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Howth, Ireland is a coastal fishing village just 30 minutes away from the Dublin city center. On a day trip from Dublin to Howth, visitors can leave the buzzing city behind, traverse 9 miles through the suburbs to the coast and enjoy a day on Ireland’s stunning shoreline. Top things to do on a Howth day trip are explore the quaint village, feast on seafood and go on a Howth coastal walk.
Plan Your Day Trip to Howth, Ireland
Travelers planning a day trip to Howth from Dublin will find that it is fairly simple to plot out an entertaining day. We are helping by highlighting the easiest ways to get there – and what to do in Howth, Ireland once you arrive in the village.
Pro Tip: Would you rather a guide lead the way on a day trip to Howth from Dublin? Join this highly-rated tour for an amazing adventure (that requires zero planning on your part!).
Dublin to Howth: How To Get to Howth, Ireland
Visitors who are worried about how to get from Dublin to Howth can relax – it’s simple! A day trip from Dublin to Howth can be made using public transportation – just hop on a bus, train or boat – or drive your own car.
Getting To Howth FAQs
Before we detail the different ways to get to Howth from Dublin, we want to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions.
How Far is Howth from Dublin?
Howth is just 15km (9 miles) from Dublin City Center.
What is the Best Way to Get to Howth from Dublin?
We think using public transportation – either the bus or train – is the best way for travelers to get between the two destinations.
How Can I Pay the Fare on Dublin Public Transit?
Visitors can purchase a Leap Card or pay (slightly higher) fares for single use or roundtrip paper tickets. Single tickets for the DART Train can be purchased from machines at the station, but bus fare can be paid via cash (exact change only) to the driver. Buying a return (roundtrip) ticket will save you money, too.
DART to Howth
The Dublin to Howth Train is part of DART – the Dublin Area Rapid Transport. The train to Howth is operated by Irish Rail. DART Howth service runs every 20 minutes on weekdays, every 15 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays. That said, before hopping on a DART Dublin to Howth train, it is best to consult the latest schedule. You can use this schedule to check the DART Timetable to Howth.
The most convenient Dublin DART stations for tourists are Connolly, Tara Street, Pearse and Grand Canal Dock.
An adult ticket for the DART train to Howth from Dublin Connolly costs €2.65, but it is less with a Leap Card or roundtrip purchase. The ride takes about 35 minutes.
Dublin to Howth Bus
On our first day trip, we got from Dublin to Howth by bus – and the ride takes just about as long as the train. Dublin-Howth Bus H3 provides direct service from Dublin city center to Howth, with frequent weekday and Saturday departures (as well as Sundays, but on a limited schedule). Use this link for Dublin Bus timetables.
An adult ticket for the Dublin to Howth bus costs €2.60, but there is a reduced fare with the Leap Card and for children. The ride also takes about 30 minutes.
Boat Trip to Howth, Ireland
Although it takes much longer than the bus or train (and is quite a bit more expensive), passengers can hop aboard a ferry to cruise from Dublin to Howth. Boats depart from Dublin Bay to Dun Laoghaire (Dun Leary) and then on to Howth. The ride is more of a scenic cruise than a direct route of transportation.
Just be aware, the schedule is limited, so you will want to plan in advance. Find schedules and info here.
How to Get to Howth from Dublin City Centre by Car
Visitors traveling with a car can just as easily drive to Howth in Dublin. The drive takes 35 minutes and there is free parking in Howth at the Howth Harbour Public Car Park. Here is a map link with directions.
Things To Do in Howth, Ireland
Our day trip to Howth, Ireland gave us a fresh perspective on the country. There is so much more to Ireland than just Dublin – and visiting Howth only made us want to see more! On a short trip to Dublin, visiting Howth is a perfect city escape to see just a sliver of the Irish coastline.
That said, there is not an extensively long list of Howth things to do. Outside of the peak summer travel months, it’s a sleepy fishing village, but the area is steeped in history with an abundance of beautiful nature. The two best things to do in Howth, Ireland are hiking the Howth Cliff Walk and exploring the quaint village.
Travelers visiting on a day trip can easily include both the cliff walk and town discovery on their list of things to do in Howth, Ireland.
Nature Walks in Howth, Ireland
Howth walking trails are one of the top reasons to make the trip from Dublin to Howth. In fact, for many visitors it is the sole reason to visit Howth, Ireland.
There are four well-marked loop trails that are excellent for Howth, Ireland hiking: Green/Easy, Blue/Easy, Red/Moderate, Purple/Difficult. Each Howth Cliffs Path commences at the Howth DART train station and follows the coastline out to Howth Head.
Howth Cliff Walk Green Path
Hiking the easiest Green Path is most appealing to day tripping tourists. The Green Cliff Path Loop is a 6km (3.5 mile) trek that encompasses impressive views and scenic landscapes.
This Howth Cliff Walk tracks the shoreline around the Nose of Howth toward the Howth Summit scenic viewpoint. There are numerous panoramic vistas along the route, ending with an impressive view of the famous Baily Lighthouse.
