If you’re looking for the best way to see the Cliffs of Moher, this guide should come in handy.
Located in the beautiful Burren region, the Cliffs of Moher stretch for an impressive 13km and stand proudly above the Atlantic at 702 feet in height.
I’ve visited Clare’s famous cliffs 20+ times over the years and have seen them from the ‘main’ access point, the two coastal walks and the sea (each has its pros and cons).
Below, you’ll find everything from how to avoid getting shafted on Cliffs of Moher parking costs to things to do nearby.
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting the Cliffs of Moher
Although a visit to the Cliffs of Moher is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Pay particular attention to the point about parking/ticket prices, as you can be easily fooled into paying much more than you need to.
Always avoid the cliff edge. The ground is VERY uneven in places, the wind can be incredibly strong and, sadly, tragedies have happened where people have fallen from the Cliffs of Moher after getting too close to the edge.
You have several different Cliffs of Moher parking options, but they’ll be dependant on you/your groups fitness levels along with what kind of experience you’re after. I personally think the parking set up pushes people to pay more than is needed. See why (and how to save money) in the section below.
4. Ticket prices
Cliffs of Moher tickets vary price-wise. If you arrive up to the kiosk, it’ll cost you €12 p/p. If you book online, it’ll cost you:
- €7 for a morning visit
- €10 for an afternoon visit
- €8 for an evening visit
5. Opening hours
Like most tourist attractions in Ireland, the opening hours for the Cliffs of Moher changes depending on the season:
- Jan, Feb, Nov and Dec: 09:00 – 17:00
- Mar, Apr, Sept and Oct: 08:00 – 19:00
- May to Aug: 08:00 – 21:00
6. Getting the bus
If you’re not driving, you can get the bus to the Cliffs of Moher. It’s the 350 Bus Eireann route that leaves from Galway and that passes through, Kinvara, Ballyvaughan and Doolin, to name a few.
7. Best way to visit
The best way to visit the Cliffs of Moher will be dependant on your group. If you don’t fancy a long walk, head to the main visitor entrance. If you fancy a long ramble, there’s the Doolin Cliff Walk and the Liscannor Walk. If you want a unique experience, take the ferry from Doolin.
How to avoid paying hefty Cliffs of Moher parking fees
When it comes to the Cliffs of Moher parking, there are two different scenarios that take place.
I’m going to give you examples – legally, I can’t tell you to do the second one, so remember this is all hypothetical.
Scenario 1: You go the ‘official’ route
So, you and 2 friends want to visit Moher. You arrive up to the Cliffs of Moher car park and pay €36 in total.
This gives you access to the visitor centre, exhibition and O’Brien’s Tower. However, you just end up going to see the cliffs on their own.
A very expensive parking experience to say the least.
Scenario 2: You drop your friends off outside
Again, you and 2 friends want to visit the cliffs. When you reach the car park you’re sat waiting in the queue.
You let your friends out of the car and they walk to the entrance and wait for you. You pay €12 for parking and you head in to meet your friends.
You can’t go up the tower but the view from there is pretty similar to ground level. You pay €12 between 3 rather than €36 for your Cliffs of Moher tickets… Again, this is all hypothetical.
The best way to see the Cliffs of Moher if you want to avoid crowds
Although there are plenty of things to do in Clare, a visit to Moher reins supreme. The result? It can get very busy at times.
There are 4 ways to visit the Cliffs of Moher that’ll ensure you dodge the crowds.
Now, while the second and third points below are perfectly legal and all above board, the first is more than likely frowned upon.
Frowned upon, but I know lots of people that have done it.
1. Arrive before the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre opens
I’ve heard that the best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher is very early in the morning, before the visitor centre/parking opens up.
According to a friend that’ll remain nameless, he recently made a trip to the Cliffs of Moher at 05:00 (the sun starts to rise from around 05:05 in Ireland in June).
The car park was closed, but he parked outside, not far from the barrier, in away from the road. He then walked to the Cliffs and had the whole place to himself as the sun rose.
Disclaimer: I’m advising that you don’t do this. If you did want to visit early in the morning, you’d have to ensure you get there very early to avoid blocking staff from entering the car park.
2. Arrive at Sunset
I’d argue that the best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher is just before the sun sets. One October, myself and one of the lads (Mayo Declan) ended up in Doolin for a night, and managed to get up to the cliffs just before the sun started to set.
It was pretty damn special (see the photo above). In and around sunset at the Cliffs of Moher tends to be quiet. Now, when we were there it was Ireland’s off-season, so there was only a handful of people there, anyway.
However, I’ve spoken to a load of people over the years that have visited at sunset, and they said it was reasonably quiet for them, also.
