The 12 Best Places to Live in Dublin
With friendly locals, sprawling green fields and “banter” that you won’t find anywhere else, it’s easy to see why so many expats come to Dublin.
Now is the best time to make the move! While still pricey, rent prices in Dublin have fallen over the past year. As many older, established families move to the countryside, the population in the Capital has never been younger or more diverse.
Are you looking to relocate? Perhaps you’re an expat seeking a neighbourhood that ticks all the boxes. Either way, if you’re considering our Emerald Isle, here are the best places to live in Dublin.
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The best neighbourhoods in Dublin for culture
Portobello is known as one of the trendiest areas to live in Dublin. Home to a blend of artisanal brunch spots and lively Irish pubs, this neighbourhood is the inner city’s cultural hub.
Think redbrick buildings, yoga studios and specialty galleries. There is a healthy mix of modern apartments and refurbished terraced houses to rent. The area is ideal for expats who prefer to travel on foot.
Join the after-work crowd having a pint beside the local canal or catch live music at the infamous Whelan’s pub (Ed Sheeran once played a secret gig here!). The city’s cultural spots are at your doorstep.
Sunlight reflecting off the River Liffey, which flows through the centre of Dublin
Though Smithfield is in the heart of the city, it retains an off-the-beaten-track feel. Considered the artistic quarter, this location is perfect for expats looking to thrive in Irish culture.
Here you will find modern high-rise apartments to rent. The LUAS (the Irish subway) runs right through Smithfield, so it’s very accessible to the rest of the city.
A wide cobblestone walkway spans Smithfield Square, surrounded by deco coffee shops, poetic street art and even the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. You can partake in an authentic Irish whiskey under the high wooden-beam ceiling or, for a small fee, take a tour of the distillery itself.
There are plenty of “old man pubs” which are a rite of passage for true Dubliners. Locals welcome the diverse community. Settle in, enjoy a few pints, and listen to the lively trad music that plays most nights.
The best neighbourhoods in Dublin for food
Ranelagh lies in Dublin 6, which all locals know to be an upmarket area. Most people living there are young professionals. If you are seeking a modern space, however, the locale might not sway you. The market in Ranelagh mainly consists of Victorian terraced houses that can be eclectic and vintage in style.
In the last few years, Ranelagh has become known for trendy eateries and gourmet restaurants. If you identify as a hipster, this is the place for you!
Grab a bench in Rita’s, where they only serve pizza, beer, and wine. Or go to brunch heaven with eggs benny from Dillinger’s. And no matter where you end up in Dublin, you must try the infamous wings from TriBeCa.
Ranelagh is well-connected, and you can get to town in 15 minutes by bus or tram. Although, you may never need to leave – the main street is full of shops, bars, and old-school architecture, so you will have everything you need at hand.
Merrion Square is just an all-around good place to live. It’s central, peaceful, and has a leafy green park surrounded by traditional Georgian homes. The quick access to all of Dublin’s best inner-city restaurants is the key selling point of this area.
Have you ever had an egg roll thrown at you by a chef? Take the short stroll over to Chai Yo to experience the fun of Teppanyaki.
Or maybe you would prefer something more elegant – have dinner at The Cellar Bar, a low-lit basement with exposed brick and a cosy atmosphere in the Merrion Hotel.
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The best neighbourhoods in Dublin for green space
Close to Smithfield, Stoneybatter has the benefit of being adjacent to town while upholding its residential charm. There is an abundance of properties to rent; you will pay roughly €1700/month for a two-bed house with a garden, which is quite reasonable for the Dublin market.
The only thing you really need to know about Stoneybatter is that it is a mere 11-minute walk to the entrance of our national treasure: Phoenix Park.
This park is over 1700 acres of stunning green space, with wild deer, historical monuments, and flower gardens. Think the Irish version of New York’s Central Park. You can walk, bike, run, play hurling (Irish cricket… ish), go horseback riding and more.
The best part? It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, you can get out in nature whenever you need.
Temple Bar, one of Dublin's best spots for great pubs and live folk music
St. Stephen's Green
If you like nature, but you also want to be in the middle of the action, look no further than St. Stephen’s Green.
Dubbed Dublin’s playground, the design and proximity of Stephen’s Green make up for its small size. It’s a beautiful collection of carefully manicured gardens and scenic ponds (where you can feed the swans!). On a sunny day, you will find locals sitting on the grass enjoying their lunch break, and during the summer there are loads of outdoor events.
