The Perfect 4 Days in Ireland Itinerary (+Tips)
In the midst of planning your ultimate Ireland trip and in desperate need of an in-depth itinerary? Well, you’re in the right place for a good time. Let us introduce you to your new best friend — our perfectly curated 4 days in Ireland itinerary.
The Emerald Isle beckons and has a certain allure that other destinations could only dream of. Yes, it features astounding natural beauty from coast to coast, but this gem also boasts stunning cities, a rich cultural history, and unforgettable attractions worthy of your Europe bucket list.
And when all is said and done, you’re in for an adventure that begs the question, “How could you ever experience Ireland in any other way?” Keep reading for a full 4-day Ireland itinerary below.
4 Days in Ireland itinerary | Perfect Ireland road trip 4 days
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
A quintessential part of any worthwhile European itinerary, Ireland has become a staple destination for anyone looking for a truly memorable trip. From the spectacular natural elements of the west coast to the traditional cities of its southern regions, you’re bound to fall head over heels.
Ireland Itinerary 4 days: At a glance
We will share a few Ireland itinerary samples – the first one is in the format of a road trip exploring the Republic; the second one has you based in Dublin and then taking day tours from there (no car necessary) and the last one is a mix of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the UK.
So let’s quickly break down everything you’ll experience and explore as part of your Ireland itinerary.
Ireland Itinerary 4 days (Sample 1): Republic of Ireland road trip itinerary
- Day 1 of 4 days in Ireland: If you’re after some epic scenery, remote landscapes, and must-visit attractions, your first day surely won’t disappoint. Day one is about exploring the enigmatic capital of Ireland — Dublin.
- Day 2 of 4 days in Ireland: What would a trip to Ireland be without visiting the Cliffs of Moher? Well, still pretty impressive, but this is one natural landmark you can’t miss. Beyond that, day two also boasts the village of Doolin and a stop in Galway.
- Day 3 of 4 days in Ireland: When visiting Ireland, taking time to appreciate natural beauty is a must. So on your third day, it’s time to get lost in nature (for a little while at least) at the National Park of the Wicklow mountains. Then it’s time to explore every inch of Glendalough.
- Day 4 of 4 days in Ireland: Finally ending your Ireland trip, it’s time to head back to indulge in the more laid-back and quintessential parts of the isle. Fitting in a few more must-visit hotspots, it’s the perfect end to your adventure.
Ireland Itinerary 4 days from Dublin (Sample 2): Day trip options from Dublin
- Day 1 of 4 days in Ireland: Explore Dublin
- Day 2 of 4 days in Ireland: Go on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway
- Day 3 of 4 days in Ireland: Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough & Kilkenny Tour
- Day 4 of 4 days in Ireland: Tour to Cork, Cobh, and Blarney Castle
Ireland Itinerary 4 days (Sample 3): Best of Dublin, Belfast, and beyond
- Day 1 of 4 days in Ireland: Explore Dublin
- Day 2 of 4 days in Ireland: Go on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway
- Day 3 of 4 days in Ireland: Travel to Belfast and explore
- Day 4 of 4 days in Ireland: Day trip from Belfast to Dark Hedges, and Giants Causeway
Planning 4 days in Ireland itinerary: Travel Tips
How to get to Ireland
Getting to Ireland is relatively straightforward as there are two primary ways to reach the isle. The first would be to grab a seat on an international flight bound for Dublin International Airport.
Located roughly 6 miles from the city center, it’s easy to get to and from the airport. Hopping on the city bus 700 (8 euros) will take you right into the heart of Dublin, and from there, you can make your way to your accommodation via a private taxi.
- You can also book a private transfer from the airport to your hotel
- Or book an airport shuttle bus to the city centre
We flew to Dublin airport, but there are other international airports on the island as well – like Cork, Knock, and Shannon airport.
