The Cliffs of Moher: The Complete Guide

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
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Cliffs of Moher

Address
Cliffs of Moher, Lislorkan North, Co. Clare, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher—on the edge of County Clare—offer some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Ireland. At their highest point, they rise to 702 feet in elevation, making them the country's second tallest sea cliffs behind the Slieve League in County Donegal. The stunning views stretch for miles as the cliffs weave in and out along the rugged coastline.

Visiting this bucket list attraction is one of the best things to do in Ireland, but there are many ways to get more out the experience by knowing exactly what to do and where else to go nearby.

Things to Do

Check out the visitor's center: A state-of-the-art visitor’s center has been built into the side of a small rise in the landscape to minimize its impact on the landscape itself. The center is full of interesting exhibits about the geology and history of the area, as well as a café and gift shop.

Climb O'Brien's Tower: The most famous landmark—near the entrance to the visitor’s center—is O’Brien’s Tower. This lookout point was built in the 19th century by a local man named Cornelius O'Brien who wanted to appeal to the "strangers visiting the Magnificent Scenery of this neighbourhood."

Take in the breathtaking views: From the tower and the surrounding areas along the cliffs, visitors can see out west to the Aran Islands or all the way north to the Twelve Bens, one of Ireland’s highest mountain ranges. You'll find several walkways and viewing platforms where you can fully appreciate the beauty of this part of the Emerald Isle.

Marvel at wildlife: The Cliffs of Moher are also a designated protected area for breeding sea birds. Some of the wildlife you may see include kittiwakes, peregrine falcons, and puffins who cling to the windswept cliff faces, as well as whales and dolphins swimming at their base.

Explore nearby attractions on foot: Most of the crowds stay close to the visitor’s center. To really connect with the cliffs, take a walk. Head south to Hag’s Head, a rock formation that looks like a woman in the sea. The landmark is about an hour away on foot. For a longer stroll, head north towards the village of Doolin. The traditional west Ireland village is about a three-hour walk away.

Cost and Hours

The cost to visit the Cliffs of Moher includes all-day parking and access to the visitor’s center. The price depends on the type of ticket and if you are visiting during peak hours. Booking tickets online can save up to 50 percent of the cost.

Cliffs of Moher Prices
Category In Person Online for
8 a.m. – 10:59 a.m.
Online for
11 a.m. – 3:59 p.m.
Online for
4 p.m. – Close
Adult €8 €4 €8 €4
Under 16* Free Free Free Free
Student
(with ID)
€7 €4 €7 €4
Senior
(over 65)
€5 €4 €5 €5

*Up to four children 0-16 years of age can visit for free with one paying adult.

These prices technically only apply to visitors who drive to the cliffs and park in the designated area and/or use the visitor's center. However, there is no other nearby parking. The only way to access the cliffs for free is to walk from Doolin or Lahinch.

The cost of the general ticket to visit the cliffs does not include access to O’Brien’s Tower. Adult admission for the tower is €4. Children under 16 are admitted for free with a paying adult.

Visiting hours depend on the season, though ticket prices remain the same. The cliffs and the visitor’s center are open on the following schedule (with the last admission allowed 20 minutes before closing time): 

  • November – February: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • March – April: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • May – August: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • September – October: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Tips for Visitors

  • The cliffs are stunning on clear days when visitors can see how far they stretch into the distance. However, the natural wonder is just as pretty on winter days when the fog adds a supernatural feel to the landscape.
  • The busiest times of year are from April through September. Peak visiting hours are between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., so early morning is the best time to go if you want to have more space to yourself.
  • To see the cliffs from a different vantage point, consider booking a boat tour to skirt the coastline below.
  • The visitor’s center can potentially close due to high winds. Do not attempt to visit if the area has been closed because of gusty conditions. You can track the wind yourself online or call the visitor’s center for weather condition updates at +353 65 708 6141.
  • O’Brien’s tower may be closed even if the general area remains open, so tickets to this viewing platform can only be purchased on-site, depending on the weather conditions.
  • Visitors should take care while walking along the cliff trails during wet weather, in high winds, or immediately following the rain. The pathways are not paved and can become muddy and slippery. Good shoes will help give you strong footing, even if you don’t plan to walk far.

Things to Do Nearby

The Cliffs of Moher are a stunning natural wonder, but they are not the only spectacular landscape in the area.

Drive a little more than 10 miles to explore the Burren, which makes up one of the country's six natural parks and looks more like a moonscape than an earthly corner of Ireland. While you're there, stop into the Aillwee Caves, which are some of the oldest in Ireland. Visitors can take a 30-minute guided walk through the caverns to see a frozen waterfall and unique fossils. The cave’s location on a Burren mountain also offers wonderful views of Galway Bay. The Aillwee Cave complex visit can be combined with a ticket to the Birds of Prey Centre, which has daily flying shows and a strong conservation program for hawks, owls, falcons, and eagles.

If a drive up the Wild Atlantic Way isn't already on your itinerary, it should be. The Cliffs of Moher may be one of the more famous stops, but there are plenty of other places to see along the way. The route starts in Kinsale in County Cork to the south, but it is best to navigate north so that you are always on the ocean side of the road. From the Cliffs of Moher, we recommend heading towards Achill Island, one of Ireland’s prettiest isles.

And, if you' want to check out one of Ireland's livelier cities, the Cliffs of Moher are only about a 40-minute drive from Galway. The buzzing university town is a great place to stop for an evening to hear live music at a pub, learn about the medieval history of the area, or simply have a great meal.

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How to Visit Ireland's Stunning Cliffs of Moher