The Best Neighbourhoods to Visit in Dublin

Dublin is a fascinating city with lots of culture and history. Dublin is divided by the River Liffey North and South. Book a trip to Dublin and you’ll be spoilt for choice with recommendations on things to see and do in the city centre. But venture a little further off the beaten path and you’ll be rewarded by discovering a host of wonderfully unique areas full of excitement, stories, and character. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best up and coming neighbourhoods to visit while you’re in Dublin north and south of the city. 

1. The Liberties 

Regularly labelled as Dublin’s ‘coolest’ neighbourhood, The Liberties is also one of its oldest. Indeed, the rich history of The Liberties is integral to the story of Dublin itself. As the home of Guinness, it has always been a focal point of innovation and entrepreneurship, but many visitors never discover the fascinating blend of past, present and future that lies in the neighbourhood today. In fact, we championed some of the many business owners in the Liberties with our short video No Place Like Home. If you’re visiting Dublin during May 2024, “Culture Date with Dublin 8” will be holding events from 8th - 12th May including a Roe & Co: Spirit of the Liberties Tour where you’ll be treated to an in-depth exploration of the surrounding area and what makes it unique topped off with a whiskey tasting at the distillery. Similarly, the Guinness Storehouse will be opening their doors for an immersive tour of St. James’ Gate taking visitors into the secrets and history of Brewhouse 4. But no matter what time of year it is, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse and Roe & Co Distillery are ideal ways to get a sense of The Liberties and what makes it tick.  

2. Portobello 

Easily one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Dublin, Portobello is an excellent choice to while away an afternoon and discover a leafy neighbourhood full of charm. An exploration through this cosy corner means picturesque walks by the canal and soaking up a slice of nature unique to Dublin. But on the flipside, Portobello is also a lively spot where many young professionals and students choose to live for a reason. Be sure to check out the Irish Jewish Museum for an insight into the history of this area often referred to as ‘Little Jerusalem’ for its past as a vibrant Jewish community.

3. Smithfield

Over time Smithfield has become a cultural hub of hipster coffee shops, restaurants, even has the fun retro 1980s style arcade bar Token bar and the art house cinema The Light House Cinema. Not forgetting for Irish traditional music and singing there is the Cobblestones where you will experience Irish folk singing in its’s authentic sense. 

4. Stoneybatter

Stoneybatter is quickly becoming one of the hippest places in Dublin and this is no doubt due to the increasing number of new bars and restaurants popping up within this old Dublin neighbourhood. Its ‘unbeatable vibe’ in fact has made it rank among Time Out magazine's top 50 coolest neighbourhoods in the world. While here be sure to seek out some artisanal coffee, international cuisine and a creative cocktail in one of its many low-lit interiors.  

5. Phibsborough

Many of Dublin’s neighbourhoods have a strong local spirit but perhaps few more so than Phibsborough. Nestled in the heart of Dublin 7, Phibsborough is an area where students, long time residents and international visitors effortlessly coincide. Plenty of independent, new establishments sit along old streets offering a blend of the traditional meets contemporary world. Two Boys Brew along with The Back Page pub should be high on your list of places to go in this eclectic Dublin 7 neighbourhood.  

On the Southside, Dublin has a lot of neighbourhoods to offer such as Ranelagh and Rathmines. 

6. Ranelagh

Ranelagh has become quite affluent over the last decades and the “Southside Phibsborough.” Ranelagh a vibrant district with an abundance of coffee shops, having a rich music scene such as The Tap House and The Devlin, a Roof Top Bar overlooking the city. Easily accessible by Dublin bus or the Green Luas tram line from the St. Stephen’s Green shopping centre. You will also find in Ranelagh, The Stella Cinema, a 1920s style cinema, ideal for having a pint of Guinness as a couple or with friends. 

7. Rathmines

Finally, this neighbourhood on the Southside offers so much also having The Stella Cinema, a student hub offering coffee shops and pubs such as The Black Bird and music gigs. Rathmines is famous for the tall clock tower overlooking the neighbourhood. The Clocktower has four large unsynchronised clock faces, they sometimes show different times. The Clock tower is also known as “Four Faced Liar.” Rathmines is known in Ireland as “Flatland,” an area subdivided by large Georgian and Victorian houses providing rental accommodation to newly junior civil servants and third-level students from outside the city from the 1930s.  

How to decide where to visit?

Dublin has a lot to offer whether for history, food, or drink or just to explore you will never be bored! Be sure to stop for a pint at the Guinness Storehouse on your visit.  

Don’t forget, if you’re in need of an award-winning menu for a group event, the Guinness Storehouse is available for private hire for groups ranging from 10 - 2,000 people. Click here for more information about venue hire at the Guinness Storehouse. 

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