Day Trip Guide:
Cliffs of Moher
Day Trip to the Cliffs of Moher
Our Day Trip Guide to the Cliffs of Moher will go over the most cost effective ways to get there from Galway or Dublin. Nonetheless, making a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher is absolutely a must do during your time in Ireland. This magnificent work of nature is about a 3-hour drive from Dublin, or a 1.5-hour drive from Galway.
The benefit to renting a car in Ireland is that you can make your way there at your own leisure.
However, we recommend getting there before 11:00AM because entrance tickets are only €4/adult. From 11:00AM-4:00PM is considered 'peak hours' and the price doubles to €8/adult. After 4:00PM is off-peak and also €4/adult.
If you don't have a rental car then don't worry. Most people looking to take a day trip are banking on taking a bus to make the trip. Either way, our day trip guide to the Cliffs of Moher will breakdown the costs associated with both options so you can figure out which one works best for you.
How to get to the Cliffs of Moher
If you're wondering how to get the Cliffs of Moher there are a few options to consider. Renting a car for the day from Dublin is quite easy and can be quite one of the cheapest ways to get the Cliffs of Moher, if you have enough people to share the cost. We rented a car through EuropCar but did not have the best experience with them.
Instead, we recommend Sixt Car Rentals because they are typically cheaper and have better customer service. Unless you already have a rental car in Galway, it’s not possible to rent a Sixt car there. The closest Sixt car rental agency is located roughly 65 Km away at the Shannon Airport. However, if you're keen on renting a car out of Galway it's certainly possible. There are several other car rental agencies in Galway such as Enterprise, Budget Car, and EuropCar
Cheapest ways to get to the Cliffs of Moher
Hitchhiking is definitely one of the cheapest ways to get to the Cliffs of Moher. Though we haven't done it ourselves, we've heard from a few people who have traveled this way in Ireland. We don't recommend this method, but the Irish are generally friendly and hospitable people. So if you're going to hitchhike then Ireland is probably one of the safer places you could do it.
Renting a Car
If you're not keen on hitchhiking, then renting a car can be one of the cheapest ways to get to the Cliffs of Moher if you split the cost between enough people. Our price breakdown of a rental car is based on a make/model similar to the VW Polo (4 door/manual transmission) rented for 1 day from Sixt Dublin City Centre.
This car is available in both petrol and diesel, however, Sixt does not specify which version is available on their website. Typically the petrol version is rented out at the base rate so we will assume that you're renting the petrol model. If you want to get the diesel model, you'll most likely have to pay a little extra but you will save some money on fuel. Nonetheless, we have included the diesel cost to show the fuel cost difference between the two.
Typically a compact sedan, such as the VW Polo, will cost about €50/day if you rent during the week. Keep in mind this price includes the most basic insurance package but doesn't include any protection if you were to damage the car yourself. Additionally, this price breakdown doesn't include the entrance fee to the cliffs which is between €4-8/adult depending on the time of day (€4/adult before 11:00AM).
Total Rental Car Cost
Petrol Model: €44.03 (Fuel) + €50 (Rental) = €94.03
Cost for 2 People:€94.03 (Rental/Fuel) + €8 (Entrance before 11:00AM) = €51.05/person
Cost for 3 People:€94.03 (Rental/Fuel) + €12 (Entrance before 11:00AM) = €35.34/person
Taking a Bus
Depending whether or not you want to take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin or Galway, prices will vary. Half and full day tours are available from Galway since it’s half the distance from Dublin. The only tour options from Dublin are full day tours since it's roughly a 3 hour drive each way.
Ok so what is the cheapest way to get the Cliffs of Moher? Well, the answer depends on how many people you have. If you and two friends are looking to go, we would recommend looking into renting a car to see if it's cheaper than bookin g a tour. Like we mentioned, our rental car cost is based on renting it in mid-week, weekends tend to be more expensive to rent a car. Don't even get me started on trying to rent during a holiday.
However, if you're considering the most eco-friendly way to travel we recommend taking the bus. Even though the bus emits more CO2 than the car, more people are able to travel on the bus. This tends to be a more eco-friendly way to travel compared to everybody driving themselves, not to mention less traffic.
Our Day Trip to the Cliffs of Moher
After meeting up with Molly's family in Dublin, we went to Galway for the night. We took our time and left for the cliffs around 11:00AM making it there by 12:30PM. At the time we didn't know it would be cheaper to get there before 11:00AM, but hindsight is 20/20. We paid the €8/adult entrance fee, which is essentially a ticket to the parking lot. There’s no actual ticket line to access the cliffs themselves.
After taking the path out of the parking lot you will soon find yourself at the start of the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Trail. The entire trail is 11.4 Km (7 miles) out-and-back. It takes anywhere between 2-3 hours to do the whole thing depending on your pace. We highly recommend walking this trail because not only will you get amazing views of the cliffs, the crowd thins out the farther you go.
We really lucked out and got perfect weather for our day trip to the Cliffs of Moher. The day prior had some heavy rain while we were driving from Dublin to Galway. All in all we spent roughly 3 hours at the cliffs, which is another benefit to driving yourself here, you can take as long as you please! Most bus tours will only spend about 1.5-2 hours here, which is not enough time to do the full coastal trail at a leisurely pace. Sure, you could do it if you’re determined enough but you’ll definitely want to stop along the way to take pictures or just enjoy the scenery.