23 stunning Dublin walks and cycles

Media captionHead out for a walk through Dublin's beaches, parks and mountains.
Two women on Malahide Beach in County Dublin
Media captionHead out for a walk through Dublin's beaches, parks and mountains.

From north to south, Dublin is full of scenic spots to explore. Soak up the views at the summit of Killiney Hill, take on the Howth Cliff Walk or spend an afternoon cycling around Phoenix Park.

It’s time to get into the great outdoors with Dublin’s coastal walks, city cycles and mountain hikes.

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St Stephen's Green

Take a leisurely wander in St Stephen's Green, a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Dublin city. Window shop or stop for lunch at one of the cafés on nearby Grafton Street. Try a single origin coffee as you admire the stained glass windows in Bewley's, or grab a takeaway to enjoy in the park. 

After your picnic, follow the tree-lined paths to see the 15 historical sculptures that line the park. As a family-friendly spot, the park, its playground and nature trails will surely keep the kids entertained. 

Media captionTake a wander around the peaceful St Stephen's Green.

The Iveagh Gardens

Just 450 metres from St Stephen's Green, you'll find the lovely Iveagh Gardens. Get lost in the yew maze, a miniature copy of the one at London's Hampton Court. These cultivated parklands are home to pruned rose gardens and a waterfall feature flowing over rocks from all 32 counties of Ireland. A serene retreat in the city, the park is open during daylight hours and dogs are welcome on a lead. 

Media captionVisit the Iveagh Gardens, a peaceful oasis in the city centre.

The Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park is thought to be the largest enclosed urban park in Europe. Head to the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre at Ashtown Castle, a medieval tower house with beginnings in the 15th century, for a deep dive into the history of the park. Or visit the Phoenix Café nearby and pick up a curated picnic in the park to sustain you while you explore. For the nature lovers out there, keep an eye out for the fallow deer who also live here but it's worth keeping your distance as they scare easily.

There's loads of walking trails to try too. Take the 6.4km route from the Magazine Fort off Military Road, and make your way to the Hole in the Wall pub on the park's outskirts. Another 6km stroll starts from the Castleknock Road entrance, taking you along Chesterfield Avenue as you pass Dublin Zoo on the way. 

Media captionWalk one of the various trails in The Phoenix Park.

National Botanic Gardens & Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

Discover an impressive 15,000 species of plants at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. Take time to touch and feel in the Sensory Garden, explore the tropical atmosphere of the Victorian Great Palm House and walk for hours through floral borders and forest scenes. Take a break in the cosy tearoom, which serves up refreshments with a view.

A pedestrian gateway in the gardens leads you through a wall shared with Glasnevin Cemetery, the resting place of Michael Collins and many other notable Irish figures. On Sundays, enjoy a free guided tour with a history expert. With one and a half million tales buried in Glasnevin, there are many stories to tell.

Media captionExplore the National Botanic Gardens and neighbouring Glasnevin Cemetery Museum.

St Anne's Park

St Anne's Park in North Dublin offers 112 hectares of pitches, tennis courts, walking trails, a dog-friendly area and a playground. To enjoy a scenic 5.8km loop, enter from the Clontarf side and walk around the park passing through St Anne's Woods.

For something sweet, make a pit-stop at Olive's Room which offers delicious vegan options, like their tasty mushroom and cannellini 'sausage' roll. Or save your visit for a Saturday and check out the Red Stables Market that looks out onto the park. Here, you can browse stalls filled with everything from artisan cheese and organic meat to baked treats and handmade crafts. 

Media captionTake a stroll through St Anne's Park.

Marlay Park

Venture outside the city and visit Marlay Park in Rathfarnham. Roam 121 hectares of green space past natural ponds and through woodland walkways. With many routes to follow, depending on your fitness level, more ambitious walkers can try the Wicklow Way trail. Bring your pup to play in the enclosed dog park and visit at the weekend to check out the Marlay Park Farmers Market. Saturday is a great day to bring the kids as there's a miniature train ride.

