Wicklow Day Trips from Dublin

Less than 70 kilometres from Dublin, this place offers the perfect setting to enjoy nature. Here's how to get here without a hitch

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

Wicklow Day Trips from Dublin

Dublin sunset | ©Hernán Piñera

Wicklow is nicknamed "the garden of Ireland" and has plenty to offer in the great outdoors: hiking trails, fresh air and breathtaking scenery of mountains and lakes.

About 65 kilometres from Dublin, Wicklow is very well connected to the capital. In this post I will tell you about all the means of transport so that you can choose the one that best suits your trip: from an organised tour to a train journey, from a bus to a rented car. Enjoy!

  • Wicklow, Glendalough and Kilkenny Day Trip from Dublin

  • From RM205

  • The best option

  • Total tour duration: 9hrs 15 mins

  • Includes walking tours in Glendalough and Kilkenny, transfers and professional guide.

  • Book with Hellotickets

  • Bus

  • From £11

  • The simplest option

  • Duration: about 1 hour 10 min

  • Without professional guide

  • The route is not direct

  • Several lines available

  • Train

  • Around 8 €.

  • The cheapest option

  • Duration: about 1 hour 20 min

  • No professional guide

  • Check timetable

  • Several train lines available

  • Car

  • From 50€ per day

  • The most flexible option

  • Duration: about 1h 40 min

  • Add petrol and tolls to the price

  • Chaotic driving

  • Car rental with Rentalcar, Sixt...

Book your organised excursion, the most comfortable option

Wicklow Scenery| ©Ben Crowe
Wicklow Scenery| ©Ben Crowe

The most convenient way to have a first class tour and not miss anything is to book a tour to Wicklow. This way you can enjoy the itinerary with all the comforts of home: you don't have to prepare the routes, book transport, get tickets, think about how to get from one point in the mountains to another, etc.

In addition, the organised trips include a professional guide who guarantees safety, because the Wicklow Mountains National Park is immense and you won't be the first to get lost on these trails.

Stops included in this type of tour

  • The Powerscout Estate, a 1741 building with terraces and a Japanese garden. There is a café where you can have a drink, in case you get hungry.
  • Powerscout Waterfall: 121 metres (the highest in Ireland) between the Great Sugar Loaf and Djouce Mountains, 6 kilometres from Powerscout Estate.
  • Wicklow National Park: covers 20,000 hectares of protected nature. There are lakes, mountains, hiking trails, forests and plenty of trails to enjoy if you like outdoor activities.
  • Wicklow Gap: one of the most popular and highest mountain passes in the region.
  • Kilkenny: known as the medieval capital of Ireland, it is home to Kilkenny Castle, which dates back to the 13th century.
  • Glendalough: a ruined monastery complex founded in the 6th century.

Look at the possibilities offered by organised tours from Dublin, as public transport access to the Wicklow Mountains National Park is limited.

Useful facts

  • Price: from around £36.
  • Trip duration: These tours usually take the whole day, about 9 hours.

Book your trip to Wicklow

If you like driving, hire a car

Travel by Car| ©Jackson David
Travel by Car| ©Jackson David

Another option available is to hire your own car and make the journey at your own pace. This is a good alternative because the road between Dublin and Wicklow is full of places to stop off.

If you enjoy driving, this can be a good idea, although remember that in Ireland they drive on the left. It takes some getting used to, so I only recommend you choose this option if you are an experienced driver.

Take the direct route

Driving to Wicklow Mountains National Park from Dublin is fairly easy. It can be reached via the N11/M11 road, from which smaller roads lead through the park to Glendalough.

If you take the N11/M11 south from Dublin to Kilmacanogue, you will see signs for Glendalough, through Laragh village, which is approximately 55 kilometres. It's about a 55 km drive.

Once there, although entry to the National Park is free, you have to park at the Interpretation Centre (where they give out maps with the walking routes and any information you need) and there you do have to pay for parking. The approximate price is €1 per hour.

Research car hire companies

Renting a car in Dublin is very easy, there are many companies available with competitive prices and a large fleet of vehicles to choose from.

You can research the websites of major car rental companies such as Sixt, Europcar or Avis to get an idea of the car models you would like to hire, their availability and price.

If you like the idea of carving your own route, remember to book in advance. On the websites of these companies you can check the car models they have available on the dates of your trip and book them directly.

Useful information

  • Price: The price depends on many factors, such as the car you choose. A mid-range car can cost around 50 euros per day.
  • Journeytime: Driving from Dublin to Wicklow will take less than an hour.
  • Is it direct: You name it! You drive.

Book your trip to Wicklow

Travel by train - a fast, convenient and economical alternative

Train from Dublin| ©Giuseppe Milo
Train from Dublin| ©Giuseppe Milo

The train is a good option for travelling from Dublin to Wicklow: it is fast, direct, cheap and very comfortable. It takes about an hour.

