Every dog on the street now knows that Matt Damon is holed up in the Dublin suburb of Dalkey during COVID-19 lockdown after Damon himself called the town a "fairytale," but what is it exactly that makes Dalkey so special?

The South Dublin suburb is one of the most affluent areas in Ireland's capital and boasts some of the most beautiful architecture in the country. 

It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that Dalkey is home to some of Ireland's most high-profile celebrities and it is equally unsurprising that Matt Damon would choose to set up camp there while shooting his latest movie - the Last Duel - prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Dalkey is one of the nicest areas to live in Dublin and here are just some of the reasons why the town appeals to wealthy tourists and immigrants alike. 

The sea

View of Dalkey Island from Killiney Hill - Passps / CC BY-SA/Wikimedia

View of Dalkey Island from Killiney Hill - Passps / CC BY-SA/Wikimedia

Dalkey is a seaside town and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Irish coast, including views of nearby islands like Lamb Island and Clare Rock. 

There are also plenty of spots to go swimming nearby if you have the nerve to test the cold water.  The Vico Bathing Place and Whiterock Beach are both within walking distance and offer sheltered changing areas. 

There are several harbors in Dalkey as well which are ideal for anyone who likes to head out to sea. Bullock Harbor - the biggest harbor in Dalkey - is also home to a seal sanctuary, while a pod of bottlenose dolphins is often spotted in the sea near Dalkey Island, which appeals to any nature aficionados. 

Good Food

Being one of the more affluent areas in the Greater Dublin Area, it is hardly surprising that Dalkey is home to a number of fine restaurants and eateries. 

Matt Damon himself was even spotted in several Dalkey restaurants prior to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Since Dalkey is a seaside town, it is equally unsurprising that a number of restaurants offer some of the finest seafood in Dublin. 

Ouzos Bar and Grill, where Damon was pictured eating in late March, is one of those restaurants. 

Mussels and oysters are commonplace in Dalkey restaurants, while Regazzi is one of the more popular Italian restaurants in Dublin. 

It's easy to see why celebrities like Matt Damon are drawn to the area when they have such endless options of high-quality food.

Read more: Matt Damon holed up in Ireland during COVID-19 lockdown


Dalkey boasts some of the finest coastal walks on the East Coast of Ireland. The views between Dalkey Hill and Killiney Hill in the nearby Killiney Hill Park are as impressive as you will see anywhere in Ireland if you can stand the light incline to the hills' summits. Walkers can enjoy spectacular views of Dublin Bay and Dublin City in addition to beautiful views of the distant Wicklow Mountains. 

Dozens of locals claim to have seen Matt Damon out walking or jogging in Killiney Hill Park and it is easy to see why considering the views are so enchanting. 


Dalkey Castle - Palanitboy / CC BY-SA/Wikimedia

Dalkey Castle - Palanitboy / CC BY-SA/Wikimedia

Since Dalkey's geographical features are so prominent, it's easy to forget that Dalkey has an abundance of historical monuments.  

Dalkey is also home to two 14th century Norman castles. Dalkey Castle house's the town's heritage center while Archibold Castle is now a privately-owned property. 

There are also a number of historical walks for locals and visitors alike to enjoy and the 10th-century church on Dalkey's Castle Street is equally alluring. 

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The celebrities 

The large cohort of celebrities that call Dalkey home is arguably what the area is most famous for. 

U2 frontman Bono, Irish music star Enya, and director Neil Jordan all live on a stretch of road known as "millionaire's row" on Sorrento Terrace. 

U2 guitarist the Edge and Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy also live in Dalkey, while Van Morrison, George Bernard Shaw, and deceased Irish author Maeve Binchy have all lived in the area. 

It's easy to see why Damon and other celebrities are attracted to the area that has proved to be a safe haven for well-known faces. Locals generally leave their famous neighbors alone and that has proved to be the case with the newest member of the Dalkey family. 

The Dalkey people have accepted Matt Damon as one of their own and have even come across slightly overprotective of the Hollywood star.

They chased away a New York Times reporter looking for an inside scoop on Damon's Dalkey quarantine. They similarly kicked two Dublin radio presenters out of a Dalkey Facebook group when they started asking questions about the famous actor. 

It's not difficult to see why high-profile visitors are drawn to the area. 

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