St Enda's Park

Also in Rathfarnham, is St Enda's Park, a great spot for a leisurely ramble. Nearby, you can discover the Pearse Museum, which tells the story of Patrick and William Pearse’s Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna. The attached tearooms offer a mixture of traditional Irish fare and sweet treats, including vegan sticky toffee pudding. Dogs are allowed in the park if kept on a lead, but avoid the courtyard or the walled garden if bringing your furry friend.

Ardgillan Demesne

Plan a day out to Ardgillan Demesne near the pretty coastal village of Skerries. The 81 hectare area has plenty of woodland to walk and sheltered picnic spots to enjoy. At the 18th century Ardgillan Castle, you can relax in the Tea Rooms over a coffee while the kids play. Once you've refuelled, take on the 4.8km loop of the park to enjoy panoramic views of the Mourne Mountains and Dublin coastline.

Media captionAppreciate the panoramic views from Ardgillan Demesne.

Sandymount Strand

Tracing the village suburb of Sandymount, lies the stunning Sandymount Strand. Take a walk along the 1km stretch of coastline and enjoy incredible views of the infamous Poolbeg Chimneys and Dún Laoghaire in the distance. If the sun is playing nice, stop by Scoop and snag yourself an ice-cream or a banoffee waffle and rest up on one of the benches that look out to the sea. 

Dún Laoghaire

Breathe in the fresh air as you stretch your legs in the coastal village of Dún Laoghaire. For a relaxing stroll, begin at Dún Laoghaire DART Station and continue 1km along the seafront before stopping off at Teddy's to enjoy a classic 99 ice cream on the seafront.

Walk a little further to the James Joyce Tower in Sandycove where you can not only take in views of Dublin Bay, but also uncover interesting facts about Joyce's life. If your legs grow tired, you can always make your way back to your starting point, but if you find yourself still wanting more, continue on to Dalkey for even more beautiful scenery. 

Media captionEnjoy the fresh coastal air at Dún Laoghaire.

Killiney Beach

Take a trip to the stomping ground of U2 frontman Bono by taking the DART out to Killiney. Walk along Killiney Beach to experience unrivalled views of Bray Head and Dalkey Island, and imagine how the other half lives in the impressive houses sitting on Killiney Hill. Furry friends are allowed as long as they're on a lead and the beach is also a great place for a swim, so, bring your gear and brave the refreshing waters of the Irish Sea.

Media captionSavour the coastline at Killiney Beach.

Bull Island

For an invigorating walk and incredible scenery, head to Bull Island in North Dublin. Park up at Causeway Road and walk the 5km length of Dollymount Strand. Depending on what time you visit, you might see ferries in the distance crossing the sea, as well as protected species of birds like the Light-bellied Brent Goose. Suitable for dogs (in designated areas) and all fitness levels, enjoy an evening stroll and capture some pictures of the sun setting across Dublin Bay. 

Media captionSoak up the sunset at Bull Island.


Plan a day at one of Dublin's best beaches, Velvet Strand in Portmarnock. The golden beach stretches for 8km but if you're feeling energetic, continue along the 11km pathway parallel to the beach which brings you into the heart of Malahide village. Here, you can refuel with coffee in the Gourmet Food Parlour, who do a takeaway brunch you can eat by the sea.

Media captionTake a dip at Portmarnock.

Howth Pier

Head north to Howth village, a popular spot for families and dog walkers. Keep an ear out and you might even experience a performance from one of the local buskers. On a weekend, take a trip to Howth Market for delicious food and handmade crafts by longtime trader Unique Oak. Continue your day out in Howth with a visit to one of the coastside restaurants. Enjoy seafood tapas at Octopussy or opt for a classic fish and chips from Beshoff Bros and tuck into your feast by the pier.

Media captionWander down Howth Pier.

Donabate to Portrane Walk

Make your way to Donabate Beach and trek past hidden caves to find the coastal path that forms the Donabate Portrane Cliff Walk. There and back, the entire walk is 4km in total and has recently been improved upon, so, it makes for a lovely spot for an easy evening ramble. 

