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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
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
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.
Pro Tip: Visitors can purchase a Leap Card or pay (higher) fares as you go for both the bus and DART Train.
Dublin to Howth Bus
Our recommended way to get from Dublin to Howth is by bus – and the ride takes just about as long as the train. Dublin-Howth Bus 31 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 timetables.
An adult ticket for the Dublin to Howth bus costs about €3.30, but there is a reduced fare with the Leap card and for children. The ride takes about 30 minutes.
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 about every 10 minutes on weekdays (from 7am until 8pm), 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 schedule. You can use this link to check the DART Timetable to Howth.
An adult ticket for the DART train to Howth from Dublin Connolly costs about €3.30, but it is less with a Leap Card or roundtrip purchase. The ride takes about 35 minutes
Boat Trip to Howth
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. Just be aware, the schedule is limited, so you will want to plan in advance. Find schedules and info here.
Things To Do in Howth
Our day trip to Howth, Ireland gave us a fresh perspective on the country. There is so much more to the island than just Dublin – and visiting Howth only made us want to see more of Ireland. On a short trip to Dublin, visitng Howth is a perfect quick escape from the city to see just a sliver of the coastline.
That said, there is not an extensively long list of Howth things to do. It’s a sleepy fishing village steeped in history with an abundance of beautiful nature. Travelers visiting on a day trip can easily include our following recommendations to their list of things to do in Howth, Ireland.
Howth Harbor West Pier
Like most visitors, we were immediately drawn to the West Pier of the harbor. 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 swell.
It can get windy – and we battled the breeze at the end of the pier, but we were rewarded with the expansive views of the ocean. 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 Pier, ferries depart for Ireland’s Eye. 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.
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!).
St. Mary’s Abbey
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.
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.
Walks in Howth
Howth walking trails are one of the top reasons to make the trip to Howth. There are four loop trails (Green/Easy, Blue/Easy, Red/Moderate, Purple/Difficult) that commence at the Howth train station and follow the coastline to the Howth Cliffs Path.
We had been looking forward to hiking the easiest Green path. The cliff walk tracks the shoreline around the Nose of Howth along the Upper Cliff route to the Howth Summit scenic viewpoint and a view of the famous Baily Lighthouse. However, due to the blustery, windy and rainy weather conditions that we encountered on our Howth trip we opted for a cozy pub instead of tackling the trails.
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!
Cafes, Restaurants and Pubs in Howth, Ireland
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 post!).
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.
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: Looking for famous and historic pubs in Dublin? Be sure to read our guide to visiting The Brazen Head in Dublin.
Howth Day Trip 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…with ease! Get the details!
Private Tour of Howth
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 sightseeing in Howth. Book It Now!
Map of Howth, Ireland
Use our Howth map to help make your plans of what to do in Howth!
More 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!
Being a coastal city, the weather in Howth 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 for outdoor activities is during the summer months.
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 city, 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 – I like Columbia shoes or Skechers – is adequate. Kris prefers wearing Merrell shoes for both trail and city walking.
Weather Appropriate Gear
The coast can be windy and rainy…even when it is not in Dublin. We recommend bringing a packable raincoat for your trip to Howth. In the summer, don’t forget sunscreen or a wide-brimmed travel hat, too!
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 camera is excellent for beginner photographers, as it comes with a bundle of fun accessories!
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 Dublin
We have Dublin sightseeing tips, too! Use our easy-to-follow Self-Guided Dublin Walking Tour to the top city sights. In the blog post, you will find step-by-step directions, a map and top information for visiting Dublin.
We want to know: Have you taken a day trip from Dublin to Howth, Ireland? What were the highlights of your trip? Tell us in the comments!
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