A Perfect Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway

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by Olivia Ellis

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Planning a Cliffs of Moher day trip from Galway City is the perfect way to see this iconic natural site without taking too much time away from your Ireland itinerary.

The Cliffs of Moher are easily one of the most popular and spectacular natural destinations to visit in Ireland. Close to the charming city of Galway, the cliffs are home to a variety of wildlife, including thousands of seabirds, and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

These sheer, vertical cliffs rise to 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, stretching for over 5 miles along the rugged west coast of County Clare offering dramatic views from the Emerald Isle.

The Cliffs of Moher is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world with good reason, offering an unforgettable experience of Ireland’s stunning natural beauty.

Getting from Galway to Cliffs of Moher

By Organised Tour

Planning the logistics of your visit to destinations like the Cliffs of Moher, which are situated away from the bustling tourist centers of the cities, can be a bit challenging.

In the case that you’d prefer to visit with an organised group, these are a number of Cliffs of Moher tours from Galway that can be a great option.

For example, this day tour from Galway is a great option as you won’t just spend time at the famous cliffs, but also at other note-worthy stops along the way between Galway and the Cliffs of Moher.

Stops include the ancient coastline of the Burren National Park, Dunguaire Castle, and the charming coastal village of Doolin. You can also find a similar tour here.

If you’re keen to explore more than the Irish mainland, this full-day tour is the perfect option.

As a full-day experience, your tour guide will take you along the famous Wild Atlantic Way, wandering the rugged coast of the cliffs, exploring the village of Doolin, and making your way via ferry to the smallest Aran Island of Inisheer. You can also find a similar tour here.

And those who would prefer a private tour or if you’re travelling with a small group and would prefer your own transportation, this private day tour is a good option. It not only provides transport to the cliffs but also to sites in the Burren, Ballyvaughan and Doolin.

Walking along the Cliffs of Moher
Walking along the Cliffs of Moher

By Bus

If you’re planning a Cliffs of Moher itinerary and are relying on public transportation, it’s feasible to reach the cliffs by public bus.

The Bus Éireann Route 350 provides a convenient daily bus service from Galway running along the Wild Atlantic Way numerous times daily.

Journey timetables vary depending on the time of the year, so make sure to check the timetables before embarking on your journey. The total journey time takes around 2 ½ hoours and you can check the timetable here.

By Car

Undoubtedly, the easiest method of transportation to visit Cliffs of Moher from Galway is by car. The cliffs are around 75 km away from Galway, and by driving along the N​​​​67, you’ll be treated to an incredibly picturesque drive along the way with a journey time of around 1.5 hours.

If you need to rent a car for your Ireland trip, you can browse Rentalcars.com which compares prices across major companies.

As for parking, you have a few different options.

If you’re arriving by car, the most convenient option is to park in the lot located directly across from the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience entrance.

It’s important to note that this is the only parking lot that provides direct access to the cliffs, and as such, visitors are required to pay both for parking and admission to the center.

The cost for tickets that include parking is €12 per person if purchased on arrival, but if you book in advance online, reduced admission starting at €7 per person is available.

Alternatively, if you’re hoping to visit the Cliffs of Moher without paying for admission to the Visitor Center, head to Hag’s Head, the most southerly point of the cliffs. Here you’ll find a small parking lot called the Cliffs of Moher Liscannor Walk car park with just €3 parking.

From here, it takes just 10 minutes to walk to the cliffs and you’ll have saved money in comparison to parking at the Visitor Center.

In going by car, you’ll have the freedom to stop along the way at idyllic spots in the Burren (such as the Poulnabrone dolmen), spend time in the local village of Doolin and perhaps hop across the sea by ferry to the Aran Islands.

Burren National Park
Burren National Park

Cliffs of Moher Day Trip Itinerary

The UNESCO-listed Cliffs of Moher provide a breathtaking experience, with spectacular views of the rugged Irish coastline and the Atlantic Ocean.

Exploring miles of towering cliffs, you’ll have the opportunity to experience various activities, such as leisurely walks along the cliff edge and discovering the unique history and geology of this world-famous location.

This route begins at the cliffs themselves, as tourist numbers increase drastically as the day goes on. This is even more relevant if you’re visiting in the warmer months of the peak tourist season.

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience

I do recommend paying for the combination ticket including the nearest parking lot to the cliffs with admission to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.

The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is located near the cliffs and is designed to enhance visitors’ experience of the cliffs. The center provides a range of facilities and services, including a multimedia exhibit on the history and geology of the cliffs, a gift shop, and a restaurant.

The main exhibit features interactive displays, films, and animations that provide a fascinating insight into the formation and history of the cliffs. While at the visitor center, you can also enjoy the 360-degree views of the cliffs and the surrounding landscape from the center’s outdoor viewing platforms.

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

Walk Along the Cliffs

Without a doubt, the best part of any Cliffs of Moher itinerary is spending time walking along the coast of the cliffs, taking in the dramatic and incredibly scenic views of the rugged Irish coastline.

Visitors at the Cliffs of Moher Experience can walk along a designated path exclusively for them (you can still walk this section if you haven’t paid for the Visitor Center). Although the area is beautiful, it’s a small portion of the vast coastline available to explore.

