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12 Best Day Trips From Dublin by Train

12 Best Day Trips From Dublin by Train

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Are you visiting Dublin but might want to add some day trips to your Ireland itinerary? Check out these amazing day trips from Dublin by train that are totally worth the effort!
This list of day trips from Dublin by train was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Ireland’s capital city is a fantastic place to visit for two to three days. But if you have four or five, there are plenty of other nearby Irish towns and cities worth visiting.

Better yet, there are lots of cool Irish towns and cities you can check out that are only a train ride from Dublin!

Of course, there are more day trips in Ireland by car that you can take. But that’s extra hassle, expense, and time away from exploring new places. There are also lots of great small-group excursions by bus, but that might not be your jam.

Some of the best day trips from Dublin by train are as close as 30 minutes away. Some are coastal towns, bustling cities, or deep in the Irish countryside.

Check out your options for an easy day trip from Dublin by train right here!

12 Best Day Trips From Dublin by Train

Dublin to Howth Day Trip

If you want to visit some charming, small Irish villages during your stay in Dublin then look no further than Howth. 

Image of Howth Harbor in Ireland
Howth Harbour is a cute place to visit near Dublin.

Howth is one of the most popular days out from Dublin. It’s close by, it’s on the beautiful eastern coastline, and there are a surprising number of things to do.

Visit Howth Castle and Howth Lighthouse. Stroll along part of the Howth Cliff Walk. It’s the best day trip from Dublin if you want to escape the city quickly!

How To Get From Dublin to Howth by Train

Distance: 17.6 km/10 miles

From Connolly Train Station in Dublin, hop on a direct Irish Rail DART service to Howth Station. It takes around 30 minutes and trains depart every 60 minutes so it really is one of the best short day trips from Dublin. Single train tickets cost around €3 – €6.

Note: DART stands for ‘Dublin Area Rapid Transit’ and it applies to all commuter trains in the greater Dublin area. Since Howth is one of the towns in Dublin County, it’s technically a commuter town.

Day Trip from Dublin to Cork

There are lots of lively cities in Ireland to visit. But as the second-largest in the country, Cork offers lots of activities for families, couples, and solo travelers!

Image of a turret at Blarney Castle in Cork Ireland
This is a turret at Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland.

Blarney Castle (where you’ll find the stone that grants the ‘gift of the gab’ to those that pucker up) and Blackrock Castle Observatory are perfect places to visit for history lovers.

Cork City Gaol and Elizabeth Fort are two other centuries-old structures to visit in Cork. The latter offers great panoramic views across the city and the River Lee. Cork is the perfect addition to any 10-day Ireland itinerary.

How To Get From Dublin to Cork by Train

Distance: 260 km/161 miles

From Dublin Heuston Station, take a direct Irish Rail InterCity service to Cork (Kent) train station. These trains typically take two hours and 30 minutes and usually depart every hour on the hour from 5 am until 9 pm. The average cost of a single ticket is €13. 

You can also do a full-day tour from Dublin to Blarney Castle.

Dublin to Kilkenny Day Trip

Do you want to visit the closest city to Dublin? Kilkenny holds that title and it’s definitely one of the best day trips from Dublin by train.

Kilkenny Castle is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland built in 1195, View from garden
Kilkenny Castle is one of the top things to see in Kilkenny, Ireland.

It straddles the River Nore and boasts tons of cool, underrated attractions. Check out St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny Castle, and St. Mary’s Medieval Mile Museum (try saying that five times fast).

How To Get From Dublin to Kilkenny by Train

Distance: 128 km/80 miles

From Dublin Heuston train station, catch a direct Irish Rail train to Kilkenny MacDonagh station. This journey takes between 90 – 75 minutes and services depart approximately every one to two hours. Single train tickets cost around €12 – €18.

There’s also a full-day tour from Dublin if you want to also see Wicklow and Glendalough.

Day Trip from Dublin to Belfast

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, so it’s one of the best Irish cities to visit. It’s also one of the most exciting day trips outside of Dublin because you can technically visit another country for a day!

Belfast Skyline in the Evening, Belfast City, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK).
Here’s the Belfast Skyline.

