Ireland is a fantastic island with so many places to see. Even if you went on a Road Trip around Ireland, you would still come back wishing you did more, there is so much to do! We have done our best to compact a Road Trip Itinerary into 14 days! We must point out that this is not necessarily a final plan you should follow. Everyone’s Road Trip is unique, so you could use this list for inspiration and customise it to make it your own!
DAY ONE: Dublin – Start in Ireland’s capital city
Guinness Storehouse – Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction
Home of the Black stuff. Guinness is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. Guinness is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. It is brewed in almost 60 countries and is available in over 120. Annual sales total 850 million litres (1.5 billion imperial or 1.8 billion US pints).
Kilmainham Goal – Ireland’s most famous Jail
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison located in Kilmainham in Dublin, which is now a museum. It has been run since the mid-1980s by the Office of Public Works (OPW), an Irish government agency. Kilmainham Gaol played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the prison by the British and in 1923 by the Irish Free State.
Glasnevin Cemetery tour – Ireland’s most famous Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery, officially known as Prospect Cemetery, is the largest non-denominational cemetery in Ireland with an estimated 1.5 million burials. It first opened in 1832, and is located in Glasnevin, Dublin. Some of Ireland’s most famous people are buried here including Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Luke Kelly, Daniel O’Connell and many more.
Experience Dublin’s Best Traditional Pubs
Dublin is full of amazing pubs; probably the most popular area for tourists is the Temple Bar! However, this area is quite pricey. There are many other alternative pubs to see around the town such as The Brazen Head, O’Donoghues Bar, Cobblestone Pub, Toners and much more!
DAY TWO: Head north
Newgrange, Co. Meath – Older than the Egyptian Pyramids
Newgrange is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
Bloody Bridge, Co. Down – A hidden gem
This little gem is located close to the lovely seaside town of Newcastle. There are some fantastic pools upstream which are amazing to take a swim in.
Newcastle Co. Down – A beautiful seaside town
Newcastle is a beautiful small town in County Down, Northern Ireland. The seaside resort lies on the Irish Sea coast at the base of Slieve Donard, one of the Mourne Mountains, and is known for its sandy beach and the Royal County Down Golf Club. The town lies within the Down District Council area. The town is twinned with New Ross, County Wexford, in the Republic of Ireland.
DAY THREE: Capital of the north – Belfast
The Titanic Exhibition – Experience the birthplace of the World’s most famous shipwreck
You can’t escape the influence that this ship has had on the city. In 2012, during the centenary of the loss of this famous vessel to an iceberg in the North Atlantic, the brand new Titanic Belfast centre opened to the public. The stunning design of the venue is meant to remind you of two ships being built side-by-side in the Harland & Wolff shipyards, and the building contains a fantastic series of interactive displays on Belfast’s industrial heritage – as well as, of course, the history of Titanic herself from inception right up to exploring the seabed and finding the wreck.
Black Mountain walk – View all of Belfast from above
Its an unbelievable experience to go up to the top of these mountains and look over all of Belfast and beyond. The mountains rest in the heart of the Belfast Hills, which provide the backdrop to the city’s skyline. The rich, varied archaeological landscape is home to a host of wildlife. There are walking trails along a variety of terrain: through heath, on stone tracks, along boardwalks and road surface. The easiest way to do this amazing walk is to drive and park your car in the car park at the start of the walk. The address is: Divis Road, Hannahstown, near Belfast, County Antrim, BT17 0NG.
Crumlin Road Goal – Belfast’s most famous prison
The former prison which was taken out of service in 1996 is now a museum and conference centre close to the city centre which allows you to see the prison wings, execution cells, tunnels to the courthouse, and learn about the history of this building and its impact on life in the region. It’s brilliantly done and very educational.
Irish pub crawl – Experience the local Irish culture
The city is packed with places to drink and enjoy the ‘craic’. Visit the historic Crown Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street – a must for tourists complete with old tiling, private wooden drinking booths and gas lamps. They also have dining rooms with authentic Irish fayre such as champ, coddle, stews and colcannon. Continue your Guinness drinking in the Duke of York, which has its history in the newspaper trade; try The John Hewitt in the Cathedral Quarter; or pop into Kelly’s Cellars dating back to the 16th century. Many of the city’s pubs also offer great food and entertainment.
