10 tips for visiting the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland to have a fun, safe, & memorable experience!
Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that I have been dreaming about for years.
And we didn’t just visit it once, but twice during our trip to Ireland last fall.
We visited once at sunset/dusk & a second time the next day when we spent several hours walking along the cliffs, enjoy the view, & making the most incredible memories!
I hadn’t originally planned on sharing a post just about the Cliffs of Moher, but I had done so much research prior to our trip, learned so much from personal experiences, & had so many photos I decided it was meant to be!
There are so many different experiences & tips I could share, but I have narrowed them down to the top 10 that I hope will help you as you plan your Ireland vacation!
1. Understanding the Open Hours
Short story: The Cliffs of Moher never close. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center does close in the evening & reopens the next morning.
Be sure to check their website for their seasonal/holiday hours.
Long Story: Before we visited the Cliffs of Moher we both searched the internet trying to figure out & understand the hours.
We read so many different things. We were stumped.
The Cliffs of Moher website has visiting hours, but we saw pictures by bloggers who were there before & after visiting hours.
Were they trespassing? We hadn’t a clue. So we decided to find out for ourselves.
We arrived about 15 minutes before the “open hours” were to end.
As we drove in we noticed that there was no one at the booth to pay for parking (more on parking below) as they had already closed for the day.
So we parked, walked across the road, past the visitor center, & up to the top of the Cliffs of Moher.
There were a few stragglers leaving (I even saw a couple & their twin baby girls who had been on our flight from ATL to Dublin leaving. Crazy, right??), but for the most part, the place was deserted.
Roger & I had the Cliffs of Moher to ourselves & it was the most romantic experience of my life!
2. Visitor Parking
Prices are constantly changing & you can find the visitor parking prices on their website, but the main thing you need to know is that you pay per person.
I read all sorts of threads & posts about not letting your passengers out of the car (like along the road before you park) until you had paid for parking & parked as they may fine you if they catch you doing this.
When you pay for parking you get a ticket so that you have access to the visitor center, clean restrooms, & their different exhibits.
I read online, from people who wrote about experiences years ago, that they lock up the visitors parking after hours & that you have to pay a fee to get out.
We personally did not have this issue nor did we see anyone lock the gates. I actually don’t even remember seeing gates or anyone but tourists that first night.
As we were leaving the Cliffs of Moher the first evening (after the visitor center had been closed for some time) we passed people who appeared to just be arriving.
So either we had read old information that was no longer relevant or they were referencing a different parking area other than the main one in front of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center.
3. The Visitor Center
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center is surprisingly nice & has some really cool features.
Rather than having a massive building they actually built the visitor center right into the side of the mountain.
Inside you will find exhibits, mini-documentary movies, a restaurant, & clean restrooms.
And if you are looking for souvenirs there are booths alongside the outside of the visitor center where you can purchase your souvenirs.
4. 30 Minutes or Whole Day Experience
When you walk past the visitor center, up the hill, you will have the option to go left or right.
While they both have gorgeous views, I personally preferred the right side.
I thought the views were extra spectacular on this side & you can also see sites like the “Cliffs of Insanity” from Princess Bride which you can see in the picture of the rainbow below.
You could spend anywhere from 30 minutes to a whole day walking the trail & taking in the beauty of Ireland.
5. Stone Fence & Pavement
A small portion of the Cliffs of Moher (both to the left & right of the visitor center) has a protective concrete wall for visitors.
This area has both steps & paved slopes so that everyone has access to the gorgeous views.
So if you have a fear of heights or plan to bring a stroller this will be the area you may want to stay at while enjoying the Cliffs of Moher.
6. Dirt, Open Space, & Drop Offs
If you are feeling more adventurous the dirt paths, past the paved areas (both to the left & right) will be more up your alley.
In some areas there is just one dirt path available (especially if the path is going up or down a slope), in other areas, there are two, like the picture above.
The one closer to the fence is obviously the safer one as the one closer the view is often right next to the drop-off.
7. Everchanging Weather
The Cliffs of Moher weather is constantly changing.
On the second day, we arrived to blue skies & minimal wind.
As we started walking along the path to the right it began to sprinkle just in this one area & a rainbow appeared.
And then as we kept walking we entered more blue skies & as you can see from the very first picture above you could see a hazy mist settling on the opposite end of the cliffs.
Depending on the type of weather you are accustomed to (I’m from southeast Tennessee) you may or may not need a jacket.
I am normally cold, but the day we were there was unusually warm.
But I also saw people bundled up as if they expected to see snow or an ice storm appear.
8. Respecting Irish Private Property
As you walk along the path you will notice beautiful cliffs lining the ocean on one side & rolling green fields on the other side.
These fields are surrounded by a bobwire fence to keep tourists from wandering onto their private property.
Luckily you don’t have to step on their property & can easily enjoy both views from the public property along the path.
9. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Most people are going to be cautious once they start walking on the dirt paths, but that doesn’t mean everyone is being safe.
And accidents do happen.
You definitely want to be extra cautious if you decide to move past the protected walled off area to the dirt paths where there is nothing keeping you from stepping right off the edge.
Also, if you plan to take children with you, please keep them nearby.
While we were there I saw from a distance a child (maybe 6 or 7) wandering around by herself climbing over the stone wall to get to the dirt path, running around, & enjoying herself while completely unaware of the danger she was in.
I was terrified she was going to trip & fall off of the cliff.
This child could have fallen or tripped & taken someone down with her.
Either one would have been tragic.
But as long as you keep your eyes on the path & your surroundings while walking you will be just fine.
And if you want to stop & enjoy the view, maybe take a few pictures, there are lots of grassy knolls for you to stop & take a break.
10. Taking Gorgeous Pictures
This place is gorgeous!
You are definitely going to want to stop a million times to take pictures.
Just make sure that when you do you step off of the main trail so that people can pass you & that you stay safe as the cliffs are a sheer drop off.
I have a lot more blog posts on Ireland to help you plan your dream Irish vacation. Click here to read all of my tips & advice posts on Ireland.
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What are you most excited about seeing & doing in Ireland?
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With love, Giusti