17 Wonderful Weekend Breaks in Ireland (2023)

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Looking for weekend breaks in Ireland? You’re in luck! We studied abroad in Dublin and took so many different weekend trips around the city, so we’re here to share some of the best.

Ireland is a wondrous country with endless amounts of beauty to explore, and what better way to experience all that Ireland has to offer than by taking a weekend break? Ireland has something for everyone, from the historic capital city of Dublin to the small coastal towns scattered up and down the west coast.

Experience the majestic Cliffs of Moher or take in the wonder of Blarney Castle. Enjoy a pint at one of the country’s many pubs, including those in charming Galway City. Venture inland to explore Connemara National Park or go further North to Belfast, where you can visit popular attractions such as Titanic Belfast or The Giant’s Causeway.

No matter what type of holiday you are looking for, Ireland has something unique to offer. Come and explore this magnificent country for yourself – you won’t be disappointed! Here are all of the best weekend breaks in Ireland.

🚗 Don’t forget to book your Ireland rental car! Click here to check rates. 🚗

🚗 Don’t forget to book your Ireland rental car! Click here to check rates. 🚗

Weekend Breaks in Ireland


Big red pub that says The Temple Bar.

Dublin is the perfect city to visit for a weekend break. It has an abundance of things to do, from exploring museums and galleries to enjoying the vibrant nightlife or visiting historical sites such as Dublin Castle or Kilmainham Gaol. The shopping in the city center is world-class, with designer stores and trendy boutiques nestled among traditional Irish pubs.

The city also boasts some of the best food in Ireland. From high-end restaurants to cozy pubs serving up traditional Irish stews and potato dishes, you’re sure to find something delicious no matter where you go. And when it comes time to relax, Dublin has plenty of lush parks and gardens with stunning views of the River Liffey.

No matter what your interests are, there’s always something going on in Dublin that will make your weekend break one to remember! With its rich cultural heritage and friendly atmosphere, it’s no wonder why Dublin is one of the best places in Ireland for a weekend getaway.


Steep cliffs near the ocean.

Galway is one of Ireland’s most exciting and vibrant cities, renowned for its bustling atmosphere and colorful personality. Its cobbled streets are lined with charming shops and cafes, while its nightlife and live music scene make it an ideal place to visit for a fun-filled weekend away.

Galway is also home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, so you can experience the best of both worlds while there – city life by day and blissful relaxation on the beach when evening comes around.

Plus, Galway is the perfect home base to visit the nearby Cliffs of Moher, which is easily the most well-known landmark in all of Ireland.

With so much to see and do, why not take some time out in Galway for your next weekend break?


Waterfall trickling through a forest.

Killarney is a beautiful town in the South West of Ireland surrounded by stunning landscapes. There are plenty of picturesque walks and trails, perfect for those seeking an outdoor adventure.

Visitors can explore the lakes of Killarney or go on beautiful hikes to places like Torc Waterfall (easily on of the best Irish waterfalls)!

In addition to the stunning scenery, plenty of cultural activities are available. You can visit Ross Castle and Muckross Abbey, which date back centuries, and explore the historic streets of Killarney.

The vibrant local culture of Killarney will offer visitors plenty to do during their stay. For those who appreciate good food, Killarney offers some wonderful restaurants as well as traditional pubs for traditional Irish music and craic.

There are plenty of quaint shops selling traditional crafts too! With all these attractions within easy reach, it’s easy to see why Killarney is one of the best weekend breaks in Ireland. This is one of our fave hidden gem spots in Ireland.


Empty cobblestone street lined by white buildings.

Belfast is the perfect weekend escape for those in search of a vibrant and exciting city with plenty to do. From its world-renowned music scene to an abundance of cultural attractions, you can find something that appeals to everyone.

Historical landmarks such as Belfast City Hall, Ulster Museum, and the Titanic Visitor Centre provide an insight into the city’s past. At the same time, vibrant markets like St George’s Market offer plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining.

Belfast is in Northern Ireland, so it is part of the United Kingdom. It’s a great home base to explore places like Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway.

Whether you prefer exploring the city’s streets or relaxing on one of its many beaches, there’s something for everyone in Belfast – making it one of the best weekend breaks in Ireland.


Girl sitting on rocks looking out at the ocean.

Howth is a beautiful coastal town situated just a few miles outside of Dublin. With stunning views of the Irish Sea, Howth is one of the most picturesque places in Ireland and an ideal destination for weekend getaways. From cliff walks to traditional pubs, there’s something to see and do for everyone.

