Ireland Lives Up to Its Name: Dublin, Howth, and Malahide

The Green Isle indeed. Though I only explored Dublin, Howth, and Malahide, I could definitely figure out why Ireland is called the Green Isle. Despite the fact that Dublin is a large town, with the area accounting for more than 25% of the country's population, there are green spaces and parks mixed right into the city. One of which is St. Stephen's Green, not far from the Natural History Museum, the Oscar Wilde HouseTrinity College Library, and the imposing St. Patrick's Cathedral (obviously there must be something named in honor of St. Patrick). The city still remains quaint (at least it was in February) and vibrant. Streets like O'Connell, Grafton, and countless others are filled with pubs, street vendors, and music.

Another great aspect of Dublin is how easy it is to see the smaller, surrounding areas by train. Howth is a town on the coast about 30 minutes from Dublin. It's a classic harbor town with boat docks, a rocky coast, a castle, a market with local crafts and food, and a big lighthouse out on the edge. Sometimes people play music along the walk out to the lighthouse. The Howth Castle dates back to the 15th century and is close to the docks. Get more ocean-side scenery by booking a hike of the Howth Head Cliff Walk as well.

From either Dublin or Howth, you can take a train to Malahide, which is most famous for its castle. However, Malahide is its own little town as well. It is welcoming and is also a great afternoon trip just 9 miles outside of Dublin. Construction on Malahide Castle began in the 12th century and was home to the Talbot family for 800 years on 260 acres of parkland. The walk in the park area from the train station to the castle itself is peaceful, but short enough to stay near the town. The castle is surrounded by the wide open park and though the castle itself closes in the evening, the park is open into the night.

Transportation Tips: Just before the exit of the Dublin airport, there is a transportation kiosk that sells Visitor Leap Cards. You can buy them according to the length of your stay and scan them to use buses, trains, and all the rest of Ireland's means of transportation.

  • The Cliffs of Moher - Iconic oceanside coastline on the west side of the island
  • The Powerscourt Estate, House and Gardens
  • Castles are located all over the island. Take your pick! Check out this list:
  • The Guinness Factory is located in Dublin as well for Ireland's most famous beer.
St. Stephen's Green
Trinity College's famous two-story library (much more enchanting in person)

O'Connell Street
One of Dublin's many frequently-photographed bars and pubs: The Palace Bar
A hasty photo of St. Patrick's Cathedral that doesn't show how massive it actually is

Howth Boat Docks

Howth Lighthouse

Malahide Castle