There are so many popular neighbourhoods in Dublin, it’s hard to choose just one to stay in. With such a rich history and culture, you can discover natural wonders, prehistoric monuments, and historical sites all in 1 day. Then, of course, there’s the modern side of Dublin, with the rich music and arts scenes perfectly complementing the home of Guinness and Jameson.

    Stroll down cobbled streets and soak up the architecture, from medieval universities to Georgian terraces, all mixed in with Dublin’s famous pastel-coloured doorways. There’s a great public transport system, so whether you’re in the lively Temple Bar or a quieter suburb like Rathmines, you’re only a short trip away from the rest of the city.



    Discover a 12th-century cathedral

    Christchurch in Dublin is about as central as you can get, sitting just south of the River Liffey, right in the centre. Named after Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral, the area is steeped with history and dominated by the 12th-century architectural wonder.

    There's plenty to discover here and, once you've climbed up the belfry and delved down into the crypt in the cathedral, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to fill up on a traditional Irish meal at the end of the day. Other highlights, such as the Dublinia exhibition, are available if you’re still keen to learn more.



    Drink in trendy bars in a trendy new district

    Rathmines sits just south of the centre of Dublin, and is an inner suburb that's growing in popularity with tourists. It's well known as a place for students and other non-Dubliners to set up in and, being just 3 km south of the city centre, it's easy to get to and from.

    Rathmines is full of trendy new bars and eateries that cater to those who've moved here, and it's great for someone looking for somewhere a bit off the beaten tourist path. The Stella Theatre is a highlight and is worth visiting for one of its famous cocktails, even if you aren't stopping for a full show.


    photo by Oliver Gargan (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified



    Brush shoulders with the rich and famous

    Dalkey is an upmarket seaside neighbourhood a few kilometres southeast of the city. It's great for a day out, flanked by rolling hills and a crashing coastline, and it comes alive at night with revellers enjoying the traditional pubs and seafood restaurants.

    You can visit heritage sites like Dalkey Castle, the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, and The James Joyce Tower here. If you like outdoor activities then Dalkey is great, with winding nature trails at Killiney Hill Park, or kayaking to Dalkey Island being popular activities. Some of Ireland’s rich and famous live here, too. Who knows, you might catch a glimpse of Bono or Enya going about their daily business.



    A great spot for lunching and brunching

    Ranelagh is an up-and-coming suburb of Dublin where yoga studios, restaurants and cafés line streets surrounding the leafy parks. Named everything from 'Dublin's coolest suburb' to 'the Brunch Capital of Dublin', it feels more like its own village than a neighbourhood in the capital.

    There are a few parks in Ranelagh, like Herbert Park and Ranelagh Park. Our favourite must be ‘Dublin's Secret Garden', Iveagh Gardens. It’s a great place to walk off one of Ranelagh’s famous brunches, and you could easily spend a few hours here getting lost among the botanical displays and fountains.


    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified



    Take a rooftop tour of one of Europe’s biggest stadiums

    • Families

    Drumcondra is a neighbourhood of Dublin that runs just north of the Royal Canal, either side of the Tolka River. The canalside makes for a great walk, and the National Botanic Gardens are the perfect place for some fresh air. Drumcondra is one of the most popular neighbourhoods with locals for one reason though – Croke Park GAA stadium.

    Croke Park is Europe’s third-biggest stadium, with a maximum attendance of 82,300. What’s even more astonishing is that the sport mainly played here, hurling, is an amateur sport. If there’s no game on during your trip, you can take a rooftop tour of the stadium to get views of Dublin that are second to none.


    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Temple Bar

    Drink whiskey and browse local markets down cobbled streets

    Temple Bar is the heart of Dublin's tourist centre, running along the south side of the River Liffey. Known as the city's cultural quarter, Temple Bar is home to photography and film studios, a speaker's square and, of course, its famous nightlife.

    The cobbled streets here are lined with pubs, but the most famous is named after the area itself – The Temple Bar Pub. It's home to Ireland's biggest collection of whiskeys, with over 450 types on offer, and live traditional music to jig along to. The Temple Bar Food Market takes place every Saturday in Meetinghouse Square, and you'll find a fashion market nearby on Cow's Lane.



    Explore exhibitions in Dublin’s arts centre

    Phibsborough is a popular neighbourhood in Dublin that's instantly recognisable by the redbrick Victorian architecture. Just a couple of kilometres north of the centre, you can easily walk or catch the bus into town, so it's a great place to stay if you like a place that’s a little quieter.

    The Victorian façades are all now entrances to the cafés, second-hand bookshops and fashion stores that give Phibsborough its bohemian vibe. There's a year-long arts festival called Phizzfest that promotes these arts, so have a look if there are any events during your trip.


    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Dún Laoghaire

    Walk down the promenade of a seaside town

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Dún Laoghaire (pronounced "Dunleary") is a coastal suburb of Dublin that's also a really popular seaside destination. Just 13 km south of Dublin, this small port town is perfectly placed for a day trip or a weekend stay.

    Dún Laoghaire is a great place to stroll around, with idyllic views of the harbour from the wide promenade. Its maritime traditions are strong, and you can check out the Irish National Maritime Museum if you want to delve into the harbour’s history. Water sports fans will love it too, with activities like kayaking, scuba diving and paddleboarding around. There are 2 piers you can walk down, with the longer west pier coming in at almost a mile long.


    photo by Sabrina Manfield (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    The Docklands

    Experience Dublin’s modern maritime life

    The Docklands in Dublin sits either side of the River Liffey, just inland from the port area. It's growing in popularity as a destination due to its eclectic mix of maritime history and a burgeoning modern tech scene.

    The Emigration Museum and The Jeanie Johnston ship museum provide a history of Dublin's history as a global maritime hub, and there are all sorts of new activities to enjoy. You can take a river cruise or learn some water sports before finishing off with a drink on the terrace of Brewdog’s Dublin Outpost. Music fans can tour Windmill Lane Recording Studios too, where pop giants from The Rolling Stones to The Spice Girls have recorded.



    Visit the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson distillery

    Stoneybatter is a hip neighbourhood just to the west of Dublin’s centre, on the southeast side of Phoenix Park. It's about a 20-minute walk from the centre, but you can easily get there on the Luas – just hop off at the Museum stop.

    Stoneybatter is great for foodies, being full of quirky coffee shops and bistro pubs serving all sorts of international dishes. It retains its Dublin charm though, with 2 of the city’s biggest attractions being here – the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery. Phoenix Park is a must-see as well. It's Europe's biggest enclosed city park, and if you're lucky you might spot the herd of deer who've lived there for hundreds of years.


    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    John Frodsham | Contributing Writer

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