Alternatively, if you’re making your way to Ireland from England, you can opt for a ferry trip. Ferries to Dublin depart from Liverpool and Holyhead; expect to pay about €200 per seat.
We recommend choosing the ferry from Liverpool as you have a choice between a fast ferry line and a slower one.
On a fast ferry, the trip takes about two and a half to three and a half hours. On the other hand, a slow ferry takes about 7 hours, so it’s best to plan accordingly.
How to travel around Ireland
Once you’re firmly footed on the Emerald Isle, the next question is how to get around. Well, luckily, there are three different options available to you. The first is by using public transportation systems, which include a combination of buses and trains.
While this is a good choice as you can easily navigate your way around the isle via this combo, it does affect your time and pace. Honestly, you’ll be at the mercy of train and bus schedules, and when you only have a few days in a magical place like Ireland, that’s the last thing you want.
The second (and more popular choice) is via rental car. Not only does this satisfy every road trip craving you might have, but it’s also a fantastic way to traverse Ireland’s countryside and city streets.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly rentals, we recommend services like DiscoverCars, who operate in over 150 countries.
Lastly, via day tours. We will go deeper into this itinerary option below (options 2 and 3).
Where to stay for the perfect Ireland itinerary
So, now you’re firmly settled into Ireland and considering where to rest your head during your stay. While Ireland brims with fantastic options, some outshine the rest. Here are our recommendations for where to stay while on the island.
A no-brainer choice, but staying in Dublin is as good as it gets. It’s the country’s capital and transportation hub, offering the perfect base for your adventures. Here are a few hotel options,
- Hendrick Smithfield: We recommend staying at Hendrick Smithfield, the best property for not breaking the bank while having every luxury you need. They got a lovely bar and lobby, and the suites are comfy for a short trip. Check out availability here
- Holiday Inn Express Dublin City Centre: This is another affordable accommodation option in Dublin, located in the heart of the city. They offer free breakfast and simple, yet bright rooms. You can also park your vehicle (for a fee). Check availability here
Ireland Itinerary 4 days (Sample 1): Republic of Ireland road trip 4 days
Day 1 of 4 days in Ireland itinerary: Explore Dublin
On your first day in Ireland, it’s only logical (and super exciting) to explore its crown jewel, the capital city of Dublin. Packed with incredible attractions and highlights, the city is one in a million and the perfect starting point for your Ireland itinerary.
While you can easily spend more than one day in this part of the country, one day is enough to take in its highlights.
Marvel at the monuments of O’Connell street
After settling into your hotel room, it’s time to dive headfirst into this Ireland guide. And what better way than by sightseeing some of Dubin’s most iconic landmarks? First up is the Spire of Dublin on O’Connell street.
Locally, this monument is also known as the Monument of Light. It’s a 393-foot stainless steel, pin-like creation that stands in the center of Dublin’s main thoroughfare.
Construction ended in January 2003, and ever since, it has been a staple attraction among the landmarks of Dublin.
Visit Temple Bar Area
After crossing the historical Ha’penny Bridge, it’s time to head to the famous Temple Bar. This stunning riverside neighborhood spreads across cobbled pedestrian lanes and overflows with highlights.
From O’Connell street, you’re luckily within walking distance from Temple Bar, as there’s quite a bit to see here. One of Dublin’s most popular areas, you’ll spend a while immersing yourself in traditional Irish pub life and its eclectic bar and boutique store scene.
And no one would blame you for indulging in a traditional Irish pint while in Temple Bar, regardless of the time of day.
Wander around Trinity College
A highlight of most Ireland itineraries, Trinity College, is up next. A crucial part of the country’s history, this educational institute is much more than your average university.
Easily one of its must-see places is the Old Library of Trinity College. Its Long Room has been used since 1732 and holds some of Ireland’s most ancient texts. Inside, you’ll find the Book of Kells.
This illuminated manuscript was made by Irish monks roughly during the year 800 and contains some of the most detailed depictions of the Gospels of the New Testament.
