Are you looking for the best things to do in Dingle, Ireland? You have definitely come to the right place! Located in County Kerry, in the southwest of Ireland, on the epic Irish coast, Dingle is about an hour drive from Killarney and well-worth the drive to get there, on the scenic Wild Atlantic Way.
Dingle boasts the absolute most gorgeous seascapes that will take your breath away. It is not quite as touristy, as the larger Irish cities, so you get more of the local Irish flair, and has an abundance of things to do. Some of the options are in the town of Dingle Ireland and others are on her outskirts but ALL are worth your time and you will be richly rewarded by all the great things to do in Dingle you can choose from!
There are so many things to do in Dingle Ireland. Here I am in downtown Dingle. The entire town is just as charming as this Irish cottage is!
Top 10 Things To Do In Dingle Ireland On Your First Trip
Number One: Look For Fungi The Dingle Dolphin!
Who doesn’t love dolphins? They are so cute and lovable! Dingle has its very own resident dolphin, named Fungi! And he is very friendly, most of the time. What better way to experience one of the popular and fun things to do in Dingle than by booking a one-hour boat tour to go find Fungi and other sea life in and around the Dingle peninsula! Fungi has been hanging around the Dingle Harbor since 1984 and when in a good mood, he “puts on a show” for the boats he comes in contact with, and especially loves attention from humans! If you are brave enough, you can even swim in the chilly waters with him in the Dingle Harbor if you are brave enough. He is known for escorting Dingle’s fishing fleets into and out of port. Maybe your boat tour will be the one that gets a special Fungi show!
On a good weather day watching Fungie and his antics is one of the best things to do in Dingle!
Number Two: Walk And Shop In Dingle
One of the neat things to do in Dingle is to take a stroll and browse the many shops and businesses. There is a decidedly local flair in Dingle, which is most often reflected in the things being sold. From bookshops to carvings, to arts and crafts, there will be something you will likely find irresistible! I always like to purchase locally handcrafted souvenirs, and I was warned in Dingle that some establishments remove the “made in ‘wherever'” labels or tags and replace them with something stating the item was handcrafted in Ireland. Buyer beware! If you are out for an Irish handmade item, whatever it is, attempt best as you can, to verify with the shop owner its authenticity.
Shopping and exploring are some of the best things to do in Dingle!
Number 3: Check Out Live Irish Music In Dingle!
Of course for the true Irish experience, one of the best things to do in Dingle is to lift a glass, laugh a little, and enjoy yourself in one of the local Irish pubs. There is a myriad of local bars and pubs that offer pub food, lots of types of beer for you to choose from and local Irish music. If you find yourself like me not interested in consuming alcohol or not particularly liking beer, the ambiance and frivolity that accompanies lively Irish music cannot be beaten.
Local Dingle bar.
Number 4: One Of The Most Memorable Things To Do In Dingle Is Drive Slea Head Loop
At approximately twenty-six miles, Slea Head Loop rivals the Ring of Kerry any day and every day! It is a circular route that begins and ends in Dingle and is part of the Wild Atlantic Way. It can definitely be completed in one day, but make sure you stop A LOT at the pullovers to oooh and ahhh at the gorgeous Irish seascapes. Do be careful when driving Slea Head Loop because it is twisty and twiney and very narrow at times. The misty and mysterious weather of the Dingle peninsula makes this drive unforgettable and a definite must do and must see! Slea Head Loop is one of the things to do in Dingle that distance cyclists take advantage of. So be careful and share the road with them. And if you are the cyclist, remember to take extra caution as cars drive clockwise (to attempt to avoid the large tour buses) on the left side of the road!
Driver beware! Here is an example of the one-lane road that is the Slea Head Loop!
Number 5: Slea Head Loop Beach And Star Wars Rock Formations are very popular things to do in Dingle.
You actually do not have to be a rabid Star Wars fan to appreciate and enjoy the unbelievable rock formations used in the 2015 Star Wars blockbuster space film, The Force Awakens. There is a very crowded lot to pull into you will notice while driving along the Slea Head Loop that will bring you to the otherworldly rock formations that were used in the Star Wars film. Such a beautiful and stunning vista. To get nearer to take better photos of the formations it is a fairly steep descent, so make sure you have closed-toe sneakers or hiking shoes to assist with navigating that descent and then when you are finished, the ascent back to the parking lot. Also located at this spot at sea level is the sandy Slea Head beach. It is a steep walk down to the beach and worth it if you are up to it and have the time. When I visited, the water of the Atlantic Ocean was chilling cold (and the air temperature was not much warmer!) yet there were quite a few people with wet suits swimming in the water. Take your time walking back up the steep hill back to your vehicle in the parking lot. This stop is one of the interesting and unforgettable things to do in Dingle. Do not miss it.
