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Dún Laoghaire (pronounced "Dunleary") is a port 10 km south of Dublin. It's no longer the ferry port, but has strong associations with James Joyce, who wrote and set the opening scenes of Ulysses here.



The port was a 19th-century creation, renamed "Kingstown" for the 1821 visit of King George IV. Dublin was the ancient port, but the approach was hazardous, with several tragic shipwrecks. An alternative harbour was sought and Howth and Dún Laoghaire competed for this role. Howth lost out because it kept silting up, so for almost 200 years Dún Laoghaire was the main port of entry to Ireland, with ferries from England and Wales, and connected to the city by Ireland's first railway. In the early 21st century Dublin regained its role with greatly improved docks and approaches, and a motorway tunnel so that vehicles could bypass city congestion. The ferry terminals moved there and Dún Laoghaire harbour became much quieter, though cruise liners sometimes call.

The town was historically in County Dublin, which has been divided so it's now in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County, which in 2022 had a population of 234,000.

Get in

Map of Dún Laoghaire

By train


DART trains run every 10 min from Malahide and Howth through central Dublin (Connolly, Tara St and Pearse stations) and the southern suburbs to 1 Dún Laoghaire Mallin Station Dún Laoghaire railway station on Wikipedia. The trains continue south to Dalkey, Bray and Greystones. All these stations are within the Dublin "short hop zone", see Dublin#Get around for fares.

Four or five mainline trains per day call on the route between Dublin Connolly, Wexford and Rosslare, which has ferries from Fishguard and Pembroke.

From Belfast, Newry, Drogheda or Sligo, change at Connolly for the Dart train. From other cities such as Galway, Limerick or Cork, trains run to Dublin Heuston, take the tram to reach Connolly.

By bus


Dublin Bus 46a runs here from city centre every 10 min. The route is from Phoenix Park, Dublin Northside through Phibsborough, O'Connell St downtown, then south via Leeson St, Donnybrook, and Stillorgan Rd (N11) to Foxrock then turning up Kill Lane, Mountjoy and York Rd to Dún Laoghaire railway station.

Aircoach 703 runs hourly between Dublin Airport and Dún Laoghaire, stopping by the Royal Marine Hotel, and continuing to Dalkey and Killeney. It's scheduled to take an hour but is often snarled in southside traffic. Aircoach 702 from the airport to Bray and Greystones runs further inland via Cabinteely and Loughlinstown.

Inter-city buses bypass Dún Laoghaire so you have to travel into central Dublin and come out again. The closest approach is by the bus from Wexford, which calls at Loughlinstown 4 km south, you could pick up a local bus or taxi there. But the train would bring you to town centre.

By boat


Irish Sea ferries no longer come here, but you can still arrive old-style by Dublin Bay Cruises. They have daily sailings to Dublin and Howth, landing at Dun Laoghaire's east pier. To Howth, they sail mid-March to September at 12:30PM, taking an hour, with views over Dalkey Island, Clontarf, Bull Island, Baily and Kish Lighthouses, Howth Head, Ireland's Eye and Lambay. The return sailing (from Howth west pier) is at 3:30PM. In 2024 an adult single is €25, which includes a voucher to return by Dart train for only €2 if you don't sail back.

Get around


The sights are all within walking distance.


James Joyce Tower and Museum
  • 1 Dún Laoghaire Harbour has become a pleasant place to stroll since the ferries moved into Dublin. There are two long granite piers, the east and the west, with the shorter Carlisle and St Michael's piers in the middle. A plaque here commemorates the original Laoghaire, a 5th century High King who used this as a sea base for raiding Britain and Gaul.
  • 2 Dún Laoghaire Oratory is a secret gem hiding in plain sight. It's west side of Bloomsfield Shopping Centre but rarely open - look out for "Open House Dublin" days when it might be. An oratory is where blessings are chanted for the dead, and this one was dedicated to former pupils of the Christian Brothers school who died in World War I. Over the years its interior walls were richly decorated by a talented nun.
  • 3 National Maritime Museum of Ireland (Músaem Mhuirí Náisiúnta na hÉireann), Haigh Terrace A96 C8X7, +353 1 280 0969. Daily 11AM-5PM. Housed within the former Mariner's Church. Exhibits include the Optic from the Bailey Lighthouse at Howth, MV Kerlogue a coastal vessel during World War II, the sinking of RMS Leinster in World War I, and the story of Captain Halpin of the Great Eastern. Adult €8, conc €6, child under 12 €4. National Maritime Museum of Ireland (Q6974254) on Wikidata National Maritime Museum of Ireland on Wikipedia
  • Moran Park west side of the museum is rather scrappy, overawed by the modern library. In 1898 Moran Park House was an early receiver of a radio test transmission when Marconi himself signalled reports of the local Regatta for newspaper publication. He often experimented in Ireland: his mother was one of the Jameson whiskey family.
  • 4 People's Park is a small Victorian park with a children's play area and Tea Rooms. It's enclosed by wrought iron railings and gates, and two magnificent cast-iron fountains. A market is held here every Sunday 11AM-4PM year round.
  • Marine Parade is a long grassy promenade strip from People's Park east to Sandycove.
  • 5 Joyce Tower Museum (Túr agus Músaem Shéamuis Seoige), 17 Sandycove Point A96 FX33, +353 1 280 9265. Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. The Martello tower with its gun platform and living quarters remain much as Joyce described it. The museum's collection includes letters, photographs, first and rare editions and personal possessions of Joyce as well as items associated with the Dublin of Leopold Bloom. First editions of most of Joyce's works are displayed, including the original Ulysses published in 1922. There's also one of two plaster death masks of Joyce by sculptor Paul Speck. Free. James Joyce Tower and Museum (Q2062702) on Wikidata James Joyce Tower and Museum on Wikipedia
  • 6 Cabinteely (Cábán tSíle, "Sheila's Cabin") is a parkland suburb 4 km south of Dún Laoghaire. Its main sights are the 18th-century Cabinteely House, occasionally open for events, and two 12th-century Celtic High Crosses. Cabinteely is 2 km from the Luas tram Green Line.
  • 7 Ballybrack Dolmen is a portal tomb from about 2500 BC. It stands incongruously on Cromlech Fields amidst a housing estate.


