best 6 dublin day trips on the dart

Last updated Jun 04, 2023

When you stay in one of our 7 central Dublin aparthotels you have the city at your fingertips! With more bars, restaurants, sights and attractions than you could shake a Guinness at, you can easily spend your whole trip within walking distance of your apartment. But why stop there! Dublin’s stunning coastline is legendary, from Dun Laoghaire’s Martello Tower in Ulysses to the country’s most haunted castle in Malahide, there’s history and surprises around every corner. Simply hop on the DART, Dublin’s coastal train, and explore wild swimming spots, world-famous seafood restaurants and farmer’s markets. Here’s our top six picks for unforgettable day trips, all within 45 minutes of Dublin city…


Take the DART southbound from Dublin city to the beautiful seaside town of Bray with its colourful houses, family-friendly attractions and views from Bray Head. The DART journey is an attraction in itself passing by beautiful bird-filled cliffs and sparkling blue sea. See more stunning scenery on the Bray to Greystones cliff walk, two hours of sea views ending in the pub with a seafood chowder. If the weather doesn’t cooperate take the kids to the Sea Life aquarium or pop into Bray Bowl for arcade games and bowling, you can BYOB on Friday and Saturday nights. The Mermaid Arts Centre is also worth a visit with a full programme of cultural events and a gallery showing local artworks and exhibitions. Pop into the Harbour Bar or The Martello for tasty pub food and a fun atmosphere.



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dalkey & killiney

A favourite with celebrities, Matt Damon spent lockdown in Dalkey and Harry Styles was recently spotted swimming at the Vico Baths! Dalkey town has an old-world vibe with independent shops, and pubs which fill up every night of the week. The Queens Bar and Finnegans are top local haunts. Stop into Dalkey Castle & Heritage centre for a sprinkling of history or bring your walking shoes and head up Killiney Hill for incredible views and dog walks. But it’s the beaches and wild swimming spots which have an irresistible draw. You’ll find hardy swimmers at Killiney Beach, White Rock Beach and the Vico Baths every day of the year. On warmer summer days take a picnic with you and look for seals sunbathing on the rocks.



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dun laoghaire


Just a 20 minute DART ride south of Dublin city, Dun Laoghaire is always buzzing. Home to writers and artists for many decades, you’ll find references to its pubs and landmarks in famous works by the likes of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. Head straight to the pier for a stroll which has to start or end with a Teddy’s ice-cream. Sunday is always a good day to visit with the large famer’s market and numerous food trucks serving everything from fish & chips to Asian fusion cuisine. Walk along the seafront to find the Martello Tower, home to the James Joyce museum, and the legendary swimming spot the Forty Foot. Once a men’s only swimming club, today you’ll find it packed with people of all ages, locals and tourists alike! Brave the icy waters and then reward yourself with dinner at Soup ramen bar or The Lighthouse for burgers and natural wines.



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clontarf & raheny


A super close 10 minute DART ride northbound from Dublin city will have you in Clontarf, home to the grand Clontarf Castle, pretty boutiques and, of course, more beautiful seaside. Wander along Dollymount Strand with dogwalkers and joggers, stopping for a coffee in Happy Out. For retail therapy head to the high end boutiques and check-out Lotts & Co, a premium grocers with fine wines and delicious lunch options. The Yacht is always a good idea for dinner and drinks. Hop off the dart at Raheny for where the Strand extends out to Bull Island, a nature reserve with sand dunes and marshes, ideal for birdwatching and a dip in the sea! If you prefer greenery to sand, St. Anne’s Park is one of the most beautiful in the county. Part of the former estate of the Guinness family, wander around walled gardens, play a game of tennis or visit on Saturday to catch the market. 



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Famous worldwide for its seafood, this seaside town is bursting with flavour and style. Just 30 minutes north of the city, make sure you arrive hungry! For classic fish & chips Beshoff Bros never disappoints, while O'Connells whips up mean seafood dishes along with grilled meats and signature cocktails. For something seriously special Mamo is a Michelin starred restaurant worth the hype, make sure book a few weeks in advance. Walk off all that food with a hike up and around Howth head, there’s 5 routes to try ranging in length and level of fitness required. All of them will reward you with breath-taking views of Dublin bay. If you don’t feel up for the challenge, enjoy a stroll down the pier and explore the picture-perfect harbour, there’s often seals hanging out by the boats.



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There are two Northside lines one to Howth and another for Malahide, so take care when you're aiming for this bougie town. Bursting with high-end restaurants and boutiques, it’s one of the best places to do a bit of alternative shopping. Grab a bite from the street food trucks by the marina or eat al fresco in one of the many fine restaurants on the main street if the weather allows. The imposing Malahide Castle and Gardens is a destination in its own right. Considered to be the most haunted castle in Ireland, take a tour to learn why and explore the gardens to calm yourself down. For more stunning coastal views wander down to Malahide beach and walk the 2km to the neighbouring Portmarnock beach. Here you’ll find a world-class golf course and speciality coffee spot Beach Brew.



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Dublin city's DART stations include Connolly Station, Tara Street and Pearse Street, all easily accessible from any of our 7 Dublin locations. Book today!