9 Safest areas to stay in Dublin for tourists (and Where to avoid) - Easy Travel 4U (2024)

Wondering What is the safest area to stay in Dublin? Are there areas to avoid in Dublin? In this post, I will help you to find the Safest areas and neighborhoods to stay in Dublin for tourists, the best places to stay in each neighborhood, and areas to avoid.

Dublin, the Emerald Isle, is the capital and largest city of Ireland, located on the eastern coast of the island. It serves as the economic, cultural, and political center of the country.

Dublin was founded by the Vikings in the 9th century and later became the center of English rule in Ireland. The city has seen significant historical events, including the Easter Rising of 1916, which played a crucial role in Ireland’s path to independence.

The city is known for its historic landmarks, vibrant neighborhoods, and lively cultural scene. Some popular attractions include Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Temple Bar, Guinness Storehouse, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Additionally, the city has produced famous writers and playwrights like James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, and Samuel Beckett, contributing to its reputation as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Dublin offers an extensive public transport system, including buses, the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) train system, and the LUAS (tram system), making it easy to get around the city.

Is Dublin Safe for Travel?

Yes, Dublin is generally considered a safe city for tourists. It has a relatively low crime rate compared to other European capitals. But, like in any other major city, it is essential to take care of your belongings, especially in touristy areas to avoid petty theft and pickpocketing.

Most tourist areas in Dublin, such as Temple Bar, Grafton Street, and Trinity College, are safe during the day. However, like any bustling city, some areas may become less safe at night, particularly in the vicinity of certain nightclubs or pubs known for excessive drinking.

Dublin has a vibrant nightlife, but it’s wise to stay in well-lit and populated areas when going out at night. Stick to reputable establishments and avoid poorly lit or unfamiliar areas.

Ireland has historically experienced political violence, but in recent years, the security situation has significantly improved. It’s always advisable to stay informed about the current political climate and any travel advisories issued by your home country’s government.

What is the safest area to stay in Dublin?

The safest areas to stay in Dublin for tourists are Grafton Street, Merrion Square, St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, Portobello, Temple Bar, Ballsbridge, Smithfield, and The Docklands. Safety can vary from street to street, so it’s essential to exercise common sense regardless of where you stay.

Dublin City Center neighborhoods such as Grafton Street, Merrion Square, St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, Portobello, and Temple Bar are the best overall areas for first-timers due to their central locations, offering easy access to major attractions, restaurants, bars, and shops.

Where to avoid staying in Dublin?

While most areas are perfectly fine for tourists and residents alike, there are certain areas where it may be advisable to exercise caution or avoid staying, particularly at night. They include the areas in Dublin city center such as Pearse Street, Sheriff Street, and East Wall.

Additionally, you can easily avoid unsafe neighborhoods outside of Dublin city center such as Ballymun, Darndale, Tallaght, Blanchardstown, Finglas, Clondalkin, Lucan because they are off the tourist paths.

O’Connell Street is one of the main thoroughfares in Dublin, and while it is generally safe during the day, it’s advisable to be cautious at night, particularly in the northern part of the street.

Temple Bar is a popular and vibrant area with many pubs, restaurants, and nightlife spots. While it’s generally safe during the day, it can get quite crowded and rowdy at night, which might attract some opportunistic pickpockets or rowdy behavior.

It’s always better to remain aware of your surroundings and take precautions in any city center, especially in busy or nightlife areas. Also, travel in groups, avoid poorly lit or deserted areas at night, and protect belongings to have a safe trip.

Where did I stay in Dublin?

When I visited Dublin, I stayed for 3 nights in the city center at theWren Urban Nest. It has a prime location easy distance from the famous Dublin Castle, Temple Bar, and Chester Beatty Library. I was able to explore the nightlife, cafes, museums on foot and by public transport. I had a good sized room and very good breakfast.

Map of The popular areas and neighborhoods in Dublin for travelers:

9 Safest areas to stay in Dublin for tourists (and Where to avoid) - Easy Travel 4U (1)

9 safest areas & neighborhoods to stay in Dublin for tourists are:

1. Grafton Street

Grafton Street is one of the most famous and lively shopping streets in Dublin. It is located in the heart of the city, connecting the famous Trinity College Dublin and the St Stephen’s Green.

