5 Days in Ireland: From East to West Coast

Ireland is packed full of magic. Small but spellbinding, this country leaves an impression on the people who visit. In 5 days, this itinerary will guide you through the best of this colourful country — from the soulful capital of Dublin, to world-revered natural spaces like the Cliffs of Moher. Whether your idea of exercise is hiking hills or pub crawls, this tour has something for you. Here’s to a merry trip!

Day 1 —  Be charmed by Dublin

Temple bar, Dublin.

It is only fitting to begin your trip in Ireland’s captivating capital. Warm and welcoming, Dublin is a laidback city that can mostly be navigated on foot due to its small size.

In the country’s spirit, there are plenty of pubs to be found in Dublin. Whilst The Temple Bar is worth stopping by for a picture, you may be lacking in the luck of the Irish when it comes to finding a seat! But not to worry, as there are other places you can down a pint of the world’s best Guinness. Even better, you can sample one from the Guinness Storehouse!

There is more to Dublin than its excellent hospitality. The birthplace of literary geniuses like Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde, Ireland’s capital is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature. Its most notable author would perhaps be James Joyce, who set many of his masterpieces in Dublin — including the beast of a book, Ulysses!

To learn more about Dublin’s art and literature scene, visiting one of the city’s many museums is a must. From the mesmerising Trinity College to the free and underrated Hugh Lane Gallery (which contains original paintings by Monet and Renoir), this city was designed for free-spirits.

Trinity College Dublin.

Day 2  —  Wander the Wicklow Mountains

Glendalough Upper Lake, Wicklow.

Only an hour away from Dublin is the mesmerising Wicklow Mountains National Park. This landscape stretches across 88 miles with intersecting roads, allowing you to soak up the scenery in a variety of ways. Much of the park’s nature is untouched and best admired from afar, but the valley of Glendalough offers a different kind of experience. With nine walking trails to choose from, Glendalough caters to every visitor and provides an authentic but accessible immersion into the rolling emerald hills of the Irish countryside.

Equally impressive as its nature would be Glendalough’s history. Home to one of the most significant monastic sites in Ireland, there are buildings dating back to the 10th and 12th centuries. This ancient city has many notable remains, including its seven churches and the Round Tower which presides over all.

For day tours from Dublin to Wicklow, check out Wild Rover Tours.

Day 3 —  Dine in Cork

Cobh neighbourhood, Cork.

Our next suggestion takes you to Ireland’s second-largest city: Cork. Despite its size, Cork is often an overlooked travel destination; so if you prefer off-the-beaten-track travels, then this city may be for you.

Widely considered to be the food capital of Ireland, Cork is filled with in-demand and up-and-coming restaurants, several of which can be found within the city’s English Market. The ‘stomach and soul’ of Cork, the English Market is one of the oldest and best food markets in Europe. Building upon Cork’s foodie reputation, The Farmgate Café is a popular pick for reviving traditional dishes with a twist.

Day 4  —  Kiss the Blarney Stone

Blarney Castle House, Cork.

Only 11 minutes away from Cork by car is one of Ireland’s most memorable treasures — Blarney Castle. Due its convenient location and admission fee of €18, this historical site is the perfect spot for a day trip just outside the city.

A symbol of Irish royalty, Blarney Castle was built over 600 years ago by King Munster Cormac MacCarthy. Since its incarnation, Blarney Castle is internationally acclaimed; especially since it possesses a stone which promises people with the gift of eloquence if it is kissed…

This promise may sound like blarney, but kissing the stone is a novelty worth ticking off your bucket list. Especially since this attraction has a list of famous alumni, such as Eddie Redmayne and Mick Jagger. Although, we cannot say that the stone will help you win any awards.

But even if you miss out on this opportunity, Blarney Castle's grounds are still worth spending time at. Leaning into its international angle, its gardens offers a Vietnamese Woodland, Tropical Border, and even a Poison Garden!

Day 5  —  See the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher.

Ending this itinerary is the exquisite coastal attraction, the Cliffs of Moher. A popular filming location, the Cliffs of Moher has starred in big names like The Princess Bride and Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince. Yet despite its claim to fame, the Cliffs of Moher is technically free to visit — or cheap if you want a more accommodating experience.

Stretching up to 14km in length, the Cliffs of Moher Coastal South walk takes around two hours to complete — although you may want to take longer as the views here are just sublime. Whilst visitors should prepare for a tough terrain in parts, this day trip is accessible to most and worth the trek.

If you seek more thrill, then why not try surfing at the Cliffs of Moher? With the Aileen waves ranging from 10 to 30 ft, it is considered to be some of the most ambitious in the world. Only discovered in 2004, the Cliffs of Moher has since attracted top surfers from everywhere looking to break its daredevil waves. Between the impressive peaks of ocean and land, the Cliffs of Moher is drama done right.

For day tours from Cork to Cliffs of Moher, check out Paddy Wagon Tours.

Starting from Skratch? Here are some links to help you get started:
If you're looking for more city breaks and short getaways, check out our '5 Days in...' series!

Ireland — Facts before you go


💰 Euros


English, Irish

Best time to visit

🌼 Spring and 🌞 Summer

Famous for...

😂 Craic

📖 Culture

☘️ Saint Patrick’s Day

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Hannah Douch
August 30, 2023
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