These charming areas are perfect to explore on foot
This vibrant neighborhood hosts local art galleries, recording studios, theaters, cafes, and small shops, as well as the Irish Film Institute, which shows independent films. On weekends, a fresh-food market comes to Meeting House Square, while books, clothes, and crafts are on display at other markets. Great places to grab a bite include hip Irish food at Eden and imaginative fare at The Pig’s Ear. Be aware that at night, Temple Bar becomes a rowdy nightlife center popular with young tourists.
Dublin’s chicest neighborhood is probably Ballsbridge, where mansions line the ultra-expensive Aylesbury, Raglan, and Shrewsbury Roads. Be sure to spend some time in Herbert Park, either for a peaceful stroll or a quiet midday picnic. Donnybrook and Pembroke roads are the place for high-end shoppers, with trendy wine and food markets, fashion boutiques, and lifestyle shops. Stop for a bite at Roly’s Bistro, where French-influenced Irish fare is always delicious.
Get a glimpse of Dublin’s past in the Old City, where cobblestone streets date back to Viking and medieval times. Sightseeing highlights include Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and ruins from the original city’s walls. Local designer boutiques have also started cropping up in this area, attracting visitors for hip shopping.
The most famous draw of this neighborhood is the Guinness Brewery, but there’s more to it than just Ireland’s iconic beer. Generations-old family shops and galleries line the streets (it’s one of the oldest areas in Dublin), while exciting creativity is showcased at art spaces like the Iveagh Gallery. The enduring Thomas House is one of the city’s oldest rock bars, and Vicar Street hosts comedians and live music.
University neighborhoods are always good for a stroll, and this one’s no exception. Bookstores and shops surround the campus, where shady squares and stone buildings set the scene. Nearby, Fitzwilliam and Merrion Squares are picturesque parks surrounded by grand homes that once played host to some of Dublin’s most famous citizens, including Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats. The 2 Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud can be enjoyed here, in the elegant Merrion Hotel.