The small seaside town of Doolin—famous for its traditional music scene—is just 44 miles (71 km) from Galway. The fastest and most convenient way to travel between the two is by rental car or private transfer. The drive takes about 1.5 hours and wraps around scenic Galway Bay. If you’re interested in expanding your trip to include some of the region’s highlights, such as the Aran Islands and Connemara, you might enjoy this 8-day walking itinerary.
Although less convenient than driving, the regional bus is a budget-friendly alternative. There are about five daily departures, two of which are direct and reach Doolin in two hours. Otherwise, the other routes require a connection and arrive in 2.5 hours.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 1.5 hours, more with stops
The quickest and most convenient way to reach Doolin from Galway is by rental car or private transfer. The drive is very scenic, curving around Galway Bay and along the coastline. You’ll start on road N67 as you leave Galway and pass through the town of Kinvarra. Here you’ll find a popular tourist site, Dunguaire Castle.
Between the towns of Bealaclugga and Ballyvaughan, you’ll find a few points along the coast where you can admire views of the Atlantic Ocean. After you pass Ballyvaughan, you’ll notice signs pointing you south towards the Burren, a glacial-era limestone region known for its walking and wildflowers. This is a great option for a scenic detour and a chance to stretch your legs.
Eventually, you’ll pass through the town of Lisdoonvarna which is famous for its annual matchmaking festival held every September. From here, you’ll connect to regional roads R487/R479 to Doolin. A quick, 10-minute detour takes you to the world-famous Cliffs of Moher.
Duration: 2 - 2.5 hours
The bus is another option, although not as convenient as driving. Bus Éireann—Ireland’s regional coach service—offers about five departures each day. Two of the routes are direct and take two hours to reach Doolin. If you opt for one of these, grab a seat on the right side of the bus to enjoy ocean views, or on the left to admire the rocky Burren. The other departures are a bit longer at 2.5 hours and require a 10-minute connection in Ennis.