MALAHIDE BEACH: When to visit, what to see, and things to know

Plan your visit to Dublin’s coastal gem with this essential guide.

Malahide Beach: When to visit, what to see, and things to know.

Malahide Beach in the north of County Dublin is one of the best beaches for a day out, but you might not know that it is close to many other great attractions worth visiting – we’ll touch a little more on that further.

It is commonly referred to as Dublin’s coastal gem for excellent reasons. When tourists venture out of the city and discover this part of Dublin, they are always pleasantly surprised by what awaits them.  

With gorgeous scenery, plenty of eateries, and an unmissable coastal walk, we assure you that you will not regret a day trip to Malahide Beach.

But first, let us provide you with some essential information and local tips to ensure a fantastic coastal experience near the capital. Let’s dive in and see what makes this beach so popular!

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Malahide Beach:

  • There are public toilets located near the beach, food trucks located at the marina, plenty of eateries in Malahide town, and a flat walkway to Portmarnock Beach
  • The tides at Malahide Beach are dangerous, making it an unsafe beach to swim at since it flies a red flag all year long. It is best to enjoy sunbathing here or a coastal stroll instead.
  • If you wish to swim, you can head to safer swimming locations nearby.
  • Located just 20km (12.4 miles) from Dublin city centre, Malahide Beach is easily accessed by both DART and Dublin Bus (No. 42 or 102).
  • If you have access to a car, it is a 20-minute drive from Dublin and five minutes from Portmarnock Beach. The beach lies just a ten-minute walk from Malahide town.
  • There is a free onsite car park near the beach, but get there early to secure a spot. Alternatively, paid parking along the Coast Road is just a short walk from the beach. 

Malahide Beach – top things to see and do

You'll have to head elsewhere to swim.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Fionn McCann

While the beach alone is a coastal gem on the coast of Dublin, there are plenty of other things to see and do when visiting here, and this is where we come in. 

Let us give you some inspiration into what experiences you can have at this beautiful spot.

Go swimming nearby

While Malahide Beach is not a swimming beach (more details on that later), we recommend that you venture a little further to High Rock and Low Rock, which are much more accessible swimming spots.

You are advised to check conditions before entering the water, and you should be a confident and experienced swimmer.

RELATED READ: Our guide to the best spots in Dublin for wild sea swimming.

Take a hike to Portmarnock from Malahide Beach

Portmarnock is around 5 km (3.1 miles) away and the walk is relatively flat, making it accessible to all levels. You will enjoy glorious sea views over Howth Head, Donabate Beach, and Lambay Island along the way. 

Malahide Castle & Gardens

A trip to the beach is ideally paired with a visit to Malahide Castle & Gardens, which hosts one of only four walled gardens in Ireland and is ideal for a stroll. Entrance is payable, and tours can be booked, plus there is an excellent fairy trail which kids of all ages will love. 

MORE ON THIS: The IB4UD ultimate guide to the best castles in Dublin.

Try out the local eateries

No trip to Malahide Beach is complete without getting your hands on some local grub, and luckily Malahide town is renowned for its food scene.

From humble cafés to steak and seafood restaurants, Malahide is the best place to try local delicacies, freshly brewed coffee, and dinner with a view. Try The Greedy Goose for unbeatable views and delectable meals. 

Malahide Marina

Not only is this a fantastic place to stroll around, marvelling at the beautiful boats, but this is a great place to try out some food truck specialities like tacos, burgers, or pasta. This has become a big thing in recent years and adds to the overall charm.   

Best time to visit Malahide Beach – for the memorable experience

Malahide Beach: When to visit, what to see, and things to know.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Ireland

Malahide Beach is a popular place for locals and tourists who have been let in on this coastal gem, so it is expected that there will be plenty of people on weekends, during the summer months, and on public holidays. 

If you’d rather avoid the crowds, it is best to arrive here early or at sunset to enjoy a quiet coastal walk and grab some local food.

But to enjoy the authentic vibe of Malahide Beach in all its glory, visit in the summer months when the weather is at its best and the place comes alive. 

Malahide Beach can be visited all year round, but the sun is always welcome, so try to plan a trip here when the weather looks promising so that you can enjoy your day to the fullest. 

Notable mentions

Pair your visit with a walk around the castle and gardens.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ George Munday (Tourism Ireland)

High Rock: If you are brave enough, this is an ideal spot for cliff jumping when the tide is in. When the tide is out, a metal ladder provides access to the water. Since currents can be strong here, it is not advised for children or inexperienced swimmers. 

The Greenery: This vibrant restaurant is fantastic for all-day dining, a coffee with a view, or a catch-up with friends. Head out to the terrace for incredible views and a lovely sea breeze.

Accommodation: If you are visiting the area and fancy staying nearby, there are many incredible accommodation options in Malahide, like The Grand Hotel, White Sands Hotel, Beachwood Country House, and Castle Lodge B&B, ideal for all budgets. 

MUST READ: Our guide to the best hotels in Dublin.

Dogs: Malahide Beach is a dog-friendly beach, so there is no need to leave your furry friend behind; as well as this, dogs are allowed on the broader demesne and parkland of Malahide Castle and Gardens. 

RELATED: Ireland Before You Die’s favourite dog-friendly pubs in Dublin.

Your questions answered about Malahide Beach

In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions about Malahide Beach, as well as some that often appear in online searches.

Malahide Beach: When to visit, what to see, and things to know.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

How did Malahide Beach get its name? 

It comes from ‘Mullach Ide’, which means ‘Ide’s summit’ and is related to a local saint named Saint Ide/Ite, who was associated with the area. 

Where is the best place to swim in Ireland? 

Curracloe Beach in County Wexford, Incheydoney Beach in County Cork, and Strand Beach in County Donegal are among the best swimming beaches in Ireland.

What’s the best beach in Ireland? 

There are plenty of contenders for this title since Ireland has some incredible beaches, including Dogs Bay Beach in Galway, Keem Bay in County Mayo, and Inch Beach in County Kerry.

If this doesn’t want to make you visit Malahide Beach this summer, we are not sure what will. So, plan to enjoy a great visit to this beautiful part of Dublin.

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