20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

Powerscourt, one of the Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin

Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Looking for the best half-day tours from Dublin? Discover below some of the best options if you’re short on time or don’t want to spend hours in transportation. These options are located near Dublin and last a couple of hours with AM, PM, and evening tours to fit your schedule.

There are not that many half-day tours that you can take from Dublin so your options are pretty limited. However, there are a couple of places that can easily be visited within 5 hours such as the charming coastal town of Howth and the stunning Glendalough surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains.

☘️BEST HALF-DAY TOURS FROM DUBLIN☘️
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Your best options are either a trip to Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains (AM or PM) or a tour in Howth to see the harbor and cliffs and sample some local treats.

Before booking, make sure to factor in the time you’ll need to get to and from the meeting point.

Weather can turn quickly in Ireland, so make sure to pack layers and be ready for rain. Be sure to also bring water and snacks for the trip.

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20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

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20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

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HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP

20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

FLIGHT DEALS

20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

HOTEL DEALS

20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

CAR RENTAL

20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

TRAVEL INSURANCE

20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

ACTIVITIES

20 Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland

VACATION RENTALS

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Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin

1 – Glendalough & Wicklow Mountains Half Day Morning Tour from Dublin

Glendalough

⭐️ Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 5 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Glendalough is a beautiful outdoor destination, popular among locals looking for a relaxing getaway near Dublin. An hour’s drive will take you to the village where you can see the ruins of the monastic city, founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.

The village is also the starting point of many hikes around the lakes and up the mountains.

This excursion was incredible from beginning to end! Not only were the sights amazing but we were able to discover them at our own pace. To top it off, our tour guide, Brian, was funny, friendly, and immensely knowledgeable. He explained the history of the country on the drive and made the experience that much better!

– MADELINE (READ MORE REVIEWS)

This half-day tour departs at 8 AM and takes you to Glendalough through the scenic route, passing by the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park with a stop at the iconic Guinness Lake. Then you’ll get 2 hours in Glendalough, touring the ruins and going on an easy hike.

Food and drinks are not included so make sure to pack some snacks and water. You can buy more stuff when you arrive in Glendalough.

2 – Glendalough & Wicklow Mountains Afternoon Tour from Dublin

Hiking in Glendalough

⭐️ Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 5 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

This Glendalough & Wicklow Mountains Afternoon Tour from Dublin is the same as the one above, with the same company, except it’s in the afternoon – it starts at 01:30 PM.

“We expected an afternoon bus ride out and back, but it was so much more. Our guide, Jackie, shared wonderful stories, history, and music with a great sense of humor. Our driver got us to and from our destination safely and on time. It was a wonderful experience for us, all around. Highly recommend this tour!”

– ELAINE (READ MORE REVIEWS)

3 – Dublin Coastal Hike & Pints

Coastal Walk from Dublin

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 4 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

The Howth Peninsula is another great destination for a quick half-day tour from Dublin. Known for its quaint village, picturesque harbor, pretty beaches, and high cliffs, Howth offers plenty of things to do even if you’re short on time.

“Fantastic time! Mark was a great guide and very personal. Hike was gorgeous. Stay for the food when you have your pints.”

– JAMIE (READ MORE REVIEWS)

On this small-group Dublin Coastal Hike & Pints Tour go for a hike around Howth and see St. Mary’s Abbey, the Cliffs of Howth, a centuries-old castle, and more with a guide telling you about the history of Howth and Ireland from as far back as 700 years ago.

After the hike, enjoy a pint at one of the pubs in the village.

The tour starts at 10:30 AM in Howth. To get there, take the DART from Dublin Connolly Station to Howth Railway Station – it takes 30 minutes max.

4 – Dublin Mountain Pub Tour

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 5 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Explore Dublin’s mountainside during this half-day Dublin Mountain Pub Tour where you’ll get to discover three of the countryside’s best pubs and sample some great brews while enjoying live music and majestic views.

Your local guide will share insightful facts about Irish history and culture on your way there.

“Shane was an entertaining and fun guide. We loved all three pubs and the stories about them. We got to go to places we couldn’t easily have found on our own. This a great tour!”

– SANDRA (READ MORE REVIEWS)

This a small-group tour (16 people max) leaving at 6.30 PM from the Temple Bar area. Note that food and drinks are at your own expense.

5 – Howth Coastal Half-Day Bus Tour from Dublin

Howth, Ireland

⭐️ Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 4 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Another option is this Howth Coastal Half-Day Bus Tour from Dublin. It’s kind of the same as the one above except that it runs every day and includes transportation to and from Dublin. You’ll get to go on a guided walk along the cliffs and then you’ll get free time to explore the village on your own.

Amazing tour! Guide was awesome. Views were spectacular. I would really recommend this tour to everyone.

– ANABEL (READ MORE REVIEWS)

They offer a morning tour at 9:30 AM and an afternoon one at 2 PM. If your hotel is in the city center you should be within walking distance of the meeting point. Note that there can be up to 75 people on the tour with you.