Media captionStroll along Donabate Beach.


Clear away the cobwebs and check out North Dublin's coastal views with a brisk walk in Skerries. Travel along the 2.5km of Skerries South Strand or stroll the promenade footpath that runs alongside it. Time your walk with low tide so you can go as far out as possible. Depending on the weather, treat the family to an ice-cream or caramel hot chocolate from Storm in a Tea Cup.

Media captionTake a brisk walk in Skerries.

Hikes in the Dublin Mountains

Escape the bustle of the city and put yourself to the test with a visit to the Dublin Mountains. The mountains are a mere 12kms from the city centre and encompass 43km of mountain trails, country paths and rural roads. It's a natural playground on Dublin's doorstep, with walks to suit every ability level.

Media captionObserve the sweeping views from the Dublin Mountains.

Howth Head

Kickstarting at Howth DART station, embark on the Howth Cliff Walk and walk along the harbour before hiking up towards the cliffs for breathtaking views of Ireland's Eye and the Baily Lighthouse await. On a clear day, you might even see seals and dolphins. For a bite to eat, continue to the Summit Inn or follow the path back to Howth to complete the 6km loop.

More energetic types can take on the 12km Bog of Frogs Trail challenge. And if you'd like more of a guided hike, try Howth Adventures where plenty of local knowledge is part of the package. 

Media captionEnjoy the incredible views at Howth Head.

Killiney Hill 

Take the DART to Killiney or park in Killiney Hill Park before climbing to the summit of Killiney Hill to admire the spectacular views of the Irish Sea, Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains. Nearby is the Killiney Hill Obelisk commemorating Ireland's ‘forgotten famine’ and the nearby Pyramid of Dublin. On your way down, stop and refuel with a refreshing iced coffee at Killiney Hill Tearooms, a popular hub for dog owners where pups are welcome in the outdoor seating area. 

Bike the Dublin Mountains

If you're a thrillseeker, a cycle up the Dublin Mountains won’t disappoint. Hire a bike at the foot of the Three Rock Mountain or bring your own and take on the Ticknock Mountain Bike Trail. The 13km trail is made up of an extensive network of single-track trails and forest roads designated specifically for mountain biking. Zoom past beautiful woodlands and keep one on the track and the other on their views of the Wicklow Mountains in the distance.

Media captionBike Dublin's mountains trails and marvel at the view from the top.

Cycle Phoenix Park

For those looking for more of a peaceful cycle, the Phoenix Park has lots of routes and trails for you to enjoy. Start by heading to Phoenix Park Bikes at the Parkgate Street entrance and hire from a selection of bikes, tandem bikes and for the little ones, you can opt for a comfy kids' carriage. Follow the park's main road along Chesterfield Avenue or choose from one of the more off-road tracks that are scattered throughout the park. 

Media captionRent a bike and cycle The Phoenix Park.

Malahide Castle

Set on 250 acres of parkland stands Malahide Castle. Explore the lush grounds on a rented bike from the Irish Centre for Cycling, found at the lodge in the park, or book a cycle tour. Cap your cycle off with a browse around the food market and the woven textile interiors on offer in Avoca before settling down for a pot of tea and a sweet treat in the adjoining café. If the cycle failed to tire the kids out before the trip back home, they can always have fun in the playground nearby.  

Media captionWalk or cycle around the grounds of Malahide Castle.


Make the most of the coast as you cycle along the 11.5km Clontarf to Howth Cycleway. Pedal the whole way there and back again to complete the route or, for a quick gallivant, choose one of the shorter sections of the paved route. Once you've made your way back to the starting point, check out the lovely cafés that look out on Clontarf's seafront. 

Media captionStop off at Clontarf's seafront.

Get the most out of Dublin

There's so much more to Dublin than its great network of trails and cycleways. Check out all there is to see and do in the country's vibrant capital.