As in most of the neighborhoods in Dublin City Center, Grafton Street is generally considered safe. It is a popular and well-policed area with a significant number of visitors, but like any busy urban area, it’s essential to remain vigilant and take precautions to avoid pickpocketing.

Grafton Street is renowned for its wide array of shops and boutiques, offering everything from high-end fashion and luxury brands to more affordable retail options. You can find popular Irish and international brands here, making it a great place for shopping enthusiasts.

If shopping in Grafton Street is not enough, you can easily visit nearby shopping areas of Clarendon, William, Drury, and South Great George’s Streets.

Grafton Street is known for its vibrant street performance scene. Talented musicians, singers, dancers often showcase their skills along the street, creating a lively atmosphere for visitors.

You’ll find plenty of cafes, restaurants, and eateries lining Grafton Street, a great place to take a break, enjoy some food or drinks, and people-watch.

Grafton Street is a pedestrian-only zone, making it a safe and enjoyable place for pedestrians to explore without the worry of traffic.

Grafton Street holds a special place in the hearts of Dubliners and is a must-visit location for anyone exploring the city. Its central location, safety, shopping opportunities makes it a great base for first-timers and shoppers.

Best places to stay in Dublin in Grafton Street:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Westbury Hotel, 5-star hotel, located on Grafton Street, between Trinity College & St Stephen’s Green, an easy walk to Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, and Gaiety Theatre.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Grafton Hotel, a 4-star hotel, located a couple of blocks from Grafton street, that has a 24-hour front desk and family rooms.
  • Budget ($): Grafton Street Studios by City Break Apartments, great apartment, located in Dublin city center, close to Little Museum of Dublin.

BEST HOTELS IN GRAFTON STREET

2. Merrion Square

Merrion Square is a well-known Georgian square located in Dublin 2, in the heart of Dublin, just a short walk from St. Stephen’s Green. It is one of the largest and most beautiful squares in the city and is steeped in history and culture.

Dublin, in general, is considered a safe city, and the Merrion Square area is no exception. It’s a relatively calm and secure neighborhood, but it’s always wise to be aware of your surroundings, especially in busy areas or during late hours.

The square is surrounded by impressive Georgian townhouses, most of which were built in the 18th century. These elegant buildings add to the charm and character of the area.

One of the prominent landmarks in the square is a statue of the renowned Irish writer and playwright, Oscar Wilde. The statue has become a popular spot for tourists to take photographs.

Merrion Square often hosts various public events, art exhibitions, food markets, and cultural festivals throughout the year. Merrion Square Park itself has playgrounds for kids, and a beautiful green space where you can relax and have picnics.

Located adjacent to Merrion Square, on Merrion Square West, is the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology and National Gallery of Ireland, which houses a collection of Irish and European art, including works by famous artists like Vermeer, Caravaggio, and Monet.

Merrion Square is conveniently located close to popular Dublin attractions, such as Fitzwilliam Square, Trinity College, Grafton Street, Dublin Castle, Docklands, and the River.

Overall, Merrion Square’s central location, safety, proximity to family-friendly museums and attractions makes it an ideal base for first-timers, family, and couples both young and old seeking calm and laid-back atmosphere in the city center.

Best places to stay in Dublin in Merrion Square:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Merrion Hotel, 5-star hotel, centrally located between Merrion Square Park and St. Stephen’s Green. It has an onsite restaurant with 2 Michelin stars, and an infinity pool.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Mont, great 4-star hotel in Dublin city center that has an Irish Sports bar.
  • Budget ($): Fitzwilliam Townhouse, 3-star hotel, located in a Georgian townhouse. Easy walk from major attractions include Temple Bar, O’Connell Street, and the National Museum.

BEST HOTELS IN MERRION SQUARE

3. St Stephen’s Green

St. Stephen’s Green is a famous public park located in the heart of Dublin, just south of Grafton Street. It is one of the city’s most popular and beautiful green spaces, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling city center.

The park was originally a common area used for grazing and public executions in the medieval period. It was enclosed in the late 17th century and was known as a private garden for the residents living around it. In 1880, it was opened as a public park thanks to the efforts of Sir Arthur Edward Guinness, the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The park spans approximately 22 acres and is easily accessible by public transportation. The park has beautiful landscaped gardens, a large ornamental lake, sculptures and monuments, such as the Yeats Memorial Garden and the Fusiliers’ Arch.

