Ireland’s thriving capital city, Dublin, is an endless tourist-wonderland, full to the brim with immense charm and exploratory potential. An intimate yet urban city, Dublin embodies both its historic past and promising future, creating a near perfect vacation destination for travelers of all interests. Once you had your fun in the city and are yearning for tranquility, why not embark on some City Breaks from Dublin, and discover the all-encompassing majesty of the Emerald Isle?
These weekend breaks in Ireland, just outside of Dublin’s city boundaries, give you a rare peak into the Republic’s incredible ancient history, jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes, and palatial stately homes. What’s more, by taking to the road and driving in Ireland, you are afforded the freedom to experience any, or all, of these amazing Irish destinations on your own schedule and pace, without being forced to adjust your travel plans to accommodate inconsistent public transport, or large tour-bus groups.
Experience the best of Ireland with this list of city breaks from Dublin:
Dublin to Bru na Boinne by Car: ~ 52min | 53.8km | Click Map for Directions
Just 50 minutes driving time north from Dublin and you’ll come upon the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bru na Boinne. One of the most historically valuable and well-preserved Megalithic sites in all of Europe, the ruins here are older than the pyramids in Egypt, and those of Stonehenge in England. Also be sure to discover Newgrange, one of the most well-known Neolithic passage tombs, that is best visited during Winter Solstice.
Dublin to Kilkenny by Car: ~ 1h 48min | 126km | Click Map for Directions
One of Ireland’s most visited cities, Kilkenny is absolutely beautiful, surrounded by Ireland’s iconic emerald-green hills and many notable architectural landmarks. Kilkenny is definitely a must-visit destination for travelers eager to experience authentic Irish culture. Located just about an hour and a half away from Dublin by car, the city is home to the awe-inspiring Kilkenny Castle, and the 13th century Black Abbey. Discover what life was like during medieval times at these impressive structures during the day, and enjoy the many local restaurants and bars that line the old streets during the evening.
Dublin to Cormac’s Chapel by Car: ~ 2h 07min | 163km | Click Map for Directions
Drive a little over two hours southeast of Dublin, and you will arrive at the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Cormac’s Chapel is a historic Christian structure with some intriguing 800-year-old frescoes that have been restored to their original glory. Hore Abbey here is also breathtaking, with views of the Golden Vale below. Visit Cormac’s Chapel on one of your city breaks from Dublin, and experience both the rich architectural history of the region, while basking in the natural beauty of the serene Irish countryside.
Dublin to Wicklow National Park by Car: ~ 1h 30min | 68.8km | Click Map for Directions
For travelers who enjoy hiking, or simply love the blissful separation the wilderness brings, Wicklow Mountains National Park should be included on the list of must-see destinations during weekend breaks in Ireland. Just an hour and a half drive away from Dublin, the park boasts nine gorgeous hiking routes, each varying in difficulty and distance, including a walk to the incredible Glendalough monastic site – which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher by Car: ~ 3h 32min | 258km | Click Map for Directions
The heart and soul of Ireland lies at the Cliffs of Moher – a series of dramatic and daunting cliffs that run along the jagged North-Atlantic coast. The five-mile-long stretch of cliffs offer some of the best views of the craggy, verdant Irish coast and surrounding countryside. Driving to the cliffs from Dublin takes around three-and-a-half hours, so you might want to spend a few days exploring County Claire to make the drive worthwhile.
Dublin to the Giants Causeway by Car: ~ 3h 08min | 265km | Click Map for Directions
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of “The Giants Causeway” is a must-do day trip from Dublin. The three-hour drive north will feel beyond worth it once you reach the 40,000 basalt columns that rise from the sea like pillars of the Northern Irish coast. Not only do you get to see one of the most famous natural wonders in the world, but you also get to experience Northern Ireland for a day or two, and all the inspiring destinations and attractions found in Belfast, Derry, and surrounding landscapes.
Dublin to Belfast by Car: ~ 2h | 169km | Click Map for Directions
Famous as being the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, Belfast is a city of historic sights, exciting culture, and famed Irish music. Belfast is fun, exciting and full of life. Stay in one of the city’s quaint local hotels, and grace its many bars and restaurants, which are known around the world for their excellent, and very homely, Irish cuisine.
Weekend Breaks in Ireland with Auto Europe
Embark on a vacation to the Emerald Isle, and bring your dream travel itinerary to life with help from Auto Europe’s helpful guide to weekend breaks in Ireland. Once you’ve seen your fill of the attractions in Ireland’s capital city, head out on one, or all, of these fantastic city breaks from Dublin, and enjoy a truly authentic Irish experience as you drive your rental car from Dublin to a variety of day-trip worthy attractions all over Ireland.