Dublin has so much to offer but sometimes, it’s nice to escape the busy city centre and see what the surrounding areas have going on as well.
Whether you’re after a romantic night away, Sunday drive or just a little adventure outside the city, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do outside of Dublin’s city centre.
You can get to Glendalough in under one hour from Dublin by car and it is well worth the trip.
It’s regarded as one of Ireland’s most beautiful attractions, boasting the beautiful valley of the two lakes, alongside a world-famous monastery built by St Kevin and a selection of walking trails, including The Wicklow Way.
Dogs are also welcomed to join you, once they are always kept on their leads.
When you are in need of a break, there are lots of tea rooms, restaurants and pubs nearby to grab a bite to eat.
2. Tayto Park
Tayto Park is Ireland’s only theme park, located in Ashbourne, county Meath, just one hour outside Dublin.
The park also features a zoo, as well as a designated area for its height restricted rides, called the Eagle Sky Adventure Zone.
Tayto Park isn’t just for the little ones, thrill seekers will enjoy the adrenaline rush from the Cú Chulainn Coaster, Europe’s largest wooden roller coaster with an inversion and the Extreme Climbing Wall.
For a more relaxing day out, there are also circus performances and a 5D cinema on site.
Throughout the year, there are a number of events and other attractions open at the park so be sure to check out their website before planning your visit.
3. Climb the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain
As you drive from Dublin to Wicklow, you can’t miss the Great Sugarloaf dominating the skyline with its conical shape. Standing at 501 metres above sea level, it can appear to be steeper than it is because of its isolated positioning away from other hills or mountains.
This is the perfect climb for anyone just starting out or if you want a rewarding but not too challenging climb. There are two routes you can take to the top, the shorter route will take you about one hour in total, while the longer route will take around two and a half hours.
When you complete your climb, head to nearby Avoca for a coffee and cake or lunch to reward yourself.
4. Kildare Village
If shopping is your favourite hobby, then get out of the city centre and head for Kildare Village. Just 45minutes from Dublin, this luxury outlet village has over 100 brands offering discounts on clothes, shoes, jewellery and homeware.
With brands like Burberry, Prada, Hugo Boss and Kate Spade, Kildare Village sees thousands of visitors from all over the world every week.
When you need a break from the retail therapy, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants on site to choose from.
5. Lough Tay
You might hear this picturesque valley in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains also being referred to as the Guinness Lake. That’s because the dark peaty water and clean white sand happen to resemble our national beverage, Guinness.
And to add to this nickname, the famous Guinness family had the plush white sand imported many years ago. The family owns a 6,000-acre estate beside the lake, complete with its own castle and lodges.
The hills surrounding the valley provide several different walking trails, allowing you to take in the beauty of the lake and its opulent neighbouring estate from above.
6. Hill of Tara
The Hill of Tara in County Meath is home to many of Ireland’s famous folklore stories but it is best known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. More recently, it’s become an even more important site following the discovery of a late Stone Age passage tomb.
There are many different theories surrounding the mounds and land at Tara, but one thing is for sure, the area is steeped in Irish history and mythology, making it a magical place to visit. Modern day facilities at the site now includes a visitor centre, an audio-visual show and guided tours are available on request.
When you’ve finished wandering the mounds of Tara, you can head to the famous O’Connell’s pub in Skryne. The traditional Irish pub is known for being a landmark featured in a well-known Guinness Christmas advert.
7. Airfield Estate
Airfield Estate, just outside Dundrum, is Ireland’s only urban farm. It’s a registered not-for-profit organisation that was established by the Overend family in 1974, for educational and recreational purposes.
Today, it features a working farm, walled gardens and a café, as well as playing host to artisan markets and a number of family friendly events all year.
For car lovers, there’s also a small car museum at Airfield House, showcasing the Overend’s family cars, which include a 1920’s Peugeot, 1927 Rolls Royce, 1936 Austin Tickford and more.
Looking for more recommendations of things do in Dublin? Use our online guide for tips on what to see, eat and do around the city and find out what local events are happening.