There are plenty of things to do in Malahide, regardless of when you visit.
The North Dublin village of Malahide is located between Portmarnock and Swords and on the south side of the Broadmeadow estuary.
It’s home to lots of pubs, restaurants, and shopping options. But, all of that aside, it’s a great place for a day out, as there’s lots to see and do.
In the guide below, you’ll find loads of things to do in Malahide, from the impressive Malahide Castle to the beach, the coastal walk and more.
Our favourite things to do in Malahide
The lively little coastal town of Malahide is home to plenty to see and do, regardless of whether you’re a local or a visiting tourist.
In the first section of our guide below, you’ll find a good mix of things to do in Malahide along with lots of lovely places to visit nearby.
1. Ramble around Malahide Castle Gardens
There are only four botanical Walled Gardens in Ireland, and Malahide Castle is home to one of them. It holds more than 5000 plant species, including many from the Southern Hemisphere.
There’s something to appreciate around every corner if you’re a gardener. The Butterfly House has approx. 30 species, and you can see them in all stages of development.
Children are given a map to help them complete the Fairy Trail, and even those who feel they’re too old for such things seem to enjoy the sculptures and fairy houses.
2. Head for a stroll along Malahide Beach
Malahide Beach stretches for 2km and is more suitable for walking than swimming due to its strong currents. There’s a mixture of beach, footpath, promenade, and sand dunes, making it accessible for everyone.
Now, please that Malahide Beach flies a red flag all year round, which means that it isn’t safe to swim here, so make sure to keep your toes on dry land.
There’s a large car park and lots of street parking nearby along the coast road (there’s also some public toilets). Grab a coffee from the Greenery across the road and head off on your merry way.
3. Tackle the Malahide to Portmarnock coastal walk
The Malahide to Portmarnock coastal walk is approximately 5km on a flat path. Over the course of the walk, you can enjoy lovely views over the estuary to Donabate, Lambay Island and Howth Head.
Walk along the Coast Road, passing Malahide Beach and Robswall Park and on to Portmarnock Beach and the Martello Tower.
The Rocks provide some interest as you walk—the low Rock with the ruined Norman Keep, the tiny beach at Middle Rock, and you can dive off High Rock.
There’s lots of wildlife and fossils as well to keep an eye out for. If you’re looking for active things to do in Malahide, this is a great early-morning ramble.
4. DART Day Trips
Some of the best Dublin day trips can be kicked-off from the DART station in Malahide Village (right beside the Church).
The DART can help you explore more than 50km of the city and coast. Buy a LEAP card and hop on and off as you wish at any of the 31 stops from Howth in North Dublin to Greystones in Wicklow.
If it’s a beach you’re after, it’s hard to beat Killiney Beach (even though it is stoney) while, when it comes to walks, the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk is outstanding.
Other popular things to do in Malahide
Now that we have our favourite places to visit in Malahide out of the way, it’s time to see what else thins corner of Dublin has to offer.
Below, you’ll find everything from the Malahide Castle Tour and endless places to eat to some often missed things to do in Malahide.
1. Take the castle tour
Malahide Castle is unique in Ireland in that it was owned by the same family, the Talbots, for 800 years. The tour guides are adept storytellers and bring the history of the family and the Castle to life during the 45-minute guided tour.
The Guides can even keep your children entertained throughout. Tickets also include entry to the Butterfly House and Botanical Gardens. Although the tours are conducted in English, audio guides are available in several languages.
There’s more than one type of tour, so make sure you book in advance. If you’re looking for things to do in Malahide when it’s raining, this is a handy option.
2. Soak up the bustling food scene
Malahide is one of the most popular destinations in Dublin for foodies, with something to tickle most tastebuds on offer (as you’ll discover in our Malahide restaurants guide).
Sale E Pepe, is popular for steaks and seafood, while the trendy Gourmet Food Parlour has a Malahide branch too. If you’re looking for views and elegant food, The Greedy Goose is the place to go, and there are lots more to choose from.
3. Visit the Casino Model Railway Museum
Cyril Fry was fascinated by trains. From the age of 10, he created model trains, many of them based on original plans and drawings from the railway companies.
The models at the Casino Model Railway Museum are preserved for posterity as per Cyril Fry’s wishes, but the interactive displays offer an in-depth examination of his workmanship and information about the history of the Irish railway system.
The museum is open April to September from 9.30am-6pm (Mondays from 1pm), and October to March 10am-5pm (Mondays from 1pm). Last entry at 4pm.
4. Have a food truck feast by the Marina
One of the good things to come out of 2020 is the prevalence of food trucks throughout the country – there’s even an on-demand Irish TV show, Battle of the Food Trucks, now.
From authentic Mexican Tacos (El Milagro) to handmade pasta (Bunga Bunga) to burgers (Puck Burger), there’s a food truck for everyone at Malahide Marina.
Food trucks are perfect when a group wants different options, and when you have your food, take a stroll along the beach or sit and watch the world go by.
5. Tackle the Robswall Park Hillside Hike
The 90-acre Robswall Park has several trails across what was the original Malahide settlement during the Bronze Age, and it is accessible from either the Malahide or Portmarnock coastal walk.
Begin your walk at Malahide train station and enjoy the colourful village before heading along the coast road, enjoying estuary views.
The Hillside Hike is a circular walk, and you can go back the way you came if you don’t fancy going through a housing estate. If you do go this way, you can stop for refreshments at the Avoca café.
Places to visit near Malahide
Malahide is a stone’s throw from some of our favourite things to do in Dublin, from beaches and cliff walks to castles and more.
Below, you’ll find a heap of places to visit nearby, from Swords Castle and the Howth Cliff Walk to plenty more.
With a population of approx. 50,000, Swords is one of Ireland’s fastest-growing towns and is earmarked for city status by 2035. The town was founded by Saint Colmcille in 560AD, who is remembered for blessing St Colmcille’s Well and also for the Church, Belfry and Round Tower. Swords Castle was built for the first Archbishop of Ireland and is in a pretty good state of repair in the Town Park.
The prosperous village of Howth is best known for its leisure port, welcoming sailors and cruisers from all over the world. The village dates back to prehistoric times and is featured in Irish mythology. There are plenty of things to do in Howth, from the Howth Cliff Walk to food, pubs and much more.
Donabate is a small coastal town with a lovely beach popular with surfers, canoeists, and walkers. Newbridge House and Garden, built for a Dublin archbishop, is now a public park with a playground and model farm. You also have Donabate Beach and nearby Portrane Beach if you fancy a paddle.
FAQs about what to do in Malahide
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where to go in Malahide with kids to what to do nearby.
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.
What are the best things to do in Malahide?
There are plenty of things to do in Malahide, from walks (Malahide Castle Gardens, the beach and the coastal walk to Portmarnick) to DART day trips and the castle tour.
What is there to do near Malahide?
If you’re looking for places to visit near Malahide, look at what towns live on the DART line. Howth and Greystones are easy to get to. Or, visit Howth, Skerries or Donabate.