One Day Along the North Dublin Coast: Howth and Malahide

One Day in Dublin Itinerary: Howth Cliff Path Loop

About This Dublin City Itinerary

One Day in Dublin City Itinerary Rating: Intermediate
This Dublin itinerary is recommended for people with the following interests: nature, hiking, history

North Dublin Coast Itinerary in Brief

  1. Coffee at Steam in Dublin City Centre
  2. Take the DART train to Howth 
  3. Hike the iconic Howth Cliff Path Loop
  4. (Weekends) Browse Howth Market
  5. (Seasonal) Go Birdwatching at Ireland's Eye island
  6. Eat a fresh fish lunch in Howth at the Oar House
  7. Grab a pint or a hot whiskey at the Abbey Tavern
  8. Take the DART train to Malahide
  9. Tour historic Malahide Castle
  10. Eat dinner back at Legal Eagle on the northside of the River Liffey back in Dublin City
  11. Catch a gig at SIN É music pub

Explore other one day Dublin City itineraries here:
One Day in Dublin City Itineraries

North Dublin Coast Detailed Itinerary

Start your day out in Dublin with coffee at Steam in Dublin City Centre. Steam serves locally owned and roasted Cloud Picker coffee and is associated with The Alex, a hip hotel. 

Consider taking your coffee to go and make your way to the Pearse Street DART station. Catch the train along the Dublin North Coast to Howth.
Day out in Dublin on the Dublin North Coast: Visit Ireland's Eye near Howth

Hike the iconic Howth Cliff Path Loop. Follow the colored arrows along the trail to make sure you stay on track. The Howth Cliff Path begins with a slow ascent out of Howth Village. You may find the number of signs cautioning: Warning! Dangerous Cliffs to be disconcerting but don't let them deter you. Look down to breathtaking views, just be careful not to stray too close to the edge. 

I definitely recommend wearing long trousers for this hike because there are a number of thorny species living alongside the trail. The trail is quite narrow in parts and you'll have to push aside the brush to get through. Look out at the lighthouse in the distance and then turn upward toward the summit. Roughly hewn steps are there to aid your climb. The Howth Cliff Loop Path trail is about 6 km and takes about 2 hours to complete.  

If you visit Howth on the weekend, take some time to browse Howth Market for a snack or sweet treat after your hike.
Day in a day: cakes for sale at Howth Market
Seasonally, you can take a 15 minute boat ride and go birdwatching at Ireland's Eye island. You'll definitely spot seabirds nesting on Ireland's Eye. If you're lucky, you may even see puffins. Ireland's Eye offers beautiful vistas and great hikes. Just be careful if you go during seagull nesting season. The adult gulls are incredibly aggressive if you get too close to their nests. The nests are actually pretty hard to avoid because there are so many.

After a morning spent in nature, stop for a fresh fish lunch along Howth Harbour at the Oar House. You might even spot a seal in the harbour on the way. When we visited, we were seated at a table near the kitchen which we were led to believe by the hostess was suboptimal (it was the last table they had available). It turned out to be a fabulous seat. One of the chefs leaned over and asked me if I'd like to try an oyster. I'd never had one before so decided to give it a whirl. I wouldn't eat them by the bucket but I enjoyed the one. It had a slimy texture but was nice and salty -- very fresh. Share one of the extremely large mains or order your own if you're feeling particularly hungry. We opted for the plaice with butter and almonds. 
One Day in Dublin: Seal in Howth Harbour
We were pretty stuffed after we finished our fish at the Oar House when the chef leaned over the counter again with a full dessert plate in hand and asked if we'd like a brownie on the house. It would have been rude to say no ;-) 

After lunch, opt for a pint or a hot whiskey at the Abbey Tavern to aid your digestion. The Abbey Tavern is particularly atmosphere on a cold day when the smell of a roaring peat fire adds to the atmosphere. 

Continue your day exploring Dublin's North Coast by taking the DART to Malahide. 
One Day on the North Coast of Dublin: Malahide Castle
Walk from the Malahide DART station to Malahide Castle, the flagship attraction here. Don't be surprised by how far off the main road it is. You'll walk through a lovely ivy covered forest to get there. The castle looks even cooler up close after the half mile walk. Photos aren't allowed inside, but it's definitely worth taking the tour. The castle was occupied by the same family, the Talbots, for more than 800 years. At the end of the tour, stop for a spot of tea. Explore the grounds of Malahide Castle on your return to the train station. You'll find an overgrown ruined church and cemetery with a sculpture of a dog standing guard nearby.
One Day in Dublin City: Dinner at Legal Eagle
Take the DART train to Connolly station and then walk or take the Luas toward Smithfield. Eat dinner at Legal Eagle on the northside of the River Liffey back in Dublin City. The Legal Eagle serves hearty gastropub fare and a fab gin and tonic. 

After dinner, catch a gig at SIN É music pub which is located nearby.SIN É is known for an eclectic mix of musical performances so there is bound to be something on that's worth seeing as a finale to this one day in Dublin itinerary exploring Howth and Malahide.

Map of This Dublin City Itinerary: North Coast Dublin


Guide to Sidewalk Safari Dublin City Itineraries

  • Leisurely: No need to get up super-early to start this itinerary which is always good if you experienced a little too much of Dublin's famous craic the night before. Take your time exploring the sights on these itineraries or take detours that you discover on your own in the process of following my suggestions.
  • Intermediate: You should be able to comfortably fit in the activities recommended even if you don't get an early start. There is a fair amount of walking involved in these itineraries to get from place to place.
  • Ambitious: Lots to see plus a lot of walking. Make sure to get an early start or you won't make it to everything on the list.
The perfect formula for a day out in Dublin City includes: breakfast/coffee, morning activities, lunch, afternoon activities, a pub stop, dinner, and evening fun.

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One Day in Dublin City: North Dublin Coast from Howth to Malahide ItineraryOne Day in Dublin City: North Dublin Coast from Howth to Malahide Itinerary

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: One Day Along the North Dublin Coast: Howth and Malahide
One Day Along the North Dublin Coast: Howth and Malahide
Explore a one day Dublin City itinerary focused on Dublin's North Coast. Explore Howth Village and Malahide Castle on a day trip from Dublin City.
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