Quieter since the ferry port moved to Dublin
  • Forty Foot Deep is just north of Joyce Tower Museum, and Sandycove beach is just west. "The Deep" is traditionally a male nude bathing area, featured in Joyce's Ulysses. In the 1970s female activists successfully campaigned for the right to get equally cold and miserable here, albeit not as shrivelled. You can even scuba-dive in the Deep, where Dublin Bay Prawns and various squidgy-widgy things wave unfriendly limbs at you, but don't take a flying leap off the jetty before checking the depth below. The name refers to the height of the Martello tower not the sea depth, which is tidal, and in 2004 the city council was found liable when someone seriously crocked themselves by trusting to the name "Forty Foot Deep".
  • Cinema: IMC is in Bloomfields Shopping Centre off George's Street Lower.
  • Pavilion Theatre, Marine Rd A96 Y959 (By station), +353 1 231 2929. Has theatre, live music and dance.
  • Football: Cabinteely FC have junior soccer teams playing in Kilbogget Park. But in 2021 their first team merged with Bray Wanderers, who play at Carlisle Park in Bray.
  • Horse racing: See Dublin#Sports for Leopardstown racetrack in Foxrock 5 km inland.


  • Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre is on Marine Rd 200 m south of the station, and Bloomfields is on George's St Lower another 200 m west.
  • O'Brien's Wine is within Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre, open M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 110:30AM-10PM, Su 12:30-8PM.
  • RNLI Shop, 2 Queen's Rd A96 T447 (by Harbour), +353 1 280 4752. Tu-F 10AM-5PM; Sa-M 1-5PM. Official gift shop for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.
  • People's Park Market is on Sunday 11AM-4PM, see above.
  • Cornelscourt Shopping Centre, Bray Rd, Cabinteely D18 C7W7, +353 1 289 2677. Contains a large Dunnes Stores (food, clothes, off-license and homeware), an optician, café, hair salon, pharmacy and newsagents. Free indoor and outdoor parking.


King Lóegaire on a stained glass window in the Maritime Museum
  • George's Street is the main strip. Choices here include Belli Dentro, Sunshine Cafe, Dope Tapas, Phoenix, La Dolce Italia, Boncafe, Harry's (below) and Angle6.
  • Harry's Cafe Bar, 21 Upper George's St A96 Y8K8, +353 1 223 8640. M-W 9AM-3PM, Th-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Great breakfast and lunches with vegan choices.
  • Sushida is Japanese, in the Harbour Pavilion and open daily noon-10PM.
  • Hartley's, 1 Harbour Rd A96 X8X5 (at Station), +353 1 280 6767. Tu-Sa 12:30-10PM, Su 12:30-9PM. Smart European restaurant.
  • Teddy's Ice Cream is a popular chain, with two cafes within Dún Laoghaire shopping centre and one on Windsor Terrace by People's Park.
  • 1 Horse & Hound, Old School House, Bray Road, Cabinteely D18 VW80 (off N11), +353 1 285 3527. M-F 3:30-11PM, Sa 1PM-midnight, Sa 1-10:30PM. Popular pub-restaurant with a village vibe.


Dún Laoghaire has a dozen bars, mostly along George's Street.
  • The Forty Foot, The Pavilion Centre, Marine Rd A96 TRX4 (by Station), +353 1 231 1926. Su-Th 8AM-11:30PM, F Sa 8AM-12:30AM. A modern JD Wetherspoons chain pub.
  • The Two Foxes (O'Neill's), 17 George's Street Upper A96 HP60, +353 1 280 0084. M-Sa 10AM-11:30PM, Su noon-11PM. Good pub with liv music.
  • Dunphy's, 41 George's Street Lower A96 YR23, +353 1 280 1668. Th-Sa 4PM-midnight, Su M 4-11PM. Traditional central pub.
  • McLouglin's, 73 George's Street Upper A96 X8N8, +353 1 284 6025. Daily noon-12:30AM. Old style bar with live TV sports. Upstairs is an Indian restaurant.


  • Mulgrave Lodge at 47 Mulgrave St is a cramped sorry B&B.
  • Ophira is a bright friendly B&B at 10 Corrig Ave.
  • Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Rd A96 K063, +353 1 230 0030. Grand old pile facing the harbour, scores well for comfort and service, and rooms with a sea view are worth the extra. B&B double €160.
  • Haddington House, 9 Haddington Terrace A96 F2R9, +353 1 280 1810. Charming small hotel at the foot of East Pier, a knock-through of 19th century townhouses. B&B double €150.
  • 1 Rochestown Lodge Hotel, 164 Rochestown Ave A96 TY8, +353 1 285 3555. Smart modern hotel with spa and leisure centre, mostly good reviews. B&B double €150.



As of May 2024, Dún Laoghaire has 5G from all Irish carriers.

Go next

  • Dalkey is a pleasant coastal town at the south edge of Dún Laoghaire, take the bus or walk. It has a 10th century church, a medieval castle and a picturesque centre.
  • Further south, the mountains rise in scenic County Wicklow.
  • Central Dublin is barely 30 min away.

This city travel guide to Dún Laoghaire is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.