Things to Do in Dún Laoghaire

Harbour Highlights: Exciting Things to Do in Dún Laoghaire 

Fun fact about Dún Laoghaire: It used to go by the name ‘Dunleary’ but had a brief stint as ‘Kingstown’ after a royal visit—talk about an identity crisis!

But despite its name changes, this coastal town in County Dublin boasts scenic views, historical sites, and Insta-worthy events. This makes it great for maritime enthusiasts and charming waterfront locale seekers.

If you plan on visiting, read about the coolest activities in Dún Laoghaire below!

What are the top things to do in Dún Laoghaire?

The top things to do in Dún Laoghaire include visiting the James Joyce Tower, exploring People’s Park, strolling Dún Laoghaire Baths, taking a Dublin Bay Cruise, and exploring the National Maritime Museum of Ireland.

Delve into History at the James Joyce Tower and Museum


Address: Sandycove Point, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin

Phone: +353 (0)1 878 8547

Email: [email protected]

Operating Hours: 

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Staking its claim as an iconic Dún Laoghaire landmark is the James Joyce Tower and Museum. It was once a cosy home for James Joyce, Ireland’s literary maestri, who decided to crash there for six nights and kick off Ulysses’ first chapter.

Waltzing into the tower, you’ll find a museum doing a stellar job showcasing Joyce’s life and works. Think letters, photos, and other memorabilia—basically, the VIP pass to Joyce’s world!

And the living room? It’s a time capsule, perfectly matching the Ulysses description.

Guess what? Admission won’t cost you a penny, either. It’s your golden ticket to a front-row seat for a crash course in Dublin and Ireland’s history and culture, all personally curated by a renowned Irish novelist and poet. 

Pro Tip:
Take a plunge into the Forty Foot, a legendary sea pool right by the James Joyce Tower. It’s the spot where locals, once a men-only crew, now gather for daily swims, claiming all sorts of health benefits. 
It’s like stepping into the lively scenes straight out of Irish novels, with Ulysses vibes and all!

Relax and Unwind at People’s Park

Address: Park Rd, Glasthule, Co. Dublin

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 8 AM to 8 PM

People’s Park is a great place to take the kids when you’re in Dún Laoghaire, covering 2 hectares of land and a popular spot for walkers since the 1890s. You’ll feel like you’re in a Victorian-era daydream with a modern twist! 

Fancy a cuppa? The former pavilion’s tea rooms await, along with the allure of the Victorian gatehouse and a bustling weekend market.

And if you’re up for a sensory experience, there’s a fragrant garden designed for our visually impaired friends, complete with a secure walking trail. For the tiny adventurers, there’s a spanking playground that’s sure to bring joy to their hearts.

Let’s not forget a touch of sophistication—take a moment to appreciate the meticulously restored Victorian fountains that add a dash of elegance to the landscape. 

Pro Tip:
Craving homemade delights and artsy treasures? Make a beeline for Dún Laoghaire Coco Market every Sunday, from 11 am to 4 pm!
Here, you’ll experience a feast featuring over 50 traders offering everything from delicious eats to one-of-a-kind crafts right in People’s Park. 

Explore the Iconic Dún Laoghaire Baths

Address: Windsor Terrace, Glasthule, Co. Dublin

Operating Hours: Open 24/7

If you’re up for a dose of uniqueness and a splash of rejuvenation, the Dún Laoghaire Baths is a historic facility with a fresh makeover, boasting breathtaking views of the sea and the coastline.

Take a trip back to the 1800s; these baths have a rich history, starting as a private retreat but later opened up to the public by the Urban District Council.

Fast forward to 2022, and the Baths got a facelift: a renovated pavillion, a spruced-up pavillion, a spanking new 35m jetty, a Roger Casement statue, and more. 

But the fun doesn’t stop there—2023 rolls in with a public café, artists’ studios, and upgraded lifeguard facilities.

Overall, the Dún Laoghaire Baths is a trifecta of nature’s beauty, artistic culture, and Ireland’s rich history. The best part? It won’t cost you a penny, and it’s open year-round!

Pro Tip:
Start a sweet tradition at Teddy’s ice cream parlour, a multi-generational gem. Grab a cone, take a leisurely stroll to Dún Laoghaire Baths, and indulge in the flavours like a seasoned pro!

Enjoy a Scenic Cruise on Dublin Bay 


Address: E Pier, Glasthule, Co. Dublin

Phone: +353 1 9011757

Email: [email protected] 

Dublin Bay beckons with stunning views if you’re eager to explore Dún Laoghaire’s beauty. You’ve got options galore, like the route from Dún Laoghaire to Howth.

As you sail along, Dublin Bay unfolds its wonders—islands, lighthouses, mountains, and a tower that’s probably fancier than your neighbor’s garden gnome. Plus, they throw in a discount train ticket, so getting back to Dún Laoghaire is a breeze.

