Some of Dublin’s most famous sons and daughters call Killiney home and it isn’t difficult to see why!
But even if you don’t bump into Bono or Enya on your trip to this gorgeous part of south Dublin, there’s plenty to see and do to keep you occupied.
Below, you’ll discover everything from things to do in Killiney along to the best places to eat, sleep and sip a pint. Dive on it!
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Killiney in Dublin
Although a visit to Killiney in Dublin is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Lying around 16 km south of Dublin city centre, you’ll find Killiney just below the equally lovely neighbourhood of Dalkey. Its coast is particularly well-known, often being described by some as the ‘Amalfi Coast of Ireland’ and is likely the reason so many wealthy folks live here!
2. Well serviced by public transport
Getting down to Killiney via public transport is easy enough. The best option is the DART. There’s always the option of the bus too, and the 7 and 7A Dublin buses will take you directly to Killiney from Trinity College.
3. Home to plenty to see and do
If you love the great outdoors, then you’re going to enjoy tackling the many things to do in Killiney! Whether you want to go on rambles, soak up some views, go swimming or relax on a beach, there’s loads of ways to enjoy yourself here. Just do a little planning beforehand and you’ll be good to go.
4. Famous residents
I’ve already mentioned a couple, but they’re not the only ones with big multi-million euro houses overlooking the coast! Van Morrison, Eddie Irvine and Bono’s bandmate The Edge also own properties in this exclusive Dublin neighbourhood. George Bernard Shaw and members of the Yeats family also lived in nearby Dalkey.
Killiney’s been a popular seaside spot for Dubliners since at least the 18th century and that’s no surprise given the beautiful coastline, clean waters and stunning views southwards.
While it was still pretty rural for many years, it was only in the 1960s that Killiney really went from being a far-flung village to a part of Dublin proper.
As Dublin grew larger, visitors and wealthy types began to appreciate the scenery and the potential of Killiney and thus began the urbanisation we see today (although that hasn’t hindered the beauty of Killiney – in fact, it’s probably made it more accessible!).
These days, Killiney is well served by public transport and there are loads to see as well as a few places to eat (with plenty more options on that front in nearby Dalkey). If you’re looking for an escape from the hum the city centre for a while, Killiney is an ideal spot!
Things to do in Killiney (and nearby)
There’s heaps of things to do in Killiney, which is why the town is one of the most popular day trips from Dublin City.
Below, you’ll find walks and hikes to places to swim and some great places to eat and grab a post-adventure pint.
1. Soak up the views from Killiney Hill
For some gorgeous coastal views (especially at sunrise) after an easy little ramble, walks don’t come much better than the Killiney Hill Walk!
Killiney Hill Park itself is relatively large and has several entry points where you can access it on foot, though there’s a handy car park just off Dalkey Avenue.
And taking just 20 minutes from the car park to the summit, you get some serious bang for your buck as you’ll be treated to stunning views out over Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains on one side and of Dublin city on the other.
2. Head for a paddle at Killiney Beach
With its gentle inward curve and the dramatic peaks of both Great and Little Sugarloaf before the mass of Bray Head rising to the south, Killiney Bay is sometimes likened to the Bay of Naples (albeit with slightly less sunshine!).
How true that comparison is is in the eye of the beholder but it’s certainly one of Dublin’s prettiest coastlines. So it’s unsurprising that Killiney Beach has been such a popular seaside destination for Dubliners for at least a couple of centuries now.
Be prepared for stones rather than sand but then take advantage of some of Dublin’s cleanest water (it’s a multiple Blue Flag winner).
3. Kick-back in Sorrento Park
Another quietly great spot for views is Sorrento Park, just north of the Vico Baths. Though it’s less of a park and more of a small hill, you won’t really be thinking about trivial details like that when you take a seat and enjoy the stunning views out to Dalkey Island and the Wicklow Mountains.
An oasis of calm that presents the kind of views the famous residents wake up to every day, Sorrento Park is around a 5-minute walk from the Vico Baths and a 15-minute walk from central Dalkey. You’ll find the small entrances on the corner of Coliemore Road.
4. Take a Dublin Bay Cruise to Dalkey Island
Lying around 300 metres off the coastline just north of Killiney Beach, the 25 acre Dalkey Island is uninhabited though there’s evidence of human occupation dating back to the Neolithic period! The easiest way of checking out this unique place is with Dublin Bay Cruises (leaves from nearby Dún Laoghaire).