On the return, the Howth Green Path follows along the Upper Cliff route, passing the historic 6 EIRE landmark and offering a different vantage point of the sea and surrounding landscape before descending back to the Howth town center.
Pro Tip: Visitors who would rather make the Howth hike with a group and a guide can join one of the popular hiking trips on the Howth Peninsula. Find out more!
Howth, County Dublin is a quiet and quaint village that is easy to explore on foot. Visitors need little more than a couple of hours to see the town’s top sights. We are highlighting a route of the must-see attractions – starting from the train station.
Howth Harbor West Pier
Visitors will not want to miss the West Pier of the harbor – walking the stretch of it is one of the best Howth things to do.
The long Howth West Pier is lined with seafood restaurants (which we detail more in a minute) and shops selling the day’s fresh catch. In the marina, sailboat masts sway with the rolling swell.
It can get windy – and we battled the breeze at the end of the Howth West Pier, but we were rewarded with the expansive views of the ocean and back towards town. From the pier, Ireland’s Eye, the small island that sits off the north coast, is clearly visible. But, don’t forget to look down to find the footprints of King George IV that he left when he stepped ashore in 1821.
Pro Tip: From the end of West Howth Pier, ferries depart for Ireland’s Eye and Cliff Cruises. Visitors can take the ferry out to the island and back – but staying on the island to explore will likely take up a big portion of your day, so plan accordingly.
Harbour Road Howth
The stretch of road that connects the East and West Piers is Harbour Road. Featuring picturesque shops that front the water, visitors can walk along the road or on the pedestrian paths that pass the Howth Yacht Club. Before walking on East Pier, take a look to the right for views of Balscaddan Bay Beach and the rocky shoreline.
Howth East Pier
The longer East Pier in Howth is void of shops and restaurants – but it is still a worthwhile walk out to the end to see the Howth Lighthouse up close. The end of East Pier is also an excellent spot to watch fishing boats return from sea (which are usually followed by hundreds of hungry seagulls!). Keep an eye out for seals in the Howth Harbor, too!
St. Mary’s Abbey Howth
Deviate from the Howth Harbor and walk up Abbey Road to the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. Now just a shell that stands in the middle of a cemetery, the barely-still-standing St. Mary’s Abbey in Howth was built in the 14th century. The stone abbey replaced an earlier church that was built in the year 1235…which replaced the first church on the site, which was constructed in 1042.
Pro Tip: For the best views of the Howth Abbey, continue walking up Abbey Street (passing the Abbey Tavern) to Church Street and take a right. The road leads back to the Abbey.
Along the Howth Main Street (which merges with Abbey Street, south of the Abbey) there are a handful of cafes, pubs, galleries and shops. The Howth Parish Catholic Church of the Assumption prominently sits on Main Street. Built in 1899 in the Gothic style, the church features fine stained-glass windows and carved Stations of the Cross.
More Top Things To Do in Howth
There are only so many sights that you can fit into a Howth, Ireland day trip from Dublin – and we already highlighted our top picks for an adventurous day. That said, fellow travelers may be interested in squeezing in some other Howth attractions.
Hurdy Gurdy Vintage Radio Museum
The Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio contains a unique collection of ancient communications equipment. The museum is houses in the Martello Tower, which overlooks the Howth Harbour, and is open for tours (small fee required).
A superb weekend market just across from the train station, the Howth Market features more than 20 market stalls selling fresh produce and other wares. Additionally, there are permanent shops – selling gifts, coffee and sweets – that are open daily.
National Transport Museum
The National Transport Museum of Ireland features cars and other modes of transport that span decades. In fact, the oldest items on display date to 1883. The museum’s hours are limited to weekend afternoons.
Once open to the public (and previously one of the top places to visit in Howth), the Howth Castle is now privately owned. The castle can still be admired from the outside – and it’s just a short walk from the Howth Harbour.
Balscadden Bay Beach – just around the bend from the East Pier – is the best beach in Howth. Partially sheltered, it’s a nice place to bask in the sun (if it happens to be shining!) and enjoy a swim.
On the opposite side of town, on the west side of the West Pier, is Claremont Beach. It is a good beach for walking – especially at low tide.
There are many other Howth beaches tucked below the towering cliffs, but the trails to them are steep, challenging and often unsafe (due to high winds). We don’t recommend visiting these beaches.
Cafes, Restaurants and Pubs in Howth, Ireland
On our first Howth trip, we had high hopes of an epic cliff walk. However, due to the blustery, windy and rainy weather conditions that we encountered, we had to retreat and instead opted for a cozy pub instead of tackling the trails.
For such a small village, there are numerous choices of places to eat in Howth…and almost all Howth restaurants have a seafood menu. The chilly weather had us craving a steaming bowl of seafood chowder – so we headed to the Abbey Tavern for lunch in Howth.
Below we feature some of the top-rated restaurants in Howth, Ireland (all of which are marked on the map at the end of the article).
Abbey Tavern Howth
Abbey Tavern is an inviting 16th century pub with an award-winning seafood chowder. This Howth restaurant has hosted countless celebrities – and often has live entertainment.