Feeling a bit more urban? Opt for the cruise that takes you from Dún Laoghaire to Dublin City, where you can dive into the capital’s attractions.

But if you’re all about that ‘360-degree view’ life, there’s a cruise that does a fancy loop around the bay, showcasing the coastline and its landmarks like a well-dressed catwalk model.

Pro Tip:
Dive into seafood bliss at Fish Shack on Dún Laoghaire Pier, where the legendary fish tacos vanish in a flash and the crunchy fish and chips are a cure for generations of hangovers.

Visit the National Maritime Museum of Ireland


Address: Haigh Terrace, Moran Park, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Phone: 00 353 (0)1 280 0969 / 00 353 (0)1 2143 964

Email: [email protected] 

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 11 AM to 5 PM

Ahoy, sea enthusiasts! If you’ve got a thing for the deep blue and maritime tales, the National Maritime Museum of Ireland is your go-to spot. It’s housed in a former sailor sanctuary built a whopping 180 years ago—talk about vintage vibes!

Inside, you’ll be greeted by a seafarer’s dream – ship models, nifty navigation tools, and art that could rival the best ocean sunsets. 

But the real star of the show? The Baily Lighthouse light was the OG beacon that guided ships through stormy seas.

And there’s more: a Titanic exhibition spills the beans on its infamous iceberg encounter. For a dose of wartime drama, explore relics from the RMS Leinster, sunk by a German torpedo near the Irish coast in 1918.

In addition, adventurers may step into a real ship’s radio room. It’s like a time machine to the days when people chatted across oceans without dropping a ‘Can you hear me now?’ 

Pro Tip:
Wrap up your museum adventure with a feast at the Maritime Cafe—sandwiches, salads, and sea views. 
And the best part? No ticket is required! It’s the perfect grand finale to your National Maritime Museum of Ireland experience.

Enrich Yourself with Books and Culture at the LexIcon Library


Address: Haigh Terrace, Moran Park, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Phone: 01-2801147

Email: [email protected] 

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 9:30 AM to 8 PM
  • Friday & Saturday – 9:30 AM to 5 PM
  • Sunday – 12 PM to 4 PM

The LexIcon Library and Cultural Centre is a bibliophile’s dream! With a whopping 80,000 books and a cosy 100 spots for all your studying shenanigans, this place is practically a scholarly amusement park!

Need to conquer a test, dive into research, or simply escape into the pages of a gripping tale? LexIcon is your sanctuary. It’s like a mental vacation, without the need for scented candles and soothing music.

Oh, and there’s a whole floor dedicated to local history. Dún Laoghaire spills its secrets—tales of quirky characters, cultural quirks, and events that could make Netflix dramas jealous.

It’s like time-traveling without the hassle of time machines. Who needs flux capacitors when you’ve got LexIcon?

Pro Tip:
Explore Moran Park in front of LexIcon Library for a scenic escape, connecting town and harbour with sea views, a pond, a bamboo garden, and more. 

Catch a Performance or Show at the Pavilion Theatre


Address: Marine Rd, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin

Phone: +353 1 231 2929

Email: [email protected] 

Looking for a cultural night out in Dún Laoghaire? The Pavillion Theatre offers a world of shows covering everything from theatre and literature to comedy and music.

Now, the Pavillion Theatre isn’t a spring chicken. It goes way back to 1903, complete with gardens and a waterfall, and it’s survived not one but two literal burnouts. 

Like a resilient Phoenix, the current theatre proudly rose from the ashes in 2001 on the same spot.

But with 324 spots up for grabs, you might want to be quick on the draw, especially if there’s a hot show in town. 

If you want some highlights, how about a documentary on Sinead O’Connor, Ireland’s superstar, or a side-splitting comedy show by the Dirtbirds?

And there’s more to love: dive into art-house, independent gems, and classics, particularly during the Dublin Animation Film Festival at the cinema.

And don’t fret when the weather gets moody, because the Pavillion Theatre is your weatherproof haven for a delightful evening. Come rain or shine, there’s always something intriguing and entertaining waiting for you at this venue.

Pro Tip:
For a theatre-adjacent stay with a royal touch, The Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire is your go-to. 
Enjoy celeb-worthy views, easy access to the Promenade, and all the pampering you need at Sansana Spa. It’s a regal combo for a perfect night out!

Wander Along Dún Laoghaire Harbour to the Pier Lighthouse

Dún Laoghaire Harbour is an ideal destination for a tranquil stroll to the Pier Lighthouse. Follow the 2.6km path on the East and West Piers and soak in the captivating sight of boats drifting by and the striking silhouette of Howth Head.