The Stephens Green Shopping Centre is adjacent to the Green, and you are also at the top of Grafton Street, Dublin’s prime shopping district. Here the properties may be smaller and more dated than other areas, as this is the original city centre.
Do keep in mind that this is a busy district. If you are looking for somewhere quiet, you may want to avoid this location.
The best neighbourhoods in Dublin for nightlife
Speaking of noise, you won’t find anywhere with more hustle and bustle than Temple Bar. If it’s a party scene you’re chasing, this is your neighbourhood; Temple Bar is always a good time.
You may be surprised to learn that although the area itself screams old-timey Dublin, you will find plenty of sleek, modern apartments for upwards of €1800/month to rent.
When you search for Dublin, Temple Bar will come up on most lists. The area is famous for its Irish pubs, with live music every night and a friendly atmosphere. Expats and locals alike hit the pedestrian cobblestone streets searching for a bit of craic (Irish for ‘fun’).
Lesser known to those who aren’t local (but with equal buzz) are the surrounding areas of Harcourt Street.
This street is home to Dublin’s most famous nightclubs. Join hundreds of partygoers for the drink deals in Dtwo or treat yourself to a fancy cocktail in Chelsea Drugstore.
Ask any local (literally any), and they will tell you Copper Face Jacks is where the action is. Affectionately known as Coppers, it’s an iconic nightclub in Dublin that attracts people from all over the country (and the world!).
You will pay for the pleasure of living in this spirited area; many established apartment blocks in the vicinity cost upwards of €2000/month per two-bed apartment.
Consider this: if you choose here, you will be able to stroll home after a wild night out. No taxi fares!
The best neighbourhoods in Dublin for schools
This neighbourhood has a particularly young population, as it is close to two large university campuses in Dublin. It has a reliable bus route, making the city centre very accessible.
It is a very residential area; its narrow streets are lined with traditional red brick houses to rent for a reasonable price. If that’s not your style, you could choose one of the many student apartment blocks.
Drumcondra is regarded as a suburb and has a calm residential feel, with a selection of local schools and colleges of further education. There are at least three libraries within walking distance and plenty of coffee shops to fuel your study sessions.
You have everything you need in the vicinity, including a wide variety of gyms, restaurants, and pubs. Plus, Griffith Park is just up the road if you need to get outside to stretch your legs.
There is also a lovely walk along the bordering Tolka River, so you can grab a coffee and stroll along the riverbank on a Sunday morning.
Trinity College Dublin, founded in 1592
Rathmines is a sort of “sister town” to the wealthier Ranelagh. It has the benefits of the high-class area, without the overpricing.
This area is popular for students as rent prices are very reasonable, and you get good bang for your buck. You would likely find an older style house to rent here rather than an apartment. It has excellent bus routes, and you’re a short taxi ride from the city centre.
There is a superb selection of restaurants and pubs to try and it’s a handy area to meet new people. You’ll find many social events aimed at expats and young professionals.
Rathmines is also home to the cinematic landmark The Stella Cinema. The restored Victorian building features large armchairs to cuddle up on while you watch the latest blockbuster and feast on gourmet snacks and cocktails. It’s glamourous.
The best neighbourhoods in Dublin for cheap property
Phibsborough is an up-and-coming district that is still very affordable and popular with students and expats alike.
Previously named as one of Time Out’s coolest neighbourhoods in the world, Phibsborough hits that sweet spot of old buildings mixed with newer modern spaces. The average price is €1500/month for a two-bed house, but you will get even better value sharing with more people in a larger place.
It has a host of unique and funky bars, including The Back Page, where you can eat pizza, play board games, or attend a theme night.
It is also quite close to the infamous Croke Park, the national pitch where the biggest GAA (football) games kick-off. There is an electric atmosphere on match day, and you will find the streets teeming with supporters in their county colours.
The Docklands is extremely popular and extremely expensive. If you want the luxury location without the hefty price tag, try the lesser known suburb of East Wall. Prices can vary, but you can find a luxury one bed apartment for €1400/month or a two bed for €1900/month.
East Wall is set back a little further from the Liffey River but still has impressive accessibility, with bus routes and the LUAS both servicing this area. There’s an abundance of luxurious high-rise apartment blocks to choose from.