Best Beaches in Dublin

Sun, Sand, and Sea: Dublin’s Top Beach Destinations 

Ever wondered why beach strolls feel like guilt-free workouts? Well, studies say working out on sand is trickier than on concrete, as it requires more effort and energy.

But whether you want a lively beach like Bull Island or a chill one at Killiney, Dublin’s got you covered. 

Keep reading to see some of Dublin’s best beaches and dive into sandy bliss! 

What are the best beaches in Dublin?

There are many beautiful beaches to explore in Dublin. Notable ones include Killiney, Dollymount Strand, Portmarnock, Sandycove, Donabate, and Seapoint.

Killiney Beach

If you’re on the lookout for sun, sea, and a splash of adventure in Dublin, Killiney Beach is worth the visit. It proudly claims its Blue Flag status and pebbly allure as Ireland’s Gulf of Naples.

Just head a bit north, and there you have it—the captivating White Rock, a sandy cove embraced by heather and wildflowers, practically begging for an appearance on your Instagram feed!

Killiney Bay is also like the effortlessly stylish celeb of coastlines, casually flaunting those curves and serving up epic views of the Wicklow Mountains and Bray Head. 

Sure, Killiney might not scream ‘picnic central’ with its pebbly charm, but who needs sandwiches when you’ve got breathtaking views? Take a brisk walk, cool off with a swim, and keep an eye out for seals doing their thing!

Pro Tip:
Elevate your beach experience at Killiney by kickstarting your day with a caffeine boost from Fred and Nancy’s at Killiney Beach. Beyond the beach, explore Sorrento Park, or uncover Dublin’s not-so-secret treasure, The Vico Baths—your social media feed will thank you. 

Dollymount Strand

Dollymount Strand, a notable Dublin beach, offers a 5-kilometre sandy playground for both two-legged and four-legged adventurers. 

Here, the views of Howth greet you on the outbound stroll, while the iconic Poolbeg chimneys bid you farewell upon your return. 

But this beach isn’t just about sun and sea. It’s a dynamic locale where you can indulge in everything from paddleboarding to kite surfing, ensuring that building sandcastles is just the beginning of your adventures. 

And if water sports aren’t your thing, no worries. The beach, surrounded by golf courses, is a haven for those who prefer hitting the links. This offers a convenient post-work round close to Dublin’s city centre.

Pro Tip:
When hunger strikes, make a beeline for the Happy Out café at the Dollymount Strand beach’s entrance. They serve up top-notch coffee and brunch baps, creating the perfect recipe for an al fresco feast!And for a change of scenery, cross the wooden bridge from Clontarf to explore man-made Bull Island. This bridge keeps Dublin’s favourite local beach always within city reach.

Portmarnock Beach

Portmarnock, one of Dublin’s three Blue Flag beaches, stands out as a coastal gem with a dash of environmental glory. It also snagged the Green Coast Award for its high-quality beach vibes!

Affectionately known as the ‘Velvet Strand’, this 5-kilometre stretch of golden sand is more than just a pretty face. It boasts calm and shallow waters, making it the perfect playground for little ones to paddle in.

Whether you’re a swimmer or a leisurely walker, Portmarnock has you covered. With summer lifeguards on duty and conveniently placed toilets, it’s a hassle-free haven. 

And for all you dog lovers out there, rejoice! Your furry friends are welcome; just make sure to keep them on a lead.

Pro Tip:
Seize the beauty of Portmarnock with a scenic beach trail to Malahide, and add extra charm by extending your stroll with the Robswell Park Hillside Hike. For a culinary delight in Portmarnock, take a short 20-minute drive to indulge in McHughs’ amazing fish and chips. Otherwise, head to Honey Honey Cafe for delightful coffee and a smoked salmon bagel.

Sandycove Beach

One of Dublin’s prettiest beaches is Sandycove, a small but charming spot by the sea. The novelist James Joyce described it as a ‘snotgreen, scrotumtightening sea’, and despite its modest size, it radiates beauty with every ripple of its waters. 

Just a breezy 20-minute stroll from Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove unfolds as the cosy realm of the famed Forty Foot. Families looking for a milder splash can chill at the snug inlet nearby, a sweet spot for paddling delights.

When you look at the beach, you can see a beautiful landscape with mountains in the background. Past the waves, the Martello Tower, a former Napoleon deterrent, is now the James Joyce Tower and Museum.

Parking might be a bit tricky here, but don’t fret! A 22-minute walk from Windsor Terrace or Eden Park will have you back amid the charms of Dublin’s vibrant streets!

Pro Tip:
For your post-beach indulgence, relish the quirky culinary wonders at the Sandycove Store & Yard. Because, let’s be honest, nothing complements a day at the beach like a sausage roll with a side of wit!