Belfast is famous for its docks where the Titanic was built. Visit the Titanic Belfast Experience and take a Black Cab Mural Tour to find out more about the recent political turmoil here.

How To Get From Dublin to Belfast by Train

Distance: 168 km/104 miles

From Connolly Train Station in Dublin, hop on a direct Enterprise service to Belfast Lanyon Place Train Station. It takes just over two hours and there are roughly eight trains a day every two hours. Single Tickets cost around €17.

Dublin to Galway Day Trip

Another one of the best cities in Ireland to visit is Galway. It’s famous for live music (not just the Ed Sheeran song!) and Claddaugh jewelry.

Image of The Claddagh Galway in Galway, Ireland.
The Claddagh Galway in Galway, Ireland.

Head to the Latin Quarter where you will find the most colorful, centuries-old pubs. Jewelry shops line Quay Street, and you’ll find the Galway City Museum in the harbor.

It’s not one of the closest day trips from Dublin, Ireland by train, but it’s one of the most memorable!

How To Get From Dublin to Galway by Train

Distance: 201 km/125 miles

From Dublin Heuston train station, catch a direct Irish Rail service to Galway (Ceannt) train station. This journey takes around two hours and 30 minutes and runs every two hours. Return tickets for this journey cost around €18.

Day Trip from Dublin to Bray

As well as Howth, there are lots of other rural Ireland towns within easy reach of Dublin. 

Lots of people agree that a visit to County Wicklow (home to the Wicklow Mountain National Park) makes for one of the best day tours from Dublin. But you can also travel to the seaside town of Bray in County Wicklow easily.

Image of Bray Coastline, Co. Wicklow
The Bray Coastline is a draw for many people looking for a Dublin day trip.

Bray Bay Beach is a pebble beach so it’s not ideal for bathing, but the promenade is a great place for a stroll. Walk up Bray Head for incredible views across the coastline.

How To Get From Dublin to Bray by Train

Distance: 30 km/19 miles

From Tara Street station in Dublin, take a direct Irish Rail DART service to Bray Daly train station. It takes around 50 minutes and trains run every 10 minutes or so, sometimes less! Single tickets cost around €4 – €7.

Dublin to Waterford Day Trip

Waterford is often not considered when listing the top Ireland day trips from Dublin. But there are plenty of reasons why you’d visit this underrated city!

Reginald tower. City of Waterford, County Waterford, Ireland
Reginald Tower in Waterford, Ireland.

First, it is the oldest Irish city and was founded by Vikings in 933 AD. You can still see some of the original city walls plus other historical buildings like Reginald’s Tower.

It’s also the birthplace of Waterford Crystal glassware for those hunting souvenirs. These are just some reasons why it’s one of the best cities to visit in Ireland for a day trip in Dublin, but you’ll no doubt find many more.

How To Get From Dublin to Waterford by Train

Distance: 171 km/106 miles

From Dublin Heuston train station, hop on a direct Irish Rail service to Waterford (Plunkett) station. This journey takes around two and a half hours and trains run approximately every 90 minutes. Single tickets cost around €14.

Day Trip from Dublin to Malahide

Since Malahide is one of the more well-to-do (read: wealthy) areas in the Dublin area, it’s one of the most beautiful towns to visit in Ireland.

Image of The malahide castle near dublin, ireland
Here’s Malahide Castle near Dublin.

This pretty village is home to a couple of pristine sandy beaches such as Malahide Beach and Portmarnock Beach. It’s also known for its golf clubs and you have to visit Malahide Castle & Gardens. 

It’s one of the easiest and best places to visit near Dublin even just for a stroll. Flowers and trees line every street!

How To Get From Dublin to Malahide by Train

Distance: 18 km/11 miles

From Tara Street station in Dublin, take a direct Irish Rail DART service to Malahide station. It takes around 30 minutes and services leave every 10 – 20 minutes. Single tickets cost around €3 – €6.

There’s also a full-day tour that includes Howth as well as Malahide Castle.

