By Jessica Colley—
When it comes to “not to miss” activities in Dublin, swimming might not be at the top of your list. While many locals make it their business to take the plunge into the icy Irish Sea at any time of year, visitors generally limit taking a dip to random sunny days in the summer.
Many travelers don’t associate Dublin with water. There’s the River Liffey that runs through the center of Dublin (I wouldn’t recommend swimming here) but there’s also a stunning coastline with plenty of swimming holes. It’s perfect if you’re adventurous enough to dip your toes in or dive right in.
Here are three of my favorite places to swim in Dublin. They all offer gorgeous scenery along with the chance to splash around – if you dare.
The South Wall – Ringsend
Rent a bike for the afternoon (check out the affordable Dublin Bikes rental program) and pedal outside the city center to the South Wall in Ringsend. Here you will find a pier that juts out into Dublin Bay with a charming little red lighthouse at the end. It is one of my favorite places in the city to go for an evening stroll, when boats are out for a sunset sail and kiteboarders are showing off their skills.
It is also a great place to swim. About half way up the pier there is a designated swimming spot. You can’t miss it – stairs lead right off the pier and into Dublin Bay. Currents change here often, so during your walk take the time to observe the currents before diving in.
The Forty Foot – Sandycove
One of the most legendary places for a swim in Dublin is called the Forty Foot. Locals have been diving into the water here for over 250 years. This is an example of a swimming hole that attracts sporty types all year long, regardless of the weather. On a sunny day it is a popular place to swim, and many local children will launch themselves off the rocks right into the water.
If you would rather soak up the sun, there are areas here for watching everyone else take the leap into the Irish Sea. Although it’s summer, the temperature of the water here never rises too high – be prepared for a chilly dip.
Killiney Beach – Killiney
Cheapos might be looking for a proper beach during their trip to Dublin. One of the best is Killiney Beach, easily accessed by taking the DART train south of Dublin City Center to Killiney. Once you arrive at this sandy and pebbly beach, you will hardly believe you are still in Ireland.
This beach is a great place for afternoon picnics, a refreshing swim, or simply admiring the surrounding scenery. And the best part? It’s all free – no entrance fee required.
Ready to dive in?
Sometimes our favorite destinations can surprise us. No matter what you’ve read about Dublin before, be sure to pack your bathing suit if you’re planning a summer trip to the Irish capital. Have you gone swimming in Dublin? Tell us about your experience in our comments section.