Insider Tips

Beaches in Dublin to Visit

By Visit Dublin

10th May 2021

Fancy a dip? The unmistakable sensation of sand between your toes? Then you won’t want to miss our guide to the very best Dublin beaches. Thrilling sports, historical ruins and crystal blue waters await…

View of Balcarrick/Donabate Beach showing flowers, rocks, sand and sea.
Balcarrick / Donabate

Boasting pretty views of Lambay Island, Howth Peninsula and Malahide Estuary, Balcarrick/Donabate Beach is a fine spot for walking and canoeing and one of the most popular Dublin beaches. At 3.5 kilometres long, there’s plenty of room for exploring, while the area is peppered with sand dunes and rock pools. Want to stretch the legs? Avail of a refreshing coastal walking route from Donabate to Portrane.

Two men and one woman kayaking from Dalkey Island
Dalkey Island

An area rich in artful pedigree – keep an eye out for the likes of Van Morrison, The Edge, Jim Sheridan and Colin Farrell to name but a few! – vibrant Dalkey is also where you’ll find a remote and beautiful slice of earth in the middle of the sea. Ok, so it’s technically more of an island than a beach, but this relaxing spot is just the ticket for those up for a bit of exploration. Paddle out from Bullock Harbour and get up close and personal with seals, jellyfish and rare birds along the way to a most invigorating destination. 

One female and two male surfers walking on Dollymount Strand
Dollymount Strand

An especially popular spot with stand-up paddleboarders and kite-surfers – local outfit Pure Magic are worth checking out – Dollymount Strand in Clontarf lies on the east side of Bull Island and is quite a bustling location indeed. Spots for grabbing a bite or something to quench your thirst are dotted about the seafront too.

View of Killiney Beach showing sea, sand and DART

Killiney Beach is a long stony stretch that offers stunning views of Bray Head, Dalkey Island, Sorrento Terrace and even Sugar Loaf mountain in Wicklow. Tucked away at the north end of the bay is White Rock, a slice of paradise. Though its stone-speckled sands can rule out a nice dip at low tide, high tide brings both isolation and relaxation to this secluded retreat. 

Two people walking on Portmarnock Beach

With a nickname like the ‘Velvet Strand’, Portmarnock Beach would want to live up to expectations of smooth sand and playful surfaces. It does, and then some. Whether surfing, beach volleyball or just a good old-fashioned kickabout is your activity of choice, the golden grains of this Blue Flag beach provide the perfect setting. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a nearby world-class course as approved by the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington. 

View of Martello Tower on Portrane Beach on a sunny day

Known as ‘Tower Bay’ due to the distinctive Martello Tower that overlooks the most picturesque cove on this inviting two-kilometre beach, Portrane Beach is brimming with eye-catching sights, from passing sailboats to seabirds flying over Lambay Island. A National Heritage Area lies to the north of the beach, home to a large colony of migrating birds in winter months. 


The beach at Sandycove is home to something of a Dublin institution, the 40 Foot. Once an exclusive gentleman’s retreat, this now-unisex spot is one of the most charming places to take a leap into the sea in the entire country, a practice that has been in vogue for hundreds of years. Speaking of treasured links to the past, the iconic Martello Tower as featured in James Joyce’s classic Ulysses is but a stone’s throw away. 

Martello Tower at SandycoveSeapoint

Another Blue Flag location, Seapoint Beach is mostly suitable for a swim at high tide due to the number of large rocks found within. The water – delightful on a warm and sunny day – is easily accessible via slipways and steps, while Seapoint also has its own Martello Tower, a reminder of the beach’s history as one of 28 sites constructed to defend Dublin from Napoleonic invasion in the early 19th century. 

Skerries Beach on a sunny day

Postcard-worthy Skerries is home to the glorious South Beach, a serene two-and-a-half kilometre stretch. Just a two-minute walk from the bustling town centre, South Beach is great for a dip in the sunshine and is serviced by lifeguards during bathing season in the summer months. Three islands lie just off the coast while the towering Rockabill Lighthouse is approximately 16 kilometres offshore. 

Two women sitting in the sand onMalahide Beach

Burrow Beach in Sutton is yet another award-winning sandy Irish haunt. At around 1.2 kilometres, it’s large enough to enjoy a grand stroll while still making an intimate impression on the senses. This Green Coast Award-winning beach connects Howth Head to the mainland while Ireland’s Eye – a designated nature conservation site that supports colonies of gannet, black guillemot and great black-backed gull – is visible from the sand. Sutton also houses a refurbished Martello Tower that you can spend the night in!
Those are just some of the many beaches dotted along the Dublin coast; to start planning your own unique itinerary, browse some more Insider Tips.

Visit Dublin

Visit Dublin | Dublin's Official Tourism Site

Tweet us @visitdublin