I made a whirlwind of a trip to Ireland in the summer of 2018 during the World Cup season across Europe. I constructed a three days in Ireland itinerary since I wanted to be back in London for an England World Cup match!
During my three days in Ireland itinerary, I managed to visit Dublin, Galway, and the Cliffs of Moher. It’s entirely possible to see all three of these Ireland highlights within this short timeframe! Whether it’s a long weekend or a short vacation, here’s your perfect three days in Ireland itinerary.
Three Days in Ireland Itinerary: Dublin, Galway, and the Cliffs of Moher
I booked a trip to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin with for €50. It’s cheaper if booked online ahead of time. This included the bus from Dublin to Galway, Galway to the Cliffs of Moher, the Cliffs of Moher back to Galway, and then Galway to Dublin.
The tour I joined had an option to stay one night in Galway instead of just round-tripping from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher in the same day. I chose this option so I could see one more city in Ireland during my three day itinerary. You can pick this option too by emailing the tour provider after booking your dates here.
Prefer to DIY your Three Days in Ireland Itinerary?
After doing extensive research on how to get to both Galway and the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin using only public transportation, I concluded for only a few euros extra, I would save a lot of time and hassle by just going with an organized tour.
Three Days in Ireland Itinerary: Dublin - Day 1 (and 3)
Getting from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center
I flew from London Gatwick to Dublin Airport on a red-eye flight so I would have all day to explore Dublin after landing.
A few Airport busses run from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center for €6-€7. A local Dublin Bus 41 will take you there too, a little slower for €3.30. Don’t forget to bring the exact fare because the buses don’t give you any change!
Things To Do In Dublin
Assuming you have 1-2 days in Dublin during your three days in Ireland itinerary these are some city highlights you shouldn’t miss!
- Guinness Storehouse Tour – $30 USD per person to skip the line, plus a free pint of Guinness
- Jameson Distillery Tour – $28 USD per person for entry, plus a flight of whiskeys to taste
- Go on a walking tour of Dublin to get your bearings and learn about the long history of the city – €6 per person
- Grab a drink at the Temple Bar (or any other adorably Irish bar in Dublin, there are many)
- Irish Whiskey Museum – for $23 per person, learn about the history of Irish whiskey and enjoy whiskey tasting
- Visit a lesser known whiskey distillery in Dublin making quite a name for themselves – the award-winning Teeling distillery.
Free Things to Do in Dublin:
- Visit the Ha’Penny Bridge which connects both halves of Dublin. When it was first built in 1815, people were charged a ha’penny to cross it.
- Wander around Trinity College and enjoy the old architecture and open spaces. You can also take a student-guided walking tour for €15 euros per adult.
- Take a walk around St. Stephen’s Green, a massive park in central Dublin. I had lunch here and became surrounded by hungry ducks.
- Visit museums: the permanent exhibits of both the National Gallery of Ireland and Natural History Museum are free!
Three Days in Ireland Itinerary Day 2 - Off to Galway!
On my second day in Ireland, I was being whisked away from Dublin through the Irish countryside on a tour bus.
It was about lunchtime when we arrived in Galway, where the wind and rain were relentless and no one wanted to get off of the bus. It was freezing, dark, and dreary, even in June, but everything I expected Ireland to be.
Tip: Bring lots of layers and rain gear during your three days in Ireland!
Included in the tour is a short guided walk around Galway and a little time to explore on our own. Our tour driver took us to the Spanish Arch next to the river, then down Quay Street which runs right through the heart of Galway. There was a small jewelry shop for Claddagh Celtic rings that we paused at so the driver could let us know that with our tour tickets, we can get a couple Euros off this classic Celtic ring (not sure if this is offered as part of every tour).
We stopped next at St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and the Lynch Memorial Window where we learned about a centuries-old hanging that took place. Then we were allowed to wander Galway on our own.
Exploring Galway, Ireland
Things To Do in Galway:
- Head to the park across from the Long Walk strip of colorful houses for a great view!
