Things to do in South East Ireland

Our most recommended things to do in South East Ireland

From Dublin: Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour

1. From Dublin: Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour

Set off on board a luxury, air-conditioned bus and watch Dublin's urban cityscape give way to the rolling, green hills of the Irish countryside. Drive through several areas of interest, including the Galtee Mountains and the Curragh in County Kildare, which is home to Ireland's National Stud Farm. First, arrive at Blarney Castle which is known around the world for its famous Blarney Stone. Kiss the stone and receive the “gift of the gab." Be sure to explore the rest of Blarney Castle as well as its lush grounds and woodland walks. Discover the scenic Rock Close by taking the Wishing Steps.  Depart Cork and arrive at one of Ireland’s 7 Wonders, the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Explore the Hall of Vicars, Cormack’s Chapel, the Celtic Cathedral, the Round Tower, and the surrounding grounds filled with ancient high crosses. Admire one of Ireland’s oldest Romanesque wall paintings inside this world-famous historical landmark. For your final stop of the day, visit one of Ireland's largest and best-preserved castles, Cahir Castle. The Castle was built in the 13th century, to house the Butler family. Built as a defensive castle it still boasts a lot of the original structure. Afterward, return to Dublin city center to complete your tour.

Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

2. Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

Visit Ireland’s most famous castle on a full-day tour from Dublin. Enjoy free time to explore the city of Cork and visit Blarney Castle. Stroll in the footsteps of St Patrick at the Celtic Crosses and Round Tower. Meet your guide at Paddy's Palace in Dublin and hop aboard a comfortable and climate-controlled van for a scenic drive through green fields and dairy farms of the Golden Vale of County Cork. Enjoy panoramic views of the Galtee Mountains and County Tipperary. Stop in Cork on banks of the River Lee and spend an hour of free time exploring the city at your own pace. Have the option to visit the historic English Market, or marvel at the architecture of St. Finbarre’s Cathedral. Drive on to Blarney Castle, home of the legendary Blarney Stone. It’s said that if you kiss the stone you will receive the “gift of the gab” for 7 years. Pucker up and kiss the stone or snap a picture.  Explore the castle grounds and gardens to discover the Witch's Cave. Take advantage of the tax free shopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills and craft shop. Step back in time at the evocative Celtic Crosses and Round Tower. Depart for Dublin on a path through the Golden Vale of County Tipperary and arrive back in the city at night. 

Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Limerick

3. Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Limerick

Experience the highest cliffs in Europe on this full-day tour from Limerick. Embark on a journey to the historic city for the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. Admire the stunning natural biodiversity of Galway Bay and stop at Bunratty Castle. Hop aboard the spacious and climate-controlled bus at Arthurs Quay in Limerick. Lean back and take in the views on the comfortable drive. Stop along the way to view King John’s Castle and the River Shannon. Continue to County Clare to explore the Cliffs of Moher. Spend 1.5 hours to enjoy the geological beauty of the cliffs. Receive a complimentary ticket to the award-winning Atlantic Edge exhibition which examines all aspects of the mighty cliffs. Depart the Cliffs of Moher for Doolin village, where a pint and lunch in a traditional Irish pub can be purchased. Along the way, enjoy superb views of the Atlantic Coast and Aran Islands. Visit one of the unusual limestone landscapes of the lunar-like Burren where the Arctic, Alpine, and Mediterranean flowers flourish side-by-side. If it's the right season, see one of 26 different types of orchids that grow on Galway Bay. Drive along Galway Bay and take a rest stop at Bunratty Castle. Imagine the days when Norman knights, Gaelic warriors, and jousting chieftains hung out at the hallowed spot. Depart from Bunratty Castle and drive back to your meeting point in Limerick. 