Explore Dublin Castle
A long-standing feature of a trip to Ireland is a visit (or better yet, a guided tour – like this one) to Dublin Castle. A former motte-and-bailey castle, the building today serves as the Irish government building.
Constructed during the early 13th century on the grounds of a Viking settlement, it’s an enthralling experience to visit its grounds. If you’re a history buff, then taking the time to explore this glimpse into Ireland’s history is a must.
Visit Christ Church Cathedral
Although not the largest church in Ireland, Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin rivals the title holder, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in beauty and history.
More commonly known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, this Gothic and Romanesque jewel of the Roman Catholic church is a must-visit. Here, you can immerse yourself in one of two ways. The first is simply taking in the sights of the exterior and marveling at its stunning architecture.
However, the second, and by far the best way, is to get yourself the Go City: Dublin Pass, which grants access to this monument at no additional cost. The pass can be bought for 1-5 days.
Indulge at the Guinness Storehouse
How about a tour through the original Guinness Storehouse for a more buzzworthy blast from the past? This building is a pure display of Irish history — and a tastebud-treating one at that.
The site where Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease in 1759, it’s made of seven floors, each dedicated to a specific part of the brewing process. While you can opt for a guided storehouse tour, there’s nothing like going solo.
Tickets to the Guinness Storehouse go for around €19–€24 and give you a tasting and a 1-pint voucher for an ice-cold Guinness. The best part? You can enjoy your drink on the top floor paired with epic views overlooking the city.
Stroll through St. Stephen’s Green
To cap off day one of this Ireland itinerary, it’s time to appreciate the more natural side of Dublin. And there is no better way than by taking a late afternoon stroll through St. Stephen’s Green Park in the city center.
Clocking in at over 20 acres, it’s one of the oldest parks in Ireland, dating back to 1664. While you might think it’s just any old park, it sits right in the heart of Dublin’s shopping district, so you can get some retail therapy while you’re here.
Day 2 of 4 days in Ireland itinerary: Visiting the Cliffs of Moher
Your second day in Ireland is about exploring the west coast of Ireland. It’s a natural playground where stunning landscapes meet a scenic countryside unlike any you’ve seen before.
Beyond the Cliffs of Moher, you’ll fill your day by visiting Doolin and end it with a visit to Galway.
Ireland’s west coast is a premier part of any Ireland itinerary. Thus it’ll be an early morning start followed by a day of sightseeing and exploring.
Early morning at the Cliffs of Moher
You simply can’t visit Ireland without taking the time to explore and experience one of its most spectacular natural attractions. Few places compare to the Cliffs of Moher.
While you can start the day at Bunratty Castle and then head to the cliffs, they attract quite a crowd. So it’s best just to dive right in (metaphorically, of course).
Why are the Cliffs of Moher so impressive? Well, consider this; six miles of majestic coastline that plummets directly into the ocean. With that image in mind, you can hike the cliff line for some surreal views.
Drive the Wild Atlantic Way
Have you ever heard of the Wild Atlantic Way? This beautiful stretch of road, totaling 2499 km (1,553 miles), runs from the west through parts of Ireland’s north and south coasts. As far as a scenic drive goes, few road trip destinations could compare.
This road comprises quite a few stellar country highlights, from the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, Connemara, and The Burren. While you won’t be driving the whole Wild Atlantic Way, any distance traveled along its roads is unforgettable.
Explore the tiny village of Doolin
One of the closest towns to the Cliffs of Moher, the tiny village of Doolin is your next stop on this one-day road trip. At roughly 8 km (5 miles) from the cliffs, it’s a charming little addition to your day, and spending time in one (or two) of the classic Irish pubs that line its streets is a must.
No Ireland road trip would be complete without a visit to this quaint town that sits firmly on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Get lost in Galway
After exploring Doolin, it’s time to head for Galway. Depending on how long you choose to spend in Doolin, you’ll arrive in Galway mid to late afternoon.
