10 Best Things to Do in Howth

Strolling through the small fishing village of Howth is something that attracts all travelers visiting the city of Dublin.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

10 Best Things to Do in Howth

Howth | @Ana Rey

Howth is located on the outskirts of Dublin. Its proximity to the city makes it a perfect day trip to get out of the urban environment and learn more about other lifestyles by the sea. It is a very interesting activity but at the same time, fun. It is a worthwhile stop when deciding what to see and do in Dublin

In Howth you can enjoy enchanting landscapes, contemplate its turquoise sea and learn about the particular life of a real fishing village. If you want to know everything there is to see in Howth on a day trip to this fantastic town, read on!

1. Take a guided tour

Getting to know Howth| ©Karen Blaha
Getting to know Howth| ©Karen Blaha

A guided day tour from Dublin is the most practical and convenient way to get to know this town as you will be able to take in all the sights and enjoy the lively atmosphere. The itinerary will be designed by those who know the site and know those activities that will make your day, an unforgettable day.

All this, you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will give you the necessary information to put you in context and understand a little more about the history of the sites and Ireland in general.

The tours to Howth are usually full day and prices range from 50 € depending on the attractions and services included. This is the option I recommend as you will not have to focus on how to organize your transfers and activities and you can dedicate yourself to fully enjoy the visit to the village.

Also, depending on the company and the type of tour, you can choose the combined option with the village of Malahide, famous for its characteristic castle.

2. Take a stroll along the docks and harbor of Howth

Howth Harbour Lighthouse| ©William Murphy
Howth Harbour Lighthouse| ©William Murphy

Howth harbor is the center of town life. You will see all the restaurants and fishing boats concentrated in this area.

It is basically where daily life happens. Fishermen doing their work and tourists and locals eating fresh fish.

As soon as you arrive in Howth, you can take a walk to the end of the West Pier, and from there, you can admire the famous island of the Irish Eye. In fact, if you have enough time, there is the option to visit the island by boat. Something that is also worthwhile. The choice is yours.

If you decide to sail its waters, the boat trip takes only 40 minutes and on the way you can enjoy seagulls and seals that come to greet you. And the views of the coast of Howth are really out of a painting.

The ferry service departs every hour from the port of Howth, and the price of the trip is 20€ for adults, and 5€ for children.

3. Visit Howth Castle and Gardens

Howth Castle| ©JP
Howth Castle| ©JP

Howth Castle is a fantastic fortress that dates back to 1474. It is located at the entrance of the town and, although it can not be visited inside, it is worth a walk through its gardens.

Or even, you can check if there is an event on the date you visit the town of Howth, you may be lucky enough to be able to access. At certain times of the year, open days are held.

Today, the Castle is home to a cooking school and is also the residence of a noble family. Don't hesitate to take a walk around and admire this place.

4. Climb the Martello Tower

Martello Tower| ©Adam Xim
Martello Tower| ©Adam Xim

If you raise your head, you will see that in the highest part of the village, stands the Martello Tower. It is a typical 19th century building, which you will be able to identify in several places along the coast of Ireland.

Over the years, they were transformed for different purposes. For example, the one in Howth is a Radio Museum. Although you may not wish to enter the grounds, you can climb the hill and enjoy the views.

5. Be sure to marvel at its cliffs.

Hiking in Howth| ©Mariela S
Hiking in Howth| ©Mariela S

If you are fit and feel like a walk, an activity that fascinates all tourists is this hiking route in Howth. This trail is special, as you can enjoy a tour of the most impressive cliffs in all of Ireland.

The top of Howth rises 171 meters above sea level, making it the perfect viewpoint for those who wish to admire the bay. In addition, along the way there are interesting ruins such as the Ben of Howth, a 2000 year old Celtic tomb.

6. Take a picture of the Baily Lighthouse

Baily Lighthouse| ©YvonneM
Baily Lighthouse| ©YvonneM

One of the jewels of Howth is the local lighthouse, better known as Baily's Lighthouse. You can find it by following the cliff path.