Star Wars rocks, used in the 2015 megamovie The Force Awakens.
Slea Head Loop beach, beautiful and sandy!
Number 6: Stop At The Famous Dunquin Pier On The Slea Head Loop
You might miss this stop and miss out on one of the most iconic things to do in Dingle, so be on the lookout for it. You will recognize the walkway down to the level of the sea as one of the most iconic locales in Ireland and often used in Irish publicity campaigns. The pier and the boats that stopped there were at one time the lifeline bringing livestock (sheep!) food and medicine and all necessary supplies to the Basket Islands when they were inhabited. The views from the road are stunning and you will be able to walk halfway down and even all the way down to the pier which is at sea level, but it is VERY STEEP and you need to be cautious and take your time. You will WANT to take your time because there is much to see along the way. The views of the rock formations change with every step and the wild Irish flowers we saw along our walk were very beautiful. There is a cement bench made into the wall of the walkway that you can use to rest. Use it especially if you decide that a trip all the way to the bottom is your ultimate goal. Those in your party who do not or cannot continue further can use the bench to take a break until you return. Once you reach the bottom to the pier, you can contemplate just how much work it took to get the animals, food, and necessities from the road all the way down, and probably back up upon their return, to and from the Blasket Islands!
This is the iconic shot of the Dunquin Pier that is often used in Irish publicity campaigns.
Here I am sitting on the bench at Dunquin Pier. The Blasket Islands are in the background. You will want to add this stop to your list of things to do in Dingle Ireland.
Number 7: Visit The Star Wars Filming Location
Again, even though you may not be a huge Star Wars fan, visiting the 2017 Star Wars filming location of the epic space movie The Last Jedi is another one of the fun things to do in Dingle. There are two information panels at the viewing point explaining the film set and pointing out specific spots along the countryside used in the Star Wars movie. It is an easy walk down to the panels but it is a gradual descent, so remain vigilant and be careful when walking! The area is a wide expanse of green and there are plenty of opportunities to get some great picture taking done. And look out for sheep grazing nearby. They make for a really authentic Irish picture which should be one of the things to do in Dingle anyway!
Number 8: Take A Drive Through Connor Pass
One of the amazing things to do in Dingle is drive through Connor Pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland at 1,496 feet at its summit. The epic and panoramic vistas seem to go on forever. And you just might want to stay almost forever to drink in all the beauty! Tour buses cannot make it through Connor Pass because the small one-lane road is simply too narrow and twisty. So, you may need to rent a car in Dingle (if you have not already, or you are driving your own car.) Please note, trucks nor camper vans will make it either as they are also too large. From the parking lot at the summit, it is said on a clear day, you are able to see all the way to the Aran Islands. I hope you have clear weather when you visit Connor Pass! As a caution, this drive while one of the most beautiful in all of Ireland, is one of the most dangerous due to rapidly changing weather conditions. Make certain you are aware and informed of the local weather forecast the day you plan to drive to Connor Pass.
Connor Pass one of the highest mountain passes in Ireland
Number 9: Visiting The Fairy Forts Is One Of The Most Unique Things To Do In Dingle
The Irish are strong in their belief in fairies. And learning the history, superstitions and traditions associated with the Irish “fairy forts” will enhance your Dingle experience. They are even considered sacred places in some circles. The “fairy forts” or ring forts are remains of early inhabitants’ circular dwellings and today look like circular grass mounds. Tradition has it that they hold magical properties and are the entrances to the fairy world. There are lots of legends that tell of the fairies’ revenge if the mounds are disrespected or damaged. It is said that while the locals are very skeptical, they take great strides to show respect. No one wants to be cursed by an offended fairy! So you now understand why learning about and seeing these mystical fairy forts is certainly one of the most interesting things to do in Dingle.