Pro Tip: Looking for famous and historic pubs in Dublin? Be sure to read our guide to visiting The Brazen Head in Dublin.
The Harbour Bar
The Harbour Bar boasts a cozy atmosphere on a gloomy day…but also has a beer garden in the back for days when the sun is shining. Plus the staff is friendly, they pour a great Guinness and they have craft beer on tap, too.
Aqua Howth Restaurant
Located on West Pier, the Aqua restaurant Howth provides an upscale seafood dining experience…with a view. The restaurant is housed in a former sailing club and boasts a fine ambiance.
Dorans Fish Shop Howth
A highly-touted shop for fresh fish, Dorans fish shop on West Pier is also a good choice for lunch. In fact, many patrons claim that Dorans makes the best Fish-and-Chips in Howth!
Dog House Howth
One of the most eclectic cafes in Howth, the Dog House features a quirky menu and peculiar décor. A good choice for breakfast in Howth – they offer an enormous selection of teas.
King Sitric Restaurant and Hotel
Open for lunch and dinner, the King Siric Howth Restaurant excels at seafood dishes! In addition to their fine dining options, they also have 8 guestrooms – all of which have superb sea views.
Pro Tip: Need more ideas of where to stay in Howth? We share a few more highly-rated Howth accommodations at the end of the blog post.
Other Howth Day Trips and Tours
We have already mentioned some of the top tours – including the Howth day tour from Dublin (details here!) and joining a guided hike on your Howth trip (find out more!), but there are a few more tours that can enhance your time in the coastal village.
Craft Beer and Seafood Trail
Enjoy an extraordinary lunch on a relaxed Howth pub crawl that features fresh caught seafood and locally crafted beer. The local guide highlights the tour with stories of Medieval Ireland. Reserve your spot!
Hidden Howth Expedition
Join a guide on a Howth trekking trip to off-the-beaten-path sights – all while being entertained by legends and folklore. After the hike, accompany the guide to a local pub for pint! Find out more!
Howth Panoramic e-Bike Tour
On this small-group tour, participants use electric bikes to get around the hills of Howth. The guide leads the group to stunning vistas and landmark sights. It’s the easiest way to go sightseeing in Howth! Get the details!
Private Tour of Howth, Ireland
Hire a private tour guide for an unforgettable day trip to Howth! Your local guide will provide an entertaining history of Howth while venturing around the beautiful landscapes. Reserve it now!
Howth and Malahide Castle Tour
Learn about Irish history on this Howth tour that includes visiting the Malahide Castle. The half-day trip includes exploring the Malahide Castle and a panoramic tour of Howth. Book It Now!
Map of Howth, Ireland
Use this link to Google Maps for an interactive, online version of our Howth Map. With our Howth, Ireland map, you can easily make your plans of what to do in Howth!
Travel Tips For Your Trip to Howth, Ireland
Before you make your day trip from Dublin to Howth, Ireland, we have just a few more tips!
Weather in Howth
Being a coastal city, Howth, Ireland weather can be windy and rainy. Summers are pleasant, as it stays fairly cool – but winters tend to be cold, windy and rainy. The best time to visit Howth for outdoor activities is during the summer months.
Where To Stay in Howth
There are not many places to stay in Howth for travelers who want to spend the night, but we are highlighting a few of the best.
King Sitric Hotel
Far and away the best place to stay in Howth, King Sitric Hotel is centrally located and just steps from the harbor, beach, village and station. The rooms are bright and cheerful. Check rates and availability!
Gleann Na Smol
A Bed and Breakfast operating out of a traditional Irish house with sea views, Gleann Na Smol offers visitors a warm welcome and a delicious breakfast. Check availability!
What You Will Need for your Howth Day Trip from Dublin
You don’t need much for a day trip from Dublin to Howth – but these few things will come in handy.
Howth, Ireland is not a big town, but if you plan on walking along any of the coastal paths you will need a good pair of walking shoes. Hiking boots are not necessary; something lightweight and comfortable – like Columbia shoes or Skechers – is adequate. Kris prefers wearing Merrell shoes for both trail and city walking.
Use our tips for the Best Shoes for Travel for more shoe options!
Weather Appropriate Gear
The Irish Coast can be windy and rainy…even when it is not in Dublin. We recommend bringing a packable raincoat for your trip to Howth. Although we typically recommend a travel umbrella, it may be rendered useless if it’s too windy.
The landscapes in Howth, Ireland are simply stunning! Instead of attempting to capture the beauty of the coastline on your camera phone, we recommend upgrading to an actual camera. We carry a Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens. The DSLR is excellent budget camera for beginner photographers, as it comes with a bundle of fun accessories!
Ireland Travel Insurance
We think travel insurance is essential on any trip! It can protect travelers in unfortunate circumstances – from cancelled flights to injuries abroad. Check rates and coverage at World Nomads.
Tips For Visiting Dublin, Ireland
We have Dublin sightseeing tips, too! Use our easy-to-follow Self-Guided Dublin Walking Tour to the top city sights. In the article, you will find step-by-step directions, a map and top information for visiting Dublin. Also use our guide to plan for the Best Traditional Sunday In Dublin!
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