Dublin’s suburban seaside escape, Dun Laoghaire has long been popular with locals in the Irish capital. James Joyce and Samuel Beckett were even known to visit. Today, it remains a quiet waterfront haunt for Dubliners and the odd cruise ship passenger.
Dun Laoghaire’s greatest attraction is its pier. Visitors, mostly Dublin locals, though there are cruise ships that dock here, can enjoy waterfront views on a seaside stroll of the harbour’s East Pier. There is also a West Pier, but it is less suitable for walking than the shorter East Pier. Those who’d like to take to the water can book any number of activities from the local tourism office including sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and kite surfing.
The DART suburban railway connects central Dublin to Dun Laoghaire, which lies about 12 kilometres south-east of the Irish capital. There is also a stop on the mainline rail between Dublin and Wexford, as well as regular buses. Visitors can also head to Dun Laoghaire directly from Dublin Airport via the Aircoach service.
Back in the early 19th century, Dun Laoghaire was little more than a cove with a coffee house. The destruction of two Dublin troop ships fuelled the harbour’s development as Kingstown. The name was changed to Dun Laoghaire, or Dunleary, in 1920, as the country prepared for the creation of the Irish Free State.