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Ultimate Ireland Road Trip with an Economy Car

dublin to cork road trip

Experience Ireland in just 5 days on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure from Dublin to Cork. This journey will take you to some of the most magical scenery, including the stunning Cliffs of Moher and the dramatic landscape of the Ring of Kerry. For the ultimate road trip, book an economy car with VroomVroomVroom and start making memories.


Dublin to Cork Itinerary

  • Day 1: Dublin
  • Day 2: Galway
  • Day 3: Killarney
  • Day 4: Ring of Kerry
  • Day 5: Cork

Recommended Car

Book an economy car such as Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Opel Corsa or Nissan Micra. This type of rental vehicle is well-suited for city driving. It is also suitable for four people for shorter trips. Renting an economy car is a better option if you are on a budget and want to save on fuel.

Day 1: Spend the day exploring Dublin

temple bar in dublin street ireland

Dublin highlights

  • No Ireland itinerary would be complete without a visit to Dublin. The Guinness Storehouse is a must if you want to catch a glimpse of the birthplace of the legendary dark beer and get a taste straight from the barrel. Joining a guided tour is recommended if you want to get insider access and see what happens behind-the-scenes at the Guinness Storehouse.
  • Fancy a pint? Temple Bar is one of the most popular pubs situated in the cultural heart of Dublin. It is bustling and lively and easily the perfect bar to enjoy your first Irish pub experience.
  • The stunning Book of Kells at Trinity College is another must-see site for anyone. It is beautiful and unlike anywhere else in the world.

Useful tips: The Guinness Storehouse is open 7 days a week from 9:30 am to 7 pm. Last admission is at 5 pm. Pre-book your Storehouse Tour tickets to avoid the long queues. Note that all adult tickets include a complimentary pint of Guinness.

Day 2: Explore the Cliffs of Moher from Galway

cliffs of moher in county clare

Galway highlights

  • From Dublin, it is a two-hour journey along highways M6 and M4 in your rental car. Built over 300 million years ago during the Upper Carboniferous period, visit the Cliffs of Moher and see why these cliffs are the most popular attraction in Ireland. Make a quick stop in Dollin to see iconic pink houses.
  • Located in the West of Ireland, discover nature walks in scenic Connemara National Park. The park features 2,000 hectares of mountains, grasslands, and forests. This is the right place if you want to see the world-famous Connemara pony and a variety of bird species. Admission to the park is free.
  • Time your visit between July and October and you'll see why Galway has earned its reputation as a party town. Galway comes alive with wonderful festivals, such as the Galway Arts Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, and Galway International Oyster Festival.

Useful tips: Monitor the weather conditions before heading to the Cliffs of Moher. It is recommended to bring a rainproof jacket and to wear comfortable walking shoes. Of course, do not forget to bring your camera.

Day 3: Visit the beautiful Killarney National Park

forest trees and mosses at killarney national park

Killarney highlights

  • There are plenty of things to do and see in Killarney that you may not want to ever leave. This small town is home to the breathtaking Killarney National Park, Ross Castle, Muckross House Gardens, and Traditional Farms.
  • Other main stops you won’t want to miss while in Killarney include the lakes of Killarney, Muckross Friary, and the Gap of Dunloe.
  • Killarney is a foodie haven. Be sure to have lunch at Bricin Restaurant, stop by at Quinlan's Bar if you love seafood, and enjoy a coffee and banana-chocolate bread at Curious Cat Cafe.

Useful tips: As you will need to turn off-road to get to different attractions at Killarney National Park, make sure your tyres are up for the task. Keep in mind also that all-terrain tyres will need to cope with occasional mud, gravel, and wet grass.

Day 4: Day trip to Ring of Kerry

scenic ring of kerry landscape

Ring of Kerry highlights

  • The scenic Ring of Kerry is a stunning circular route on the Iveragh Peninsula in the south west of County Kerry. This route takes around 3.5 hours to complete. However, you'll want to spend the whole day checking out the local culture and nature at the Ring of Kerry.
  • Make sure to explore Killorglin, Beaufort, Glenbeigh, and Cahersiveen. Don't forget to take a little detour to Portmagee and follow the Skelligs Ring to Ballingskeligs for some of the most picturesque views you will ever see.
  • Known as the seafood capital of Ireland, Waterville is a great place if you are looking for some fantastic food. Did you know that Waterville was a favourite holiday spot of Charlie Chaplin? You will see a statue of him in the centre of the village in his honour.

Useful tips: Drivers are advised to travel anti-clockwise around the Ring of Kerry to minimise traffic problems on the narrower sections of road.

Day 5: Kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork

the famous blarney castle

Cork highlights

  • Cork is an amazing city to wander. If you are looking for some of the best pubs in Ireland, this place will not disappoint. Check out Tom Barry's, The Hi-B, An Spailpín Fánach, Fanciscan Well Brewery, Sin É or The Oval.
  • Tourists flock to Blarney Castle, where most people line up to kiss the famous Blarney Stone to receive the gift of gab or skill at flattery.
  • Sample some local food at the English Market, ring the bells of Shandon at St. Anne's Church, see the National Monument, shop 'til you drop on Patrick’s Street, or relax at Bishop Lucey Park.

Useful tips: Speed limits and distances in Ireland are posted in kilometres. Be aware of narrow country roads and make sure to drive slowly, especially before curves and hills.


Map of Dublin to Cork Road Trip

Do you know that you can download this map directly to your phone? Press the box symbol located on the top-right corner of this map to open in your Google Maps app. Now you can easily access this map on your next road trip adventure from Dublin to Cork.

Travel time and distance:2 hours and 47 minutes (259.2 km) via M7 and M8

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