The area is renowned for its seafood; you can find some of the freshest and most delicious seafood from local restaurants and fishmongers. For those who want to explore further, a range of attractions is just a stone’s throw away.

If you’re looking for some rest after a busy week, Howth offers plenty of natural beauty spots, such as Balscadden Bay which has incredible views over the Irish Sea. For the more active visitors, plenty of walking trails are dotted around the area, with opportunities to spot seals along the way.


Girl leaning on a wall looking out at the coast.

Bray is one of the best weekend breaks in Ireland due to its unbeatable combination of stunning natural scenery, a wealth of history and culture, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Situated on the east coast between Dublin and Wicklow, Bray boasts an impressive selection of beaches that offer perfect conditions for swimming, fishing, surfing, or simply relaxing.

The town itself has plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained, from its historic train station to the lively promenade and esplanade. There are also some incredible views from Bray Head or Killiney Hill.

When it comes to evening entertainment and dining options, Bray won’t disappoint either – with a range of chic restaurants as well as traditional pubs serving up delicious local fare. Add in some great shopping opportunities, and you have the perfect ingredients for a memorable weekend break.

Oh, and did we mention how easy of a trip it is from Dublin?


Historic brick castle under a blue sky.

Kilkenny is one of the most underrated cities in Ireland, but it’s actually one of the best weekend breaks you can take in the country. With its stunning medieval architecture, vibrant music and arts scene, and delicious food, it’s no wonder that Kilkenny is growing in popularity with travelers.

Furthermore, Kilkenny is close to so many other attractions that you can visit during your stay, such as the Rock of Cashel, the beautiful coastline of County Wexford, or even a trip to Dublin.

In short, a trip to Kilkenny is a great way to explore Ireland’s history and culture while taking advantage of all those little extras that make a weekend break truly special. So why not plan your next weekend away in Kilkenny?


Person standing on rocks in the middle of the water near a castle.

Limerick is one of the most underrated cities for a weekend break in Ireland. Located on the banks of the majestic River Shannon, Limerick offers visitors a unique blend of attractions that make it an ideal city to explore. From its centuries-old architecture and stunning Georgian parks to its vibrant cultural scene and exciting nightlife, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Limerick.

If you’re looking for an adventure, why not visit King John’s Castle, located on the banks of the River Shannon? This iconic castle has been around since 1210 and is steeped in Irish history, with beautiful views across the river. Or, if you fancy a more laid-back activity, take a stroll through The People’s Park and get lost in its lush greenery.

Limerick also boasts some of the best restaurants and pubs in Ireland, including some world-renowned gastropubs like Bobby Byrne’s. There are plenty of opportunities to sample local flavors as well.


Historic castle with lots of grass.

Cork is known for its unique mix of vibrant urban life and stunning natural beauty. Boasting a wide variety of attractions, from breathtaking landscapes to lively nightlife, it’s no wonder visitors love it here.

If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, then look no further than St Patrick’s Street in Cork City Centre. Here you’ll find an ever-changing selection of bars and clubs playing everything from traditional Irish music to modern dance hits. There are also plenty of pubs offering traditional Irish food and drinks to enjoy during your night out.

Cork is also home to some truly incredible outdoor activities. From hiking along the picturesque coastline to kayaking on the River Lee, there are plenty of ways to fill your days here with adventure. What’s more, there are numerous festivals held throughout the year that showcase the best local talent – making it easy to soak up some culture while you relax!

Plus, Blarney Castle is right in Cork, too! Don’t forget to kiss the Blarney Stone.

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    A lighthouse on an island surrounded by waves.

    Donegal is the ideal getaway for anyone looking to explore the rugged beauty of Ireland’s northwest coast. With stunning landscapes of wild cliffs, sparkling beaches, and rolling hills, Donegal offers a complete escape from the hustle and bustle of life.

    The county has something for everyone – from outdoor activities like surfing and kayaking to quaint villages offering unique cultural experiences. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore further afield, Donegal offers visitors the opportunity to create unforgettable experiences in one of Ireland’s most captivating counties.


    Boats floating on the water in a harbor near the town.

    Cobh, a picturesque Irish port town, has been called the “hidden jewel of Ireland” and is one of the best weekend breaks available in the country. During your stay in Cobh, visitors can enjoy exploring its charming streets lined with pastel-colored houses, dining on fresh seafood from local restaurants, or visiting St Colman’s Cathedral for stunning views of the area.

    The area is also known for its great music scene and vibrant pubs where you can hear traditional Irish music being played live. With its unique culture and history, Cobh offers something for everyone who visits this beautiful part of Ireland.


    Historic mansion near the water under a grey sky.

