One fantastic thing about Dublin is the quality of public transportation. As Dublin and its surrounding areas house over a quarter of the entire country’s population, the amount of transport around is incredible! You can take buses everywhere, the LUAS – it’s kind of like San Francisco’s tram I’ve been toll, trains and easily rent bikes everywhere.
I live on the north side of Dublin (considered the dodgy end by most of Ireland, but I think it’s fine) and there is one of my favorite little towns, Howth, about 16km north of the city centre.
Ask anyone and they will tell you to go to Howth if you’re spending some time in Dublin. It’s a big sailing/fishing town and it’s quite adorable.
The first time I headed up was in October when I was unemployed (miss those days!!!) and we just went for a long stroll down the fishing pier. We also stopped for pints – pretty much a necessity here – and watched whatever match was on.
Considering that once wasn’t enough, we went for a long hike in November and we had some gorgeous weather. Sometimes it can be so nice to get out of the city even if you’re only standing on a hill looking across the bay to the city. You can feel miles away.
This past weekend, I went back to Howth because I discovered a wonderful beach there! Who knew, beaches in Ireland? With sand? Where you can actually lay out? And only 30 minutes from my apartment. We have a win.
Also, during the summer, they have a really great little food market on Saturday and Sundays, right near the train station. You have to get the Chinese noodles for lunch and a Chimney Cake for dessert. Also, take home some fresh fruit straight from the farmer himself.
Logistics: Take the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit – the train, similar to metro-north around New York City) from the city centre, it’s about €5.20 for a return ticket, right to Howth and it’ll take you only about 25 minutes.
Everything is in walking distance. The market is just past the DART station and everyone there is quite friendly. As soon as you’re in Howth, you’ll be able to pick up a walking map if you’d like to do the hiking trails. The hardest one is more just like a sweaty walk, so don’t be too concerned if you’re somewhat athletic about the difficulty.
The Claremont Beach is a bit confusing if you want to make it there, but once you find it it’s super easy. Take a left out of the station, another left at the shop on the corner, and another left down an alley (I promise it’s legitimate) and walk down the cement path to the less populated beach than the first beach.
Also, do yourself a favor and have a pint here. You know you want to. I’m thirsty for a Guinness even as a type this…