Best Cycling Routes in Dublin

by Thomas Lyons
best cycling/biking routes dublin

Cycling is a great way to get around Dublin. It’s easy, relatively safe, and you can see more of the city than you would if you were on foot. Also, It consumes zero fuel while also getting you in great shape and keeping you from getting stuck behind a steering wheel for hours. Dublin City Council has been investing in cycling infrastructure over the last few years.

However, figuring out cycling routes isn’t always easy. Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly where to go with an easy to follow map? You’re in luck! In this detailed article, we’ve mapped all the best cycling routes in Dublin. We have also provided a link for each route below! For cycling in Cork, click here.

10 Best Cycling Routes in Dublin:

There are various cycling routes through the city and beyond, including some which connect the different areas of the capital with each other, allowing for longer cycle rides to enjoy. 

There are also dedicated cycling paths at key locations, including one along the River Liffey. These give cyclists a safe and pleasant path to travel on, away from cars and pedestrians.

dublin biking cycling
  1. Sally Gap Loop:

If you’re visiting Dublin for the first time, don’t miss Sally Gap Loop.

Sally Gap Loop, from Dublin Heuston, is a challenging road ride for advanced cyclists. It follows mostly paved surfaces, but there are some steep off-road sections,  including sections with poor traction—where pushing or carrying the bike is required. Therefore, a good level of fitness is required to complete the route.

Take a train to Dublin Heuston Station, where you will find the starting point of this bicycle trip along the Royal Canal Tow Path. Ride west until you reach Timbertrove Café, which serves scones and coffee as well as a small grocery store. You can stop here for some coffee before beginning the next part of your ride, which takes you to Killakee viewing point. 

Next, ride past the foreground landscape of pastures, hedgerows and woodland to Military Road, then on to Sally Gap and return back. This loop is 43.1 miles long.

Link To Route: Click Here

  1. The Tolka Park Greenway Route:

Next on our list is the Tolka Valley Greenway, a scenic route that winds through Dublin’s suburbs, just a few miles from the city centre.

The route is mostly paved and suitable for cyclists of all abilities. Along the way, you enjoy the greenery, trees and parklands. 

Start your ride from Glasnevin in Addison Hall residential estate. As you reach the park, you will feel completely away from city stress. Ride past Finglas Road towards Ashtown village. This is definitely a route to be enjoyed simply for what it is, a green oasis inside an urban desert.

Tolka Valley Park is located approximately 6 miles from Dublin’s city centre. The park features both a pedestrian path and a bike path that winds through a forest for about 4 miles. It’s lovely to ride in spring when everything is blooming and in summer when birds are singing. When you’ve finished your ride, head back the way you came.

Link To Route: Click Here

  1. Phoenix Park Lake Bench Loop:

If you’re a cyclist who loves nature and wants to get closer to Dublin’s famous flora and fauna, the Phoenix Park lake bench loop is the best cycling route for you in Dublin.

The loop starts at the train station in Dublin Pearse.  Ride 9 miles to Goats Gruff, a local coffee shop, to grab a snack. Then continue your bike ride to Phoenix Park Lake Bench, a couple of miles from Goats Gruff. Once you reach the bench, you can spend quality time with friends or family and then head back to Dublin, travelling on the same route. 

The loop is 26.8 miles long and easy to ride for cyclists with any fitness level. Moreover, just keep in mind that there are segments of this route that require dismounting and pushing your bike because of temporary access restrictions.

Link To Route: Click Here

  1. The Liffey Greenway Route:

If you’re looking for a quick ride around Dublin on a busy weekend, consider the Liffey Greenway. It’s approximately 2 miles long, very easy to ride even for beginners, and takes only about 30 minutes.

The route begins at Chapelizod road, just northeast of the village. From there, leisurely paddle along the River Liffey to enjoy the lush greenery, calm river, as well as a few bridges and stone monuments.

Keep in mind that this route is not a good option for speedy rides. It’s the perfect journey to enjoy with your loved ones.

Link To Route: Click Here

  1. Sandymount:

The next on our list of Dublin’s best cycling routes is Sandymount, a Seapoint loop for those who want to enjoy riding along the coast.

The loop is about 21.7 miles, and it will take you around 1 or 2 hours, depending on how often you stop to admire the panoramic views of Irish sea beauty. 

To start, get on a train to Grand Canal Dock station. Then paddle approximately 2.4 miles through Sandymount, a well-kept urban village. Paddle past White Rock and Dillon’s Park to reach Seapoint, one of the most popular beaches in Ireland.

This route is ideal for anyone who wants to explore Dublin’s coastline and its suburbs at the same time. It’s also excellent for those who want to enjoy more scenic views on their bike rides in Dublin.

Link To Route: Click Here

  1. Sandymount Loop From Sydney Parade Route:

Another great starting point for enjoying the Sandymount coastal beauty in Sydney Parade. The loop is 19.3 miles long and is easy to ride. 

