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Ireland Road Trip

An Irish road trip should be on everyone’s bucket list. A road trip in Ireland is a truly unforgettable experience. As the capital of Ireland and the location of the country’s main international airport, your journey will likely start in Dublin. Don’t be caught out by overpriced city centre hotels when you can enjoy Dublin from budget-friendly and comfortable accommodations on the DCU campus. We are a short drive from Dublin Airport and Dublin Port, we have on-campus parking available, and our selection of accommodation types are suitable for all sorts of travellers from solos to groups. Start your Irish adventure at DCU campus accommodation in Dublin by booking your stay on our website.

There are dozens of places to visit on your Ireland road trip, whether you want to explore the entire country or are happy to use Dublin as a base and take day trips. Wicklow is a scenic one-hour drive from Dublin and is nicknamed the Garden of Ireland for good reason. One of the most popular things to do in Wicklow is a treetop walk 38m above forest level with 360-degree views of Wicklow. You can climb the Sugarloaf Mountain and visit the Hellfire Club, a spooky nighttime activity if you’re brave enough. Wicklow Gaol is a perfect stop if the weather isn’t cooperating with your plans for a day outdoors and the guides will tell you some fascinating stories of former residents.

Kilkenny is a little further away at 90 minutes’ drive from Dublin but still ideal for a day trip. Kilkenny is one of the oldest medieval cities in Ireland and a beautiful stop on any Ireland road trip. There are brilliant restaurants, cafes and a great selection of high-street and boutique shopping. St Canice’s Church is a perfect example of a medieval church and has one of the only climbable round towers in Ireland – the views from the top are magnificent. Tour Kilkenny Castle and see how the other half lived then quench your thirst after a tour of Smithwick’s experience. Kilkenny has an excellent pub scene with great live music options too.

Galway is arguably one of the best spots on most Ireland tours and once you visit you’ll see why, It’s a little far for a day trip from Dublin (2.5 hours) so plan ahead and book some quality accommodation before you set out. The city has a town-like quality that is unique to the West of Ireland. Relatively large, the city centre has shopping, pubs, cafés, bars, and so much more for urban explorers. Close by, there is a beautiful beach called Salthill, the ideal place for a coffee and a stroll. There are boat trips to take you around Galway Bay or if you have the time, the day trip to Aran Islands is a real insight into remote living in Ireland. There are dozens of pubs with live Irish music in the evenings, most in the form of free, informal pub sessions that welcome everyone.

Cork, self-proclaimed as the real capital of Ireland by proud Corkonians, is a large county with plenty to see and do. Visit the English Market and Cork Coty Gaol for a touch of city life with an insight into the way things were. Enjoy shopping, dining, and dancing in the city centre for a day or so but venturing outside of the city is where you’ll find the real beauty. West Cork is renowned for the scenery and the almost fierce protectiveness of its residents. Cobh is a quaint town with gorgeous painted houses and a very fascinating island prison which is interesting for everyone. Kinsale is a beauty, with the prettiest shops and some of the best seafood on the island. Kids will love a day trip to Fota Island too.

Just over an hour’s drive from Dublin to the North is a formidable Belfast City Centre in the United Kingdom. Change your money to sterling and enjoy world-class shopping in Belfast before grabbing a drink in the dozens of pubs along the way. Crumlin Goal is a fascinating stop in the city and lovers of maritime and modern history will love the Titanic Experience. Outside of the city, you can visit the nearby Cliffs of Mohar and the pretty villages along the way. It was also the main shooting location for Game of Thrones TV series and the Studio Tour is a short trip to Banbridge. Belfast should be high on your Irish bucket list.

Before you plan your Ireland road trip, the first step is excellent accommodation in Dublin. DCU Rooms has shared accommodation, solo rooms and suites to accommodate families, couples, groups and solo travellers. Our team are happy to help you plan the main stops on your road trip.

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Sarah Corcoran

Sarah is a part-time travel writer and a full-time Dubliner, born and bred in this colourful city. She loves nothing more than exploring the beauty that’s on her doorstep and enjoying the many attractions and history that Dublin has to offer. She is passionate about writing and promoting her home town to anyone who will listen!

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