From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh, and Galway Tour

4. From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh, and Galway Tour

This is one of the best excursions that can be done from Dublin but, yes, it's time to get up early! To make the most of the day we will be picked up very early and from here, we will go to our first stop, Galway Plaza, where we will arrive after a two-hour drive. We will stop at The Galway Plaza for half an hour, enough time to stretch our legs, clear our heads a little for all those who have made the trip sleeping and have a coffee or a small breakfast to continue, now towards Kilmacduagh Abbey. Kilmacduagh Monastery is located on the outskirts of Gort. For an hour and a half, we will visit the different buildings, and our guide will tell us about their construction date, their usefulness and their most curious details. It is true that today the complex appears to be ruins, time, weather and looting have not been alien to this place, but, even so, here it is possible to recreate the medieval past of Ireland and take advantage of the visit to make an authentic trip in time that will take us to the time of the battles, the knights and the religion of this country. The ruins are only apparent, here what you see is pure history! One of the most striking constructions is the famous Kilmacduagh tower, a peculiar round and slightly inclined tower that boasts being the tallest Irish tower, neither more nor less than 34 meters. Our path continues to the Cliffs of Moher. Just the way to get to the Cliffs of Moher is fascinating, because this road, along the coast of the island, crosses The Burren National Park, with a lunar landscape that is fascinating. This is one of the main attractions and one of the essential visits in Ireland. We will walk, in a totally safe way (this warning is important especially for those who are sensitive to heights), 210 meters above the coast. We will appreciate the strength of a sea that marks the character of the island and its inhabitants so much. We will enjoy free time to explore the area. A good idea is to go to the visitor center to be able to organize what we most want to see. We will also have time to eat. One of the best tips for eating at the Cliffs of Moher is to bring your own picnic. In any case, there is a cafeteria here, but it usually has people and, sometimes, queues form that can take up a lot of time. From the Cliffs of Moher we will go to Galway. This is one of the most popular cities in Ireland and no wonder! We will meet the bohemian part of the country, with its joy, with the best Irish beer and, above all, with its music. We'll go through Shop Street, where we'll see the value of street music...and where we'll be able to do some shopping! Spend a day touring Ireland, from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher and take advantage of the trip to admire its landscapes and soak up the most fascinating Irish culture. Book now!

Cliffs of Moher and Blarney 2-Day Tour from Dublin

5. Cliffs of Moher and Blarney 2-Day Tour from Dublin

Experience the dramatic landscapes of the southwest of Ireland on a 2-day budget tour to the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, and more. Kiss the famous Blarney Stone, enjoy panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean, and stay in the historic city of Cork to enjoy the local life up-close. Day 1: Dublin - Rock of Cashel - Blarney - Cork Depart Dublin at 08:00 for a relaxing drive through scenic County Cork. The first stop will be the world famous Rock of Cashel. One of Ireland's most evocative sites, you can stroll in the footsteps of St. Patrick flanked by ruins, Celtic crosses and round towers and feel the soul of Ireland. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster until they donated the complex to the Catholic Church almost 1,000 years ago for use as a cathedral. The site is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Europe. The next stop is Ireland's second city, Cork. Here there is time to visit the English Markets recently visited by Queen Elizabeth II, that offer a wide range of local produce from artisan meats and cheeses and all that is good about Irish fine fare. This is an ideal place to enjoy lunch. In the afternoon you will go to the quaint town of Blarney to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone (optional) at the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle. Learn the story behind the tradition as you explore the castle’s dungeons, caves and hidden bedrooms. Return to Cork, where you will spend the night. Day 2: Cork - Burren - Cliffs of Moher - Dublin Start the day with a drive through the beautiful Golden Vale, home to some of the best farm land in Ireland. Stop in Limerick to see the River Shannon and get some fine photos of King John's Castle. Continue west to County Clare, enjoying views of the wild Atlantic Ocean as you drive along the West Coast. Marvel at beautiful beaches of golden sand, looking out for dolphins and whales. Admire the lunar landscape of The Burren, where Alpine, Arctic and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Hear inspiring tales of how the Irish overcame the horrors of the Great Potato Famine of 1845-49, when over 1 million Irish fled to all 4 corners of the earth to escape. Upon arrival at the Cliffs of Moher, gaze in awe at the sheer majesty of the cliffs and crashing waves. See why world surf champ, Kelly Slater, came here for the award-winning surf movie “Wave Riders.” En route back to Dublin, enjoy a short photo stop at the 15th-century tower house of Bunratty Castle.