The departure station in Dublin is Pearse on Westland Row, a ten minute walk from Grafton Street, and the arrival is at Wicklow train station. This is an advantage for choosing this type of transport, as both stations are in the centre of the towns, so you can get off and start your visit straight away.

The journey is operated by Irish Rail and is a direct journey. It is also very economical, costing approximately €8 per person each way. Plus, there are plenty of trains to choose from - over 30 a week. So you can plan your trip to Wicklow with some flexibility if you choose to travel by train and be sure to have a seat on the day you plan to travel. However, you can always play it safe and book your seat directly. In summary, train travel between Dublin and Wicklow is highly recommended, both in terms of price and convenience.

Useful facts

  • Price: Approximately €8.
  • Journeytime: Approximately one hour.
  • Is it direct: Yes.

Book your trip to Wicklow

If you have time you can choose the bus, a journey with many stops

Aircoach bus| ©Albert Bridge
Aircoach bus| ©Albert Bridge

The bus is less fast than the train or car**(it takes about an hour and a half**), but it has quite a few departure stations, so it can be handy if your starting point in Dublin is near one of them, e.g. the airport. It costs around €11 (or €18 if you buy a return ticket).

The good things about choosing to travel by bus are that you have a choice of places in Dublin to take the bus, that there are plenty of buses available and that you can enjoy the scenery. The disadvantages are that it takes longer than other modes of transport, it is slightly more expensive than the train and it makes many stops in between, so a fairly short journey can become tiresome.

The bus journey between Dublin and Wicklow is not direct. It makes a lot of stops, so I only recommend it if your starting point in Dublin is close to one of these stops, for example, it can be handy if you are travelling to Wicklow directly from the airport. (And if you need directions from the airport to Dublin, check out these suggestions).

The most flexible timetables: Éireann and Dublin Bus

The companies operating the Dublin to Wicklow route are Éireann and Dublin Bus. You can also travel to Glendalough with the privately owned St. Kevin's Bus Service.

  • Éireann runs from Dublin to Wicklow direct or stopping in Bray. The route is number 133 (with intermediate stops) or 133X (the direct route). There are many buses available, departing almost every hour. From Dublin, you can choose between several stops: at the North Wall Quay Arena, at the airport terminal 2 and at the Busára terminal. Arrival is at Wicklow station. The fare is about €11 for a single journey and €18 for a return ticket and the journey takes about an hour and a half.
  • Dublin Bus operates the same route with only minor differences: it has fewer intermediate stops (only 6), making the journey 15 minutes shorter, and departs from Connolly Station in Dublin, opposite the train station.

Travel to Glendalough: St. Kevins Bus Service

The company offering this journey is called Glendalough St. Kevin's Bus Services. They depart from Dublin City South (Leeson Street Lower) and arrive at Glendalough Visitor Centre.

The bus number is 181 and the journey time is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. It costs about €13 for a single ticket and €20 for a return ticket. The least practical aspect of this service is the timetable: there are only two buses a day.

The advantage of this option is that you arrive at Glendalough and can start your visit to the beautiful monastery immediately. However, you have to take a taxi to Wicklow Mountains National Park. This is about 4 kilometres extra and costs between 11 and 14 euros or so.

Interesting facts

  • Price: Approximately 11 € each way per person (around 18 € for a return ticket). To this price you have to add the taxi fare from Glendalough to Wicklow Mountains National Park, which is about €4.
  • Journeytime: About an hour and a half.
  • Is it direct: No, it makes many stops along the way. If you are not interested in these stops, it can be a long journey.

Book your trip to Wicklow

We compare the different options

Afternoon in Wicklow| ©IMBiblio
Afternoon in Wicklow| ©IMBiblio

And another thing: If your trip to Wicklow makes you want to enjoy other excursions from Dublin, you have very good options. I recommend that you don't miss the Cliffs of Moher or the Giant's Causeway. In just one day from the capital you can enjoy some unforgettable landscapes.

Book your Giant's Causeway Tour

Frequently asked questions

  • What is Wicklow famous for?

    Situated on the east coast of the country, Wicklow has become famous for its majestic scenery. With the mountains and valleys of Wicklow at the centre of such beautiful scenery, the area is also home to Ireland's highest waterfall and the supposed landing place of St. Patrick.

  • How do I get to the Wicklow Mountains?

    There are two main modes of transport to get to the Wicklow Mountains, bus or car. Although we would definitely recommend a tour bus as it gives you the opportunity to visit other places along the way, there are car parks all around the mountains if you choose to go in your own vehicle. There is also a bus service from Glendalough to the mountains, however, please note that you will also need to take a bus from Dublin to Glendalough.