6 – Walking Tour and Railway Ride of Scenic Coastal Dublin

Dun Laoghaire

⭐️ Rating: 5.0 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 4 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

This Walking Tour and Railway Ride of Scenic Coastal Dublin will take you to scenic coastal villages between Dun Laoghaire and Bray. Your local tour guide, Marina, will take you to a side of Ireland often overlooked by tourists, providing insights and tips to get the most out of your trip.

This was a wonderful, lovely experience in a part of Ireland we might have missed if we chose Dublin instead. Our guide Marina was a delightful young woman who showed us the beauty of Dun Laoghaire. We walked along the sea and in picturesque towns, learning about the history and way of life in the area. After the tour we stayed on for a delicious pub luncheon, then a short train ride to our port. You will not be disappointed!

– DEBBIE (READ MORE REVIEWS)

Be prepared to walk a lot (about 8 miles). The tour starts in Dun Laoghaire, a short 30-minute train ride will take you there from Dublin, and ends in Bray, from where you can also take the train back. You can book a group or private tour on weekends. If you’re visiting during the week, you can only get the self-guided audio tour.

7 – Half-Day Guided Rock Climbing Above Dublin City

Rock Climbing

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 3,5 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

If you’re up for some adventure during your trip to Dublin, consider booking this Half-Day Guided Rock Climbing Above Dublin City that will lead you to stunning views over Dublin. Whether you have never done rock climbing or already have a good level, the instructor will adapt to your skill level to make it fun and safe for everyone.

“Mark was very professional yet still chilled, we had great fun and learned a load about rock climbing equipment, safety, and how to rock climb properly!! Would definitely recommend this for beginners and experienced climbers alike.”

– JOHN (READ MORE REVIEWS)

The tour only runs in summer, when the weather is nice enough. All safety equipment and gear are included as well as instructions. The rock climbing is done at Dalkey Quarry, you can get there by train from Dublin followed by a short walk.

8 – Wicklow Scenic and Musical History Tour

Glendalough Ruins

⭐️ Rating: N/A | ⏳ Tour Length: 4 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Discover a unique side of Ireland during this Wicklow Scenic and Musical History Tour. As you visit some of County Wicklow’s top sights, get insights into Irish history and music from your knowledgeable local guide, an opera-trained singer and traditional Irish musician.

As you drive through the stunning Wicklow Mountains, you’ll stop at Kilruddery, Powerscourt Estate, Guinness Lake, and Glendalough Village.

The tour starts at 8:00 AM and runs only on Sundays.

9 – Game of Thrones Studio Tour Admission and Transfer from Dublin

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 6 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Fans of Game of Thrones who only have half a day for a tour from Dublin should consider visiting the studio in Banbridge, North Ireland, where many scenes have been filmed. You’ll be able to visit some sets, see props and costumes, and see how some of the special effects were made.

This Game of Thrones Studio Tour includes admission and transfer from Dublin, making it easy to visit as a half-day trip without having to worry about transportation.

“Bus left on time and an hour and a half later we were at the studio. An amazing setup! Costumes, information about all aspects of the show, set setups, interactive activities, gift shop, and cafe. A must-see!”

– MICHELLE (READ MORE REVIEWS)

The drive there is around an hour and a half so you get about 3 hours to visit the studio. It leaves at 10 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. Don’t forget your passport and pack some snacks and water. There’s a restaurant and a café there if you want to have lunch.

10 – Dublin Coastal Craft Beer and Seafood Trail with a Local

Seafood dish

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 3,5 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Another option for a half-day tour in Howth, this Dublin Coastal Craft Beer and Seafood Trail with a Local will take you through Howth’s highlights and features a freshly caught two-course seafood meal and a selection of North County Dublin’s finest craft beers.

Go pub hopping while learning more about the history of the area with a knowledgeable local guide.

“Mark was awesome! This was a highlight of our trip, to learn more about Howth and try some delicious food. Come hungry!! You get so much more than a sampling!”

– BRENNA (READ MORE REVIEWS)

Food and drinks are included. The meeting point is at Howth train station, just a short train ride from Dublin, and the tour starts at 3 PM. It doesn’t run daily so be sure to check the schedule.

11 – 3-Hour Private Horror Hike in Dublin

⭐️ Rating: N/A | ⏳ Tour Length: 3 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

On this 3-Hour Private Horror Hike in Dublin, hike at sunset in the Dublin Mountains up to the legendary and mysterious Montpelier Hill where you’ll find an old Megalithic site. The views along the way and at the top are just gorgeous.

As you climb up, the guide will share spooky tales and stories of the area, creating a unique atmosphere.

The tour departs at 7 PM and transportation to the start of the trail is included. The meeting point is downtown.

12 – Dublin Mountains Sunset Hike

Sunset at Dublin Mountains

⭐️ Rating: N/A Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 4.5 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

This Dublin Mountains Sunset Hike is another option similar to the one above, minus the spooky storytelling.

It lasts a bit longer and will take you to Three Rock Mountain through the Ticknock Trail.

