Insider Tips

Discover Dublin on Four Scenic Cycle Routes

By Visit Dublin

25th February 2022

Dublin has a choice of cycle routes that take you from bustling city streets to tranquil canalways or green open spaces in a matter of minutes. Take advantage of over 190km of paths to explore different neighbourhoods and discover the city at a slower pace. Saddle up and explore coffee stops, spacious parks and the regenerated Docklands.

Canal Way Cycle Route

This 3.6km route along the Grand Canal is Dublin’s main cycle artery. It links historic Portobello’s Georgian past with the tech hubs of Grand Canal Dock and Spencer Dock. There's plenty of places to stop for a caffeine hit too. Try Junior’s Deli & Cafe on Bath Avenue. Sip a cappuccino while you chow down on a New York style Reuben or a Caesar Club sandwich. This short trip is the perfect way to kick your Dublin cycling senses into gear. 

The Docklands and Ringsend

Dublin’s Docklands area is an eclectic mix of old and new. Here, hip wine bars on the waterside contrast with the original village feel of Ringsend. Before setting off on your cycle, start with an Italian blend coffee and continental treat like cannoli, ricottini or croissants at il Valentino Bakery & Cafe on Grand Canal Harbour. It’s good fuel for the rest of your trip (and you can pick up an extra snack to take away for later).

Appreciators of street art will want to keep an eye out for the pieces on Hanover Quay’s walls, while music fans can tour U2's Dublin by bike. Pay a visit to Windmill Lane Recording Studios where much of the band’s music was recorded, from Boy to Songs of Experience. As you head towards Ringsend, watch out for locals racing their row boats along the River Liffey.

Take a breather before the final pedal to the Great South Wall. On sunny days, cyclists can cool off with a dip in Dublin Bay midway along the wall’s 8km length. Once refreshed, make one last push to the iconic red Poolbeg Lighthouse that marks the end of the route.

Old town Dublin

Dublin’s historic centre has so much to see and do and there is no better way to experience it than by bike. Start at the Guinness Storehouse in the Liberties, where you can hear about the area’s proud brewing heritage. From here it’s a short trip to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham where over 3,500 contemporary artworks by Irish and international artists are on display. While you’re in the neighbourhood, seek out Manning’s Bakery on Thomas Street for a slice of rainbow cake or a coffee eclair.

Row of Dublin BikesPhoenix Park and Smithfield

Phoenix Park is one of the largest walled city parks in Europe. Grab your bike and explore 707 hectares of lush, green fields. Here you’ll find Dublin Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin (The President’s House) and beautiful Farmleigh House with its extensive walled garden. On a budget, the park is the perfect place to picnic and play. Look out for the herd of urban deer who live here too.

A ten minute spin away from Phoenix Park is Smithfield. This former warehouse district is now known for its square where you’ll find art studios, vintage shops, The Generator Hostel and the Lighthouse Cinema.  Grab a sandwich nearby at the Oxmantown Cafe, nestled next to St Mary’s Abbey. Try the grilled cheese made with Gruyere or roast chicken and stuffing with lemon aioli. For a tipple and some traditional music pop into The Cobblestone or visit a world famous whiskey destination at the Jameson Distillery Bow Street.

Close up of bike with a basket

Rent or borrow a bike

Dublin is a city that cycles. If you don’t want to bring your bike on holiday, you can easily rent one from the multiple Dublinbikes stations dotted around the city, and their fleet includes hybrid electric models. For something more customised, head to Phoenix Park Bike Hire where you can try rentals by renowned Dutch brand Giant.

Plan your Dublin City adventure

Dublin is awash with great things to see and do. From vibrant year round festivals to the best of theatre and dance, find out more about What’s On in Dublin now

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