The Glendalough car park situation can be a nightmare, if you don’t plan ahead.
There are three main Glendalough parking areas (two paid, one free) and they fill up fast on fine days.
Below, you’ll find a map with each of the car parks along with some handy info that’ll save you a bit of hassle.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Glendalough car park set up
So, Glendalough parking is fairly straightforward once you know the lay-of-the-land. Take 20 seconds to read the points below:
1. There’s plenty of places to park
There are three main Glendalough car parks – the Upper Lake Car Park, the Lower Lake Car Park and the free car park in Laragh. The Upper and Lower car parks are located closer to Glendalough Monastery and the lakes but the free car park in Laragh is still within walking distance.
2. But they fill up fast
Even with all the Glendaough parking options mentioned above, the three car parks still fill up very quickly during the peak tourist season and especially on sunny days. If you are planning a trip to Glendalough during the peak season, make sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment or check out one of the car-free alternatives so you don’t need to worry about parking.
3. Handy car-free alternatives
If you don’t have a car or don’t drive, don’t worry there are still a couple of options for you to get to Glendalough. There is a daily bus from Dublin to Glendalough as well as a bunch of different options through organised tours. Read on for more information about how to get to Glendalough without a car.
4. Be respectful
There have unfortunately been multiple incidents of visitors abandoning their cars in the road, making them impassable for other cars and more importantly, impassable for emergency services. Please be respectful of your fellow visitors and the locals and park only in designated Glendalough parking areas.
The different Glendalough parking areas (and prices)
Here’s a speed overview of each of the Glendalough car parks, including prices and opening hours (note: these may change).
See our Glendalough hikes guide if you’re looking to tackle a ramble while you’re there.
1. The Upper Lake Car Park
The Upper Lake Car Park at Glendalough is the starting point for most of the hikes in the area and is usually the most popular place for National Park visitors to park.
It is located inside Wicklow Mountains National Park right next to the Upper Lake. Unfortunately, this is usually the first car park to fill up. It cost €4 to park here for the day and there’s a toilet on-site.
The car park opens around 08:00 each morning and closing time varies depending on the season so make sure to look out for posted signs to avoid being clamped.
2. The Lower Car Park
The Lower Lake Car Park is located right by Glendalough Visitor Centre and Monastic City. This is the place to park if you are visiting either of those. It is also just a 20 minute walk along The Green Road into the National Park to the Upper Lake.
It is run by the OPW and costs €4 to park your car here for the day. Like the upper lake car park, the closing hours for this car park may vary so make sure to pay attention to posted signs to avoid getting clamped.
3. Laragh (free)
The car park in Laragh is well signposted and is located next to the Woollen Mills and GAA grounds. The car park is open daily from 08:00 to 20:00 and is free to park.
Sounds too good to be true, right? The only catch is that this car park is a 3km walk from the Upper Lake which will take you around 45 minutes.
You can head to the Upper Lake by following the Green Road which is a beautiful woodland trail that takes you past the Monastic City and Lower Lake.
There is a free shuttle available from the car park to Glendalough Visitors Centre operating on the weekends and public holidays if you don’t feel like walking there.
Getting to Glendalough without the car
So, if the Glendalough car park situation has put you off driving, worry not.
There’s plenty of ways to get to Glendalough without a car if you’d rather avoid the hassle of driving.
1. St Kevin’s Bus
St Kevin’s Bus offers a daily service to Glendalough from Dublin City Centre. The bus leaves from St. Stephen’s Green North every morning at 11:30 and then again at 18:00 on weekdays and 19:00 on weekends.
Return buses leave from Glendalough at 7:00 and 16:30 on weekdays and 9:45 and 17:40 on weekends. There are often extra buses during the peak season so make sure to check the timetable.
Tickets can be purchased on the bus and are €13 single/ €20 return for adults and €9 single/€15 return for children.
2. Organised tours
There are multiple options for organised tours (links below are affiliate links) that will take you to Glendalough and guide you around the lakes and Monastic City.
Paddywagon offers a guided day tour from Dublin City Centre for €33 per person. There are also quite a few options for day trips to Glendalough that include a trip to Kilkenny.
Collins Day Tours offers guided day tours of Glendalough, the Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny all in one for €35 per person.
FAQs about the Glendalough car park situation
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Which is the cheapest?’ to ‘When do they open?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Where can I park my car in Glendalough?
There are three main Glendalough parking areas; the upper car park, the lower car park and the free Glendalough car park in Laragh.
How much is parking in Glendalough?
The lower and upper lake car park at Glendalough are €4 for the day (note: prices may change).
Where do you park for Glendalough hike?
This will depend on the hike you’re doing. If you fancy a shorter trail, stop in the upper Glendalough parking area as it’s close to most trail start points.
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.