Visiting the Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin

Back in May, our very good German friends from Nuremberg flew to Ireland for a 4 day visit with us. For a few reasons, Bell and I had not previously rented a car in Ireland (largely due to nerves driving on the left). But our friends decided they would rent a car and we would share in the cost of an overnight stay in Galway and a drive around County Clare. We can vouch that visiting the Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin is an excellent option to consider if you’re visiting Ireland. Here are some tips to get the best value for this trip, along with some stunning pictures of the cliffs!

800 meter cliff drop, Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin

Where to Rent a Car in Dublin

We rented the car from downtown Dublin’s EuropCar location, one of the cheaper car rental companies, on average. Momondo is great for searching to see which websites offer the best deals on given dates- just remember that there are frequently additional fees with all car rental companies. City center locations can be a great option if you don’t need to pick up your car from the airport. You probably don’t want a car while you’re in Dublin anyway, as it’s generally more hassle than it’s worth. Uber is prevalent and cheap, if you’re not already using the service, sign up here and receive $20 credit!

So if you’re staying in Dublin, consider picking up a car in the city center, on your way out of town, like we did, because if you rent a car from any airport in Ireland there is also a 40 euro ($53 US) surcharge, which is especially steep for just a 1 or 2 day rental. The downside with renting from city locations is that they close earlier and open later than airport locations, so check times carefully. Additionally, some car rental companies’ city locations are closed Sundays, but EuropCar’s office is open, albeit from just 9am-3pm both Saturday and Sunday. If you pick up a car in the center of Dublin, try and avoid rush hour traffic if possible.

Where to Stay to see the Cliffs of Moher?

It depends on your budget, but you’ll typically find the best hotel deals on Families especially will find the best value on short term apartment rentals. If you’ve never used Airbnb, sign up here and receive $40 credit off your first stay!

When we visited we were on a budget and stayed at the Travelodge, whom we’ve also stayed with in Limerick and Waterford. It’s no frills but the rooms are clean and it’s a way to save money traveling around Ireland.

Where to Eat in Galway

After a 2 and 1/2 hour drive west, through the center of Ireland, we arrived in Galway. We had an excellent seafood dinner at McDonagh’s. We highly recommend this takeaway or sit down restaurant for fish n’ chips, oysters (which are great in Galway) or any of their seafood options. It’s one of the most recommended places in town and busy with locals, which is usually a good sign. We then went for a few pints of Guinness and went back to our hotel for an early start in the morning.


Quay Street, Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin
Pedestrian only Quay Street in Galway is great for eating, drinking and for a stroll.
McDonaghs seafood, Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin
Enjoying delicious Galway oysters…on a terrible hair day!



County Clare: Home of the Cliffs of Moher

County Clare is amazing and a drive through its narrow and windy roads with dramatic cliffs and picturesque seaside hills made us realize why many Irish people say “you haven’t seen Ireland if you haven’t seen the west coast.” Though this is also because many parts of the west were less influenced by the British and in some small towns Gaelic is still the first language of many locals. When driving on the seaside road south of Galway, there are a few amazing areas to stop before the Cliffs of Moher. You’ll know where based on the other cars pulled over!

west coast of Ireland, Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin
Pre-Cliffs of Moher beauty in amazing County Clare.
West coast of Ireland, Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin
Hard to top a road trip with great friends on the west coast of Ireland. Thumbs up all around!

Cliffs of Moher Tips

Upon arrival at the cliffs, parking is easy and the cost is €6 ($8.50 US) per person in the vehicle. There is a visitor center where you can buy snacks, drinks and get additional information on the area. For those that don’t wish to have access to the visitors center, you can be dropped off at a pedestrian access to visit the cliffs for free. The photos can tell the rest of the story on why the Cliffs of Moher are the most visited attraction in Ireland, with around 1 million visitors per year.

Tours to the Cliffs of Moher

If you don’t rent a car there are tour buses available leaving from both Dublin and Galway daily. If you’re interested in a tour to the cliffs leaving from Dublin, check out and be ready to set your alarm clock with the roosters as they depart at 6:50 am. Of course, you can also catch some sleep on the bus if you need to rest off a wee bit of a Guinness hangover! For a tour beginning in Galway, check out Galway Tour Company. Adult tour prices are €45 return from Dublin and start at €20 return from Galway, per person.

Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin

Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin

Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin

Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin

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And 20 minutes later it was ready to pour on us!
20 minutes later it was ready to pour on us…typical crazy Irish weather.

Need help planning a trip to beautiful Ireland? Email as I help organize awesome itineraries for the Emerald Island!

14 thoughts on “Visiting the Cliffs of Moher by rental car from Dublin

    1. Yes it is amazing and gorgeous out on the west coast of Ireland… we can’t wait to go back over there ourselves 🙂

    1. Thank you Stephanie! Yes and it’s extra special to share something memorable like that with good friends or family!

    1. Thank you! Yes, it’s really the only way to really see a lot of Ireland. We went down to Waterford and thought we’d be able to do a bus tour of the Copper Coast… no such luck, the only way to see it is with a car… it’s still on our list of things to do here!

  1. I was there in late May with my best traveling buddy and we had a wonderful time. It was quite windy (normal) and cold so had to buy a hat but otherwise we had a fabulous view. We drove all around Ireland and highly recommend that as the best way to see the country.

    1. Hey Pat, thanks for reading and commenting on your trip around lovely Ireland! Yes it was incredibly windy when we were at the Cliffs too. We wondered if people occasionally get blown off but we googled it and apparently it hasn’t happened, thankfully. Indeed it’s great to see Ireland via car- great to stop at scenic spots whenever you want and cute cafes in quaint towns.

    1. Hey adventure burren- we actually haven’t been to the Burren itself yet so that’s on the list at some point. We still have a fair bit of Ireland to get to yet!

  2. I guess you had a very nice vacation in Ireland. This trip is amazing seeing the scenic views… so cool! It’s more advantage to rent a car anyway,so you can visit more other beautiful places. I even choose car rental option.

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