Dublin to Wexford Day Trip

If you’re looking for a surprising adventure on your day trip out of Dublin, look no further than the city of Wexford. It’s a medieval city with cobblestone lanes, but it also happens to be the location of Ireland’s National Opera House.

Image of Hook Lighthouse in Wexford.
Hook Lighthouse in Wexford.

There are many historic monuments like Wexford like the 12th-century Selskar Abbey and the 13th-century West Gate Heritage Tower. 

Since it’s on the southeast coast of Ireland, the journey down to Wexford is one of the best train trips from Dublin you can take. Just imagine the gorgeous coastal views!

How To Get From Dublin to Wexford by Train

Distance: 155 km/96 miles

From Tara Street station in Dublin, catch a direct Irish Rail service to Wexford (O Hanrahan) train station. This journey takes around two hours and 30 minutes and services run approximately every two hours. Single tickets cost around €13 – €20.

Day Trip from Dublin to Kildare

Kilare is only a small village, but it’s one of the best places near Dublin to visit in the countryside.

Image of a red bridge in a Japanese Garden in Kildare Ireland
There’s a cute Japanese Garden in Kildare.

St. Brigid’s Cathedral & Round Tower is a much, much bigger church than you’d expect in a town this size. You can also check out the ruins of the 13th-century Grey Abbey and the beautiful gardens of Tully.

How To Get From Dublin to Kildare by Train

Distance: 60 km/37 miles

From Dublin Heuston station, hop on a direct Irish Rail service to Kildare station. Or, choose a train with a short connection in Portarlington which will give you more options for day trips near Dublin.

This journey takes no more than 45 minutes and can take under 30 minutes with no connections. Trains leave every hour and single tickets cost around €6 – €9.

Dublin to Athlone Day Trip

Although it’s only famous for one reason, Athlone is one of the most famous Irish towns. Sean’s Bar holds the Guinness Book of Records for being the oldest bar in Ireland. 

Not only that, it could well be the oldest bar in the world!

Image of Athlone bridge and river at day time
Athlone is a cool, medieval city!

Sean’s Bar in Athlone dates back to 900 AD. This pub alone makes it one of the best places to visit in Ireland near Dublin, but it’s also a pretty medieval city on the River Shannon. It also boasts ruins from early Christian churches from the 7th century.

How To Get From Dublin to Athlone by Train

Distance: 125 km/77 miles

From Dublin Heuston train station, take a direct Irish Rail service to Athlone station. These trains should take no longer than 90 minutes and depart approximately every 45 minutes. Single tickets cost around €12 – €18.

Dublin to Limerick Day Trip

All of these day trips from Dublin, Ireland by train can easily be achieved without taking any connections. Limerick is the only place on this list where you will have to change trains.

But it’s one of the best day trips in Ireland from Dublin, so it had to be included!

Image of St. John's Castle in Limerick Ireland.
St. John’s Castle in Limerick, Ireland.

Limerick is a beautiful city on the River Shannon nestled on Ireland’s wild west coast. Visit the 13th-century St. John’s Castle which sits on the banks of the river, and St. Mary’s Cathedral in the Old Town is a must-visit too.

How To Get From Dublin to Limerick by Train

Distance: 203 km/126 miles

From Dublin Heuston train station, hop on an Irish Rail InterCity service to Limerick Junction station. Then, change trains for a service to Limerick (Colbert)

These trains depart approximately once an hour and the journey shouldn’t take longer than two hours and 15 minutes. Single tickets cost around €22.

Best Day Trips from Dublin by Train Wrap-Up

Although enjoying a day trip from Dublin to Killarney or from Dublin to Dingle by train is not possible, you now know there are tons of other options.

The easiest places to visit in Ireland near Dublin are well-connected cities and east coast seaside towns. Sometimes, they are places you’ve never heard of before.

But in all likelihood, these make the best day trips from Dublin by train! They offer stress-free and easy adventure so you can see Ireland beyond the capital.

Looking for more Ireland travel resources? Check out 10 Best Dublin Hotels for Families Worth Booking, Ireland in Summer: Tips  + Things to Do, and 21 Most Spectacular Hidden Gems in Ireland!

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