The Complete Guide to visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Rugged Cliffs rising out of the ocean at sunset.

Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is a must on every Wild Atlantic Way Road trip, in fact, the Cliffs of Moher, is one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland and a must on every bucket list.

It is not hard to see why they are the best cliffs in Ireland, the incredible cliffs rise out of the Atlantic ocean to an incredible height of 214 meters and stretch for more than eight kilometres.

It is hard to image the enormity of these cliffs until you are standing on the edge of this beautiful rugged coastline, staring out to the Atlantic Ocean and feeling the forceful wind blowing a gale.

The Cliffs of Moher are not just a geographical marvel, they are an image of the outstanding natural beauty that is the Emerald Isle.

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What are the The Cliffs of Moher and why you need to plan a visit

Rugged Cliffs emerging above an ocean

The Cliffs of Moher are located on the West Coast of Ireland in County Clare, along the Wild Atlantic Way. The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most popular sites in all of Ireland. With more than 1 million visitors flocking to take in the views of the rugged cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Cliffs of Moher are known for their stunning sunsets, unique geological formation and is home to much wildlife. Due to the layered formation of the cliffs, the Cliffs of Moher are home to over 30,000 pairs of birds including the Atlantic Puffin.

On a fine day you can catch a view of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands, Loop Head, The Dingle Peninsula and the Blasket Islands just to name a few.

If the allure of stunning scenery, the chance to see an Atlantic Puffin, beautiful sunsets and 320 million year old cliffs isn’t enough to get you to see the Cliffs of Moher, I’m not sure what will.

Read More: The Best guide to Slea Head Drive, Dingle Peninsula

Here is the Complete Guide to Visiting the Cliffs of Moher

We visited the Cliffs of Moher in November and despite the harsh cold winds and the early sunset, this was a great time to visit the Cliffs as there were less tourists vying for the perfect photo opportunity as the sun set over the cliffs.

The Cliffs of Moher are a natural landmark but as with everything, it is handy to know a few things before your trip.

How to get to the Cliffs of Moher

The Irish are big believers that it is the journey that is important and not the destination. However, I think, with the Cliffs of Moher, both are equally as important. The journey to the Cliffs of Moher is a beautiful one and there is lots to see along the way, especially if you take the coastal route along the Wild Atlantic Way.

There are few options for reaching the Cliffs:

By Car

One of the most popular ways of getting to the Cliffs of Moher is to drive. Driving in Ireland is relatively easy, just be mindful of some of the windy, narrow roads and the sheep! As cliché as it sounds, there are sheep that are freely roaming around the roads of Ireland. Don’t forget, they drive on THE LEFT in Ireland.

If you don’t have your own car, it is very easy to hire a car – don’t forget insurance (most travel insurances do not cover car hire, but check your credit card company) or your licence.

The closest airport is Shannon airport which services all main airlines from the USA and Europe and is located an hour from the Cliffs of Moher. The most common routes to the Cliffs of Moher by road are from Galway (1.5 hours), Ennis (40 minutes) and Limerick (1.5 hours). If you are travelling to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin expect it to take over four hours.

There is a car park opposite the visitors center at the Cliffs of Moher and there is plenty of parking – more on fees later.

By Foot

If you are adventurous and like the outdoors your might choose to hike to the Cliffs of Moher. The track runs from a neighbour town of Doolin, from Fisher street along the coast to the cliffs.

From the coastal path you can hike from Doolin to the visitors centre which will take approximately two – three hours. If you choose to continue on to the Hags Head, it will be an additional three hours round trip.

If the weather is nice, you will have fantastic views along the coast, make sure you carry plenty of water and sturdy shoes.

If you are hoping to catch sunset at the cliffs, keep in mind that it will be dark for some of the hike back – maybe have a back-up plan.

By Public Transport

You can take the public transport to the Cliffs of Moher direct from Galway Bus station. Bus connections are also avilable to and from Shannon, Dublin, Corck and Knock aiports but bus transfers are likely. During the summer there are up to 5 services a day between Ennis and Galway and three services during other times of the year.

Visit Bus Eireann for more information on visiting the Cliffs of Moher by bus.

If you would rather take the train you can get a train to Ennis, via Limerick and then take the bus from Ennis or you can take the train to Galway and catch a bus from Galway.

Visit Irish Rail for more information.

Entry to the Cliffs of Moher

Now, it is up to you how you view this one, you are either paying for a ticket into the Cliffs of Moher and you get free parking, or you’re paying for parking and getting free entrance into the Cliffs of Moher

Let me explain…..

We found our tickets were only checked going into the car park – hence why I like to think we paid for parking and visiting the Cliffs of Moher was free!

