Dublin has so many nice corners to explore while you are here, with different restaurants, cinemas, pubs, and museums that can’t be missed! I have this annoying interest in sharing the places I like to go, so I made a list of my favorite Dublin neighborhoods and what you can do when visiting each one:
This is a centenary neighborhood in the very heart of Dublin, with lots of traditional pubs, cool spots to visit, cafes, restaurants, and other amenities. It is also a perfect place to stay when visiting Dublin for a short or long stay, you can easily access the city center on foot (around 15 minutes walk), and is close to a lot of cool attractions. One you cannot miss is the Guinness Storehouse, where you can take a tour through the old brewery, see how the famous Irish beer is made, and visit the Gravity Bar with an amazing view of the city.
If you like history it is worth visiting Dublinia, an experience that brings you back to Viking and medieval Dublin and has tickets priced at €12.00. It is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10.00am to 5.30pm. The St Patrick’s Cathedral is located in this area too, so you can go for a visit afterward. If you don't fancy seeing the inside of the church (and paying €8.00 to do so), a visit to the cathedral’s gardens is already worthed, on sunny days you will see many Dubliners doing the same and enjoying some sunshine resting on the garden.
For food and/or drinks you can go to the Two Pups Coffee for a really nice breakfast or brunch, they have taken away options if you want to have coffee on the go; Lucky’s Bar is the perfect place to get a creamy pint, listen to some live music and enjoy a cool atmosphere - they also have a pizza food truck on their yard run by Coke Lane Pizza with combos of pint and pizza for €13.00.
Ranelagh e Rathmines
Located right next to each other, in the Southside of the city, these cool neighborhoods have a lot to offer if you are looking for good pubs and delicious food. The options are so many that it might be hard to choose what to do when visiting Ranelagh and Rathmines, but I have some favorites to suggest: The Stella Cinema, which shows a different movie every night (olds or news), has different options of sitings such as couches and beds, and you can order some food or drinks during the movie from your sit.
Sprezzatura it’s an amazing Italian restaurant, with a very fair price (no dish over 10 euros!!). I enjoyed everything I tried there, from the starter to the dessert. If it's still on the menu, I highly recommend the sweet potato gnocchi.
The Blackbird pub is a perfect choice If you like cool pubs with a hipster vibe, the place has many options for beer and drinks, as well as some snacks if you're hungry. Another bit that I really enjoy is loads of sits and tables in the covered smoking area.
Last but not least, The Cake Cafe is my favorite place to go for coffee and treats in Rathmines, they also have a full brunch menu if you fancy some food. The shop is located behind an old, supercool book shop that you can visit before or after having your coffee.
Stoneybatter and Smithfield
Just a short walk from the city center, Stoneybatter and Smithfield have become more and more popular in the past years and are now home to a number of places worth visiting in Dublin. If you are looking to have a nice coffee and walk in the area, my suggestion is the Slice Cafe, with a good variety of cakes to try, and nice coffee to drink, they also have good brunch dishes if you feel like sitting and having a meal.
For a very Irish experience, you can go to The Cobblestone pub, where in previous covid times they used to have live Irish music almost every night of the week, and hopefully, it will be back soon.
If after there you wish to keep going, a good shout is Token, where they serve beers, drinks, and delicious food such as burgers and pizza, and have a gigantic variety of games that you and your friends can play during the night and have lots of fun.
For the food lovers, Stoneybatter and Smithfield also have lots of good options, my favorite is Grano, a new Italian place opened in 2019, with amazing food and a cool atmosphere.
Another good option is the Ramen Co, which as the name suggests, makes delicious Asian food and has really good prices for their dishes.
And last but not least, while you are exploring the area, you might want to visit the Smithfield Chimney, with panoramic views of Dublin and a cheap entry fee (around 5 euros).
Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire
Dublin has a beautiful seaside that can be easily accessed from the city center by the dart, which makes it definitely worth spending some time exploring the cute neighborhood surrounding the Dublin Bay, such as BlackRock and Dùn Laoghaire. Besides having nice walks enjoying the sea breeze, you can also visit two of the most popular swimming points in Dublin, the Forty Foot and the Seapoint (but get ready for a really cold dip if you dare to go to the sea). To keep you warm during the walk a nice coffee can be purchased at Shoe Lane in Dùn Laoghaire, or at The Bear Market, in Blackrock.
When talking about food, both neighborhoods have a lot to offer, but my favorite restaurant in the area is definitely the 3 Leaves, at the BlackRock Market - a very delicious Indian Cuisine restaurant with the most amazing curries I have tried so far.
If you go there, I highly recommend taking some time to walk around the BlackRock Market and check the mix of products they have there. The Market is open every weekend and Bank Holiday Mondays, from 11am-5.30pm.
Clontarf and Bull Island
That’s the perfect place to go on a sunny day in Dublin, and both locations are just a short bus drive from the City Center, by Dublin bus number 130. You can start exploring by taking a walk at the seafront, enjoying amazing views of the Dublin Bay and the Dublin Towers. The seafront leads to the wooden bridge that can be crossed by foot or car, and is the location of a beautiful sandy beach. Around the Island, the Happy Out offers good coffee and delicious toast, as well as some tables and benches to hang around.
Also in Clontarf, St Anne’s Park is totally worth a visit. Every Saturday you can also delight yourself with delicious food from the Farmer’s Market happening there, with many food trucks to choose from and plenty of space to sit and enjoy the outside. My favorite bit of the park is the Rose Garden, but there's so much to explore, the park is really huge.
For a dinner with a view, you can choose the Fishbone, with tables overlooking the bay and delicious seafood dishes, or The Baths, which has a more diverse menu, with different types of pasta, fish, chicken, red meat or vegetarian dishes. They also have outdoor and indoor tables, and you can enjoy the amazing view from all the tables. I also love their drinks, it’s a really nice place to go for a date or drinks with friends, and they are open from Wednesdays to sundays.
Now it’s time to explore Dublin! Let me know in the comments if you also love any of the places I mentioned here, or are planning to go for a visit soon :)