The guide will meet you at the Red Cow Luas stop, along the Luas line, from there you’ll head to the start of the trail by bus.

On your way, you’ll pass by Irish woodland, rock formations, and amazing views of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains, stopping at Fairy Castle to watch the sunset over the city.

13 – Malahide Castle & Gardens Half-Day Trip

Malahide Castle, Ireland

⭐️ Rating: N/A | ⏳ Tour Length: 4.5 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

This Malahide Castle & Gardens Half-Day Trip is a great option if you want the flexibility of a private tour and to explore a lesser-known castle close to Dublin.

This tour includes skip-the-line tickets to the Malahide Castle and Gardens with private car transfers from your accommodation in Dublin. You’ll also get a 45-minute public tour of the castle led by a licensed guide and have free time to explore the garden.

The excursion runs daily and you can pick the start time.

14 – Slane Castle Private Half-Day Trip from Dublin

⭐️ Rating: N/A | ⏳ Tour Length: 4 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Another beautiful castle you can easily visit from Dublin, the Slane Castle was built in the late 18th century and is a popular concert venue today.

The tour includes skip-the-line tickets, a 1-hour guided tour of the castle, 1 hour of free time to explore the gardens, and private transportation to and from your hotel in Dublin.

The tour runs Monday through Thursday and you can pick from different time slots.

15 – Newgrange and Hill of Tara Private Guided Tour from Dublin

Knowth, County Meath, Ireland

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 6 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

This Newgrange and Hill of Tara Private Guided Tour from Dublin will take you to at least two Irish must-sees and more if time allows. As this is a private tour you can customize the itinerary and either see more places or stay longer at the first stops.

Newgrange is a UNESCO World Heritage passage tomb dating back to 3,200 BC. Daily visitors are limited so you’ll need to reserve your spot (on top of booking the tour) as soon as possible.

Known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the Hill of Tara used to be a political and religious center in the early centuries after Christ.

Additional places you could visit include Monasterboice Monastic Site, Mellifont Abbey, and Four Knocks.

“Knowth was very informative, had ample time view the site. New grange is more spectacularly visual but brief. Noel, our driver, then took us to the ruins of the friary church on the hill of Slane giving us its history while escorting us through the ruins. He took excellent photographs of us which we really appreciated.”

– ELEANOR (READ MORE REVIEWS)

You can book this tour any day of the week with a 7 AM or 1 PM pick-up. Transportation and a guide are included – on the way back, you have the option to stop by Howth to grab something to eat.

16 – Glendalough, Wicklow & Powerscourt Gardens

Powerscourt House & Gardens

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ Tour Length: 6 hours | ☘️ Check Rates and Availability

Take a private half-day tour to Glendalough, Wicklow & Powerscourt Gardens and explore some of County Wicklow’s top sights.

As this is a private tour, you can easily customize the itinerary to fit what you want to see and do.

During the ride, take in the scenery of the Wicklow Mountains, Sally’s Gap, and Lough Tay (Guinness Lake) then explore the ancient monastic site of Glendalough, dating back to the 6th century before visiting Avoca village, Wicklow Gaol, or Powerscourt Gardens.

“Great experience. Fantastic driver – super informative and great host. Didn’t feel rushed. Helped customize the trip and kept a surprise. Absolutely would recommend!”

– TIM (READ MORE REVIEWS)

The tour runs daily with departures at 6 AM and 1 PM and includes transportation and a knowledgeable guide.

DIY Half-Day Tours from Dublin

There are many places near Dublin you can visit on your own as a half-day trip. It’s easier if you have a car, but I’ve listed below places that are easily reachable via public transportation.

17 – Kildare (40 Minutes From Dublin)

Kildare is a charming town you can easily visit from Dublin by train. Once there, you can stroll around the stunning Irish National Stud & Gardens and visit the ruins of the Grey Abbey. If you have extra time, take a cab to Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park, a living history museum.

18 – Bray (45 Minutes From Dublin)

Bray Head, Ireland

Bray is a charming coastal town you can reach from Dublin via bus or train. One of the best things to do there is to go sea kayaking to sea seals, migratory birds, and hidden coves. It’s a unique experience that can easily be done in half a day.

If the weather is too bad or you just don’t want to go kayaking, you can hike the 7 km Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk instead.

19 – Bull Island (50 Minutes From Dublin)

Common Linnet on Bull Island, Ireland

A great place near Dublin for bird watching, beach time, and hiking, Bull Island is a protected area known for its sand dunes and salt marshes. There are also 2 golf courses there.

You can catch a bus that will leave you at the bridge and you can cross over on foot. Once there, stroll around and enjoy a picnic on the beach.

20 – Killiney Hill Park (60 Minutes From Dublin)

Killiney Hill Park

Featuring several hiking trails, Killiney Hill Park is easily reachable by train from Dublin followed by a 20-minute walk from the train station to the park. There you can enjoy coastal hikes and wooded areas that are perfect to explore within a half-day trip.

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Best Half-Day Tours from Dublin, Ireland