Dublin is a place that makes people think of drinking delicious beer, seeing old churches, and learning about European history. You can do all of that in Dublin and more, but you might be surprised to learn that you can also head to the beaches in and near Dublin during your trip. If you haven't considered Dublin as a place that you could go to in order to enjoy the beach, think again. There are lots of beaches in Dublin, and we'll take you through all our favorites. There's a place for the history and culture of the city and a place for visiting the sandy beaches of this beautiful location. Just make sure you have enough time to do both.
Before you head out to enjoy the best beaches in Dublin, you need to get your bags into secure storage. Bounce can keep your bags safe while you have fun at the beach. Let us handle the luggage storage in Dublin so that you can have fun at the best beaches in the city and focus on the water rather than your stuff.
Balscadden Bay Beach
This is not a sandy beach, but you will be able to climb to the top of various vantage points here to see the cliffs, the sea, and the beauty of Ireland's coast. Balscadden Bay Beach has beautiful views even if it can get a bit windy and chilly during some times of the year. This is one of the best beaches in Dublin for the views, even if there isn't a sandy shore to walk along.
Balscadden Bay Beach travel distance from Dublin
This beach is a half hour from Dublin if you are driving. Public transportation can get you here in about 45 minutes.
You absolutely must climb to the top of Howth Peninsula cliffs so that you can see Ireland's Eye and the ocean spread out below. The panoramic views from this vantage point are incredible and well worth the work to get to the top of this peak.
You will also see seals everywhere here and lots of other local flora and fauna. Dublin Bay is beautiful if you make the hike up to the top of the Howth Head Cliffs as well. This is a breathtaking part of the coastline and one that will create lasting memories.
If you have always wanted to visit Dublin Castle, this beach is the right place to head once you are done with the tour of the castle itself. There are fantastic views here, just like at Balscadden, and you can come here to walk, see the sights, and be entranced by the sound of the waves on the beach. This is one of the beaches in Dublin where you can feel the history of the place most clearly.
Sandymount Beach travel distance from Dublin
It's about a 20-minute drive from Dublin to this beach. Alternatively, the DART from Connolly Station to Sandymount Station takes only 10 minutes, but you'll need to walk about two kilometers to the beach once you get off at the station.
Dun Laoghaire and Howth Head are easy to see from here, and this is a great walking beach for those who love some exercise when they head to the coast. In the summer, when the weather is actually pretty mild, food trucks and ice cream vans often line up right by the beach. You might want to sample their treats if they are in residence when you show up to visit.
The Sandymount Strand and Irishtown Nature Trails are also right by this beach, so hiking aficionados will have a ton of fun accessing these cool walking paths. Dublin doesn't really give you access to anything like a tropical beach vacation, but you can take a ton of pictures and really enjoy the coastline here.
Burrow Beach is also called Hole in the Wall Beach by locals. In the summer months, it can be warm enough to sunbathe here, and you might also be able to swim when the weather is nice enough. The water is still cold, but water sports lovers might be able to brave the chilly ocean to have some fun.
Burrow Beach travel distance from Dublin
This beach is about half an hour to 40 minutes away by car or using public transportation.
Most people come here to make the most of the sunny days that happen from time to time on the island. It is often still windy here, however, so you might want to head to the local pubs that are close to the water to warm up and have a pint.
Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island are visible from the beach, and you can walk along the sand if you would rather not sit down in the sun. On cooler days and in the winter, the tide usually comes in quite close to the access point, so you might not be able to walk as much if you don't time things right.
This is a lovely location for a walk along the coast, and there are often food vendors and places selling hot drinks to take advantage of when you visit if the weather is a bit cool. This location is not big, but you can get a nice view of the ocean and some peace and quiet here. This is one of the best beaches for walking as it is not often crowded at all.
Tower Bay travel distance from Dublin
This location is about half an hour away from the city centre by car and about an hour and a half away using public transportation.
The Martello watchtower that looms over the beach is very cool, and you might want to go take a picture of it. You cannot access it sadly, but you can clearly see it from every part of the beach during your visit.
