Are you planning a trip to Ireland? If so, you have come to the right place! For the last 15 years I have taken a family trip to Ireland almost on a yearly basis. Because of this, I often get emails asking for help in planning a trip to Ireland. “What should I do in Ireland” or “Where should we stay?”. Also because of the fact that we visit for family, I often take a break from my blog and it turns out that for a country I have visited more often than any other in the world, I do not have very much information about it on my blog. Based on common questions I get, and years of experience traveling to the green isle, I have put together a mini guide with all you need to know for planning a trip to Ireland whether it’s your first or 15th.
Are you visiting Dublin? If so, you need to check out these spectacular Dublin day trips during your stay. Ireland is not a large country so many visitors base themselves in Dublin with plans to explore the country on day trips. While I do not recommend going as far as Galway or the Ring of Kerry, it is certainly doable.
However, what we offer here are some of the best day trips from Dublin for visitors looking to get off the beaten path a bit, experience Ireland as many locals do without spending hours on a bus while also getting in some epic nature scenery, history and food along the way.
After visiting the Dublin and Ireland for the last 15 years, we have made our share of mistakes and have come up with a great list of spectacular day trips from Dublin that will be worth the effort and time.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
In all the years we have been visiting Ireland, we have struggled with our telecommunication options. When we lived in India and would visit the homeland, we were able to switch over to a local SIM card easily. However, it meant that we no longer received our texts from home, which was sort of a bummer.
Now that we have moved to the US, our phones are “locked” to our carrier which means we have no option to use local phone SIM chips. Instead, we typically borrow an old flip phone from the parents and head out with no modern day connection to the world! This means no GPS, no way to research restaurants and no way to solve our discussions (aka fights!) about some random topic that comes up on our road trip!
This year was going to be my first year traveling Ireland on my own while my son and husband were visiting the grandparents. I needed a way to stay connected at all times so they could contact me. Enter TravelWiFi Ireland, a pocket wifi device. A friend turned me onto this amazing company and I was quickly sold.
After 14 years of visiting Ireland, I was slowly losing my passion for exploring the island, however I am happy to say I have found a corner of the country that has revived my love for all things Irish. County Mayo on the Wild Atlantic Way, on the west coast of Ireland, with the Atlantic Ocean as both its northern and western border is my new favorite place on the Emerald Isle.
Mayo really is the Ireland you have visualized in your dreams. Its scenery ranges from craggy, rocky cliffs to vast areas of squishy bog land to rolling green hills covered in sheep. Visitors come to County Mayo to discover unspoiled nature, idyllic towns and to get close to Ireland’s heritage and history. It is truly is a hidden treasure waiting to be explored.
Ever since the Wild Atlantic Way campaign started in 2014, I have longed to spend some time on the 2500 km route that stretches all along the coast from Cork to the top of the island in Donegal. County Mayo was the perfect place to explore the Wild Atlantic Way as it has more than 500 km of this scenic route, which also happens to be where much of Mayo’s most spectacular scenery lies.
Visiting Ireland is a dream destination for many families and almost all visits include a stay in the nation’s capital city of Dublin. While Dublin is mostly thought of for it’s literary history and it’s lively Temple Bar scene, there is a great deal of appeal here for families as well.
We have been lucky to visit the country countless times over the last 15 years to visit family and have experienced most of what Dublin has to offer – touristy and not. Over time, a few favorites have popped up that holds the attention of the littlest one in the family. These are our tried and tested favorites that our son has wanted to visit again and again each year since he was 3!
While these may not necessarily be the major tourist attractions you have on your to do list, I can guarantee they will provide fun for the entire family! Without further ado, our top 5 things to do in Dublin with kids.
Ireland is a spectacular country with breathtaking coastal scenery from the Wild Atlantic Way to the Cliffs of Moher and up to along the Antrim Coast in the north. With so much natural beauty, it’s difficult to decide just which road trip you should undertake on a visit.
One of our favorites is the Causeway Coastal Route from Belfast to Giant’s Causeway. To complete the entire circuit along the coast, it could take up to a week if you wanted to see everything. However, the most popular part of the Causeway Coastal Route is from Ballycastle to Dunluce Castle, which corresponds with the most spectacular part of the drive. That said, there are interesting sites to see outside of that small portion if you have the time and can ignore your GPS screaming for you to go inland for the quicker routes!
During our last visit, we only had 3 days for our mini road trip to Northern Ireland. Attempting to fit as much in as we could during that time, we made detours off the coastal roads in areas where there were fewer attractions, taking in some of the Antrim coast’s top stops along the way. Below are our highlights from Belfast to Giant’s Causeway along the Causeway Coastal Route.
Ever since I first visited Ireland in 2004 I have wanted to get to the north to see the Giant’s Causeway. Even though my husband was born and bred in Dublin he had never made the 3 hour journey to the north due to growing up during ‘The Troubles’. A visit to the north wasn’t super high on his list which meant it has taken me 12 years of visiting Ireland to finally get there.
Days before our departure friends began to tell us that we shouldn’t get our hopes up, it wasn’t that impressive. I started to worry that I’d been building it up all these years even before the popularity of Instagram photos luring people places. However, after visiting it, I have to say it was spectacular, and totally worth the wait to do it with my rock climbing obsessed 5 year old.