Rail Tour: The Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Castle Tour

6. Rail Tour: The Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Castle Tour

Check in at Dublin Heuston Station at 6:40 AM to take the InterCity train service to Limerick. Upon arrival, join your coach bus and have a short tour of the treaty city, the setting for "Angela's Ashes". From there, head north to Bunratty Castle and Folk Village (admission included), then to a Doolin Pub for our traditional Irish lunch stop. Then, it's on to the majestic Cliffs of Moher on the country's wild Atlantic coast, one of Ireland's most famous and beautiful attractions.  After that, enter the unique lunar landscape of the Burren, rounding Black Head before heading along the shores of Galway Bay to reach Galway, the city of the tribes. After taking some time to take in this beautiful city, board our Dublin-bound train, arriving at Heuston Station at 9:00 PM.

Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

7. Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

Mix with local characters, and get a unique insight into Ireland’s legends, landscapes and people on a week long tour of the island, north and south. Explore city life in Belfast, Derry and Cork, go to the rocks of the Giant's Causeway, walk along the Cliffs of Moher, tour the Dingle Peninsula, and enjoy a glass of the black stuff at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. The tour takes in the highlights of Ireland’s four corners, including all the sights of Northern Ireland, and includes a night at a traditional Irish pub, plenty of opportunities to dance the night away, hikes through bogs and castle ruins, and much more. Day 1: Dublin - Belfast Depart from Dublin at 9:00 AM, and begin your adventure at Drogheda, where you'll see the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett in St. Peter’s Cathedral. Cross the border at South Armagh. A fascinating evening in Belfast awaits. Learn why “Lonely Planet” described the capital of Northern Ireland as one of the top 10 “Must-See” destinations on earth. You can take an (optional) Black Taxi tour to see the Peace Wall and political murals. With accommodation in the Downtown area of the university area, great nightlife will be on your doorstep, while the peaceful Botanic Gardens are a short stroll if you prefer to relax among the scent of roses. Day 2: Belfast - Derry Today you will cruise the beautiful north coast. See - and cross, if you dare - Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (seasonal and subject to a small optional charitable donation to the National Trust). Then, trace the footprints of Celtic giants as you walk the Giant's Causeway, Ulster's number one attraction since 2 million BC. Marvel at an estimated 60,000 hexagonal columns of basalt rock, formed by violent volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Your guide will wax lyrical about how the giant warrior hero, Fionn McCool, built it to fight off the pesky Scots – according to local legend! You'll have plenty of time to take the high or low road hikes, before setting off for Dunluce Castle, ancestral home of the McDonnell clan. Learn how the castle came to ruin in 1639, when the kitchen collapsed into the sea during a great feast, and about the ghosts of the staff said to still linger. Spend the night in Derry, a jewel of a city for history buffs. Your accommodation will be in the ancient streets of the Downtown area, perfectly placed for the traditional music night at Peadar O'Donnells pub. Day 3: Derry - Galway Start the day with a hearty breakfast before an in-depth walking tour of Derry's historic walls (1601). Learn why the city is officially known as Londonderry, and the story of the long bloody siege of 1689. Go to the popular Bogside district, scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972, and inspiration for U2's classic anthem “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” Next, drive through enchanting Sligo, visiting the sacred grave of the Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats. Experience the archaeological richness of Ireland's northwest coast, before spending the night in Galway, the nation’s party capital. Your guide will take you to a cozy pub in the Latin Quarter for a glass of Guinness to the beat of electrifying Irish music and the sweet sound of the Gaelic language. Day 4: Galway - Dingle Today you will have the wild Atlantic Ocean by your side as you travel down the west coast, passing golden sand beaches, and maybe even a few dolphins and whales. Run around the lunar landscape of The Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Hear about the horrors of the great Potato Famine of 1845-49 that saw more than a million Irish flee to the 4 corners of the globe. Next, gaze in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, and see why they were used as the “Cliffs of Insanity” in the movie “The Princess Bride.” Cross the River Shannon to Limerick, setting for Frank McCourt's blockbuster book, “Angela's Ashes.” Tonight you'll stay in your very own Irish pub, the Randy Leprechaun! Located in Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula, it will be a great chance to mix with the locals and enjoy the characters of a genuine small village away from the tourist traps. Pull up a stool by the fire or dance the night away. In the morning, you can always take a swim with Fungi the Dolphin in Dingle Harbour, if you’re feeling brave. Day 5: Dingle - Killarney Take a short drive to the Gaelic-speaking fishing village of Dingle for some free time to shop and lunch in the charming center. Then, enjoy a scenic tour around Slea Head, with loads of time off the bus to take photos, or even take a wee hike. Your guide will tell you the folk stories and songs of the region as you visit Sleeping Giant Island and the famous 3 Sisters Mountains. Go for an (optional) horse-led car ride through Killarney National Park, and experience a tradition that has continued since the 1800s. You will spend the night in Killarney, a tour favorite for its huge range of activities on offer. Listen to traditional music, or discover great bars, restaurants and nightlife just steps from your hostel. Try singing a few of the songs your guide taught you during the day! Day 6: Killarney - Dublin Cross the Cork and Kerry Mountains, and kiss the Blarney Stone on top of Blarney Castle. Located in the rebel county of Cork, Blarney Castle is one of the most famous tourist sites in Europe, with great shopping opportunities. Kissing the Blarney stone isn't everyone's cup of tea, but a tour of the castle’s dungeons, caves and hidden bedrooms provides a great insight into a 12th-century masterpiece. Whether or not you need the gift of the gab, said to be yours after kissing the stone, dangling off the 300-foot battlements while being held by a middle-aged Irishman is too good an offer to turn down! After lunch, visit the beautiful Golden Vale, Ireland's finest agricultural land, and marvel at rolling fields and fresh pastures. Make your way through the battlefields of "Braveheart" for the tour’s grand finale in Dublin; a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Say cheers to your guides and fellow travelers with a pint of the black stuff before you say your goodbyes.