The park offers several amenities, including walking paths, seating areas, and a children’s playground. It’s a popular spot for picnics, leisurely walks, and people-watching.

Additionally, you’ll also find popular museums and theaters nearby such as The Little Museum of Dublin, MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland, and The Gaiety Theatre.

Dublin, in general, is a relatively safe city, and St. Stephen’s Green is no exception. It’s a well-maintained public space with regular security patrols, making it a comfortable and secure area for visitors, locals, families, and couples.

The neighborhood around St. Stephen’s Green is one of the best places to stay in Dublin city Center for first-timers and those seeking a central, safe, and relaxed location in the middle of the city.

Best places to stay in Dublin in St Stephen’s Green:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 5-star hotel located in Dublin City Center, home to the Glovers Alley Restaurant with views of St Stephen’s Green.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Green, 4-star hotel, easy walk from St. Stephen Green, Grafton Street, Trinity College, St Patrick Cathedral, and the Waterfall in Iveagh Gardens.
  • Budget ($): Stauntons on the Green Hotel, great guest house, with views of the picturesque St Stephen’s Green.

BEST HOTELS IN ST STEPHEN’S GREEN

4. Trinity College

Trinity College is located in the heart of Dublin, right next to Grafton Street. It is within walking distance to many popular attractions, shopping districts, and public transportation hubs.

Trinity College is one of the best areas to stay in Dublin on a budget. As a university area, there are often affordable eateries, student-friendly bars, and budget-friendly options available nearby.

Trinity College Dublin is a prestigious university and is one of the oldest universities in Europe, established in 1592. It is renowned for its academic excellence and has produced many notable alumni, including writers, politicians, scientists, and Nobel laureates.

One of the most famous treasures of Trinity College Dublin is the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels, believed to have been created around the year 800 AD. It is displayed in the Library at Trinity College and attracts visitors from around the globe.

The area around Trinity College is well-patrolled and frequented by students, tourists, and locals. But, like any urban environment, it’s essential to take common-sense precautions to ensure your safety.

Best places to stay in Dublin in Trinity College:

  • Budget ($): Trinity College – Campus Accommodation, 3-star hotel, located in the famous Trinity College, short walk to the famous Book of Kells.
  • Budget ($): Buswells Hotel, 3-star boutique hotel, located minute’s walk from Trinity College and Grafton Street.
  • Budget ($): Trinity Townhouse Hotel , 3-star Georgian hotel, located in a quiet area of the historic quarter. It is a short distance from Croke Park Stadium, the Air Coach, Dublin’s city tour bus stops, and Connolly Train Station.

BEST HOTELS IN TRINITY COLLEGE

5. Portobello

Portobello is charming, safe, residential neighborhoods, located south of St Stephen’s Green. It is best suited for travelers seeking a local, laid-back atmosphere with easy access to Dublin City Center and its attractions.

The area has a diverse range of amenities, including shops, cafes, restaurants, and pubs, making it a desirable place to live for both locals, tourists, and expatriates.

Portobello is the area bounded by the Grand Canal to the south, Kevin Street Upper to the north, Clanbrassil Street Lower to the west, and Camden Street Lower to the east.

Take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Portobello, and you’ll find charming Georgian and Victorian houses, tree-lined avenues, and a welcoming atmosphere. Richmond Street, South Circular Road, Harrington Street, and Portobello Road, are some of the key streets to explore.

The neighborhood offers easy access to the Iveagh Gardens, Irish Jewish Museum, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St Stephen’s Green, Teeling Whiskey Distillery, and Dublinia.

Best places to stay in Dublin in Portobello:

  • Mid-range ($$): Maldron Hotel Kevin Street, 4-star hotel, in the heart of Dublin City Centre, a short walk from St Patrick’s Cathedral.
  • Mid-range ($$): Aloft Dublin City, 4-star hotel in Dublin City Center that offers a rooftop bar, restaurant and panoramic views of the city.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin, 4-star hotel, located near The City Hall, Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty Library.

