Discover the best of Northern Ireland in less than a week on this self-guided road trip. First, get your feet wet in Dublin before you drive north to explore the up-and-coming capital of Belfast. Then visit famous coasts and natural attractions (some featured in Game of Thrones) like the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Portstewart Strand, and Wild Atlantic Way at your own pace. Before driving back to Dublin, you'll also get a night in medieval Londonderry (Derry)—known for its live-music scene.


  • Sip a pint at Dublin's Guinness Storehouse and enjoy panoramic views of the city
  • Visit the largest museum dedicated to the Titanic, where the ship was built
  • Take your time exploring famous sites like the UNESCO-listed Giant's Causeway
  • Hike a portion of the Wild Atlantic Way before traversing Londonderry's city walls

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Explore Dublin
Day 2 Drive to Belfast, Explore  Belfast
Day 3 Visit Giant's Causeway & the Antrim Coast Portstewart
Day 4 Visit County Donegal & the Inishowen Peninsula Londonderry (Derry)
Day 5 Explore Londonderry (Derry), Return to Dublin Dublin
Day 6 Depart Dublin  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Explore 

Hit the streets in Dublin's walkable city center

Welcome to Ireland! Upon arrival at the airport, make your way to Dublin's bustling city center along the River Liffey. After checking in at your hotel, head out and start exploring. The walkable core is steeped in history and offers an abundance of activities, including museums and memorials, as well as restaurants, cafés, cathedrals, and churches. Each attraction shares a slice of insight into what makes Dublin such a charming city.

Perhaps you'll start at Temple Bar and follow the sound of traditional music wafting from the pubs and restaurants serving local cuisine. Then stop at the Guinness Storehouse and learn how the popular beer has been brewed for centuries and enjoy a pint at the top with panoramic views of the city. If the weather holds, take a stroll around tranquil St. Stephen's Green and then Grafton Street for a little retail therapy. From here, it's just a short walk to the historic campus of Trinity College Dublin, where you can see its vaulted library, dubbed the Long Room, with more than 200,000 books.

Day 2: Drive to Belfast, Explore 

Spend the day in Northern Ireland's up-and-coming capital

Pick up your rental car this morning and make the drive to Belfast, where you'll have the rest of the day to explore Northern Ireland's capital at your own pace. Often upstaged by Dublin and Galway, this dynamic city is full of energy and interesting attractions.

Perhaps you'll want to start with a stroll around City Hall, an iconic building that showcases Baroque Revival architecture. Or get a bigger workout and hike to Cave Hill Country Park for panoramic views of the city and the coastline. As for culture, you'll likely want to visit the sleek multimedia museum Titanic Belfast and its surrounding quarter or check out the Ulster Museum and learn about the country's art, history, and natural science.

When hungry, swing by St. George's Market, located in a charming Victorian building, and sample the local cuisine. Finish the afternoon by wandering the streets around Queen's University Belfast, discovering hip shops and cafés. In the evening, relax in a cozy pub in the Cathedral Quarter and experience a taste of the city's thriving nightlife.

Day 3: Visit Giant's Causeway & the Antrim Coast

Walk along the UNESCO-listed Giant's Causeway
Walk along prehistoric basalt columns at the UNESCO-listed Giant's Causeway

The next leg of your road trip is the stunning Antrim Coastline, where you'll have the opportunity to stop at your own pace and explore fascinating sights like Dunluce Castle, Fair Head, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Portrush, and Mussenden Temple. Fans of the Game of Thrones series will want to keep their eyes peeled for the numerous dramatic and otherworldly filming locations along this scenic route.

Another highlight of today's journey is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Giant's Causeway. The iconic rock formation consists of roughly 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which was the result of an ancient volcanic eruption nearly 60 million years ago. After marveling at this coastal wonder, continue driving west to the beautiful harbor town of Portstewart for the night. Take an invigorating beach walk along the Portstewart Strand and then choose a seaside restaurant for dinner. 

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Day 4: Visit County Donegal & the Inishowen Peninsula

Today you'll drive to County Donegal on Ireland's scenic west coast

Today you'll leave Portstewart behind as you cross the border into the Irish county of Donegal. Follow a signposted driving route around the Inishowen Peninsula, a particularly stunning section of the Wild Atlantic Way that meanders up and down the island's western coast. You'll have the opportunity to pass through many tourist attractions and hidden gems on the peninsula, such as Malin Head—Ireland's most northerly point—and the beautiful Inishowen Head Lighthouse.

At some point in the afternoon, you will travel back to Northern Ireland and land at the country's second-largest city of Londonderry (Derry) for your overnight. When you get settled at your hotel, take a stroll along the historic walls that encircle the city or cross the modern Peace Bridge over the River Foyle. Once you've worked up an appetite, check out Derry's traditional pubs and live-music scene.

Day 5: Explore Londonderry (Derry), Return to Dublin

Londonderry (Derry) offers a vibrant mix of historic and modern attractions
Londonderry (Derry) offers a vibrant mix of historic and modern attractions

Today you'll have some free time to explore Londonderry (Derry), the only city in Ireland with its full medieval walls still intact. This vibrant city is rich in culture and history and yet offers modern attractions, like the Peace Bridge, thanks in part to its status as the UK Capital of Culture 2013.

Spend some time walking along the 17th-century walls, which offer great views of the city. While here, you can stop at the Tower Museum to learn about local history with two permanent exhibits, including one that details a local shipwreck from the Spanish Armada. You can also check out the revitalized riverfront and keep an eye out around town for the Bogside Murals from a group of local artists who have produced a range of artworks in various mediums.

In the evening, make your way back to Dublin for your final night of the trip. 

Day 6: Depart Dublin

Goodbye for now, Dublin
Spend your final night of the trip in Dublin
It's time to bid farewell to the Emerald Isle! At the appointed time, you will take a taxi or bus to Dublin Airport for your departure flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Northern Ireland & Dublin Road Trip - 6 Days
Map of Northern Ireland & Dublin Road Trip - 6 Days