DAY FOUR: keep heading north
Dark Hedges – Experience a famous and picturesque road
The Dark Hedges is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland and a popular attraction for tourists from across the world. It has been painted by hundreds of visiting artists and is a favourite location for wedding photographs.
Carrick-a-rede rope bride, Co. Antrim – Cross Ireland’s most famous bridge
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim. It is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20 metres and is 30 metres above the rocks below. The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust. In 2009 it had 247,000 visitors. The bridge is open all year round (subject to weather) and people may cross it for a fee.
Bushmills Factory, Co. Antrim – Where one of Ireland’s most famous drinks is made
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Bushmills Brand Experience encompasses guided tours around a working distillery with all the associated sights and smells, tutored whiskey tastings, a specialist whiskey shop and a well stocked gift shop with exclusive Bushmills merchanise. There is also a restaurant serving lunches and Bushmills inspired treats throughout the day. The Distillery Tour Centre is open 7 days a week.
Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim – A beautiful place
Dunluce Castle is located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North Antrim coast, and was the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan. There is archaeological evidence of a village that surrounded the castle which was destroyed by fire in 1641. The site was also witness to the sinking of a colony ship that broke up on the rocks off Islay in 1857 with the loss of 240 lives.
Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim – Northern Ireland’s iconic attraction
No trip to the north coast is complete without this one! The Giant’s Causeway is proof that Mother Nature provides the most dramatic tourist attractions. The natural wonder is comprised of around 40,000 polygonal basalt rock columns, formed by the ancient volcanic landscape and stretching along the coastline like a series of gigantic stepping stones. A Giants Causeway Day Trip from Belfast is one of the country’s most popular excursions, with visitors taking the unique opportunity to walk one of nature’s most peculiar pathways.
DAY FIVE: Derry and Inishowen
Derry City, Co. Derry – A historic city
Derry is a Northern Ireland’s second biggest city and located very close to the Irish border. The city is full of history from the Walls of Derry to Free Derry Corner. The city has seen massive transformation in recent years with new attractions such as the peace bridge.
Dunagree Point, Co. Donegal – A hidden gem
Drive north from Derry and you venture into the Inishowen Penninsula. This is a beautiful place where you will have to stop and admire the views along the way. Just look at this!
Malin Head, Co. Donegal – Visit the most northen rocks on the whole island of Ireland
If you are on the Inishowen Penninsula, you have to go to Malin Head which is the most northern point of the whole island of Ireland. This is a picture we took when we last visited.
Clonmany Waterfall, Co. Donegal – one of Ireland’s most beautiful waterfalls
One of Ireland’s greatest Waterfalls is located on this little Penninsula. You will not be disappointed! There is a lovely Ice Cream shop and cafe close to the waterfall so you can relax.
DAY SIX: More of Donegal and Sligo
Portsalon Beach, Co. Donegal – One of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches
One of Ireland’s greatest beaches, a very extensive sandy beach on the shores of Lough Swilly. It gently slopes towards the Atlantic ocean and is located in a Natural Heritage Area (NHA). The beach at Portsalon can be reached by travelling north east in the R246 from Carrowkeel to Portsalon.
Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal – One of Ireland’s best National Parks
Glenveagh National Park is one of six national parks in Ireland. Situated in the Northwest of Co. Donegal, Glenveagh encompasses some 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. Such a great wilderness is the haunt of many interesting plants and animals.
“A National Park exists to conserve interesting plant and animal communities and associated landscapes in their natural state and, under conditions compatible with that purpose, to provide for appreciation of them by the visiting public.”
Slieve League Cliffs, Co. Donegal – Stunning Cliffs
Ranked Number 1 attraction on tripadvisor for County Donegal. Climbing to this point on Slieve League Cliffs in County Donegal is a truly memorable experience. The views are fantastic! Highly recommended to add this place to the list of places to visit!
Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo – A beautiful place
A great little town with amazing views. If you are into walking, there is a lovely walk round the head of the peninsula. If you wish to stay here you could get a room at The Beach Hotel or The Pier Head Hotel. For campers, there are numerous camp sits in the area!
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