When we talk about Dublin, we often think about the exciting places to explore in the city centre: drinking a pint of Guinness and listening to buskers in the Temple Bar district, walking around the picturesque Grafton street, visiting Trinity College library, and crossing the iconic Ha’penny bridge along River Liffey. These are just a few of the best places to see in the heart of the city. But did you know that there are more lovely spots to discover when you head to the south side of town?
South Dublin is packed with historical landmarks, restaurants and cafes, shopping centers, craft brews, and stunning coastlines that are perfect for a day trip. If you happen to be in South Dublin for your staycation, here are 8 amazing destinations that are under the radar.
1. Dun Laoghaire Pier
The seaside suburb of Dun Laoghaire offers an array of activities, both for leisure and vigorous travelers. The heart of the coastal town is Dun Laoghaire Pier, one of the largest harbors in Ireland.
If you’re looking for a leisurely stroll that’s close to your hotel in Dun Laoghaire, overlooking the stunning views of the Dublin bay and the Howth head peninsula, you may head to the Dun Laoghaire harbor’s East Pier, which is more than 1km long. While sightseeing is fun, you can make the most out of the bay through Dublin cruises, paddle boarding, and scuba diving.
2. Dalkey Island & Muglins
Okay, Dublin bay is stunning from the pier and the hill parks but is there a way to see what’s underneath these stunning, blue waters? Absolutely! If you’re a diving enthusiast visiting South Dublin from early April to mid-October, you might want to head to two of Ireland’s best diving sites: Dalkey Island and Muglins rocks. Both destinations show you abundant Irish marine life at depths of 8m-25m (25ft-80ft).
3. James Joyce Tower & Museum
Fun fact: Dublin is known as a UNESCO City of Literature, with Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and James Joyce as its most prominent authors. James Joyce in particular, an Irish novelist known for his book Ulysses, has a museum situated by the sea in South Dublin.
The James Joyce Tower houses a museum of all the personal belongings of Joyce, which is regarded as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Visitors can tour his living room to see the picturesque view across the bay.
4. National Maritime Museum
Do you want to relive Ireland’s maritime history? This Dun Laoghaire museum is housed in a 180-year old church that used to be a place of worship of seafarers. Today, it features an extensive collection of artifacts that allow visitors to learn about maritime exploration, radio communication, navigation, sea life, and deep-sea cable technology.
5. Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre
You don’t have to go to the Dublin centre to see a lovely castle and learn Ireland’s ancient history. South Dublin has Dalkey Castle, which lets you go back in time to the Tudor days where barber surgery, archery, and cooking were the normal ways of life. There’s a full immersion guided tour where you’ll see passionate guides and actors, bringing the ancient history to life.
6. Killiney Hill Park
The small yet charming public park is standing in parts of Killiney Hill and Dalkey Hill, overlooking both Killiney and Dalkey villages. The hills are a popular destination for walkers and hikers who’d also want to feast their eyes on spectacular views of Dublin to the northwest, mountains of Wales, the Irish Sea, Bray Head, and the Wicklow Mountains.
7. Airfield Estate
What comes to mind when you hear “Airfield Estate”. Sorry to disappoint you but there won’t be an airport or a museum of aircraft here. However, you might be happy to unwind on a 38-acre working farm with nothing but a relaxed, picturesque environment. Airfield Estate features a garden, café, and heritage experience, giving you a delightful opportunity to enjoy Ireland’s food, farming, and nature.
8. Forty Foot Promontory
Are you brave enough to take a cliff jump and take a plunge into the icy water? Back in the day, this 250-year old Forty Foot was a nude bathing place for men only. In the 1970s, the place became a part of the women’s liberation movement when women activists staged a protest by jumping into its waters.
Today, it’s a popular swimming and cliff jumping spot, with some brave swimmers plunging into the waters to cure a hangover after a long night at the local pub.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a free-spirited writer who hates being locked up at home. She loves traveling, eating, taking food and streetscape photographs, and simply enjoying new experiences and writing about them. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Rochestown Lodge Hotel Dún Laoghaire.