This makes it the perfect time to explore the city and take in some of its best sights before deciding on a place to grab some well-deserved dinner.
After spending the day exploring (not just Galway), heading to any of the best pubs in Galway is a must. While each is unique, the Front Door Pub stands out, famous for its beef and Guinness stew.
When you’re done with dinner, the drive back to Dublin might be a bit much to tackle, so it would be a good idea to spend the night in Galway. The cultural hub of Ireland, staying in Galway, is almost equal to staying in Dublin.
Stay overnight in Galway: It’s got every element of a major city while featuring a traditional side you just don’t get in other places. We recommend booking a room at the Menlo Park Hotel, a 4-star property in the city’s heart.
The following day it’s time to head back to Dublin. We recommend heading out as early as possible to make the most of day three.
Day 3 of 4 days in Ireland itinerary: Wicklow and Glendalough
Kicking off your third day in Ireland, you’ll explore county Wicklow, which holds some of the most natural hidden gems of the Emerald Isle. After taking in the sights of this county close to Dublin, you’ll head to Glendalough, where you can quite literally get lost in nature.
Morning adventure in Baltinglass
Thankfully, county Wicklow is not far from Dublin, so you can start the day a bit later than usual, especially after driving back from Galway.
Some highlights of the area include the stunning Blessington Lakes, the headliner being Baltinglass. A worthwhile short trip while here is the historic Baltinglass Abbey constructed during the 12th century.
Visit the Glendalough monastic site
After your morning in Baltinglass, it’s time to head for the scenic and lush Glendalough. Beyond its stunning landscapes, it features spectacular views that will stick with you for this entire trip and well after.
Within this glacial valley lies one of the most imposing early medieval monastic settlements in the entire country. Founded as the first Christian settlement in the 6th century, most of the structures you’ll see date back to the 10th century.
Explore Glendalough upper lake
Now for a fun (and somewhat physical) addition to your Ireland itinerary. It’s time for a hike after visiting the Glendalough Monastic site. Although hike might not be the right word, this walk through the lower lake area to the upper Glendalough lake area is a must.
These two lakes are a local favorite, and once you set out, you’ll quickly agree it’s a fantastic way to spend your days in Ireland.
Discover Poulanass Waterfall
For those looking to go chasing waterfalls. You’re in luck. Taking a slight detour off the main trail to the upper lake, you’ll arrive at the stunning Poulanass waterfall. These small falls spill into the upper lake area, creating an almost ethereal atmosphere.
Several spots along the walking trail provide spectacular views of the waterfall. And for those who love fun facts, the name Poulanass comes from old Irish, which translates to “Hole of the waterfall”. Did we mention the epic views you’ll get of Guinness lake?
Day 4 of 4 days in Ireland itinerary: Discover the more laidback side of Ireland
Your final day in Ireland will be a more laid back and relaxed exploration of some of the country’s most enticing highlights. A trip to Killarney National Park, a road trip through the Dingle Peninsula, and some beach bumming at a beach or two await you.
Venture into Killarney National Park
Yes, many come to Ireland for its rich history and even richer love for a pint and some live music. But venture into the Irish countryside and you’ll discover unique places like Killarney National Park.
Experiencing the best of this national treasure can be done via a guided tour like this Killarney National Park tour on a private horse and carriage. Or you can head on a hike to epic spots like Torc Waterfall.
Head out on a drive along the Dingle Peninsula
While most travelers would take the Ring of Kerry road from Killarney, another equally fantastic option is to tackle the scenic drive along the Dingle Peninsula.
Ringed by sandy beaches and craggy cliffs, this striking natural feature includes mountain ranges and peaks such as Mount Brandon. Beyond that, there is quite a bit to do here, including visiting a few Star Wars filming locations and indulging in Irish culture on a pub crawl.
