Dún Laoghaire – A Great Day Trip from Dublin

Alex and I decided a few weeks back that we were going to make it a goal of ours to visit all of the coastal DART stops over our 3 years here, so that we could experience all these easy day trips from Dublin. The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) is a train that runs both north and south of Dublin along the coast. There are a number of gorgeous places to stop along this line, and we have already written about Howth, which is north of Dublin, and Bray, which is south of Dublin. This post covers Dún Laoghaire, which is also south on the line, and only 20 minutes from Dublin.

Day trips from Dublin, Dún Laoghaire, Ireland

Dún Laoghaire Highlights

The name Dún Laoghaire means fort of Laoghaire, this is because a 5th century king, named Laoghaire Mac Néill, made it his fort where he could carry out raids on Britain, as Holyhead is just 109km East off the coast.

Day trips from Dublin, Dún Laoghaire, Ireland

Dún Laoghaire was once home to the largest port in Ireland, but now there is just a limited car ferry service to Britain. However, there is a fantastic pier that is about 1.6km in length. Alex and I really enjoyed walking the length of pier.

Day trips from Dublin, Dún Laoghaire, Ireland
Dún Laoghaire, Ireland

A great place to go for coffees or a few drinks, with a lovely seaside view is an establishment called Oliveto, which located inside the Haddington House. The menu is pricey and we chose not to eat there but we enjoyed a couple nice Irish coffees and lapped up the relaxing ambiance inside. It was also a wonderful break from freezing outside on the pier.

Enjoying the sea side view at Oliveto

Good Guinness at Great Prices

As we were walking on the main street of Dún Laoghaire, we came across a pub with inexpensive pints. That can be tricky to find in Dublin. Any Irish person will tell you there is a difference between good and bad Guinness, which ultimately comes down to the pour. In touristy places or night clubs, they often pour Guinness too quickly because the lack of quality won’t be noticed. Those were great pints of Guinness.  When pubs cater to Irish locals, they better be good!

Dún Laoghaire to Dublin on the DART

So would we recommend Dún Laoghaire? Yes! It is easy to get to from Dublin and if your time is short, this day trip is perfect and can be combined with other nearby coastal stops on the DART. To get there you can catch the DART from any of the centrally located stations, including Connolly station.

Dún Laoghaire light house
Dún Laoghaire board walk

For those who know the area, what are your favorite day trips from Dublin? If you’re planning a visit to Ireland, read our article on how to spend one week in Ireland! We also wrote an article packed with Ireland travel tips


  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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5 thoughts on “Dún Laoghaire – A Great Day Trip from Dublin

    1. We looked back through some photos but didn’t get a pic of the place and we don’t remember the name, sorry. It was a pretty nondescript place on the main street with a sign out front advertising the 3 euro pint special. Just have a stroll around the main street if you’re in town!

      1. After walking the street on google maps I think it might be Weirs… now we have an excuse to go back and hunt out 3euro pints 😀 Very naughty of us!!

  1. This brings back some memories. I’ll be catching the ferry in a few weeks but the Dun Laoghaire (never understand how it is pronounced Dun Lerry) will be closed for the winter.

    This always struck me as a very small place with little other than a ferry and some nice houses. Knowing it is €3 for a Guinness is a great appeal now. I did once see a Guinness inspector order a pint in a pub in Ireland. After receiving the drink he informed the bar maid of what she did right and wrong. Guinness take the serving of their drink very seriously and it shows.

    1. Never seen the Guinness inspectors! They should go down to Temple bar and get on them about the way they pour down there at a few of the places 🙂

      Yep, Irish words can be confusing for pronunciation! Enjoy Ireland!

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