Tour companies tend to visit the cliffs in the morning and afternoon, with few offering (I’ve only seen one) late evening trips. Well worth doing!
3. Cliffs of Moher boat tours
Arguably the best way to see the Cliffs of Moher is via the sea on one of the Cliffs of Moher boat tours (affiliate link).
You can climb aboard a ferry at Doolin Pier or Galway and you’ll sail below the cliffs. Out of all the ways that I’ve seen the cliffs over the years, this was the most unique, by far.
There’s another tour that you can do that takes you from Doolin to the Aran Islands. Then, on the return journey, you’ll sail below the cliffs.
4. Try one of the cliff walks
If you’re looking to visit the Cliffs of Moher for free, you can do one of the cliff walks.
Whack ‘Cliffs of Moher Liscannor Walk‘ into your sat nav. You’ll get parking here (it was €4 when I was here last) and you can take a handy 15 to 20-minute walk up to the viewing point across from Hag’s Head.
I tend to recommend this to people that have no other option but to visit at peak times and that want to avoid a crowd where possible (the Doolin Cliff walk is another good option!).
While you’ll still encounter plenty of people here during peak time, it’ll be nowhere near the number of people at the side near the main entrance.
Getting to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick
One of the most common questions that we receive revolves around getting to the Cliffs of Moher from Galway, Dublin and Limerick.
As a visit to Moher is one of the most popular things to do in Ireland, there are a few different ways to do it from many major towns and cities:
- Driving: It’s a handy hour drive from Galway City
- Bus: The 350 bus from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher is your best bet
- Cliffs of Moher tours from Galway: This tour takes you from Galway to Moher via the Burren
- Driving: 2 hours and 50 minutes
- Bus: The Dublin to Cliffs of Moher bus route isn’t ideal – you take the M7 from Dublin City to Ennis, then the 350 bus from Ennis to the cliffs – total time: 5 hours and 30 minutes
- Cliffs of Moher tours from Dublin: This tour leaves from Dublin and includes Dunguaire Castle, Moher and lots more
- Driving: 1 hour and 5 minutes
- Bus: The Limerick to Cliffs of Moher bus route is handy enough – you take the 300 bus from Limerick to Ennis, then the 350 bus from Ennis to the cliffs – total time: 3 hours
- Cliffs of Moher tours from Limerick: This is a scenery-packed day trip from Limerick
- Driving: 2.5 hours
- Bus: You need to get a bus and train. It’d be handier to take an organised tour
- Cliffs of Moher tours from Cork: This is a full day tour from Cork with great reviews
Update: The Cliffs of Moher shuttle bus no longer operates
There used to be a very convienent Cliffs of Moher shuttle bus that served Ennistymon, Lahinch, Liscannor, Doolin, Lisdoonvarna.
However, this is no longer running for some reason, which is a shame. However, you can still get a bus to the Cliffs of Moher with Bus Eireann (see timetable).
Things to do near the Cliffs of Moher
One of the beauties of Moher is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other attractions, both man-made and natural.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to near the Cliffs of Moher (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
The mighty little village of Doolin is one of the most popular places to visit near the Cliffs of Moher and it’s home to everything from Doonagore Castle to the Doolin Cave. Here are some Doolin guides to nip into:
- 13 of the best things to do in Doolin
- 9 great Doolin restaurants for a tasty feed
- 4 pubs in Doolin that are perfect for post-adventure pints
2. The Aran Islands
3. The Burren
The Burren National Park is home to some incredible things to see and do. From the brilliant Burren walks and Father Ted’s House, to Poulnabrone Dolmen, Fanore Beach, the Aillwee Caves and much, much more.
Cliffs of Moher FAQs (yes, a scene from Harry Potter was filmed here…)
We’ve received many different questions about the cliffs over the years (mainly relating to the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter link…). I’m going to try and answer the most common below.
If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, just ask it in the comments section below this guide.
Was Harry Potter Filmed at the Cliffs of Moher?
Yes. A scene from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was filmed at the cliffs. Remember the scene where Dumbledore and Harry travelled to a cave to locate one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes? That was shot in one of the caves at the Cliffs of Moher.
Do you have to pay for the Cliffs of Moher?
No, you do not need to pay in to see the Cliffs of Moher. You do have to pay for the car park (€12 per person) and into the visitor centre (it’s free in if you pay for parking) but if you don’t have a car, it’s FREE to see the cliffs.
When is the best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher?
If you can, try and arrive just before sunset. It tends to be quieter before the sun drops and, on a clear day, the view you’ll be treated to is out of this world.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.