Take your drive off-road at Inch Beach
A surefire standout of the Dingle Peninsula is Inch Beach. This rugged sand beach is unique because you can take your car and drive along the coastline as far as it stretches. We recommend you do just that.
And after driving a bit, step outside your car, dip your toes into the Atlantic and grab a few snapshots of the stunning beach.
Explore the town of Dingle
As the final stop of your four days in Ireland, head to the charming town of Dingle. It’s a colorful and culture-rich town where cute shops, ice cream parlors, ships bobbing in the bay, and swimming dolphins are highlights.
Speaking of dolphins, the town’s unofficial mascot is a bottlenose dolphin named Fungie, who has welcomed visitors to the village for more than 30 years.
And if you’re not one for dolphin spotting, pub crawling is almost a national sport here, with a whopping 65 pubs in the small town.
Tip: If you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip to central Europe, look at our European itinerary.
Ireland Itinerary 4 days from Dublin (Sample 2): Day trips, without a car
Here is an alternate Ireland Itinerary for 4 days, where you can base yourself in Dublin throughout the duration of your Irish trip and not rent a car.
We recommend the Go City: Dublin Pass for 4 days so that you have a transportation savings card for commuting in the city. This pass also includes one day of the hop-on and hop-off tour, which will allow you to check off all the major attractions in the city in one day.
Plus you also get access to the Guinness Storehouse.
Day 1 of 4 days in Ireland: On the very first day explore the city highlights of Dublin.
Day 2 of 4 days in Ireland: On the second day of this itinerary, start on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway.
You can book a day tour such as this one that includes Galway and the Burren, the monastic ruins of Kilmacduagh, and of course the gorgeous Cliffs of Moher.
This tour is provided by Finn McCools Tours, and we highly recommend their service – their local guides are very knowledgeable and helpful!
Day 3 of 4 days in Ireland: Venture out to check off Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, and Kilkenny on day 3. On this 9-hour day trip, you will get to soak in the views at Wicklow.
And then enjoy a walking tour of Glendalough, and finally visit Kilkenny before returning to Dublin. The tour doesn’t include entry to Kilkenny castle.
But the scenic drive includes sites from movies such as P.S. I Love You and Braveheart. You can book this affordable tour here
Day 4 of 4 days in Ireland: Explore the city of Cork on day 4 of this 4 day Ireland itinerary. You can take the train from Dublin to Cork, or opt for another day tour that includes Cobh and entry to Blarney Castle.
Cork is Ireland’s southern capital and is known for its arts, music, and literature. The historic city centre is filled with charming Georgian buildings, beautiful 17th-century alleys, and modern architecture.
Ireland Itinerary 4 days (Sample 3): Best of Dublin, Belfast, and beyond
This 4 day itinerary includes Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. The UK is not a part of the European Union nor do they follow the Schengen agreement, so you might need a visa to cross over.
US and Canadian passport holders do not need a tourist visa to enter the UK, but please ensure you carry a valid passport with you at all times.
Day 1 of 4 days in Ireland: On day one in Dublin, spend time exploring the city’s highlights.
Day 2 of 4 days in Ireland: Next, go on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. You can book a day tour such as this one that includes Burren, and the monastic ruins of Kilmacduagh.
Day 3 of 4 days in Ireland: Head straight to Belfast on day 3. It will take less than 2 hour’s drive or 2.50 hour train ride to get there from Dublin.
In Belfast, explore the following spots,
- Hit the Saint George’s Market
- Visit the Belfast City Hall
- Go on a Black Taxi City Tour, where you will learn about Belfast’s troubled past. The tour lasts 4 hours, and it also includes mural stops. Our guide shared so many stories of the troubles, of political turmoil, and the events leading up to Bloody Sunday, and its impact later. Highly recommend a walking tour either in Belfast or Dublin to learn more about it.
- Hit the Titanic Quarter. Ensure you book tickets ahead of your visit.
