Insider Tips

Scenic Train Journeys on the DART

By Visit Dublin

13th June 2020

Planning a visit to Dublin? Allow us to introduce you to your new best friend, the DART. This scenic and speedy train line serves a whole host of stops along Dublin's picturesque coast, and you can pick up one-day, three-day or week-long tickets. The gorgeous coastal villages—Howth, Dalkey, Dún Laoghaire, Malahide and Skerries—are must-sees but there are plenty more hidden gems just waiting to be explored along this beautiful stretch. Here are our top tips for the best places to visit on the DART...

Sandymount strand and Grand Canal Dock

Grand Canal Dock

Distance from city centre: 2 mins
Things to see: Grand Canal

The past few years have seen the Dublin tech scene positively explode. The city is now home to the likes of Google, Facebook and Etsy, and unsurprisingly, a vibrant hub of cosmopolitan life has developed around them. Hop off the DART at the trendy district of Grand Canal, and stroll through ‘Dublin Tech Town’, where you’ll find cafés, restaurants, theatres and bars aplenty.


Distance from city centre: 5 mins
Things to see: Sandymount Strand and village

Sandymount Strand is a gorgeous Blue Flag-awarded stretch of beach that’s home to a unique symbol of Dublin; the Poolbeg Chimneys. Take a walk through the nature reserve towards the South Wall pier and Lighthouse, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try kitesurfing along the beach, before heading into Sandymount village for dinner. You’ll find cafés, restaurants and artisan shops all situated around the town’s pretty central green.

Couple sitting by Martello Tower


Distance from city centre: 10 mins
Things to see: Brian Boru’s Well

This charming coastal suburb on the northside of the city is positively steeped in history, as it was the site of the famous ‘Battle of Clontarf’ way back in 1014. On April 23 that year, Viking forces beached their boats on Clontarf strand and launched an attack on the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. The result was a battle that raged from sunrise to sunset. Though Boru’s side was victorious, the king himself was killed by a Viking foe as he prayed in his tent. Today, a well on Castle Avenue pays tribute to Boru and this incredibly important historic event. This seaside suburb is also home to lots of tasty restaurant options, check them out here.


Distance from city centre: 25 mins
Things to see: Cliff walk; Sutton to Howth

At just under 3km, this bracing cliff walk from Suton DART station to Howth is ideal for both hiking enthusiasts and those looking for a relaxed but beautiful amble. In Sutton you’ll also find a Martello Tower, the first of 50 to be built in Ireland in 1804 as a defence against potential attack by Napoleon Bonaparte. This one has been revamped as a unique and luxurious accommodation option that offers panoramic views of the Bay and the Burrow (Sutton’s sandy, Green Coasted-awarded beach). 

Wakeboarding and friends in Killiney


Distance from city centre: 30 mins
Things to see: Killiney Hill and Beach

Another coastal highlight is Killiney, a lovely southside suburb and seaside resort. Opt for a gentle walk up Killiney Hill and you’ll be rewarded with some stunning views of Dublin Bay, Bray Head, and even the Dublin Mountains. What’s more, Killiney Beach (another Blue Flag awardee) is perfect for a dip during summer months.   


Distance from city centre: 15 mins
Things to see: Dublin Dips

Fancy a spot of watersports, or just a splash in the sea? You’ve come to the right place! Dublin is home to plenty of idyllic swimming spots, one of them being Seapoint Beach. Here you’ll find a bathing area, with paddleboarding and kitesurfing available too. 

Science Gallery in Dublin


Distance from city centre: 15 mins
Things to see: Bull Island

Hop off the DART at Raheny on the northside, and it’s just a 1km walk to Bull Island. This lush national nature reserve is a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, and is home to Golden Beach, dunes, mud flats, marsh and grassland. Indeed, it’s a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve due to the habitats and species that call it home. In Raheny you’ll also find St. Anne’s Park, an expansive greenery with woodlands, rose gardens and pretty water features, all waiting to be explored.


Distance from city centre: 0 mins
Things to see: Science Gallery, Trinity College, Merrion Square

Pearse Station is located slap-bang in the middle of the city, and is adjacent to majestic Trinity College. In there you’ll find the Book of Kells, an incredibly intricate manuscript written and illustrated by monks around 800AD. The nearby Science Gallery is another top attraction; here science and art collide, with a whole array of brilliant exhibitions, events and experiences on offer.

Portmarnock golf course and people jumping off the Forty Foot

Sandycove / Glastule 

Distance from city centre: 20 mins
Things to see: Forty Foot, James Joyce Tower

Sandycove is an idyllic summer destination, with its scenic harbour, pretty beach and of course, the famous Forty Foot bathing area. Indeed, dedicated locals take the plunge all year round, regardless of temperature! Literature fans should also be sure to visit the James Joyce Museum, housed in the Martello Tower that features in Ulysses, the author’s most iconic work. Inside is a collection of letters, photographs and possessions belonging to Joyce. Afterwards, be sure to stop by Teddy’s, who serve up delicious ice-cream, the perfect accompaniment to a stroll along the promenade.


Distance from city centre: 20 mins
Things to see: Portmarnock Beach & Golf Club

Golf fans should make a beeline for Portmarnock on Dublin’s northside. Its stunning golf club dates back to 1894 and has played host to the Irish Open Championships and Walker Cup. But if golf doesn’t float your boat, fear not! Portmarnock is also home to the Velvet Strand; five miles of Blue Flag-awarded Golden Beach. It’s also a recipient of the 2015 Green Coast Award for beaches. Need we say more?!

Those are just some of our recommendations around stops to explore along the DART line. Don’t forget, we’re served by a tram (Luas) and bus system with plenty of other gems to explore! A Leap card will cover you for all modes of transport, so you can mix and match to your heart’s content! Check out our website for other suggestions and ideas, and start planning your adventure today. 

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