Complete Guide to the Cliffs of Moher

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The Cliffs of Moher are nothing less than awe-inspiring, a natural wonder famous for its sheer beauty and the dramatic coastal views. There’s a reason that the Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s #1 Visitor Attraction. The site where the Cliffs of Moher Experience sits is perched atop the Cliffs, with breathtaking views towards the Aran Islands and the boundless Atlantic Ocean. Make this stop on your Wild Atlantic Way itinerary or as an excursion from Galway or day trip from Dublin.

If you’re planning to visit Ireland, you should work out how best to incorporate the Cliffs of Moher into your itinerary. You can self-organise or leave the driving to a tour company. Both options are explained in this Complete Guide.


Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience

As I had family nearby, I was lucky enough to spend time at the Cliffs of Moher as a child. The Visitor Centre was built in the 1990s, and I just about remember the Cliffs with no facilities, nor much in the way of protection! Happily, nowadays, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is a well-planned location with an interpretative centre, food options, toilets and secure locations from which to get the best views. Added to that there’s great hikes nearby for people who want to spend more time here, and even a Cliffs of Moher Cruise option to catch the Cliffs and their sealife from a boat.

Location & Details

The Cliffs of Moher are high sea cliffs on the coast of County Clare, in the area known as the Burren. They stretch from the area called the Hag’s Head in the South to their highest point (702 feet / 214 metres) near the stone tower called O’Brien’s Tower (see below). The Centre is about 6km from Liscannor and 7km from Doolin (where I stayed). It’s easiest to reach the Cliffs of Moher car park by car (if you self-organise), or use an organised trip if you don’t want to drive.

Tours that visit the Cliffs of Moher

There’s a wide range of tours leaving from Dublin or Galway, which include the Cliffs of Moher. These tours are some of the most popular visitor tours in Ireland.

From Dublin – Cliffs of Moher, Burren & Galway City Day Tour

12 hours, 2 hours at Cliffs of Mother, #1 most popular tour

From Dublin – Cliffs of Moher, Atlantic Edge & Galway City

12-13 hours, 2 hours at Cliffs of Moher, slightly different routing

From Galway – Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands (Inisheer)

Full day including Cliffs of Moher tickets, ferry to Inisheer, cruise past Cliffs of Moher

How to Visit the Cliffs of Moher on Your Own

It’s straightforward to self-organise a trip to the Cliffs of Moher, as a key stop on your longer itinerary along the Wild Atlantic Way, or visit the Cliffs of Moher from Galway City, which is about a 90 minute drive. The Cliffs are near Doolin, which is a great starting point for a Cliffs of Moher Cruise, a ferry to the Aran Islands, which I’ve used to kick off a bike tour of Inishmore. Prices shown are for 2024. Please note, there are “from” prices, as prices may be slightly higher at peak times of the day.

Adult Tickets – €12 at the gate (€7 if you prebook online)

Student Tickets – €10 at the gate (€7 if you prebook online)

Senior Tickets – €10 at the gate (€7 if you prebook online)

Family Ticket – €24 – includes 2 x adults and 2 x kids <12 (€14 if you prebook online)

Tickets can be purchased from the Cliffs of Moher website here

What is included in your Cliffs of Moher ticket?

A standard ticket gives you access to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre (exhibition, theatre). You can use 800 metres of paved pathway and viewing areas. Access to O’Brien’s Tower is included (see below for more). The ticket includes access to toilets, free wifi, parking, water bottle refills and the area is entirely accessible for people using mobility adaptations.

Cliffs of Moher Parking

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most visited tourist locations in Ireland (over 1.5 million visits a year). There is a large parking lot on the left when heading south along the coast road towards the Cliffs. It is a short walk from the carpark (across the road) to the Centre and main viewing points.

Parking Ticket

The parking ticket is INCLUDED when Cliffs of Moher tickets are purchased for everyone travelling in the vehicle. Everyone in the car at the time of parking is included for the overall cost of access (you can’t leave people in the car, for free).

Hikes & Walking

Your ticket buys access to 800m of safe walking/viewing platforms along the most popular part of the Cliffs. For most visitors, this will be enough. There are flat access portions suitable for wheelchair users, and steps and steep footpaths to reach higher viewpoints.

The Cliffs are part of a popular coastal walk and hikes can start from and end here. The traditional Coastal Hike from the Cliffs of Moher to Doolin is occasionally closed due to its danger. However, the hike from the Cliffs to Hag’s Head is normally open – learn more here.

O’Brien’s Tower | Brief History

At the top of a steep slope (or stairs), lies the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher complex, O’Brien’s Tower.

It was built by a local landlord, Cornellius O’Brien, in 1835 for English tourists to observe the cliffs, and it is believed to have served tea to its visitors. From the Tower there are wonderful views to the Twelve Bens in North, or across the ocean to the Aran Islands.

