Travelling by DART or the Dublin Area Rapid Transit is a great way to see greater Dublin. Explore the villages and suburbs that make up the character of Ireland’s capital city on a cheap and scenic train journey. If you’re visiting Dublin for a few days, buy an adult day ticket from €11.10 or a family ticket from €19.65 and you can decide which of the 31 stops which cover its 53 kilometres of cityscape and coastline you’re going to hop on and hop off at.
Keep the economical theme going and choose cheap 3-star accommodation somewhere like Travelodge Dublin Hotels to get the most from your Dublin budget. To help you decide where you can stop off on the DART, here’s a list of the Top Ten DART locations you can visit.
A historic fishing village and now a much sought after suburb to live in, Howth is famous for its seafood and is the ideal luncheon spot. The fish and chips are quite legendary but you can walk them off afterwards with the coastal walks around the village giving you wonderful views of Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye.
Get off at the Killiney DART station and you’ll soon be enjoying its beaches and spectacular views of the Irish Sea. Relish a stroll to the sandy cove of White Rock or make your way slowly up to Killiney Hill where you can see literally for miles, to Dublin in the northwest, to the Wicklow Mountains in the south and even to Wales to the east.
A great Dublin thing to do is to go to Bray and walk the long, long promenade. This lovely seaside town has the requisite amusement arcades but it also has plenty of cliffside walks if you fancy climbing up to Bray Head. If you have time you could also visit the top class visitor attractions of Kilruddery House and Powerscourt Gardens, both a short taxi journey from Bray.
Malahide has a great weekend market with the most enticing selections of fresh local produce and quality crafts on offer every Saturday afternoon. But that’s not the only reason to take a DART ride out to this coastal town. Nearby is Malahide Castle, one of the oldest castles in Ireland. Recently refurbished, having been being in the Talbot family nearly 800 years, the guided tour and interactive interpretative centre and Talbot Botanic Walled Garden are well worth visiting.
5: Pearse Street
A great option when you’re coming back into the city from one of Dublin’s coastal villages is to get off at Pearse Street in the city centre and enjoy the nearby attractions. You could walk a few metres to Trinity College Dublin and explore all that this four-hundred-year old university has to offer including the famous Book of Kells. Or you can walk down to the Docklands and visit the Jeanie Johnstone Famine Ship.
If you love your golf, you’ll love the world class links golf course at Portmarnock. However, Portmarnock is also rated highly amongst Dubliners for its Velvet Strand, a wide stretch of sandy beach. You can walk its five miles all the way to Baldoyle and enjoy the splendid views of Howth Harbour and the Dublin Mountains or take the beach path onwards to Malahide.
Another great spot for a weekend market, this County Dublin town hosts the Blackrock Market where you can wander among the wide range of bric-a-brac and fashion items while munching on the great local food on offer. It’s also an indoor market so it goes on every weekend and bank holiday, come rain or shine.
8: Grand Canal Dock
You might be back into centre of Dublin city at Grand Canal Dock but you can continue to enjoy water sports. The Grand Canal stretches all the way from Dublin to the River Shannon but in the city you can windsurf, kayak, stand up paddle board or go dinghy sailing right there in the Grand Canal Dock basin. Or if barging is your thing, the Grand Canal is still a navigable waterway all the way down to County Tipperary.
9: Dun Laoghaire
Dun Laoghaire is one of Dublin’s oldest seaside resorts and was until very recently also a ferry port. You can walk its magnificent Victorian pier or walk up to the Martello tower known as Joyce’s Tower where James Joyce partly composed his masterpiece, Ulysses. Best of all stop off for a sublime ice-cream at Dublin institution, Teddy’s, available even in winter for the hardiest of souls.
Dalkey is actually Dublin’s original seaside resort village and is still a thriving and stylish location, haunt of many famous Irish celebrities including U2 and Van Morrison. The village itself is set in a picture postcard location at the southern end of Dublin Bay and is full of trendy art galleries and boutique shops. There are also some lovely restaurants and pubs to while away a sunny afternoon in.