Donabate Beach

Dublin’s Donabate Beach is a 3.5-kilometer saga of rolling dunes, dramatic waves, and views that could make a postcard jealous! It’s a 25-minute walk from the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART), and the stroll is worth it for many beach fans.

Perfect for quick seaside escapades, this beach is the local favourite for families, and no wonder—it’s got free parking and lifeguards (because safety first, right?) and toilets close enough that you won’t have to embark on a quest to find them.

If romance were a beach, Donabate might just be the heartthrob. Featuring breathtaking sights of Lambay Island, this scenic setting provides a perfect spot for a charming stroll that even enchants the seagulls.

Pro Tip:
Feeling peckish on your sandy adventure at Donabate Beach? Look out for the vintage Fonté truck by the Shoreline Hotel—they’re dishing out coffee and cheese toasties all year round. Who says beach food can’t be fancy?And when the sun decides to shine, the Shoreline Hotel cranks things up with summer BBQs on their outdoor terrace. Talk about elevating your beach day game!

Seapoint Beach

One more of Dublin’s Blue Flag beaches, Seapoint Beach, offers a lively and easily accessible aquatic retreat. It’s the go-to for a refreshing sea dip, featuring slipways and steps that shine, especially during high tide.

Don’t even get us started on the low-tide rock pooling—it’s like a treasure hunt beneath the waves, revealing hidden gems while you channel your inner marine explorer.

But Seapoint isn’t just a water wonderland; it’s also a photographer’s dream! Nestled between Blackrock and Monkstown, this beach serves as the perfect canvas for your artistic pursuits.

Oh, and did we mention the Martello Tower at the other end? That backdrop makes it a breeze for shutterbugs of all ages to capture that postcard-worthy shot.

Pro Tip:
After conquering Seapoint, up your culinary game at Blackrock Market—it’s not just a market; it’s a foodie carnival waiting to be explored! For the health-conscious beach bums out there, acai bowl aficionados, rejoice! The Roots food truck at the Salthill DART station has your back (and your taste buds) for that guilt-free, post-dip indulgence.

Skerries Beach

Skerries, the dark horse on Dublin’s sandy shores, provides an unexpected getaway for beachgoers. It offers not one but two beaches, catering to every beachgoer’s fancy, the South Beach and the North Beach.

South Beach invites you to dive into its perfect swimming conditions, while North Beach, the family sweetheart, boasts more sheltered waters and a nifty playground nearby—because building sandcastles is a timeless art for many!

The Springers and The Captains on the southern side of the harbour peninsula are more than just spots; they’re like VIP lounges for serious ocean swimmers.

Don’t worry about the logistics either; the train station is a mere 20-minute stroll away, and Dublin Bus practically drops you at the beach’s doorstep!

Pro Tip:
Cap off your sandy adventure at Skerries Beach with a seafood symphony at Stoop Your Head. For many, a beach day without seafood is like a day without sunshine—just incomplete!

Balscadden Bay Beach

When you hear ‘Howth Beach’ in Dublin, you’re basically being summoned to the cool vibes of Balscadden Bay Beach, the VIP of Howth’s seaside scene. This place rocks a different kind of beauty, with killer views of Howth Cliffs and Ireland’s Eye. 

Here’s the exciting part—if you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of the local celebrities: seals doing their aquatic head-bobbing routine. It’s practically a Hollywood moment, Dublin-style.

And the water? Crystal clear, like it’s showing off, which is perfect for a post-hike splash on those rare sunny Irish days. Plus, the Howth Cliff Walk kicks off nearby, so you can up your coastal game.

Pro Tip:
So, you’ve had your fill of beachy goodness at Balscadden Bay, but the adventure doesn’t stop there. Head into the village and treat your taste buds to King Sitric’s fish and chips and Howth Market’s coffee and crêpe trucks.

Sandymount Strand

Sandymount Strand is Dublin’s golden child of beaches, giving off major Biosphere Reserve vibes. It’s a year-round hotspot, but beware of surprise tides—drama at high tide, you know? 

For romantic souls, Sandymount Beach sets the stage with views of the Poolbeg Lighthouse and Dun Laoghaire. Nearby Ballsbridge adds a dash of urban charm with its bars and pubs. 

Sandymount Strand is your Dublin multitasker—beach vibes, urban exploration, and a seafood fiesta, all in one Insta-worthy trip. Your taste buds will thank you!

Pro Tip:
Bujo’s, a mere 5-minute walk from Sandymount Green, is the go-to spot to curb post-walk hunger. Indulge in their gourmet burgers that serve as a cure for your cravings, ensuring each bite is a delightful flavour explosion.If you’re up for a 10-minute beachy joyride, hit up The Park Cafe in Ballsbridge for a seafood feast. Oysters at the counter are your shortcut to turning a beach day into a full-blown culinary thrill.