Feel free to wander away from the beach into town for some shopping and a snack or warm up in a local pub nearby after an hour of walking along the coast and taking in the sights and sounds.
The sand at Portmarnock Beach is golden, and the views are lovely. This is a five-mile-long beach, which makes it one of the longer beaches in Dublin. You can easily enjoy a longer stroll here than at other locations and take a lot of pictures of Howth Harbor and the mountains looming in the distance. This beach is known as the Velvet Strand by locals because it is so soft and lovely underfoot. This is also a blue flag beach, which means that you can swim here safely.
Portmarnock Beach travel distance from Dublin
It takes half hour to get here from the city centre by car or on public transportation.
Most people head here with a coffee in hand to wander the beach and chat. The Velvet Strand is well-known by locals as a place where wandering feet can enjoy a bit of exercise. Once you are chilly and ready to come indoors, head to a local pub to warm up with a pint. Malahide is the closest town, and it's a cute and charming place to drop in when you're done checking out the beach.
Consider heading to this beach when the tide is out so that you can walk more of the length of the beach and see the surrounding scenery more clearly.
This beach is more of a picnic beach, but you can choose to swim here if you don't mind braving the cold. The beach is not large, and it is rocky, but it's a beautiful area that offers lovely views of Dalkey Island. This is one of the best beaches in the area if you really want to appreciate how stark and lovely the area around Dublin is. This is one of the blue flag beaches, which means that one can swim here without issues. Head to the north end of the beach for the best swimming access points.
Killiney Strand travel distance from Dublin
This beach is about forty minutes from Dublin whether you drive or take public transport. The bus is your best bet to avoid parking headaches and takes you from Connolly Station to Killiney, and then it's only about 100 meters to Killiney Beach.
This is one of the beaches in Dublin that can be counted on during the summer for some swimming and maybe even some sunbathing on sunny days. The beach is wide and long, and it is ideal for walking as well as hanging out. You can also go see the obelisk or choose to climb Killiney Hill to get a better view of Killiney Beach and the surrounding area.
This beach actually vanishes when the tide comes in, making it a beach near the city centre that is sometimes not even there! You can come here for an experience that is more like heading to a harbor, but there is still a beach area to enjoy during certain times of the day. There is a car park nearby, but it can fill up fast on sunny days.
Sandycove Beach travel distance from Dublin
This beach is pretty much right in Dun Laoghaire. You will have about 10 minutes of travel time to get here.
The town itself is charming, and the small walking space that is Sandycove Beach is just one of the many things that you can enjoy here. You will find lots of places to eat and hang out in the town near the beach, which can be perfect to fill up your day after you have seen the cove itself.
This beach area is located on Bull Island, and it used to be the right place to head for families. Locals would pack a lunch and take the kids and extended family to spend the day here. Today you are more likely to see kite surfing and paddle boarding going on at this beach location. You will also be close to a lot of nice pubs so that you can get a pint and a meal when you are done enjoying the beach.
Dollymount Strand travel distance from Dublin
It takes about half an hour to get to the Dolly, as locals call it.
Kite surfing can be a fun thing to try your hand at, or if you love paddle boarding, you can rent a board and enjoy the water as you take in the views here. There are two golf courses nearby as well, for those who like to play a round of golf now and again.
You can swim here as well, and the natural sand bar that protects the beach creates ideal swimming conditions throughout the summer months. You will not want to plan to swim when it is cold out, but you could still head down to the beach here to see the surf when winter rolls in.
Nature lovers will enjoy the views of Howth Head and the walking trails that are located near the beach. There are also lots of places to shop near the beach if you are looking for some retail therapy.
If you're planning a trip to Dublin on a budget, these beaches are excellent activities to see more of the natural area around the city and keep costs down. Depending on how much time you have in Dublin, you can also head further afield to more picturesque beaches that make great weekend trips from the city.
Regardless of what else you have planned for your time in Dublin, there is no reason not to enjoy the various Dublin beaches in this guide. It can be fun to take a break from the other tourist experiences that you have planned just to step back and see the beauty of this lovely place.