Cliffs of Moher: Photo Star

For budding photographers, Instagrammers, TikTokers and film-makers, the Cliffs of Moher provides an astonishing backdrop. During my visit, the weather went from torrential to sunny within 30 minutes. It had people running for cover or taking off their cagoules!! All of this makes for great photo opportunities.

Your Cliffs of Moher trip will offer the chance to take a LOT of photographs! I took way more than shown here, but these were some pictures that I wanted to share.

Where to Stay near the Cliffs of Moher

Here’s a few hotels to consider if you’re visiting the Cliffs of Moher, but staying in Galway.

Insider Tips 

  • PHOTOGRAPHS | As I’ve said, there are a lot of great angles. If you can, go to the highest point to get a better wide angle view of the Cliffs.
  • VISITOR CENTRE | The Centre contains lots of useful information and exhibits and is worth a look. It has access to the toilets.
  • EAT | There are two cafes in the Centre: the Puffin’s Nest Café and Cliffs View Café.
  • SHOP | There are a range of shops tucked under the earth beside the Visitor Centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your question not answered here? Add your question using the comment box below

What city is closest to the Cliffs of Moher?

The closest city to the Cliffs of Moher is Galway. The road network in Ireland is sufficiently good that you CAN include the Cliffs of Moher on a full day trip from Dublin.

How long do you need at Cliffs of Moher?

It depends what you want to see and do. If you literally want to stop and shoot (a photo), you can get from your car to take a photo and back in 20 minutes. But you shouldn’t do that. Since you’ve come this far, and if you feel up to it, take some time to walk along the Cliffs of Moher coastal path. Enjoy the Cliffs of Moher centre – there’s a place to grab coffee or a lunch, and of course you could take the Cliffs of Moher cruise which this article is about. I’d schedule 1.5-2 hours for just the Cliffs of Moher to include a lunch or snack.

What is special about the Cliffs of Moher?

The view from atop the Cliffs of Moher is one of the most spectacular views in the world and I say that having visited 60 countries worldwide. It’s been attracting visitors for hundreds of years and is Ireland #1 visitor attraction.

Where are the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland?

The Cliffs of Moher are on the Western coast of Ireland. They are a key stop on the Wild Atlantic Way and possible to reach on a day trip from Galway or a day trip from Dublin.

BOOK A TRIP FROM GALWAY BOOK A TRIP FROM DUBLIN
What to wear to the Cliffs of Moher?

The weather on the Western coast of Ireland such as at the Cliffs of Moher can be changeable and a little wild, even in Summer. Bring layers including one waterproof jacket. Umbrellas are good, but only if they are windproof. You might want to read my Packing List for Ireland!

PACKING LIST FOR IRELAND
Can you drive to the Cliffs of Moher?

Yes, of course you can drive to the Cliffs of Moher! There’s a large car park (well signposted) on site. You will have to pay an entrance fee (payable at the entrance to the car park). The road network in parts of the West of Ireland is very narrow, especially for some overseas visitors. If you’re cautious about that, it’s better to take an all-in-one day trip to include transport from either Galway or Dublin.

Is the Cliffs of Moher free?

In one way, the Cliffs of Moher are free because they are simply part of nature and the landscape. In reality, there is a fee for the Cliffs of Moher visitor experience. If you arrive by car, the car parking fee includes your admission to the visitor experience.

There is a “free” way to visit the Cliffs of Moher, kind of… If you feel able, you can do a cliff walk, such as the Liscannor Walk. You’ll still pay around €5 for car parking at the start of the Walk (put it into Google Maps to find the car park), and then you can walk around 20 minutes to the Cliffs of Moher with no further payment. The walk itself is beautiful.

Are the Cliffs of Moher dangerous?

Yes, the Cliffs of Moher are dangerous. If you were to wander off the approved track and to slip, you could be seriously injured or even worse. When I was a child (back in the annals of time), there were no (or few) protective barriers at the Cliffs of Moher. Nowadays, there are walls and protective barriers that should keep you safe. However, don’t be foolish and behave irresponsibly.

Can I use a drone at the Cliffs of Moher?

Drone use is banned at the Cliffs of Moher. I love a bit of drone footage for my YouTube videos, but there are signs everywhere showing that drones are not permitted. Apart from permission, the weather and wind can be erratic and very strong here, so for most recreational drone users, you would need to have good experience to handle a modern, light drone. Special permission can be requested from the monument authorities.

Can you walk along the Cliffs of Moher?

Yes, absolutely, you can walk along the Cliffs of Moher in either direction. The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk stretches from Liscannor to Doolin via the Cliffs of Moher Experience. It’s about 20km all-in and would take a strong walker 4-4.5 hours to complete. The trail is medium to high difficulty.

Find the accompanying video for this article below:

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RECOMMENDED HOTELS

Cliffs of Moher Area

High-End, full of character

Ballinalacken Castle Hotel, Co. Galway

Better Value, Local Charm

O’Leary’s Lodge B&B

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I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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