Five Stunning Irish Attractions Just Outside Of Dublin

The Republic of Ireland is packed with a wealth of fascinating attractions, but for those who are visiting the country for just a few days, it may be a little overwhelming trying to plan a trip to the outer fringes of the island. Fortunately, there’s a world of opportunity located just outside of Dublin. From eons-old UNESCO World Heritage Sites to towering mountain ranges, the following destinations are all perfectly suited for anyone who wants to gain some insight into the beauty of Ireland without straying too far from the capital.

Slane Distillery

There’s no shortage of spectacular distilleries scattered all across Ireland, but when it comes to stunning scenery, few can compare to Slane. Housed within a restored centuries-old stable complex, this cozy facility is located steps away from the historic Slane Castle, a massive fortress that was constructed back in the late 1700s. While the distillery is best known for its fragrant and flavorful whiskey aged in new oak, ex-sherry, and ex-Tennessee whiskey barrels, Slane is also a pioneer in the realm of sustainability. From installing a rainwater catchment system to constructing a salmon ladder to support local fish populations, Slane Distillery is truly dedicated to keeping the Emerald Isle at its most emerald.

Wicklow Mountains National Park

A paradise for visiting nature lovers, this rugged preserve serves as the largest national park in the Republic of Ireland, spanning roughly 50,000 acres along Ireland’s Wicklow Mountain range. Rife with towering cascades, Glenmacnass Waterfall is a popular destination surrounded by lush greenery, while Glendalough’s Upper Lake has earned widespread acclaim thanks to its abundant wildlife and endless opportunity for a leisurely hike. For birders in particular, the area is home to over 100 different avian species ranging from tiny finches to fierce peregrine falcons, and lucky visitors may be able to spot a badger, pine marten, or Irish stoat slinking through the woods.


Located just thirty minutes from downtown Dublin, the charming village of Enniskerry is the perfect jumping-off point for experiencing the stunning beauty of County Wicklow. Upon arrival, visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the heart of the village, stopping at the Enniskerry Inn for roast chicken and lentil curry paired with a local draft ale. After a hearty lunch, be sure to make the short trip southwest to find the Powerscourt House & Gardens, an opulent 1700s-era palace adorned with verdant flower beds and carefully-manicured Japanese-style arrangements.


For those seeking a beachside escape just past the city, Skerries is one of County Fingal’s most popular getaways. From the centuries-old Skerries Mills to sandy South Beach to charming cafes, this idyllic village is packed full of attractions—but one of the area’s coolest destinations can be found just past the shore. Known as St Patrick’s Island, this pristine spit of land is rumored to have briefly served as a sanctuary for the eponymous missionary after he was driven off the mainland at Wicklow. While there are no humans living on the island today, it does host a large population of native Irish seabirds including cormorants, plovers, and terns.

Brú na Bóinne

History buffs take note—this esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to almost 2,000 acres packed with a wealth of Neolithic ruins. While there are roughly 90 historic landmarks to discover around here, there are three distinct archaeological relics in particular that serve as the main draw for visitors. Known as Knowth, Newgrange, and Dowth, these ancient tombs are covered in intricate carvings that were forged long before the pyramids of Egypt were constructed, providing visitors with a small glimpse into the culture of the bygone communities that called Ireland home eons ago.