The Cliffs of Moher on the edge of County Clare offer some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Ireland. The sea cliffs are some of the highest in Europe, sitting 680 feet above the crashing waves of the Atlantic. The stunning views stretch for miles as the cliffs weave in and out along the rugged coastline. Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is one of the best things to see on your Irish vacation, but there are many ways to get more out the experience by knowing exactly what to do and where else to go nearby.
Why to Visit
The Cliffs of Moher are the most popular tourist attraction in Ireland. The incredible beauty of the area is what draws most people to this western part of the Emerald Isle. At their highest point, the cliffs rise to 702 feet in elevation, making them the second tallest sea cliffs in Ireland behind the Slieve League in County Donegal.
The area has several walkways and viewing platforms for appreciating the beauty of the area. The most famous landmark near the entrance to the visitor’s center is O’Brien’s Tower. The lookout point was built in the 19th century by a wealthy local man named Cornelius O’Brien who wanted to appeal to the "strangers visiting the Magnificent Scenery of this neighbourhood."
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 – some of Ireland’s highest mountain.
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 contains fascinating exhibits about the history of the cliffs and how they were formed.
The cliffs are also designated as a special protected area for breeding sea birds. Some of the wildlife you may see include kittiwakes, peregrine falcons, and even puffins who cling to the windswept cliff sides. Whales and dolphins are also often spotted in the water at the base of the cliffs.
Costs and Hours
Costs to visit the Cliffs of Moher include all-day parking, access to the visitor’s center as well as to the cliffs themselves. The price depends on the type of ticket and if you are visiting during peak hours. Booking tickets online can save up to 50% of the cost.
|Cliffs of Moher Prices|
|Category||In Person||Online for
8 am - 10:59 am
11 am - 3:59 pm
4 pm - Close
*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 am to 5 pm
- March – April: 8 am to 7 pm
- May – August: 8 am to 9 pm
- September – October: 8 am to 7 pm
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 am and 4 pm, so early morning is the best time to go if you want to have more space to yourself.
- Booking tickets online can mean saving up to 50% depending on if you choose to visit during peak or off-peak hours. (See costs above)
- To see the cliffs from a very different vantage point, consider booking a boat tour to skirt the coastline below.
- The center is full of interesting information about the geology and history of the area and includes a special exhibit known as the Atlantic’s Edge. The center is also where visitors can find services including bathrooms, a gift shop, and a café with hot meals as well as small snacks.
- 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.
- 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 3-hour walk away.
Things to do Nearby
The Cliffs of Moher are a stunning natural wonder, but they are not the only spectacular landscape in the area. The Burren, which is a short drive away, is a rocky area that looks more like a moonscape than an earthly corner of Ireland. The area makes up one of Ireland’s six natural parks and its other-worldly landscape is well worth exploring.
While exploring the Burren, stop into the Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre. The caves are some of the oldest in Ireland and visitors can take a 30-minute guided walk through the caverns to see a frozen waterfall as well as 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 hawk, owls, falcons and eagles.
The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most famous stops on the Wild Atlantic Way, but there are many other places to see on the drive. 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.
The Cliffs of Moher are only about a 40-minute drive from Galway. The lively 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.