By Jessica Russo
Yay! You're finally ready to check the spectacular Cliffs of Moher off your bucket list, and we couldn't be more excited for you. To make your visit the absolute best it can be, check out these tips before you hit the cliffs.
Time your visit wisely
Keep in mind that the Cliffs are most crowded between 11am and 4pm, right after all the tourists wake up, eat their Irish breakfasts, and venture off for the day. This is also the time when many bus tours make stops to this famous site, so you'll most likely spot a view large groups. With that being said, as long as you explore beyond the visitor's center, you'll find room to breathe and roam around - without 20 other tourists photo-bombing your pics. There is so much beauty to see, why stay in one spot?
Check the weather
While the weather in Ireland is always unpredictable, there's a huge difference between a forecast that claims all sun, and one that claims all rain. If possible, choose a sunny day to visit the Cliffs of Moher. While it is still beautiful in the stormiest of weather, you'll want to comfortably enjoy the experience and snap bright photos.
Pack warm clothing and a rain jacket
Be prepared for wild weather mood swings. One minute might be rainy, and the next one might be sunny. Even if you check the forecast for a general idea of the day, no one ever really knows what the weather around the Cliffs will be like. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Pack a scarf, a rain jacket, and waterproof shoes. We hope it stays sunny for you, but in the case that it doesn’t, we don’t want your feet to be all cold and soggy as you explore.
Find the parking lot
Although it's pointed out by signs, many people miss the parking lot. That might be because it's across the road from the Cliffs entrance. Every day, tons of tourists turn into the main entrance, only to turn around and follow the obedient line of cars who knew about the secret lot.
Climb O'Brien's Tower
Sitting at the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher, O’Brien’s Tower is a historical landmark that shouldn’t be missed. Offering incredible architecture and breathtaking views, this famous tour dates back at least 2,000 years. Just be warned: if you decide to climb up (and you should!), the spiral staircase is a bit narrow!
The visitor's center is hidden
Upon arrival, you might think, "Visitor center? Where?" Many people ask the same question, until they look a little bit more carefully. The eco-friendly visitor center is actually nestled into the hillside, which was built that way in order to minimize visual impact on such a scenic location. Instead of a big modern building, this fabulous center filled with a gift shop, exhibition, and cafe find its home inside the green hills of the countryside.
Grab some grub at Cliffs View Café
Cliffs View Café, located inside the visitor center, offers tasty bites and panoramic views of the Cliffs and Liscannor Bay. Nestled inside a hill, this café focuses on serving up home cooked food using local ingredients from County Clare. Cozy up with hot chocolate on a chilly day, or enjoy a refreshing ice cream cone on a sunny one! Whether you’re in the mood for soup, sandwiches, or coffee and a fresh baked scone, the Cliffs View Café is the perfect place to relax after hours of exploration. If you just can’t get enough of the fresh salty air, order your food to go and treat yourself to a lovely cliffside picnic!
Afternoon is best for photos
The Cliffs of Moher face west, which means that your best bet at postcard-worthy pictures is in the later afternoon. Since, as mentioned above, 11am-4pm is the most crowded time, we recommend arriving towards the end of that window for some great shots. Another idea? Visit the Cliffs in the morning, then come back just before dusk for a breathtaking sunset!
Watch the wind
It doesn't just get windy, it gets windy. Like, really windy. Be prepared! The cliffs are jaw-droppingly high and set against the ocean, which creates quite a strong force. Keep your belongings secure, and don't walk too close to the edge!
Yes, there's WiFi.
Free customer WiFi is provided throughout the visitor center and in outdoor areas including at O'Brien's Tower. Feel free to post photos, use your maps app, or even Facetime a friend who couldn't come along on your trip. Just please - we beg you - don't be one of those people who stares at their phone the whole time. You're at one of the most beautiful, sought-after sites in Europe; be there and be present.