Dive into Dublin’s Delights: A Guide to the City’s Best Sea Swimming Spots


Dublin might not be the first place that springs to mind for a refreshing dip in the sea, but don’t be fooled! The Irish capital boasts a surprising number of popular spots, perfect for cooling off on a warm day and enjoying the beauty of the Irish Sea. Whether you’re a seasoned sea swimmer or a paddling newbie, there’s a beach waiting to welcome you with open waves.

While it is impossible for us to pick our favourite spot, we have to say that anywhere within Dublin Bay tends to be a popular choice for experienced swimmers. There isn’t many places in the city centre, so you’ll want to hop on a Dart to get around to some of these popular swimming spots.

A refreshing swim North of the City

For those seeking a classic beach experience, look no further than Portmarnock Beach. Often nicknamed the “Velvet Strand” thanks to its soft, golden sand, Portmarnock stretches for almost 5km north of the city.

This expansive beach offers stunning views back towards Howth Peninsula and Ireland’s Eye, making it a feast for the eyes as well as a haven for swimmers. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer months, providing peace of mind for families with young children.

For those seeking a more rugged adventure, the coast around Howth Head has several secluded coves like Claremont Beach, perfect for a refreshing dip and a spot of exploration. Claremont would suit a more seasoned swimmer, as this beautiful beach can sometimes encounter a very quick returning of the tide.

Portane Beach

Dive into the cold water of Tower Bay, aptly named after the Martello tower that sits overlooking the lovely beach below. This secluded beach in the charming village of Portrane takes a bit of planning to get to, but believe us it is worth it. With a wood fired sauna, public toilets, changing area and a cafe within a 60 second walk from the water, how could you miss this sea swimming spot.

Dollymount Strand

If you’re short on time or prefer a beach closer to the city center, then Dollymount Strand on Bull Island is your best bet. This easily accessible beach is a local favorite, with convenient changing areas and a gentle entry into the water, perfect for tentative toes. After your swim, take a stroll along the scenic Bull Wall promenade or grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby cafes.

South Side of the City Centre

Dublin Bay encompases many of the incredible places for open swimming in Ireland. It is also home to gorgeous views of the coastline, along with choppy waters and dangerous conditions. Always respect the water and stay within your depth. You can find out if your spot for swimming has lifeguards on the Dublin City Council website.

Sandycove Beach

Dublin boasts some hidden gems for the more adventurous swimmer. Seapoint Beach in Monkstown is a beautiful stretch of sand and rock, popular with locals for its sheltered coves and clear waters. As you dust off the smooth sand from your feel, take in the views of this picturesque spot. Again, you will hear the screech of the Dart line behind you as you sit next to the Martello tower.

For a truly unique experience, head to the Forty Foot in Sandycove, a dramatic diving platform where brave souls can take the plunge into the sea from a height of almost 8 meters. If you’re into the looking at people diving off platforms instead of doing the cold water plunge yourself, then check out James Joyce’s former home next door. The Martello Tower has become a museum right beside this popular swim spot.

Dublin’s swimming spots extend beyond the traditional sandy beaches. Vico Baths in Dalkey is a restored Victorian swimming pool with stunning sea views, offering a unique and sheltered swimming experience.

No matter your preference, Dublin’s beaches offer something for everyone. So, pack your swimsuit, grab a towel, and get ready to experience the invigorating thrill of a Dublin sea swim.

Remember, a quick dip can be followed up with some delicious fish and chips or a pint in a sunny beer garden for the ultimate Irish seaside experience.

Get the latest special offers from the Hendrick direct to your inbox.


Love our guides to Dublin, the fascinating histories around us or the inside</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> scoop on the best events in Dublin 7!

Sign Up Here

Here are some additional tips for your Dublin beach adventure:

While the Irish Sea might not be known for its tropical warmth, nor it’s crystal clear waters, there are ways to make the most of your sea swim. Most beaches are best experienced during high tide when the water is deeper and the waves are more manageable. Always check the water conditions before heading out, and be aware of currents and hidden rocks.

  • Be prepared for the weather: The Irish Sea can be chilly, even in summer. Pack a wetsuit or rashguard if you plan on spending extended time in the water.
  • Ensure your safety: While the sea may look like it is calm waters, or shallow waters, these conditions can change at any time. Only swim when it is safe to do so, and if you are in an emergency dial 112.
  • Don’t go outside of your fitness level: The sea is a challenging place to swim. Always make sure that there are lifeguards on duty.
  • Bring sunscreen and a hat: The Irish sun can be strong, especially during the summer months.
  • Respect the environment: Take all your litter home with you and avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Have fun!: Dublin’s beaches are a fantastic way to relax, connect with nature, and experience the beauty of the Irish coast with some breathtaking views.

Once you’re done exploring all of Dublin’s best beaches, you can shower off and relax at The Hendrick Smithfield. The Hendrick is ideally located beside all public transport links to get you where you need to go in Dublin City Centre. Don’t delay, book your summer getaway at The Hendrick Smithfield.