Taking around 75 minutes, the cruise takes in the James Joyce Martello Tower, the famous Forty Foot, Bullock harbour, Dalkey Island and Collimore Harbour, Sorrento point, Killiney Bay before arriving back at Dún Laoghaire.
5. Visit the historic Vico Baths
When the sun’s out, definitely try to get down to the cool and quirky Vico Baths. Located just south of Sorrento Park and Dalkey Island, they’re a summertime spot that shouldn’t be missed and date back to the late 1800s (when it was ‘gentlemen only’).
Secluded and only accessible through a small gap in a wall on Vico Road, the Vico Baths are one of Dublin’s hidden gems (sorry for using such a clichéd phrase, but it’s true!).
Follow the signs and handrails down to a dreamy little perch where you can jump and plunge into the swirling pools below.
6. Saunter around the gorgeous Dalkey Village
Make the short walk north and take yourself to colourful Castle Street in Dalkey Village, where there are so many pubs, bars and restaurants that you won’t know where to begin!
Perhaps first head up to 600-year-old Dalkey Castle and learn a bit about the area (there used to be seven castles!) before sitting down at one of Dalkey’s superb watering holes.
DeVille’s will sort you out with excellent French-inspired bistro fare, while Jaipur Dalkey is a local institution who serve up delicious Indian food. Wash it down with a creamy pint afterward from Finnegan’s of Dalkey or the King’ Inn.
Places to eat in Killiney
There’s a handful of great restaurants in Killiney if you’re feeling peckish after tackling the Killiney Hill walk. Here are a few of our favourites.
Despite its humble location at Killiney shopping centre, Masala serves up some of Dublin’s finest Indian food and their exceptionally well-presented dishes are almost worth the prices alone. If you’ve enjoyed Jaipur in Dalkey, then definitely head here too.
2. Mapas Restaurant
The plush premier restaurant at Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel (more on that later!), Mapas serve up classic Irish fare and try to source entirely local produce where possible. Their meats even come from Dublin’s famous FX Buckley so that should tell you all you need to know about the quality of their food!
3. Fred & Nancy’s Killiney
I wish every beach had a Fred and Nancy’s! Located on the northside of Killiney Beach their gleaming metallic food truck offers generously-filled sandwiches, a clam chowder soup and a selection of pastries and sweet treats. Opened in 2021, they’re perfect for a coffee and a bite to eat but they’re also pretty popular so you may need to queue before getting your order in.
Pubs in Killiney
If you fancy kicking back with a pint after a day spent ticking off the many things to do in Killiney, you’re in luck – there’s some fine pubs in the town.
1. The Druid’s Chair
Sitting on Killiney Hill Road, The Druid’s Chair lies in the shadows of Killiney Hill Park and is thus perfectly located for a post-walk pint! Offering some lovely views themselves down towards Bray and the Wicklow Mountains, it’s an ideal spot in a beautifully renovated building. They also do an all-day food menu if you’re feeling peckish.
2. The Graduate
If you enjoyed a spot of food at Masala, then make the short walk over to The Graduate and wash it down with a couple of pints. Though you can’t go wrong eating at The Graduate either to be fair and their cosy confines serve up hearty fare including steak sandwiches and their own famous ‘Graduate beer-battered cajun chicken tenders’!
So, there’s very limited accommodation in Killiney. In fact, there’s only one hotel in Killiney. Nestled in next to Killiney Hill Park, the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel is an 18th-century 4-star luxury hotel that looks as impressive as it sounds.
There are 113 ornately decorated rooms to choose from and if you’re really ready to push the boat out then check out the opulent original 18th-century Castle Suites.
FAQs about visiting Killiney in Dublin
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is Killiney a good area?’ to ‘What famous people live in Killiney?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Killiney worth visiting?
Yes – there’s loads of things to do in Killiney that make it a great place for a day out. There’s also plenty of pubs and restaurants to chill in come evening time.
What are the best things to do in Killiney?
You can ramble along Killiney Beach, climb Killiney Hill, visit Dalkey Island, walk in Dillon’s Park and soak up the views from Sorrento Park.