Here I am at the Star Wars rocks along the Slea Road
Number 10: Check Out Supermarkets In Dingle
If you are on a road trip or staying at an Air B&B, you may not be interested, or able to afford, to eat out three meals every day, for your entire stay in Dingle Ireland. So food shopping may be one of the first things to do in Dingle on your list. Rest assured, grocery stores and convenience stores and pharmacies abound in Dingle Ireland. I am vegan, and I often appreciate a home-cooked meal when I travel, and I found the selections of local produce and fresh baked goods outstanding. I was very very impressed with the grocery selections, including various types of coffee beans and salad oils while shopping for food and necessities in Dingle. Again, this is great news for those of us who enjoy or prefer cooking our own meals or simply eating in to avoid hustle and bustle and cost that comes with eating out a lot. If that is also you, place shopping at the supermarket at the top of your list of things to do in Dingle.
Checking out the grocery stores is one of the necessary things to do in Dingle. Here I am having a vegan sandwich made.
Packing Tips For Your Trip To Dingle, Ireland
I think that using these useful packing tips will enhance your trip to Dingle and help you remain organized while there.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring with you on your trip to Dingle. This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can keep your most valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.
If you have a pouch already you may not want to or need to invest in a new one, like me. If it does not come with the RFID protection, these RFID sleeves would be handy to prevent identity theft. This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your current pouch or wallet. These are the kind my family and I use not only when traveling but at home as well.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips. It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast! I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about. And if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use. It is made of durable aluminum and is very lightweight and easy to carry. I love mine and I think you will enjoy it too!
I was never a fan of packing cubes until I tried them out! Now I am sold. These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel. I cannot believe how much more organized I am now! And I never leave without them anymore.
Hydration is so important. When I visited Dingle it was in the mid-70s and having water with me was very important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter in Dingle, Ireland. You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it will fit nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse. Also when filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the Bobble carbon filter ensures fresh clean water whenever and wherever you fill the Bobble. You can find filter replacements here.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space in your suitcase at all. And you will be receiving a set of two.
You will want to bring a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your international travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water-resistant and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop. It comes in a range of colors to choose from and it is inexpensive as well.
You will be walking more than usual as you check off all your things to do in Dingle. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must-have. These waterproof all-season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable. Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable. I know from experience you need sturdy shoes when navigating the cobblestoned streets of Croatia.
You may be visiting Dingle in warmer weather as I did, and you may want a pair of sandals to wear exploring. I highly recommend these Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals. I have several pairs of these exact Vionic sandals in several colors that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable. I also sometimes bring along my Vionic Tides flip flops. The toe post is so comfortable which makes wearing these super comfortable.
And let us not forget the beach shoes for the pebbly beaches around Dingle. These quick-dry slip-on aqua shoes are a great selection. They come in a ton of bright colors for men, women, and children.
This lightweight men’s swim trunk is quick drying and affordable. I like this women’s one-piece bathing suit. It has a moderately high leg cut and is lined for modesty’s sake. It has a built-in bra and comes in neat colors.
If tipping your toe into the chilly Atlantic is on your agenda, you may want to bring along beach towels. But you do not want to add anything heavy or bulky. This fast drying, lightweight and very absorbent towel is the perfect solution. You choose what color and size you wish and it is extremely affordable.
You may want to bring along a wet-dry bag for your suits and towels once you are finished. This wet dry bag with handles is a good option. It comes in several patterns and two sizes to pick from. Or you could opt for this mesh swim backpack bag that has separate areas for dry and wet items.
Bring a lightweight scarf or shawl. Scarves and shawls are very popular in Europe and Ireland is no different. Both men and women wear scarves, decoratively and as a layering piece to keep warm. This cotton unisex lightweight scarf is versatile and can be worn in any season. I like this colorful oversized scarf too. So many colors to select from! And here’s another option to consider: this lightweight sunscreen shawl scarf would do double duty to protect you from the sun in the warmer seasons as well as being a fashion accessory layering piece. This Coolibar sunscreen scarf has USB 50+ protection from the sun’s rays & comes in great colors.
We all need to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.
If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you. I like polarized sunglasses because they remove the glare off the water and help you to see things more clearly. .
Don’t forget to bring along a universal power adapter on your trip to Ireland. This worldwide power plug is a great example and will charge your phone at the end of your busy days. And this world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time. This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time.
If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors. If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better. Both sets come with TSA approved zippers locks and 8 wheels per piece. Either will be great for the plane or train or even your car depending on how you plan to travel to Ireland.
Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula, located on the Wild Atlantic Way, is simply one of my favorite places in all of Ireland. The rugged landscapes, the history and traditions, and superstitions all add up to make Dingle one exciting location with lots and lots of things to do in Dingle for you to choose from!
Have you ever been to Dingle? Did you fall in love with it as I did? Where else would you recommend a first-time visitor visit? Please post your ideas in the comment section below.
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