BEST HOTELS IN PORTOBELLO

6. Temple Bar

Temple Bar is a vibrant and popular area located on the south bank of the River Liffey. It is in the heart of the city and is a hub for both tourists and locals. It is known for its lively atmosphere, cultural attractions, and vibrant nightlife.

Temple Bar is generally considered safe both during the day and at night. However, like any popular tourist area, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.

During the day, Temple Bar is a lively and vibrant district, known for its cultural attractions, restaurants, and shops. It’s generally safe to explore the area, especially in the main tourist zones, where you’ll find many visitors and locals.

At night, Temple Bar can become more crowded due to the numerous bars and nightlife establishments. While the area is well-patrolled by gardaí (Irish police), it’s always a good idea to stay vigilant and take basic safety precautions:

  • If you plan on enjoying the nightlife and consuming alcohol, do so responsibly and be cautious about accepting drinks from strangers.
  • If you’re out late, consider using licensed taxis to get back to your accommodation.
  • When walking around at night, try to stick to well-lit and busy streets. Travel with a group if possible, as there’s safety in numbers.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas or late at night.

The area is home to numerous cultural institutions, art galleries, and theaters. The Irish Film Institute, the National Photographic Archive, and the Project Arts Centre are just a few examples of the cultural venues you can find here.

Temple Bar is renowned for its traditional Irish pubs, offering live music, Irish dancing, and a great selection of beverages. It’s a popular spot for both tourists looking for an authentic Irish pub experience and locals enjoying a night out.

The streets of Temple Bar are often filled with street performers, musicians, and artists, adding to the lively and eclectic atmosphere. On weekends, you can also find markets selling various crafts, jewelry, and artisanal products.

Just a short walk from Temple Bar is the famous Ha’penny Bridge, a picturesque pedestrian bridge that offers stunning views of the River Liffey and the city.

Within walking distance of Temple Bar, you’ll find Dublin Castle, a historic site that served as the seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. Today, it hosts events and exhibitions.

Temple Bar is home to a variety of shops selling unique and artisanal products, including Irish crafts, clothing, and souvenirs.

While Temple Bar is undoubtedly a lively and exciting area to explore, keep in mind that it can get quite crowded, especially on weekends and during peak tourist seasons. If you’re looking for a more tranquil experience, consider visiting during weekdays or staying in other areas.

Best places to stay in Dublin in Temple Bar:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Merchant House, 5-star hotel located in Temple Bar, offering soundproofed windows. It’s a short distance from the Button Factory venue, restaurants, theaters, bars, and historic landmarks.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Clarence, Dublin’s original rock n’ roll hotel located in Dublin’s center, offering the River Liffey views. Easy walk from the lively Temple Bar District, O’Connell Street, and Grafton Street.
  • Budget ($): Harding Hotel, located in Temple Bar district, offering views of Christ Church Cathedral. The Darkey Kelly’s Bar and Copper Alley Bistro offering wide range of drinks, as well as Irish and international food.

BEST HOTELS IN TEMPLE BAR

7. Ballsbridge

Ballsbridge is an affluent and well-known area, situated just south of the River Liffey and is approximately 2 km from Dublin’s city center. Ballsbridge is known for its elegant architecture, tree-lined streets, embassies, and upscale residences.

Ballsbridge is generally considered safe. The area has a reputation for being relatively low in crime compared to other parts of the city.

Key attractions and landmarks in or near Ballsbridge include:

  • The Royal Dublin Society historic venue that hosts various events, including concerts, exhibitions, and sports events. The RDS Arena is known for its rugby and equestrian events.
  • Aviva Stadium, modern sports stadium is home to the Irish national rugby and soccer teams. It’s a major venue for various sports and concerts.
  • Herbert Park, a beautiful green space perfect for a leisurely stroll, picnics, or sports activities. The park also features a playground and various amenities.
  • American Embassy, occupying a prominent and secure building.
  • Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium, popular spot for greyhound racing enthusiasts.
  • Grand Canal Dock, nearby area with a vibrant atmosphere, known for its modern buildings, tech companies, restaurants, and bars.

Ballsbridge is also conveniently located near Dublin’s city center, offering easy access to the city’s attractions, shops, restaurants, and cultural sites. The area is well-served by public transportation, making it a desirable place to live and visit in Dublin.