Burrow Beach

Burrow Beach flaunts ample sandy turf for all, boasting smooth shores and picturesque Dublin coastal vibes. This sandy stretch has room for your gear, your friend’s gear, and a couple of sandcastles to boot.

And guess what? If you’re rolling sans wheels, the Sutton DART station is just a leisurely stroll away, like your personal red carpet.

A dip in the refreshing waters is a must too; it’s a beach commandment for many. In the summer, our trusty lifeguard becomes your seaside superhero, ensuring your swim is not just safe but a splashingly good time.

Pro Tip:
Once you’ve had your fill of sun and surf at Burrow Beach, make your way to Sam’s Coffee House near Sutton Cross for some post-beach bliss. 
Because every epic beach day deserves a great finale, and you can experience this with a latte in hand—the Dublin way!

Claremont Beach

Dublin’s got a sneaky little secret for those looking to dodge the beach crowds—the elusive Claremont Beach in Howth. Tucked away on the far side of the railway in this charming seaside village, it’s your golden ticket to tranquilly during peak seasons.

And the best part? Just hit the sands early in the morning before the sunbathing battalion rolls in, turning your beach day into a zen experience.

This beach in Dublin, with its family-friendly twist, offers acres of sandy playtime, making it a prime spot for a pre-town family hangout. 

At low tide, Claremont and Sutton’s Burrow Beach join forces to become the legendary Hole-In-The-Wall beach. It’s the kind of hidden gem that keeps Dublin’s beach game strong and its visitors endlessly intrigued.

Pro Tip:
Forget the fancy seafood joints lining the coast of Claremont Beach—dive into the real seaside vibe by snagging a meal at one of the charming fish and chip spots sprinkled around the harbour. 

Portrane Beach

Portrane Beach, a 2km stretch of sandy goodness, is the bigger sibling of the two beaches in town. The beach‘s sandy hillocks are the selfie stars, effortlessly vibing with Dublin’s chill hood and stylish residences in the backdrop.

Now, timing is key here for the ultimate full-body dip—visit the beach when the tide is high. Beware of low tides, or you’ll end up in a damp disaster. 

But wait, there’s more! Portrane Beach has got scenic walks that are basically nature’s catwalk, strutting around the Rogerstown Estuary.

Vehicles? Nah, they’re not invited. Park your worries at the pedestrian entrance for an effortlessly tranquil experience.

Pro Tip:
Take a little detour north of Portrane Beach to the National Heritage Area. 
In winter, this place turns into a bird extravaganza, making your beach day a double whammy of chill vibes and nature’s little show. It’s like getting the best of both worlds!

Tower Bay Beach

Tower Bay Beach is a quirky slice of Dublin’s coastline. It’s like someone took a nibble out of the cliffs, revealing this inviting stretch of soft sand. 

The beach got its name from the nearby Martello Tower—the kind of tower that’s so Dublin, it’s practically wearing a tweed hat and sipping on a cup of tea!

Stones love to throw a beachfront party, so be mindful on your way from the car park. And, because nature’s got its own agenda, there are toilets conveniently stationed by the beach for all your urgent calls.

About 4 kilometres east, you’ve got Lambay Island doing its mystery dance in the Irish Sea—it’s like the beach’s eccentric cousin who never fails to bring a surprise to the party.

Pro Tip:
Wrap up your Tower Bay Beach day with a clever mix of Irish and Italian flavors on Dough Box’s wood-fired pizzas at Beside The Brook pub. It’s a tasty post-swim finale with local toppings on a sourdough canvas!

Malahide Beach

A year-round “no swimming” vibe, courtesy of the ever-present Red Flag, sets the tone at Malahide Beach in Dublin. But worry not, because this beach has way more fun in store than just dipping your toes! 

You’ve got this panoramic view of Donabate Beach and Ireland’s Eye, and Malahide Castle is basically its next-door neighbour. If you feel swimmy, High Rock and Low Rock are your VIP spots; just be the Michael Phelps of the scene.

Weekends and holidays at Malahide Beach? It’s the beach’s hottest club—either rise with the roosters or catch the sunset for that VIP shoreline vibe. 

Malahide Beach has you covered with beach party perks too: toilets, food trucks, and tasty eateries. 

Getting there is also easy with DART, Dublin Bus, or your trusty four-wheeled companion. Just snag a free spot early or stroll from paid parking.

Pro Tip:
Check out digs like The Grand Hotel, White Sands Hotel, Beachwood Country House, and Castle Lodge B&B. These are accommodation options near Malahide Beach that’ll treat your wallet as well as you’ll be treated.