Your Ultimate Guide to a Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Dublin

Photo of Antoinette and Kevin and the Cliffs of Moher.

Are you considering a Cliffs of Moher day trip from Dublin via group bus tour? Curious about what the experience is like and if it’s worth it? My Hun and I took a group tour to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin, and I’m here to share our experience to help you decide if a group tour from Dublin is right for you! I’ll cover everything from what the Cliffs are, their distance from Dublin, costs, what to expect, helpful tips for your visit, and what it’s actually like firsthand!

What Are the Cliffs of Moher?

Why Are the Cliffs of Moher So Famous?

The Cliffs of Moher are stunning sea cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. They stretch about 9 miles (14 kilometers) along the coast of County Clare and rise 702 feet (214 meters) above sea level at their highest point, just north of O’Brien’s Tower. Formed thousands of years ago, these majestic cliffs are one of Ireland’s most famous natural landmarks, attracting thousands of visitors each year with their breathtaking views and rugged beauty.

The Cliffs of Moher derive their name from an old Gaelic term meaning “the ruin of a fort” since they once housed a demolished fort during the early 1800s. For the longest time, I incorrectly pronounced it as “the cliffs of MOW-HARE,” but it’s actually pronounced “MORE” – as in, “I want to see MORE of Ireland!”

Where Are the Cliffs of Moher Located? How Far Are the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin?

Located on the western coast of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are 175 miles (280 km) from Dublin. If you’re considering a bus tour from Dublin, it will take about 3 hours and 10 minutes to reach the cliffs.

Best Time to Visit the Cliffs of Moher

Photo of the Cliffs of Moher by Frolic & Courage.
The Cliffs of Moher are stunning, especially when the sun is shining!

When Should You Visit?

The best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher is at sunrise and sunset. Booking a morning visit (between 8 and 11 am) or an evening visit (between 4 and 9 pm) is ideal, as the earlier you go, the fewer crowds you will encounter. Summer offers the clearest skies, making it the best season for visiting, but it is also the peak time, especially between 11 am and 4 pm. Spring and fall may have fewer crowds. We visited in mid-March.

How Long to Spend at the Cliffs?

Plan to spend 2-3 hours at the cliffs, but you can stay as long as you want.

Cost of Visiting the Cliffs of Moher

What’s Included in the Price of Admission?

Group tours are available through third-party providers only, as the Cliffs of Moher do not offer official group tours. In lieu of a tour, the official Cliffs of Moher experience offers an audio guide.

Cliffs of Moher Ticket Includes:

  • The actual cliffs
  • Visitor Center exhibits and 4D movie
  • O’Brien’s Tower
  • Safe, paved pathways
  • Audio guide & app
  • Parking
  • Accessible transportation for those who can’t make the walk

Outside of a group tour, official Cliffs of Moher tickets only cost €7 for adults (13+ years old), and kids under 12 are free. When you choose a time slot online, you must arrive within that specific time slot. However, you can stay as long as you’d like on site.

How to Get to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin Without a Car

Transportation Options

Outside of renting a car, you can reach the Cliffs through:

  • Group Tour Bus: Offers convenience, education, and comfort. Prices vary based on additional stops.
  • Boat Tour: Once you arrive.
  • Rail Connection: To Ennis via Limerick, then catch the bus.
  • Small Group or Private Tour Guide: Various options available.

Recommended Group Tours from Dublin

Some of the recommended group tours from Dublin include the Cliffs of Moher Tour Including Wild Atlantic Way and Galway City from Dublin, starting at $85. This is the tour we took and what you may have seen from our weekend adventure in Dublin blog. This day trip tour is highly recommended with over 12k positive reviews AND a badge of excellence!

Another option is the Dublin to Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Wild Atlantic and Galway Tour, also priced at $85. If you prefer a more intimate experience, the Small Group Cliffs of Moher and Castle Tour from Dublin is available for $140. For those looking for a private experience in your own group, the Private Day Tour from Dublin, Kinvara, and Doolin costs $1,500. Another premium option is the Cliffs of Moher, Boat Cruise & Aillwee Cave Day Tour, priced at $140.

Pros of Group Tours:

The pros of taking a group tour as opposed to driving yourself include convenience, education, and comfort. The cost generally covers transportation, a tour guide, and admission to the Cliffs of Moher, although lunch is not usually included unless specifically listed. With a group tour, you don’t have to worry about obtaining an international driver’s permit, renting a car, securing insurance, driving on the opposite side of the road, navigating winding roads, understanding road signs, or dealing with strong winds that could make driving difficult. You can simply get on the bus and enjoy the journey stress-free.

Cons of Group Tours:

The cons are that you are not in control of your schedule – the itinerary is made for you, and there’s not a lot of flexibility in the schedule. There’s also working with group dynamics – if one person is late, the entire trip may be compromised. Of course, there’s the price – you pay a little more for the convenience of a group tour…although you could argue that renting a car, paying for gas for a round trip, and fees might even out or it may actually be cheaper depending on if you are splitting the cost with other people.

What to Expect on a Group Tour Bus to the Cliffs of Moher

Photo of inside of a Cliffs of Moher day trip from Dublin bus.
Comfy bus with large windows, just what I want to see the Cliffs of Moher!

