One of the good reasons for choosing Dublin as your exchange destination is that the city is placed very close to many interesting small towns and national parks. Just an hour from the Irish capital, you can see lakes, beaches, small villages and observe the traditional Irish landscapes. Perfect for a day off from work and school. To make sure you have visited all those incredible places before ending your study abroad, I made a list with 5 towns to go near Dublin by car, train or bus on a one day trip.

1) Bray and Greystones

Bray is a very charming small town on the Dublin coast, and you can get there by DART (the Irish train system), on a 40 minutes trip. Once you are there you can enjoy a sunny day at Bray Beach, have a meal in one of the cute restaurants, or hike to Greystones – the neighboring town. When I went there in April 2018, I went on a hike through the cliffs that end at an incredible field of yellow flowers. The walk takes almost 40 minutes but the amazing view at the final point made everything worth it.

2) Malahide

Malahide is a historical village located close to Dublin, only 16 kilometers from the capital. To get there you can use the Dublin Bus, line 102, or the DART. The place is very cute, with charming houses, a medieval castle and the marina. With a beautiful view from Dublin Bay, Malahide is worth the visit and it’s a perfect choice to enjoy a day off.

3. Wicklow

Lovingly called “The Garden of Ireland”, Wicklow it’s on the east coast of the country and about 60 kilometers from Dublin. There you can visit beaches, national parks, lakes, waterfalls, and hike through some mountains. I visited the Wicklow National Park during the summer and spent an entire afternoon on the Glendalough Lake, one of my favorite places in Ireland. To go there you can take the bus that leaves every day at 11:30 a.m from Stephen’s Greens (20-22 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 HW54), directly to the Wicklow National Park, and returns at the end of the day, at 5:30 p.m, from the park entrance.

4. Howth

Howth was originally a fishing village and remains to this day a charming and cozy little town. To go there you can take the DART from Dublin and reach the final station, which takes about 30 minutes. If you choose to spend a day in Howth during the summer there are some cool beaches to swim and enjoy the sun. Otherwise, if you go on a colder day, you can take a walk by the marina, watch the sunset from the classic Howth lighthouse and for the more adventurous ones, walk to the Cliffs of Howth, which have breathtaking panoramas of the ocean and the cliffs.

5. Dalkey

Dalkey is another seaside town just a DART-trip away from Dublin, more at the south of the city. The small and charming village has many restaurants (with good seafood, of course), and options to please both: those who want to spend more and the ones on a budget. Overmore, the Port of Coliemore offers a beautiful view of the bay of Dalkey and from there you can go to Dalkey Island and visit the Hammer Tower and some ruins of historic churches.

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