South of Dublin is Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall, a huge estate with gardens that cover 47 acres, and the highest waterfall in Ireland. It’s a great way to spend a relaxing day outside of the city of Dublin and makes for an easy day-trip.
Ireland is a beautiful country that is difficult to visit just once. It has been featured in movies and TV shows like Leap Year, P.S. I Love You, and Star Wars – The Last Jedi (Skellig Michael). The landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful, and the friendliness of the people and culture beckon you to visit again and again. Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall definitely adds to the beauty of an already gorgeous country.
Parking at Powerscourt is free, as is entry to the house, gift shop, and cafe. However, the Gardens and the Waterfall cost extra. Ticket prices vary depending on the season. Click here for their website with hours and prices. The Powerscourt Estate has a current Lord Powerscourt, and he narrates an electronic self-guided audio tour - with the help of two of his cousins - as you walk around the gardens. You can choose between a family-oriented tour with i-spy activities, or a more in-depth historical tour. The family-oriented guides are designated with yellow signs.
The gardens were designed to look like they extend all the way to Sugarloaf mountain. It does take about 1.5-2 hours to cover the main pathways, but the information given in the audio guides keep you entertained while walking and the scenery was beautiful.
A short drive away is Powerscourt Waterfall. It has a separate entry fee that you pay before entering the parking area. The parking lot is a very short walk away from the waterfall. Just go up the hill and you'll see it immediately. We were amazed by all the colors in the rocks behind the waterfall.
It would be nice if they offered a ticket with entry to both the gardens and waterfall at a slight discount, but I think it's still worth it to see both. If you're in the Dublin area, it's a great day trip from the city and gives you a much more relaxed morning or afternoon that what you get in the city.
The good news? If you are in Ireland for a week or two, this is the perfect place to spend an extra day after a 5-day tour. If you prefer to see Dublin and the charming Southwest highlights of Ireland, we recommend taking the Taste of Ireland tour, which is 5 days long and includes a walking tour of Dublin and a traditional Irish song & dance dinner show at the Merry Ploughboy Pub. It also goes to all of our other favorite places in southwest Ireland - the ideal Irish town of Killarney, the amazing Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and it even includes a Medieval Castle Banquet dinner INSIDE Bunratty Castle as a farewell! We couldn’t recommend it more!
Alternatively, you could go north and do the Northern Ireland & Atlantic Coast Small-Group tour where you’ll get to experience all of the highlights of Northern Ireland and the Northwest of the Republic of Ireland. Start with this one and finish with the “Taste of Ireland” above, and you’ll end up seeing ALL OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF IRELAND (Northern Ireland, Dublin, and both the Northwest and Southwest sides of the Republic of Ireland). It’s an amazing pairing that you could easily pull off in 10 days - leaving you time to explore Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin - the most magical 2 weeks of your life and the perfect Ireland adventure!
If you’re looking for other adventures in Ireland, we recommend checking out the Highlights of Ireland deluxe tour, or these budget friendly tours that include Bunratty Castle.
RECOMMENDED DUBLIN HOTELS
Best Luxury Hotel, Experience & Location: The Marker Hotel, Dublin (price varies)
Best Value & Location Hotel: House Dublin (around $119 USD per night)
Best City Experience & Location: Aparto - Binary Hub (as low as $63 USD per night)
Cheapest Decent Hostel & Location + Breakfast: Abbey Court Hostel (as low as $16 USD per night)
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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore