be safe on the edges; there are no rails

Secondly, while the Cliffs of Moher can be family-friendly, be aware that there are no guard rails along the edges once you get past the initial welcome section. Bringing children here requires a lot of attention as parents, and if you don’t like the idea of your kids being near cliff edges without guardrails, I’d stay away for now.

Visit Galway!

Thirdly, as I mentioned above, please do check out Galway while you’re there! While some bus tours from Dublin won’t give you the option, checking out Galway is really worth it, in my opinion. It’s one of Ireland’s biggest cities and has endless cool places to check out! If you don’t have much time, at least pop in for lunch if you can!

For the Photographers: The Cliffs Face Westward

Finally, if you are a photographer, you should know that the cliffs face west. As a result, the best time to take pictures of the Cliffs of Moher is in the afternoon, when the sun is to the west of Ireland. There are plenty of stunning pictures to be taken, so I advise planning your trip properly in order to maximize golden hour!

That’s all we have for you about taking a day trip from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher! Hopefully this blog post helps you to plan the perfect day trip to one of Europe’s greatest natural wonders.

If you’re planning a day trip from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, let us know by commenting below! We’d love to chat ahead of time and answer any questions you have.


Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.

Leave a comment

Meet The Author - Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.