- Sign off for the night at the Cathedral Quarter
Read: Here is a detailed list of things to do in Belfast in one day
Where to stay in Belfast? We recommend an overnight stay in Belfast for days 3-4. The Clayton Hotel is a great place to call home for 2 days. It is located within walking distance of the Titanic Quarter and other sightseeing spots.
Day 4 of 4 days in Ireland: End your Irish road trip of 4 days, with a visit to Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage site – the Giant’s Causeway, and then explore the Dark Hedges, and walk over the Atlantic ocean at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Without renting a car, you can choose this Northern Coast day tour from Belfast that covers all of the places including the ruins of Dunluce Castle whilst enjoying a scenic drive along the Antrim Coast Road. Check it out here
4 Days in Ireland itinerary: Sightseeing Map
Ultimate Ireland Travel Tips for your itinerary
Ireland is a beautiful country you should visit at least once. As for some insider tips to making the most of your adventure beyond getting a rental car and prepping for driving on the left side of the road, we’ve got you covered.
Four days in Ireland is enough time to experience the best of what this wonderful country has to offer. With four days, you can explore Dublin and take a day trip to the countryside tour of some of the most stunning landscapes such as the Cliffs of Moher, Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, and Kilkenny.
Of course, the more time you have is better.
Ideally 7 days.
The number of days needed in Ireland largely depends on what you wish to experience and see. If you would like to explore the entire island, then more than 4 days might be necessary. However, if your time is limited and you’d just like to get a taste of the country, 4 days should be plenty.
Ideally, with 7 days in Ireland, you can spend 2 days in Dublin, followed by scenic stops at some of the most picturesque places like the Cliffs of Moher or the Wicklow Mountains, and then end by visiting Aran islands.
The best time to visit Ireland would be during either of its shoulder seasons. These periods are from March to May and from September to November. During these months, you’ll have the advantage of lower tourist numbers and mild temperatures, not as cold as in winter.
While summer is best if you want to be assured of sunny days, this is also the peak season for tourism. Thus most attractions get overcrowded.
What to pack for Ireland?
- Universal adaptor: Europe uses round power pins, so carry a universal adapter. Here is what we have
- Anti-theft backpack: Because we travel in trains, and use other means of public transportation, we recommend carrying an anti-theft backpack (or a daypack). We use the same backpack as a carryon (and – I carry 4-5 dresses, 4 blouses, 2 light jackets, and a small cosmetics bag)
- Comfortable walking shoes: Walking shoes are a must for all of your Europe trips. You will end up walking/wandering/strolling quite a bit (in old towns, transiting through transport, neighborhoods, etc). Many old towns are also carefree, and pedestrian-friendly – so lace up!
- Lightweight rain jackets: Highly recommend carrying a lightweight waterproof jacket at all times of the year, especially on your road trips
4 Day Ireland Itinerary | Final Thoughts
That’s a wrap on your 4 days in Ireland itinerary; a whirlwind adventure that will have you coming back for more. Yes, there is so much more to see on this stunning island, and if you have more time, heading to northern Ireland won’t disappoint.
But if you just have 4 days, this Ireland itinerary brings you right to the doorstep of its best and most memorable attractions.
PS: Check out our curated list of European travel tips to ensure you don’t miss a beat when planning your next Ireland journey.
Get the inside scoop on European travel – for free!
EUROPE TRAVEL RESOURCES VAULT
Access our FREE Europe resources library! This is the place for those who want to travel to Europe but don’t know where to start. Our exclusive library has free itineraries, tips, worksheets, guides, and more.
And the best part? You can access it all simply by signing up for our newsletters. We can’t wait to help you plan your perfect European vacation.
More Europe travel itineraries:
- 4 days in Paris itinerary
- 4 days in London itinerary
- 4 days in Rome itinerary
- 4 days in Lisbon itinerary
- 4 days in Vienna itinerary
- 4 days in Budapest itinerary