Whether you want to take in the ocean views from a cliff top or enjoy the city’s skyline from a rooftop bar, Ireland’s capital is filled with picturesque places to explore. Check out our guide to some of the best views in Dublin.
The Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular places to visit in the city, and with good reason. But while the whole experience is top notch, the highlight might just be the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor. From this grand circular bar, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city as you sip on a pint. All of Dublin is laid out before you, from the local rooftops of the Liberties right out to the Dublin Mountains. Even better? You’ll know exactly what you’re looking at, thanks to the descriptions of the landmarks inscribed right on the windows.
Blow off the cobwebs with a seaside stroll along the Great South Wall and you’ll discover a number of Dublin landmarks along the way. This 4km long path leads out to the bright red Poolbeg Lighthouse (which dates back to 1767) and also passes by the striped Poolbeg Chimneys, one of the most distinctive sights in the city. When you turn back from the lighthouse, you’ll also get a great view back towards the city. Start the walk from Sandymount Beach/Sean Moore Park area, just a short walk from the DART station.
Stand at the top of Killiney Hill and you’ll soon understand why this stretch of coastline is known as Ireland’s Bay of Naples. Beneath the tangle of brambles and wildflowers on the hillside, the Irish Sea is spread out before you, from Dalkey Island to the sands of Killiney Strand. There’s a viewpoint near the car park but for the ultimate vantage point, climb to the top of the Pyramid of Dublin. You’ll feel like you’re standing on top of the world. If you want to make a day of it, stroll back along the coastal path towards Dalkey, snooping in at the millionaires’ mansions as you walk.
One of the first rooftop bars in the city, the swanky terrace at the Marker Hotel is a favourite among Dubliners. With indoor and outdoor spaces, there are plenty of places where you can enjoy the views with a cocktail in hand. You’ll get 360 degree views over the entire city, from the local landmarks in the Docklands to the mountains and sea in the distance. To really make the most of the cityscape, book a table for sunset, when you can watch the sun dip below the horizon and the city lights twinkle into life.
Just a short DART ride from the city centre, a visit to Howth feels like a breath of fresh air. While this pretty fishing village is a charming spot for a coffee and a wander, the walk up Howth Head is where you’ll find some of the best views around. The footpath weaves between the lush gorse and heathers, leading you to viewpoints where you can watch the waves crash against the cliffs below as the seabirds soar overhead. There are looped walks to suit all fitness levels, and benches where you can sit and drink it all in. When you’re back in the village, head to one of the seafood restaurants dotted along the harbour and tuck into some local crab claws as the boats go by.
There are plenty of spooky stories that surround Montpelier Hill, also known as the Hell Fire Club. Originally a hunting lodge built on an ancient grave and cairn, the building was later home to the Irish Hellfire Club. Legend has it things got fairly debaucherous at this very spot, with its members described as ‘wild young gentlemen’. Depending on who you believe, there was also some Satanism afoot, which explains why some consider the site to be haunted. Devil worship and spookiness aside, the views from the top are beautiful. You can see all the way from the Dublin Mountains out to the sea.
While there are plenty of picturesque bridges crossing the River Liffey, you’ll find some of the best views on the Talbot Memorial Bridge. To one side, you can see the harp-shaped silhouette of the Samuel Beckett Bridge, along with the modern backdrop of the buildings in the Docklands. To the other, the turquoise dome of the Custom House building marks the start of old Dublin as the trains roll over the Liffey towards Connolly Station. At the south edge of the bridge you’ll find a statue of the bridge’s namesake, Matt Talbot, a Dubliner who campaigned for abstinence and was declared a ‘Venerable’ by Pope Paul VI in 1975.
Why not immortalise some of Dublin's best views and check out our collection of the city's most instagrammable locations?