Getting here is not difficult as the route is flat and short, you can even go with children if you wish.

Just remember to have comfortable shoes because the path is very exposed to the sea, and is usually muddy. The views are simply stunning and different from the rest of the activities we can do in the city of Dublin.

7. Taste the gastronomy of Howth

Food from Octopussys Restaurant| ©jaco
Food from Octopussys Restaurant| ©jaco

A great part of sightseeing is to try the typical gastronomy of the different destinations. As you know, Howth is a paradise for those who love to eat fish or seafood.

Everything is caught and served on the spot. There is nothing better than this experience. I recommend two specific places where you can treat your palate.


This small restaurant has a very well priced menu and an unprecedented gastronomic offer for fish and seafood fans.

Octopussys has a terrace at the end of the pier, where they offer the most delicious specialties of the Mediterranean world. In addition, you have the possibility to enjoy your meal watching the sea, with its wide and wonderful windows.

I suggest you to try the Scallops Octopussy Style, the classic Fish and chips and if you still want more, a portion of squid.

  • Address: W Pier, Howth, Howth, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Opening hours: from 12hs to 21hs, every day.
  • Average price: 30€ per person


Beshoffs is a restaurant that is over a century old. It is a place that a local would recommend if you ask where to eat fish. You can easily identify it by looking for the long line of people waiting to be served.

If you want to find out why it is so famous and addictive, I recommend you try their fish and chips or a portion of calamari.

The great curiosity of this restaurant is that it was founded by the last survivor of the mutiny on the Soviet battleship Potemkin. I'm sure he never imagined such a success back then.

  • Address: 17-18 W Pier, Howth, Dublin, Ireland
  • Hours: from 12hs to 21.30hs, every day except Monday and Tuesday from 12hs to 15hs.
  • Average price: 40€ per person

8. Get lost in the streets and in the Howth Market

Entrance to Howth Market| ©Axel K
Entrance to Howth Market| ©Axel K

The streets of this village are very picturesque, and you may not get tired of walking among colorful houses and its steep alleys.

Wandering around the village is a great plan in itself and the best way to discover the real essence of Howth. My favorite part of the village is the area around the ruins of St. Mary's Church, near the cemetery. Everything seems to stand still in time.

On your walk through Howth, you can also stop by the local market. It is an ideal place to familiarize yourself with the daily life of this place, and where you can also taste traditional Irish delicacies.

The wide variety of olives and cheeses of all kinds are something that has captured my attention instantly. And why not, also some chocolates or homemade cupcakes.

9. Discover the friendly seals of Howth

Howth seals| ©Verotravel
Howth seals| ©Verotravel

If you are taking a stroll along the Western Pier, you will probably find them easily. They usually approach the Howth market, next to the pier, waiting for someone distracted to drop a small piece of fresh fish.

Although you are not allowed to feed them, as we must respect their natural habitat, you can greet them and watch the dynamics between them from the pier. It is guaranteed fun.

10. Visit the Transportation Museum

Inside the Transportation Museum| ©Irina Travel
Inside the Transportation Museum| ©Irina Travel

The Transport Museum is almost next to Howth Castle. Its exhibits are interesting and the tour is quite quick, but well worth it.

Please note that it is only open on weekends, and in the evening. But if you decide to visit, you can enjoy large double-decker buses, old fire engines and even an electric streetcar that operated on Howth Hill between 1901 and 1959, but is perfectly preserved.

The entrance fee is 3€ for adults and 1,25€ for children.

Find out more about what to do in Dublin

Dublin from the top of the tour bus| ©William Murphy
Dublin from the top of the tour bus| ©William Murphy

If you are looking for interesting and fun activities for your vacation in Dublin city, you might want to read about the best excursions and tours from Dublin.

But of course you don't need to leave the city to enjoy the Irish culture. The city of Dublin offers you the best tourist buses to visit every corner of this fantastic destination.

If you are a beer lover, don't forget to buy your tickets to the Guinness brewery or simply check where to find the 10 best pubs in the city.