Dún Laoghaire is technically part of Dublin, but it feels like its own entity. The relaxing seaside atmosphere is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city.
We wanted to publish a guide about Dún Laoghaire for anyone planning to visit in 2023, let's get into it:
Where is Dún Laoghaire?
Dún Laoghaire is a suburb within Dublin, to the South East of the capital's city centre. It takes around 45 minutes to get here from Dublin city centre by car, and around the same by train. It's only a 12km walk, so some people have even been known to walk the distance!
What is there to see and do in Dún Laoghaire?
Despite being a relatively small area, there is quite a bit to see and do in Dún Laoghaire. Here are some of the highlights:
National Maritime Museum of Ireland
There are some great museums in and around Dublin, and we really believe that the National Maritime Museum of Ireland is one of the best. This museum gives you a fascinating insight into Ireland's rich maritime history. Located in Dún Laoghaire, it showcases a diverse range of exhibits, including ship models, artifacts, and interactive displays. From the RMS Leinster tragedy to tales of seafaring adventures, the museum offers a captivating journey into Ireland's maritime heritage. Learn more and plan your visit here - mariner.ie
James Joyce Tower & Museum
James Joyce is an iconic figure of literature and one of the most famous names in Irish history. There is an excellent museum dedicated to his life and work in Dún Laoghaire, which is a must-visit for fans of his writing. Housed in the iconic Martello tower, it offers a glimpse into the life and works of the renowned author. As well as lots of interesting items related to his work and information about his life, you can also enjoy stunning coastal views from the tower. Learn more here - joycetower.ie
Dún Laoghaire Harbour
Built in the nineteenth century, Dún Laoghaire Harbour is the focal point of the area and is very enjoyable to visit. The picturesque promenade is perfect for leisurely walks, and you'll find an array of waterfront restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. A walk around the pier is very enjoyable and allows you to take in all of the amazing surrounding views. One of the walks leads right up to a small lighthouse which is pretty impressive to get up close to.
Shackleton's Endurance Exhibition
Ernest Shackleton is another icon of Irish history, and the story of his famous expedition is incredible. Visiting Shackleton's Endurance Exhibition in Dún Laoghaire will give you an amazing insight into the expeditions that he led to the Antarctic, especially the amazing story of the expedition which took place between 1914 and 1917. The exhibition brings Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition to life through immersive displays, artifacts, and multimedia presentations. Visitors can experience the hardships faced by the crew, admire their resilience, and gain a deeper appreciation for the spirit of exploration and human endurance. It's not currently open but there are plans to reopen soon, learn more here - shackletonendurance.ie
As we mentioned in our introduction, Dún Laoghaire is definitely much more relaxed compared to the centre of Dublin, and one of the best places to relax in the area is People's Park. This park has a serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, with manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and a picturesque pond. There is a playground here which is great for kids, and there is a farmer's market which is usually held on Sundays. Definitely make time for a visit to this park.
Follow the Sculpture Trail
There are a number of interesting sculptures scattered around the Dún Laoghaire area, so much so that the Sculpture Trail has been created to allow people to see all of the sculptures. Our favourites include the large shell along the waterfront (pictured). Learn more about the trail here - dlrcoco.ie
We hope that we've inspired you to visit this great part of Dublin. Let us know in the comments if you've ever been here or if you have any other suggestions for similar areas that we should write about!