- Stroll down the River Corrib and spot some locals fishing
- Shop (or grab a pint) on Quay Street, the busiest section of Galway. Catch some street performers dancing and singing the traditional Irish way!
- Visit St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and the impressive Galway Cathedral
- Chill in Eyre Square, home to many street performers
Where To Eat in Galway:
Off to the Cliffs of Moher!
While the driver played some traditional Irish tunes over the speakers, our bus rumbled down the narrow and windy Irish countryside.
The driver did a great job informing us about some of the famous landmarks that we were driving by, and explaining the history and traditions of the area. We stopped once on the way to the Cliffs of Moher at this viewpoint overlooking the valley.
The Cliffs of Moher Experience
I should have expected for it to be windy and freezing at the cliffs. They drop straight off into the ocean after all. I should have also prepared for the rain!
After the bus driver made some politically incorrect jokes about how he doesn’t want any of us passengers to commit suicide while on the tour (the Cliffs of Moher is an infamous suicide spot, there are signs warning against jumping) we were given about two hours to explore the area.
There is a long trail that stretches along the cliff that you can walk for kilometers, to get different views of the cliffs. There is also a museum, a stone tower, a visitor’s center, and gift shop on site.
Although I was soaked to the bone, freezing cold, and muddy up to my thighs from wandering around the trails, I loved the Cliffs of Moher! It was such cool scenery, comparable in my opinion to the Grand Canyon in its epic display land vs water. I can only imagine how incredible it would be when its sunny.
After about two hours, we all boarded the bus again. On the way back to Galway we stopped at a small Irish pub/diner for a quick bite, before returning to Galway.
While most of the tour passengers stayed on the bus to head back to Dublin, I was glad to be one of the few that was dropped off in Galway. I had about 20 extra hours to spend exploring this lovely city.
Day 3 – Back to Dublin
To return to Dublin on my third day, I went to the coach station in Galway and was picked up by the departing Lally Tour bus. I had one last day to spend in Dublin before my flight back to London, to complete my three-day Ireland itinerary!
Where to Stay During Your Three Days in Ireland Itinerary
Budget Hostels in Dublin:
Abraham’s Hostel – I stayed in a 16-person dorm room, shared by backpackers, weekenders, and businessmen alike. Free buffet-style breakfast with a well-equipped kitchen. There’s a bar on-site too!
Spire Hostel – I stayed in an attic room in this hostel. Adequate free breakfast and small common areas, close to city center.
If you have more than Three Days in Ireland:
- Day-trip from Galway to Connemara and Kylemore Abbey – Wander fairytale castles, and view the mountains and lakes of rural Ireland. Only $34 USD per person (excluding entry and meals)
- Go on a cruise from Galway that takes you around the Aran Islands and lets you see the Cliffs of Moher from below. Spend time on the smallest Aran Island, Inis Oirr.
- From Dublin, take a day tour to visit the Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Plus spend some time in Belfast.
- Take an off-the-beaten-path tour from Dublin: tour Wicklow National Park, visit a medieval monastery in Glendalough, and see the old capital of Ireland, Kilkenny.
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Are You Prepared For Your European Travelventures?
- Book Your Flights – To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is key. I use both Google Flights and their low fare calendar, and Skiplagged, which uses airfare loopholes to get the lowest prices.
- Book Your Accommodation – Check out Booking.com for the largest selection of accommodation around the world. For backpackers, Hostelworld.com is also a favorite.
- Book Your Transportation – Travel Europe on a budget by searching Omio (formerly GoEuro) for the cheapest trains and bus tickets to get around.
- Buy Travel Insurance – It’s better to protect yourself from mishaps when traveling. Get a quote from World Nomads to see how much it’ll cost to get you covered!
- Book Local Excursions – Don’t miss out on world-class experiences by booking tours and tickets online, ahead of your arrival. GetYourGuide has fun experiences from all around Europe, including Paris, London, and Barcelona!
- Pack Your Essentials – Check out my posts about Long Term Travel Gear, and Carry-On Luggage Packing Essentials