The renowned Cliffs of Moher are located 166 miles (267 km) from Dublin. The best way to make the journey between the two is by car, either self-driving or with a private transfer. Despite the distance, the drive only takes about three hours, passing straight through the heart of the country.
Public transportation is also available. You can opt for the regional bus, which connects once in Galway and takes about six hours in total. You can also combine the train with the bus. This option is slightly less convenient, with two transfers, but shortens your travel time to about four hours.
Day tours to the Cliffs of Moher are also possible from Dublin, and usually include stops at other points of interest. If you’d like to extend your trip, this 7-day road trip connects the two while dipping into the scenic southern region of Ireland.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 3 hours
The quickest and most convenient way to reach the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin is by rental car or private transfer. The route follows two major highways—M4 and M6—straight through the Midlands Region before reaching the scenic county of Galway. Because you’ll stick to highways, the drive isn’t particularly beautiful; but on a clear day you may catch glimpses of the Wicklow Mountains as you leave Dublin, and plenty of rolling green hills along the way.
Athlone and Athenry are both colorful villages with Celtic ruins and riverside castles, and are conveniently set just off the highway. The city of Galway is 30 minutes from the highway, but well worth the detour. It’s a beautiful city with a rich pub and music culture. Other great stopping points include the small villages of Kinvarra with its Dunguaire Castle, and Doolin with its toe-tapping music scene. The Burren, a natural landscape of limestone rocks and wildflowers, is also worth the slight detour.
Duration: 4 hours
If you prefer public transportation, the fastest way to make the trip is to combine the train with the regional bus. The train departs Dublin’s Heuston station, connects in Galway, and arrives in Ennis about three hours later. Ennis is the capital and transportation hub of County Clare, so you can easily hop on a bus to the Cliffs of Moher. These routes are operated by Bus Éireann, Ireland’s regional bus service, and take just under one hour.
Duration: 6 hours
Taking the bus the entire route is a bit longer, but you’ll only need to connect once in Galway. The first leg of the journey stretches across the Midlands Region via the M4/M6 highways. Once in Galway, you’ll connect to another route that curves around Galway Bay and travels along the scenic coastline. Seats on the right side of the bus will give you the best views of the Atlantic Ocean.
By Day Tour
Duration: 12 hours
If you're staying in Dublin, you can also opt for a day tour, arriving at the Cliffs of Moher by midmorning and passing through the city of Galway on the way back. Tours usually last about 12 hours in total. Day tours also usually include other points of interest, such as the Burren, Galway City, and Kinvarra.