Booking and Meeting Point

First and foremost, you should always buy your tickets online in advance. You will receive instructions on where to meet in central Dublin early in the morning, promptly at 7 am. Make sure you get on the correct bus, as there may be multiple buses leaving at the same time for different locations.

On the Bus

The bus will be comfortable, air-conditioned, and equipped with Wi-Fi and USB plugs for phone charging. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Taller individuals should sit in the back near the emergency exit door for the most legroom. The commentary provided during the trip offers excellent information about Dublin, the surrounding areas, and the Cliffs.

Stops and Experience

There will be a rest stop at Barack Obama Plaza for breakfast and snacks. I recommend eating beforehand if you can, as the stop is short and many buses stop at the same location, leading to bathroom madness (especially for women!) The rest of the trip takes you through the beautiful Irish countryside. Upon arrival, the bus parks in the bus lots, and it’s a very short walk to the Visitor Center and gift shops. The visit to the Cliffs lasts for two hours, which felt like the perfect amount of time and didn’t feel rushed. After the Cliffs, the tour continues along the Atlantic Way with a lunch stop in Galway. The tour concludes with a drop-off back in central Dublin.

Photo of an Irish lamb and sausage stew from Bar 1921 in Gallway.
Lunch is at your own expense in Gallway, thank goodness because this was DELICIOUS!

What to Wear for Your Cliffs of Moher Visit

Always check the weather before your visit, as high winds and frigid temperatures are common, and the weather is highly unpredictable. Wear warm weather clothes, including hats, scarves, and gloves. Jeans and a waterproof jacket are recommended. Choose shoes suitable for walking up paved hills and avoid wearing anything loose, as it can easily blow off in the wind.

What to Bring to the Cliffs of Moher

Bring as little as possible. A camera or phone for photos is essential. Do not bring an umbrella, as the wind will rip it apart! Binoculars are great for bird watching. Restrooms and a coffee shop are available on-site.

How to Structure Your Visit for the Best Experience

Upon arrival, take the pathway to the right to reach the cliffs. Visit O’Brien’s Tower for a different perspective. It is tall, narrow, and cramped, but worth visiting while you’re there. Next, explore the left-hand side. Many local farmers own land along the Cliffs of Moher, and you may see herds of cows or sheep grazing by the cliffs. Finally, visit the Visitor Center to warm up, grab treats, use the restroom, and view the interesting exhibits. The Visitor Center and gift shops are nestled within the cliffs, resembling a hobbit house!

Helpful Tips for Your Visit

Photo of an informational map at the Cliffs of Moher.
Read the helpful signage before you see the Cliffs of Moher.
  1. Be careful when taking photos to ensure your safety.
  2. Turn your iPhone to cinematic mode for awesome footage.
  3. The weather at the Cliffs of Moher is unpredictable, so when the sky clears, make sure to take advantage of the view. There are no refunds if it is cloudy, so choose your date and time accordingly. Many tour options have a flexible cancellation policy that allows you to cancel your tour 24 hours in advance for peace of mind.
  4. Watch out for the wind, as it can be very strong and may blow away hats, gloves, and even phones.
  5. There are lots of birds to see, but remember not to feed them. Puffins arrive at the Cliffs from late March to mid-July, with May and June being the best months to see them.
  6. While the Cliffs of Moher are beautiful, they can also be dangerous. Do not jump the fence as there have been fatalities. Always watch your children closely to ensure they do not climb the walls.
  7. The walk along the Cliffs of Moher is not very difficult as the official site is paved and relatively easy to navigate. However, the stairs and incline might pose a challenge for people with mobility issues. Accessible transportation, such as golf carts or wheelchairs (first-come, first-served), is available for those who need it. Just ask the attendants for assistance.
  8. Yes, parts of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” were filmed at the Cliffs of Moher, as well as scenes from “The Princess Bride” and “Leap Year.”
  9. You may even make friends on your tour. Afterward, some group tour participants often head to a pub to hang out and socialize.

Is It Worth It to See the Cliffs of Moher?

I think so! At first, I questioned whether or not I wanted to spend all those hours on a bus just to see rocks on a cliff, but the views were stunning! There’s nothing like being outside in nature, looking at the beautiful natural formations with the waves crashing below. I felt like I was on an episode of Poldark, lol!

Also, I usually don’t like and don’t book large group tours because it feels like I am herded like a cow and shoved into cramped spaces with weird people. I prefer to book small group tours, but I have to say this experience was nice, and I would recommend it for the convenience. One of my concerns was not being able to properly see the cliffs due to crowds. To my amazement, even though we were in a group of six tour buses, it never felt crowded because the cliffs are so huge! Some people wanted to visit the visitor center first, while others didn’t, so everyone was spread out.

Share Your Thoughts

Which transportation method would you choose to visit the Cliffs of Moher? Would you rather drive or take a group tour? Share your pros and cons in the comments below!

For more Dublin travel tips, check out my blog on How to Get Around Dublin on a Budget. If you found this post helpful, please let me know in the comments below. Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll catch you in the next blog post!

Happy travels!
Antoinette | Frolic & Courage

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