Dublin is ideally situated between the mountains and the sea where just a 20 minute journey will bring you from the bustling city to the charming coastal towns and villages which dot the coastline providing boundless opportunities for golf, water sports, seafood, dining and picturesque walks. A little further and you’ll reach the Dublin Mountains where hiking, biking and walking trails are in abundance.
1. Golf courses
Ireland is home to many challenging links and parkland golf courses set against a backdrop of a stunning and rugged landscape. Dublin may be a city destination but there are over 40 golf courses, including the some of the finest links courses in Europe. Portmarnock Golf Club and Deer Park Golf Club are just two of many, check them all out here.
2. Dublin’s coastline and beaches
It’s a little known fact but Dublin’s coastline is dotted with many fantastic beaches and whether you seek sandy stretches for a brisk walk, or swimming or kite surfing there’s a beach to suit your tastes! Dollymount Strand located on North Bull Island is within easy reach and offers scenic views and sand dunes to explore. Killiney Beach is a stoney beach perfect for sifting through decorative stones and exploring rock pools! With stunning views stretching as far as the Wicklow Mountains you may even catch a sight of the resident dolphins. View all of Dublin’s Beaches.
3. Dublin Mountains
Right on the city’s door step, the Dublin Mountains offer a range of activities to try out. Orienteer, mountain bike or just take a walk through the forest and mountain trails in one the many recreation sites, such as Ticknock, Pine Forest and the infamous Hell Fire Club! Click here to find out more about the Dublin Mountain recreational areas.
Dublin is home to many historic castles including Ardgillan Castle and Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre. Both are open to the public and offer tours. Ardgillan Castle, built in 1738 is situated on elevated coastline boasts woodlands, a rose garden, a walled garden, and tea rooms. Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre offers guided tours and live theatre performances in the 14th century castle. Rathfarnam Castle, Killiney Castle and Malahide Castle are also popular. Malahide castle, a very popular attraction is currently closed for renovations and is due to open in September 2012.
You can download Visit Dublin’s Castles and Cathedrals iWalk to learn about Dublin’s castles.
6. Day trips to County Wicklow
Known as 'The Garden of Ireland', County Wicklow is one of Ireland's true scenic treasures with its magnificent hills and mountains, rivers and lakes and just one hour south of the city. Dublin Bus South Coast and Powerscourt Gardens Tour shows you the best Dublin’s scenic south coast before climbing through the Wicklow Mountains and the enchanting village of Ennisskerry to Powerscourt Estate. Several other tour companies bring you deep into the Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough, a monastic settlement in a glaciated valley. Check out all tours out of Dublin here.
8. Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum
Glasnevin is located just outside the city and is home to the National Botanic Gardens and Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum. The National Botanic Gardens houses many different species of conserved plants as well as acres of flower filled gardens. Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum is of great historical and cultural importance as it is where many prominent figures from Irish history are buried. You can learn about these historical figures in the Museum and also take part in one of the daily walking tours of the Cemetery.
7. Ride Dublin’s Coastline by DART
The Dart stretches both north and south along Dublin’s coastline. Head southbound to Dun Laoaghaire and enjoy the town’s surroundings for a sea side day trip. Visit the marina and take a stroll down one of Dun Laoghaire’s 2 piers while enjoying scenic coastal views of the Bay and of Howth Head. Dalkey Village, a heritage town is just a short walk, bus or DART ride away. A walk up the Vico road into Killiney is a must when in the area. Either walk down to Killiney Beach or take a trip Killiney Hill to enjoy magnificent views of Dublin Bay, Killiney Bay, Bray Head and the mountains. Download Visit Dublin’s Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey iWalk to help guide you through the towns!
Alternatively head Northbound on the DART towards Malahide, Portmarnock and Howth.
Howth is located just 10 miles north of Dublin city and is accessible by DART and bus. Originally an Island, the charming coastal village of Howth is perfect for a day trip. Best discovered by foot, the waterfront and piers are a great starting point for exploration. Walk along the seafront promenade up to Howth Head and enjoy spectacular views of Dublin as you stroll along the coastal path. Howth is renowned for its fresh seafood, so a lunch or dinner in one of the many seafood restaurants, including Wrights, Aqua Restaurant and The Bloody Stream after a day of exploring is a must. Howth is home to the National Transport Museum. Why not download Visit Dublin’s Howth iWalk while exploring the village.
9. Malahide and Portmarnock
Malahide and Portmarnock are both picturesque seaside villages on the north coast of Dublin. Malahide is popular for marine activities and boasts a fully serviced marina. The village offers attractive restaurants and pubs as well as boutique shopping. Portmarnock is renowned for its world class golf course which opened in 1894. The Golf course and hotel located right on the beach are built around the former home of the Jameson distilling family.
Download Visit Dublin’s ‘A Bracing Walk – Malahide to Portmarnock’ and walk from Malahide to Portmarnock.
10. Shopping in the suburbs
You can find many shopping centres outside Dublin city that all offer a great selection of shops! For a mixture of high street and luxury shopping, head to Ireland’s largest shopping centre, Dundrum Town Centre. Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown shopping centres are great for all your high street favourites. As well as fantastic shopping experiences, these shopping centres also have cinemas and many restaurants, bars and cafes to relax in!