You can purchase your tickets as you enter the car park for the Cliffs of Moher or you can purchase your tickets online. Tickets purchased at the gate cost 10€ per adult and 9€ for seniors and students. You can also purchase a family ticket for 20€, keep in mind that children under 12 can enter for free.

If you know roughly what time you’re planning on visiting the Cliffs of Moher, you can purchase your tickets online ahead of time, we booked our tickets online on the way.

It is advisable to book your tickets online so you do not miss out on visiting the Cliffs of Moher.

Tickets are also cheaper online which is fantastic if you are travelling on a budget. The prices online vary depending on the time of time day. For adults tickets for 8 am – 11 am are 7€, 11 am – 4 pm are 10€ and 4 pm – close are 8€.

How to visit the Cliffs of Moher for Free

If you’re travelling on a budget, you will be glad to know that it is possible to visit the Cliffs of Moher without having to pay a single cent. However, nothing in life is truly free!! To access the Cliffs without having to pay an entrance free you will need to walk from either Doolin or Lahinch.

However, if you would like to access O’Briens Tower you will need to pay the 4€ to enter the tower.

Things to do whilst visiting the Cliffs of Moher

O’Briens Tower

Sir Cornelious O’Brien built the tower in 1835 to act as a viewing platform the many tourists that visited the Cliffs. As the tower is the highest point on the Cliffs you can see as far as the Loop Head peninsular, the Aaron Islands, the Inisheer lighthouse and Kerry Mountains – on a clear day of course.

The entrance to the tower is not included in your entry and costs an additional 4€ to enter the tower.

The Hags Head

The Hags Head is the most southern point of the Cliffs of Moher. It is named so because the rocky formations appear as if there is a woman’s head looking out to see.

At Hags Head you can also visit the ruins known as Moher Tower

The Visitors Centre

The eco-friendly visitor centre has a permanent display about the Cliffs of Moher including the geographical background, the formation of the cliffs, the wildlife and of course, the history of the Cliffs of Moher. There are some beautiful photographs on display and interactive activities for children. Make sure you leave enough time to visit the cinema room to view the animated film which takes you on a journey above and below sea level. Of course, you can find a cafe, gift shop (if photography is not your thing, buy a postcard) and toilets.

Admire the views

If this wasn’t the first thing you had done when you arrived at the Cliffs of Moher, you want to spend some time admiring the gorgeous views of the Cliffs and the Atlantic ocean. It is a beautiful place to watch the sunset.

When the Cliffs are crowded I suggest heading away from the vistors center, passed O’Briens Tower and down the path. Along the path you should be able to find a nice vantage spot to enjoy the views. Just be mindful as the path is not paved and can become quite muddy if it has rained.

Bird watching

The Cliffs of Moher are part of a protected area for birds and with over 20 species and 30,000 pairs of birds, there are so many to keep you entertained for hours.

If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Atlantic Puffin.

How long do you need to spend visiting the Cliffs of Moher?

It is recommended that you spend at least two hours at the Cliffs of Moher. This will give you plenty of time to explore the Cliffs and the visitors centre.

Best places to stay when visiting the Cliffs of Moher

I recommend visiting the Cliffs just prior to sunset so you get the best of the day time, golden hour and of course sunset. To maximise your time at the Cliffs of Moher you may choose to stay in Doolin overnight, we were driving on to Galway and it made for a very long drive in the pitch black.

You might want to check out Doolin Inn, Aran View Country House, Fairwinds Guest Accommodation or Hotel Doolin

Tips for visiting the Cliffs of Moher

Remember the cliffs are 214 meters high, be mindful when trying to get the perfect Instagram photo. There are many signs along the Cliffs to help keep you safe, please obey the signs and do not put yourself in harms way.

The Irish weather can be unpredictable so be prepared and bring a jacket and rain coat, yes, even in the summer.

The main areas of the Cliffs are paved but the rest is unpaved natural ground so make sure you are wearing comfortable and sturdy shoes.

Make sure you go visit the toilets in the visitors centre before venturing out to see the Cliffs.

Don’t spend all of your time in the visitors center – make sure you allow a few hours to explore the Cliffs of Moher.

We had driven from Dingle and arrived right on sunset – we felt like we were in a race against time to get there before the sunset. Allow yourself plenty of time to get there and plenty of time to enjoy yourself.

Tours for visiting the Cliffs of Moher

If you would prefer to take a tour rather than explore on your own there are plenty of tours for the Cliffs of Moher, including a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin.

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Have you visited the Cliffs of Moher? Let me know your experience in the comments below

Fiona xoxo

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