With a hired car in Dublin, you’ll undoubtedly want to get out and explore the area outside the city. There are plenty of attractions within an hour’s drive – even more for those who want to drive a bit further and make a day or two of it.
This outpost is about 15 kilometres north of Dublin centre. The peninsula with its crags and cliffs is an excellent place to get out of doors and enjoy a walk. Monolithic ruins on the site can be visited for a charge. Howth is also an excellent location to enjoy some fresh seafood, stop for a cup of coffee or walk along the pier. Keep an eye out on your visit for the local seals who are not shy.
County Meath is 50 kilometres north of Dublin. This was historically the seat of the High King of Ireland, and its 5,000-year-old ruins Brú Na Bóinne Archaeological Park have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange is the centerpiece of the Brú Na Bóinne Archaeological Park, and is a 5,000 year old passage tomb.
The ‘Garden of Ireland’ is a mountainous stretch of land south of Dublin. Part of the fun of getting here is driving through the mountains – an aspect you’ll miss if you take the train from Dublin. Rural villages, scenic river valleys and quiet forests are all in the mix.
County Carlow boasts 8,000 years of history and can be reached by driving southwest on the M9 for a little over an hour. An even mix of ancient attractions and modern conveniences await visitors, making this a popular weekend retreat.
Kilkenny can be reached in less than two hour’s drive from Dublin. It has its own castle, charming boutiques and very walk-able cobblestone streets. You can see most of the main attractions on foot in a couple of hours, but the entertainment scene warrants staying over a night or two for those with time to spare.