Cork: Cahir Castle and Rock of Cashel Tour in Spanish

8. Cork: Cahir Castle and Rock of Cashel Tour in Spanish

First, visit Cahir Castle. Located on a rocky island in the Suir River, Cahir is one of the best preserved castles in all of Ireland. It kept its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. From here, travel to the picturesque city of Cork which is located between two channels of the River Lee. The compact nature of the city provides a cozy atmosphere and everywhere is easily accessible on foot. You will have 2 hours time to explore the city, the narrow streets and bridges, the bustling English market and St Finbarr’s Cathedral with its magnificent bell towers. There is also the opportunity to ring bells yourself in the 300 year old St Anne’s church! Heading back towards Dublin, make a final stop at one of the most iconic locations in Ireland – The Rock of Cashel. A spectacular set of medieval buildings set in a huge rock. It includes a Circular Tower, the traditional Irish Celtic Cross and a Gothic Cathedral. You will arrive back in Dublin around 7:30 - 8:00 PM.

Dublin: The Bus that Stole Christmas Ticket with Santa Visit

9. Dublin: The Bus that Stole Christmas Ticket with Santa Visit

Get into the Christmas spirit with the Bus that Stole Christmas play at Nutgrove Shopping Centre in Rathfarnham. Hop onboard a custom-built bus for a Christmas play and Santa visit. Upon arrival at the bus, head upstairs to the upper deck to watch the Bus that Stole Christmas theatrical performance. Watch as the elves carry out deeds both good and bad and try to get your name on the nice list before your visit to Santa. There may even be a visit from the Grinch. When the show is over, head to the bottom deck for a quick photo opportunity and present to say thank you for saving Christmas. You can also visit Santa at any time in between show times.

