Guide to Neighborhoods in Dublin: Learn the Best Places To Visit!

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Guide to Neighborhoods in Dublin: Learn the Best Places To Visit!
Wondering what the Dublin neighborhood numbers mean and how they work? From knowing which neighborhood's which to showing you the best districts to stay in, we'll provide you with comprehensive but simple detail on what and how these neighborhoods work!
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Is Dublin on your dream European destination bucket list? We can understand if it is!

If you’re visiting the Emerald Isle for the first time, Dublin is a must, but where should you go once you’re there? From the Guinness Storehouse to the majestic museums, there are lots of things to do in Dublin.

But how do I get around Dublin? How's the city structured? Which locations are the best to stay at to maximize all of the things I can do in a few days?

We’ve told you what things you can do once you’re there, but today, we’re going to dive into the neighborhoods of Dublin - let’s go! 

View of Dublin neighborhoods and canals.
Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

Dublin neighborhoods map

Dublin is split into north and south by the River Liffey. While there are neighborhoods in Dublin, you might also hear numbers referred to in relation to a location in Dublin. These refer to the postal districts in Dublin, with odd numbers being found north of the river, and even numbers being found south of the river.  

Dublin's postal neighborhoods and districts
Image Courtesy: Move to Dublin

Best neighborhoods

While Dublin can be divided into postal districts, there are also distinct neighborhoods. Like any city, some areas are better for tourists than others, and neighborhoods that are more budget-friendly.

There’s no one best neighborhood, but here are the ones that are highly recommended for visitors!

City Center

If you’re looking to be close to the action, and not have to walk too far to get to the biggest landmarks, the city center is the place to be.

The closer you get to O’Connell Street and the General Post Office (GPO), the more centrally located you’ll be.

Due to how close you are to everything, hostels and hotels will be more expensive in this area.

Portobello

Located on the south side of the river, you’ll find the Portobello neighborhood, also known as “Little Jerusalem” due to the immigration of Eastern European Jews to this area of Dublin in the late 19th century.

Well known for innovative restaurants, and a hip scene, this is an excellent place to base yourself for your visit, while still being within a 15-minute walk of the city center. 

Temple Bar

If you’re wanting to get to know Dublin’s nightlife, this is the neighborhood for you. Home to the famous Temple Bar, as well as Trinity College (which is where you can see the Book of Kells), this is a famous neighborhood for tourists.

Even if partying and drinking aren’t your thing, this is still a hopping and vibrant part of Dublin to visit.

You can find art galleries, markets, and eateries where you can people watch to your heart’s content.

Smithfield

For travelers on a budget, Smithfield is the neighborhood to look at for hostels and hotels. North of the river, this neighborhood is only a ten-minute walk to the city center and is home to the Jameson Distillery. You can also head to the Dublin Zoo or Phoenix Park for some greenery!

Merrion Square

To get a Georgian Dublin flare, head to the Merrion Square neighborhood, where you’ll find the National Library, National Gallery, and the Natural History Museum. You’ll also feel the history as you wander the cobblestone streets into St Stephens Green.

This is a quieter neighborhood, but no less filled with things to do than those that are more nightlife-oriented.

You can also lead yourself on a self-guided Oscar Wilde Tour, or visit the Little Museum of Dublin for entertaining artifacts of 20th century Dublin. 

Docklands

If budget is no issue for you, the Docklands neighborhood is the place to be. With luxury hotels and ample modern architecture, this is one of the newer developed neighborhoods along the river and is a hub for businesses. This neighborhood is easily classed as the “posh part” of Dublin.

Even if you don’t want to stay in this neighborhood, be sure to give it a visit to walk through the EPIC Museum to learn about Irish immigration, both in and out of the country.

Best Dublin neighborhoods to stay in!
Image Courtesy: Miss Tourist

Where to Stay

Depending on what you’re looking for, some neighborhoods might be better suited than others for you. 

  • For budget travelers: Smithfield
  • For nightlife: Temple Bar
  • For central location: City Center (O’Connell Street)
  • For the history lover: Merrion Square
  • For modern and luxury hotels: Docklands
  • For a “hipster” vibe: Portobello

Trying to find the perfect hostel in Dublin? Read our handy blog post here!

Temple bar within Dublin neighborhoods.
Photo by Leonhard Niederwimmer on Unsplash

Other neighborhoods

Even though the neighborhoods we’ve listed are typically rated very highly with travelers, you might be looking to stay somewhere more residential. If you’re wanting to experience a different side of Dublin than the closest neighborhoods to the city center, here are some other areas you could explore!

Drumcondra

This is the perfect neighborhood for sports fans as it’s home to Ireland’s largest stadium! North of the River Liffey, you’ll find restaurants and bars aplenty where you can grab a pint, and chat with some local sports fans.

Ranelagh

If you’re looking for a quiet, residential neighborhood, you’ll find it in Ranelagh. You can get a dose of suburbia, while still being very close to the city center. This is also a popular neighborhood with expats and locals alike.

Rathmines

Similar to Ranelagh, but offers some slightly more affordable areas (although this tends to be geared towards people hoping to buy rather than stay for a quick visit). You’ll find thrift shops, cute cafes, and pubs, making this neighborhood feel both homely and fun. 

View of dublin neighborhoods and streets.
Photo by Gregory DALLEAU on Unsplash

Next stop: Dublin!

Now that you know a little bit more about the neighborhoods in Dublin, you can plan the rest of your trip with ease. Traveling on a budget and not sure what to do in Dublin? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our ideal Ireland itinerary! We also have a helpful guide to the Dublin airport if it’s your first time visiting. 

Whether you’re just starting the planning process for a trip to Dublin, or are making your finishing touches, we want you to have the adventure of a lifetime. To help you with that, we’ve got a brand new travel app to help make your plans and itinerary!

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Miriam Jaffe Blog
Written by:
Miriam Jaffe
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