But the East Pier isn’t just any stroll in Dublin—it’s where you can catch sight of Howth in the distance, soak in the vibes, and cap it off with the East Pier Lighthouse. It’s like the A-list for your fresh air cravings!

And as you amble along, keep an eye out for some historical gems like the ancient lighthouse and the Commissioner of Irish Lights building.

These architectural marvels have been lending a helping hand to sailors for centuries, adding a touch of seafaring charm to your scenic adventure.

Should the urge to kick back strike you, no worries! There are conveniently placed benches and inviting beaches where you can either perch for a serene moment or take a refreshing dip.

Pro Tip:
Check out Dún Laoghaire’s retro joyride at the Vintage Carousel near the Harbour, boasting 12 budget-friendly attractions. It’s your one-stop destination for a nostalgic spin overlooking the scenic Dún Laoghaire Harbour!

Embark on a Deep-Sea Diving Adventure with Oceandivers

Embark on a Deep-Sea Diving Adventure with Oceandivers
Image by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash


Address: COAL HARBOUR, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Phone: +353 1-280-1083

Email:  [email protected] 

Calling all underwater explorers! Oceandivers offers guided courses in Dún Laoghaire’s harbour, providing the opportunity to explore marine life with quality equipment, safety training, and insurance for a worry-free underwater adventure.

The depths of Dalkey Island and the Muglins rocks unveil a marine menagerie, where the underwater landscape is adorned with elegant coral and sponges and mysterious residents like lobster and dogfish gracefully navigate the currents.

With depths ranging from 16 to 88 feet, you’ve got the whole sea spectrum to explore. Whether you’re a shallow-water enthusiast or a deep-sea aficionado, there’s something for everyone.

Hate the idea of turning into a human popsicle underwater? No problemo! Oceandivers has got your back, making sure your underwater escapade is more pleasure than freeze-fest.

Pro Tip:
Want to ease into the underwater world without committing too much? Check out Discover Scuba—it’s like the casual Friday of scuba diving. 
It goes down every Tuesday evening at the National Aquatic Centre from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour around Dún Laoghaire

Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour around Dún Laoghaire


Dún Laoghaire offers a historic walking tour that lets you discover the town’s rich and fascinating past. You can pick up the map at Hick’s butcher on Lower Georges Street and follow the trail of landmarks and stories that shaped Dún Laoghaire’s identity. 

Feast your eyes on this map—this one’s not your average ‘turn left at the big tree’ guide. Oh no, it’s a treasure map with 28 X marks the spots. 

From the RMS Leinster’s Memorial Anchor to the bookish haven of James Joyce Tower & Museum and the time-honored Burnett’s Pharmacy (circa 1890), it’s a journey through time and culture.

And let me tell you, Dún Laoghaire isn’t shy about flaunting its historical bling. 

The world’s first suburban railway? Yep, it’s here. The OG purpose-built yacht club? Absolutely, it’s a thing!

But let’s not forget the crown jewel—the world’s largest asylum harbour. This town doesn’t just have a history; it’s got a blockbuster script that can leave you in awe.

Pro Tip:
There’s more artistic flair to uncover aside from the Historic Walking Tour! Opt for the Mural Walking Tour to witness the town’s walls burst into life with colour and creativity.For a dash of family-friendly fun, don your explorer hat and try the Scavenger Hunt Family Walking Tour. Armed with a map and clues, you’ll embark on a quest through Dún Laoghaire that can hook the whole family!

Experience the Festive Dún Laoghaire Christmas Market

Experience the Festive Dún Laoghaire Christmas Market
Image by 98FM

Feeling a bit peckish for Christmas treats? Well, Dún Laoghaire Christmas Market offers gourmet sausages, fresh falafel, gingerbread, and steaming hot chocolate for you to indulge in. 

The market is a treasure trove of authentic gifts and handmade treats scattered around the charming Dún Laoghaire Harbour and town centre.

Who wouldn’t want to stroll through a market with great live entertainment and market stalls? It’s the kind of festive chaos that locals and visiting tourists absolutely eat up!

In fact, Dún Laoghaire Christmas boasts the title of one of the longest-running Christmas markets in Dublin. Talk about a festive legacy!

Now, if you’re on the lookout for things to do in Dún Laoghaire during the holidays, don’t miss Santa’s grand entrance. Imagine Santa arriving at the Harbour Plaza, officially kicking off the festive shenanigans, usually at the end of November.

The air is filled with Christmas carols and live music from early evening onwards, turning the whole town into a festive playground—it’s a ho-ho-whole lot of fun!

Pro Tip:
Kick off winter fun by pairing a visit to the Dún Laoghaire Christmas Market with a spin on Ireland’s largest ice rink at Ice Skating Dún Laoghaire. It’s conveniently located at the harbour!