Best places to stay in Dublin in Ballsbridge:

  • Luxury ($$$): InterContinental Dublin, an IHG Hotel, formerly the Four Seasons Hotel, located in one of Dublin’s most affluent areas, Ballsbridge. It’s only a 10 minute drive from Dublin City Center, and a 5 minute drive to Sandymount Dart Station.
  • Mid-range ($$): Herbert Park Hotel and Park Residence, 4-star hotel, located a short walk from The Aviva Stadium and the Lansdowne Road DART station, offering easy access to all Dublin’s attractions.
  • Budget ($): Morehampton Townhouse , 3-star hotel located in Ballsbridge district. It is near a bus stop taking you to the city center, Dublin Airport, University College Dublin.

BEST HOTELS IN BALLSBRIDGE

8. Smithfield

Smithfield is a safe and vibrant neighborhood, situated on the northside of the River Liffey, just west of the city center. Smithfield is known for its rich history, cultural attractions, and lively atmosphere.

It is a great base for budget travelers who want to save money on accommodations and restaurants while still having easy access to Dublin City Center.

Smithfield Square is the heart of the neighborhood and serves as a public space for events, markets, and gatherings. The square is surrounded by modern buildings and amenities.

One of the most famous attractions in Smithfield is the Jameson Distillery Bow St., where visitors can learn about the history and production of Irish whiskey through guided tours.

Movie lovers can enjoy a cinematic experience at the Lighthouse Cinema, an independent cinema known for screening a diverse selection of films.

You’ll also find the Cobblestone Pub, a popular traditional Irish pub with live music sessions, where you can experience authentic Irish culture and music.

History buffs can visit the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History in Collins Barracks, for a fascinating insight into Ireland’s history, culture, and decorative arts.

Smithfield’s excellent public transportation connections make it a popular area for residents and visitors alike. The neighborhood has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, offering an array of modern restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Best places to stay in Dublin in Smithfield:

BEST HOTELS IN SMITHFIELD

9. The Docklands

The Dublin Docklands is considered one of the most vibrant and rapidly developing areas in Dublin. The area boasts modern buildings, apartments, and hotels, making it an attractive option for those who prefer contemporary living spaces.

Dublin Docklands is generally considered a safe area to visit and stay in. It has undergone significant development and regeneration over the years, which has contributed to improved safety and security.

Additionally, Dublin Docklands is located along the River Liffey, offering picturesque waterfront views and pleasant walks along the river.

The area is home to various cultural attractions, including the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, which hosts a variety of performances.

There are numerous restaurants, cafes, bars, and entertainment options in the vicinity, providing plenty of choices for dining and nightlife.

While Dublin Docklands has its own charm, it’s also relatively close to the city center, making it convenient to explore other parts of Dublin.

Best places to stay in Dublin in The Docklands:

  • Mid-range ($$): The Spencer Hotel, 4-star hotel, offering views of the River Liffey, located close to the 3Arena and Bord Gais Energy Theatre and CCD – Convention Centre Dublin.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hilton Garden Inn Dublin City Centre, 4-star hotel with river views, located right next to 3Arena, EPIC Ireland museum, and Bord Gais Theatre.
  • Budget ($): The Ferryman Townhouse, offering views of the River Liffey. Located next to the Samuel Beckett Bridge in front of the Convention Centre, a great base to explore major attractions on foot or taxi.

BEST HOTELS IN THE DOCKLANDS

See more:

  • Where to Stay in Dublin First Time
  • 24 Best things to do in Dublin, Ireland

In conclusion, Grafton Street, Merrion Square, St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, Temple Bar, Smithfield, and The Docklands are the safe places to stay in Dublin for tourists. It is important to practice common sense and be aware of your surroundings regardless of the area you are in.

Grafton Street, Merrion Square, St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, and Temple Bar are the most popular neighborhoods for first-timers. They all have central locations, well-connected public transportations, and a wide range of attractions and amenities.

Portobello offers a laid-back ambiance near the canal. Ballsbridge attracts luxury travelers. Smithfield suits budget-conscious explorers, while The Docklands is ideal for modern architecture enthusiasts. Each area promises a memorable stay in the heart of Ireland’s capital city.

9 Safest areas to stay in Dublin for tourists (and Where to avoid) - Easy Travel 4U (2024)
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