Dublin: Which neighborhood is right for your trip?
By Jessica Colley—
Cheapos are faced with one difficult decision when stepping foot in a new city: which neighborhood to use as a home base? Often, affordable accommodation options aren’t in the best possible locations, leaving the choice of a few different neighborhoods.
This is definitely the case in Dublin. The following neighborhood guide can help you determine which Dublin post code to call home (even just for a few days).
Dublin is broken in half by the River Liffey, into the north side and the south side. All addresses on the north side of the river have an odd post code (Dublin 1, Dublin 3, Dublin 7) and all the addresses on the south side of the river have an even post code (Dublin 2, Dublin 4, Dublin 6).
The smaller the number, the closer to the city center you will be. If you find an appealing hotel option – but it’s in Dublin 24 – you are going to want to keep searching (unless you want to spend a lot of time intimately getting to know Dublin Bus).
Many hostels, affordable B&Bs and small hotels are located on the north side of the River Liffey, in Dublin 1. These options have their appeal – they are close to the center of the city, to nightlife, and to local attractions. Yet many locals would argue that this neighborhood has the least charm of all the central neighborhoods. You’ll find a great deal, but this area around O’Connell Street is known more for touristy t-shirt shops than authentic pubs or restaurants.
Dublin 1 attractions: The Abbey Theatre, the Dublin Writers’ Museum, the Hugh Lane Gallery
Arguably the heart of the city, Dublin 2 is the very center where you will find Grafton Street, St. Stephens Green, Christ Church Cathedral, and a long list of five-star hotels. Cheapos shouldn’t fret – as there are a few affordable options too that will allow you to share addresses with the local rich and famous. Hotels might be a little older and classically styled, but they will be affordable and central. When you choose this central neighborhood, you can explore Dublin entirely on foot. Local pubs and cafés are all within easy strolling distance.
Dublin 2 attractions: Merrion Square, the National Gallery of Ireland, well-known pubs like O’Donoghue’s
My favorite neighborhoods in Dublin are in Dublin 4. While still in close walking distance to all the action, these are local, leafy neighborhoods full of beautiful Georgian architecture. Here instead of five-star hotels, you will be surrounded by Dubliners going about their everyday business. Expect to stumble on affordable markets, lunch spots, and pubs all steps from the door of your B&B. While many of the former Georgian homes here were turned into offices, many of them house small, affordable B&Bs as well.
Dublin 4 attractions: Herbert Park, the pubs along Baggot Street, strolls along the Grand Canal
Pick your hood
Every traveler will have their own idea of the perfect neighborhood. First time visitors to Dublin might be drawn to bustle of Dublin 1 or Dublin 2, while those who are seeking more of an in-depth experience with the locals will be drawn to the neighborhood feel of Dublin 4.
In these neighborhoods and beyond – one thing is for sure – compared to other destinations in Europe there is excellent value to be found right now in Dublin hotels.