Dublin has the most beautiful sunrises during any time of the year, and thankfully, the city has many spots where you can enjoy this magic moment while appreciating stunning views. If you don’t like waking up too early, winter is the best time of the year to go sunrise chasing, since the sun only shows up around 8 am during December and January - just make sure you bring some hot drinks and wear enough layers of clothes. During summer it happens a lot earlier, but it’s totally worth the effort and temperatures are more bearable. If you fancy this type of adventure while exploring Dublin, here is a list of 5 places to go watch the sunrise in the city:
1. The Poolbeg Lighthouse
One of my favorite spots in Dublin for sunrise watching, The Poolbeg Lighthouse has a panoramic view of the ocean, where you watch while the sun rises from the sea. Going early in the morning will guarantee you amazing views and the place practically to yourself, since there aren’t many people around this time. Unfortunately, there’s no public transport to bring you there, but my suggestion is to get a rental car on the GoCar app and drive there when it’s still dark, you can then park at the beginning of the Great South Wall and walk to the lighthouse.
2. The Hellfire Club
Watching the sunrise from above is one experience you can’t miss in Dublin, and there is one place to go for this: The Hellfire Club, located in the Dublin Mountains. You will have to drive from the city, and there are loads of parking spaces in a short-hike distance from the structure at the top of the hill, which used to be a pub but has been abandoned for many years. My tip is to go really early, arriving at the car parking around 40 min before the actual sunrise (you can check the exact time on your weather app), it will take you around 20 to 40 min to walk to the top. When it is cold enough, you might find some snow at the top too, and from there you can see many parts of Dublin and watch while the sky changes its colors from night into day.
3. Portmarnock beach
With perfect white sand and blue water, Portmarnock is one of the prettiest beaches in Dublin. Its location, on the Northside of the city, makes it a perfect spot for catching the sunrise. Make sure to be there around 15 minutes before the actual sunrise - the colors in the sky are just too amazing! There’s plenty of space to hang around at the beach, you can bring towels and even go for a deep if you feel brave enough to swim in the cold Irish sea. From the city center, you can get there by DART, or by the routes 32, 32X, 42, 102, and 142 of the Dublin Bus. The coffee shops are only open later, so make sure to bring some hot drinks with you :)
4. Dún Laoghaire Pier
I love going to Dún Laoghaire whenever I can, but the place has an even more magical atmosphere at sunset. Because of the Forty Foot and the Sea Point, you will see many swimmers out and about for a sunrise dip, the places are full even on cold days. To keep you warm, ShoeLane Coffee is open at 6:30 so you can get some coffee and treats before heading to the pier. From the city center, you can get to Dún Laoghaire using the DART, both the pier and coffee shop are just a short walk away from the station.
5. The City Center
I know it sounds weird, but it’s true, you can catch some beautiful sunrises in Dublin’s City Center. During any time of the year watching the pink sky is even nicer by having the city landscape in the background. The perfect spot to go see it is in one of the bridges crossing the Liffey close to the EPIC museum, there you will be able to see the sun showing up from behind the iconic Samuel Beckett Bridge.