    Wexford is a charming coastal town in Ireland, located just an hour and a half from Dublin. With its picturesque countryside, historic sites, and serene beaches, Wexford is the perfect destination for a weekend break.

    Take in the sights at Johnstown Castle Estate or explore the ancient ruins of Selskar Abbey. Wexford has plenty to offer those looking for a bit of history mixed with modern charms. T

    here are also plenty of walking trails along the beach if you’re looking for some exercise and fresh air. Plus, there’s an array of local eateries and pubs where you can sample some traditional Irish cuisine like bacon and cabbage or hearty beef stew!


    Aerial view of the coast with blue waters and green lands.

    Waterford is a city steeped in history, with a unique local culture and captivating scenery. From its vibrant nightlife to its delightful restaurants and attractions, there is something to suit all tastes. Waterford has something to offer for everyone, making it one of the best destinations for weekend breaks in Ireland.

    The city boasts many historical sites, such as Reginald’s Tower, the oldest remaining urban civic building in Ireland that has been in use for 800 years.

    Waterford has a range of delicious culinary experiences, from excellent seafood restaurants to traditional Irish pubs with live music. The city is surrounded by stunning countryside offering breathtaking views and providing plenty of opportunities for leisurely strolls or hikes along the coast or through rolling hills and forests.

    Don’t forget to learn all about the Waterford Crystal on a visit here, either.

    Connemara National Park

    A cobblestone path leading through a green landscape.

    Connemara National Park is one of the most picturesque places for a weekend break in Ireland. The lush greenery, combined with breathtaking mountain and sea views, is guaranteed to set any nature lover’s heart alight.

    From wandering through meadows of wildflowers to exploring the mountainside and its diverse wildlife, there’s so much to do here. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or an adventure-filled getaway, Connemara National Park has something for everyone.

    If you want to explore the park further, there are plenty of walking trails, ranging from easy strolls around lakes and forests to longer treks through rugged terrain. You can also rent bicycles or take guided tours; the area is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.


    A big white windmill under a blue sky.

    With plenty of activities and attractions to choose from, Tralee is a great place to explore at any time of the year. From its beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes to its vibrant history and culture, Tralee has something for everyone.

    Here, visitors can take part in traditional Irish music festivals and see sports tournaments like Gaelic football. There are also plenty of restaurants offering delicious local cuisine that will make your taste buds sing!

    And if you ever need a break from exploring the countryside, you can always take a stroll through one of Tralee’s many parks or visit some of its historical sites like nearby Blennerville Windmill or Ballygarry Castle Hotel & Spa.

    What sets Tralee apart from other weekend destinations is its welcoming atmosphere which makes it perfect for all kinds of visitors. With locals renowned for their warm hospitality, friendly conversations over pints at one of the town’s pubs is never far away no matter where you go!


    Giant blue lake surrounded by green forest.

    Sligo, a small village located in County Mayo, is one of the best weekend spots in Ireland, thanks to its stunning natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. From fishing to hiking or biking, there are plenty of options for everyone looking to get out and explore the great outdoors.

    The village itself is picturesque, with its winding streets lined with colorful houses and beautiful views over the surrounding landscape. Plus, Sligo’s close proximity to the sea means that visitors can take in some of the breathtaking views of Ireland’s west coast as well.

    Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure or just want to relax by the seaside, Sligo has something for everyone and makes for a perfect weekend break in Ireland!

    The Ring of Kerry

    Aerial view of lakes surrounded by grass.

    The Ring of Kerry is one of the best weekend breaks in Ireland because it offers a unique mix of culture, stunning landscapes, and beautiful coastal scenery. It has something to offer every visitor – whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-packed family holiday.

    The drive around the Ring of Kerry takes in breathtaking views across sweeping valleys and jagged cliffs, as well as charming villages steeped in centuries of history. As you drive along the winding roads, you’ll pass through quaint towns and villages that offer unique experiences like traditional Irish music, stories about the past, and legendary pub fare.

    And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself here on a sunny day, there are plenty of amazing beaches where you can relax and take in the sea air.

    🚗 Don’t forget to book your Ireland rental car! Click here to check rates. 🚗

    Final Thoughts: Weekend Breaks in Ireland

    From Dublin to Galway and everywhere in between, Ireland is a magical place perfect for weekend breaks. Enjoy art galleries, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and incredible food – all while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

    Unwind with some of the world’s best whiskey or a pint of Guinness; relax in luxury hotels or cozy B&Bs; explore ancient castles or go biking through rolling fields. A weekend break in Ireland will surely be packed with adventure and unforgettable moments!

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