The contrast between the lush green landscape and the powerful waves crashing against the cliffs, along with the refreshing Atlantic sea breeze, provide an incredible experience. Once you venture beyond the Visitor Center, the path becomes less structured, with open areas and no barriers.

As you continue walking, the views become more dramatic and picturesque, but caution is necessary due to the high cliffs and uneven terrain.

O’Brien’s Tower

While walking along the cliffs, one of the most noticeable points of interest is O’Brien’s Tower. O’Brien’s Tower is one of the most popular attractions at the Cliffs of Moher.

O’Brien’s Tower is a historical monument located on the highest point of the cliffs, and it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The tower was built in the 19th century as a viewing point for Victorian tourists, and it has since become an iconic feature of the cliffs.

Visitors can climb the narrow stairs to the top of the tower for an even more impressive view of the surrounding landscape. From the top, you can even see the Aran Islands on a clear day.

In addition to the tower, several walking trails lead to various lookout points along the cliffs. Visitors can take their time exploring the area and admiring the stunning natural beauty.

It is important to note that O’Brien’s Tower may be closed during periods of inclement weather or for safety reasons, so it’s best to check ahead of time before planning a visit.

If you wish to visit O’Brien’s Tower, admission is included in the cost of the Cliffs of Moher Experience.

O'Brien's Tower
O’Brien’s Tower


After spending the morning taking in the natural Irish wonder of the Cliffs of Moher, I suggest heading to the nearby village of Doolin. Doolin is a small village situated on the west coast of Ireland, located approximately 8 km north of the cliffs.

The village is best known as the gateway to the Aran Islands and for its traditional Irish music scene and pub culture.

If you’ve taken public transportation or you’re keen to walk further along the coast, you can continue along the coastal path to Doolin in around 2 ½ hours, opening your appetite for a delicious lunch at a traditional pub.

The village of Doolin itself is also quite lovely to wander around. It’s a delight to take a stroll along the main street, which is lined with colorful buildings, traditional Irish pubs, restaurants, and shops. The streets are often filled with the sound of live music, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.

Doolin Village
Doolin Village

Lunch in a Traditional Pub (McGann’s Pub)

Once you have explored the charming town of Doolin, make your way to Main Street and stop by McGann’s Pub for a delicious taste of authentic Irish cuisine in a lively local setting.

The pub is renowned for its welcoming atmosphere and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. From hearty stews and fresh seafood to traditional Irish music sessions, McGann’s offers an authentic taste of Ireland.

Doolin Cave

Not far from McGann’s Pub is one of the village’s main tourist attractions, the Doolin Cave.

Doolin Cave is a natural wonder located in the heart of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. The cave is known for its stunning formations, including the Great Stalactite, one of the longest free-hanging stalactites in the world.

While visiting, you have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the cave and marvel at the natural beauty that has been forming for thousands of years. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and includes a short film presentation on the history and geology of the cave.

The cave is suitable for all, and is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those who appreciate the wonders of the natural world. You can pre-book your tour here.

Dunguaire Castle

Last but not least, on your Galway to Cliffs of Moher day trip, I suggest making a stop at one of the most famous castles in all of Ireland, Dunguaire Castle.

Dunguaire Castle is a castle located in County Galway, Ireland, dating back to the 16th century. The castle is situated on a rocky hill overlooking Galway Bay and is surrounded by stunning views of the Irish countryside.

While at the castle, you have the opportunity to explore the castle’s interior and admire its well-preserved medieval architecture, including the banquet hall, great fireplace, and spiral staircase leading to the upper floors.

There are guided tours available that provide historical context and fascinating stories about the castle’s past. The castle also hosts cultural events throughout the year, such as traditional Irish music performances and medieval banquets that provide a unique experience for visitors if you’re visiting during the summertime.

While I do suggest visiting outside of the season and spending time exploring the grounds of the castle, visits inside the castle are only possible during the spring and summer seasons so keep this in mind if you’re visiting and are keen to explore inside the castle. You can pre-book tickets here.

Dunguaire Castle
Dunguaire Castle

Where to Stay in Galway

The Stop B&B – This bed and breakfast located in the Claddagh neighborhood is within easy reach of the center of Galway. They have a number of bright and clean rooms on offer and a wonderful breakfast included each morning.

Park House Hotel – Those looking for a luxury option before heading out on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher will love this plush hotel right on Eyre Square. They have a range of lovely rooms on offer and plenty of great amenities for guests to enjoy.

The Western Citypoint Apartments – These centrally located flats are an excellent choice for those who’d like to have their own fully furnished apartment in Galway. There are a number of flats to choose from and a great location for exploring all the city has to offer.

Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel – Solo and budget travelers will love this centrally-located hostel that’s situated near Eyre Square. As one of the top-rated hostels in Galway City, they have both dorm and private rooms on offer and also include breakfast.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Galway hotels!

A day trip from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher offers an unforgettable experience filled with stunning natural beauty, historic landmarks, and charming local towns.

From walking along the towering cliffs to exploring the charming fishing village of Doolin and visiting the historic Dunguaire Castle, seeing these incredible cliffs is a must-do for anyone interested in exploring the west coast of Ireland.

Are you visiting the Cliffs of Moher? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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