Northern Ireland 3-Day Tour from Dublin

10. Northern Ireland 3-Day Tour from Dublin

Travel beyond the headlines of Northern Ireland’s notorious “Troubles” and discover a land of spectacular natural wonders as you explore the wild Atlantic coast, see the stunning steps of the Giant’s Causeway, go to the battlefields of the Battle of the Boyne, and much more. Choose from a backpacker’s budget option, staying in shared dormitory style hostel accommodation, or choose an en suite room at a budget hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation if you would prefer a bit more privacy. Learn about the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that brought the peace process to an end, and see evidence of the 30-year conflict at the Bloody Sunday Murals in Derry. Take a tour of Belfast, now classed as one of the top 10 cities in the world by Lonely Planet, and meet fun-loving local characters from both the Ulster-Irish and Ulster-British communities along the way. Day 1: Dublin - Belfast city (overnight Belfast) Choose from one of two central Dublin collection locations and you'll be on your way. Your first stop this morning is at Monasterboice, a monastic settlement dating back to 501 AD. This ancient monastery is home to the best-preserved and most intricately carved Celtic crosses in Ireland. A fully intact stone round tower also keeps watch over the horizon for marauding Vikings.  By late morning you'll arrive in Belfast. Discover why Lonely Planet regards Northern Ireland's capital as one of the top 10 'must-visit' cities on Earth. Your driver will show you highlights including City Hall, Queen's University, Albert's Clock, Botanic Gardens, and much more.  With plenty of time at leisure to explore the city, the political “Black Taxi” tour (optional) is strongly recommended to view the Peace Wall and infamous political murals. The drivers are locals and can explain what life was like in Belfast during the conflict of 1969-1998. This evening you'll stay downtown, in a most lively area with great pubs and restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. Live music venues are plentiful, and Belfast is well known for its great nightlife. Day 2: Belfast - Giants Causeway - Letterkenny A glorious touring day cruising the Beautiful North Coast. You will initially visit the Dark Hedges, famed by Game of Thrones. Then it's the jackpot visit of the day - you will trace the footprints of Celtic Giants, and walk the Giant's Causeway. A UNESCO world heritage site, and the proud location of an estimated 60,000 hexagonal columns of basalt rock formed by cataclysmic violent volcanic eruptions a long long time ago. Your guide will wax lyrical about how the giant warrior-hero (Fionn McCool). You'll continue to the nearby city of Derry where you'll spend the afternoon. There will be plenty of time at leisure after an excellent in-depth walking tour of Derry's walls with a local guide. Learn why the city is officially known as Londonderry and the story of the long bloody siege here in 1689. Your guide will take you down to the well-known Bogside district, the scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972, and the inspiration for U2's classic anthem 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday'. Just across the border lie the hills of Donegal. You'll stay overnight in the town of Letterkenny for a flavor of rural Ireland. Day 3: Letterkenny- Sligo - Galway - Dublin After breakfast this morning, you'll head down a portion of the west coast's Wild Atlantic Way in the Republic of Ireland. Your journey takes you through the poetic heartland of Co. Sligo, W.B. Yeats country. Visit the final resting place of the Nobel laureate in Drumcliff Abbey, and admire the beautiful Benbulben mountain referenced in many of his poems. Further along the road lies Ireland's premier surf venue and beach at Strandhill, Co. Sligo, and you will have some leisure time here for refreshments. Your final stop before returning to Dublin is Galway where you have free time to explore. Perhaps you might like to visit some wonderful local seafood eateries, or try a pint in one of the fantastic pubs. You then take a scenic drive back to Dublin, arriving back at approx. 7:00 PM.

Frequently asked questions about South East Ireland

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What people are saying about South East Ireland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 820 reviews

You get approx 30 min at Cashel, 90 min in Cork, and 2 hours at Blarney Castle. It was the perfect amount of time in my opinion. 2 hours is more than enough to visit the park and the castle and kiss the stone if you want. We visited in November, so there was no waiting time for the stone. The guide was awesome! Told us some nice bits about Irish history.

Alex was excellent. He had tons of knowledge of the area, its history and points of interest. Everything was well organized and ran smoothly. Blarney was a highlight of our vacation, I definitely recommend this tour.

Fun tour stopping at rock of cashel, Blarney castle and a pub. Bus driver was entertaining. He helped make the dismally, rainy day fun!

Great tour! Our guide was what made it so special--thank you, Paul! We had ample time at each stop and learned a lot.

John was our guide and he was awesome! Such a great tour, highly recommend!