The route starts near Sydney Parade train station and takes you on a scenic route through the leafy streets of South Dublin. The route may require you to dismount and push your cycle one a very steep uphill segment. So, a good fitness level is required to complete this route. 

Similar to the last route, ride past Dillon’s Park and White Rock while enjoying the views and reaching Sandymount. Spend some time with your friends or family admiring the mesmerising sea view. 

The route is relatively shorter compared to the Sandymount Seapoint loop from Grand Canal Dock. You’ll get a chance to enjoy some fantastic views of Dublin Bay as you cycle along the coast.

  1. The Royal Canal Greenway Route:

Number 7 on our best cycling routes in Dublin is the Royal Canal Greenway

The Royal Canal is Ireland’s longest canal, stretching approximately 91 miles from Dublin City Centre to the River Shannon. Thanks to the Dublin City Council’s hard work towards promoting cycling in Ireland, cyclists will hopefully soon be able to cycle along its entire length.

You can enjoy a short section of the greenway that begins at the beginning of the canal, where it meets North Wall Quay and Guild Street. Continue along the canal until you reach Sherriff Street near Luke Kelly’s statue. From here, you can enjoy Phase 2, which has just opened.

The route is approximately 6.5 miles long and easy to ride for beginner cyclists. 

  1. Clontarf to Howth Cycling Route:

If you are looking for a scenic cycling route in Dublin, look no further than the route between Clontarf and Howth. Whether you want to see the sea air or enjoy the view of Dublin Bay, this route has it all.

The route starts off along the coast of Clontarf, beginning with a short stretch on the road before turning onto a shared pedestrian/bike path. Cyclists will pass by several notable landmarks, including St Anne’s Park, Dollymount Strand and Bull Island. 

At Howth village, cyclists can stop for lunch and admire the views over Dublin Bay before returning to Clontarf via the same route. The route is about 20 miles long. 

Link To Route: Click Here

  1. Howth Harbour Loop:

Number 9 on our list of best cycling routes in Dublin is Howth Harbour Loop from Malahide.

The loop is 26.6 miles long and considered fairly easy to ride. However, it has some sections that are not paved but should be okay to handle with a friend along. 

The loop begins at Malahide train station. Ride approximately 8 miles towards Howth Harbour, a beautiful seaside village with excellent restaurants serving freshly caught seafood. You stop at any point you feel like taking a break. 

Again continue your ride by paddling around the Howth Harbour and return back using the same route.

  1. Dublin to Wicklow Mountains Loop:

If you are a fan of long rides and breathtakingly beautiful views, Dublin to Wicklow mountains loop is the best cycling route for you in Dublin. The route is about 47 miles long and pretty challenging for beginner cyclists to complete. 

Beginning in the centre of Dublin City and taking a loop through the Irish countryside, this route will take you on a scenic ride with a couple of challenging climbs. Completing the loop rewards you with beautiful views of the city. The route can be completed in a few hours and makes for a great weekend ride.

Dublin Cycling FAQ

What are some of the common mistakes people make when cycling?

One of the most common mistakes people make when cycling is not wearing the proper clothing. Wearing loose or baggy clothes can interfere with your movement and cause you to overheat, so it’s important to choose clothing that’s comfortable and won’t get in your way. Another common mistake is not staying hydrated, especially when cycling in hot weather. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your ride.

What should I wear when cycling?

Comfortable clothing that won’t restrict your movement is ideal for cycling. You might also want to consider investing in some dedicated cycling gear, such as padded shorts and a jacket or jersey.

What are some of the best tips for cycling?

Here are a few general tips for cycling:
Start slowly and build up your fitness gradually
Dress for the weather and conditions
Be prepared for hills and other obstacles
Always carry a spare inner tube and pump
Use lights when cycling at night or in low light conditions

How can I get started with cycling in Dublin?

There are a few things to consider before getting started with cycling. Firstly, think about what type of cycling you would like to do – whether it be for recreation, commuting or fitness. Once you’ve decided this, you can start to look at things like what kind of bike you need and what type of accessories and clothing will be most comfortable for you.

What type of terrain can I expect to find while cycling in Ireland?

The terrain in Ireland is quite varied, but generally speaking, there are a lot of hills and mountains. However, there are also some great flat routes along the coast.

What should I pack for a cycling trip in Dublin?

Some essential items for a cycling trip in Ireland include a good quality bike, a helmet, waterproof clothing, and plenty of food and water.

What are the rules of the road for cyclists in Ireland?

Cyclists in Ireland are required to follow the same rules as motorists. This means riding on the left-hand side of the road and obeying all traffic signs and signals.

The Takeaway:

Dublin is a cyclist’s dream city with scenic routes and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The city offers numerous routes for every level of cycling experience and fitness level. Whether you’re using your bike for fun, exercise or fitness, the above-mentioned routes are the best cycling routes to get the most out of Dublin

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