Starting a new life in another country is not easy. Actually, it is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am not only talking about the previous preparation, which forces you to be in front of the computer for days, searching information about the country, English Schools, jobs, etc. But also and above all, I am talking about searching for accommodation in Dublin.
There are thousands of people, just like you, who have just arrived and are looking for a good apartment. For that reason, it is going to take you days, probably weeks, to find decent accommodation.
Keep this in mind: it could be a nightmare, but don´t panic! It not impossible and it will be much easier after you’ve read the following information about Dublin’s different districts or neighborhoods. Take a look to find out which area best suits your preferences and budget. Good Luck!
Living close to the city centre
Dublin city is divided into 24 different postal districts: the odd numbers are situated on the Northside of the river Liffey, while even numbers are located on the Southside.
Historically, the middle and upper classes would have preferred to live in the southern part, while the working classes lived in the northern part. This distribution of wealth has generally maintained. Hence, we would find cheaper prices in the north, but older apartments, and more expensive houses in the south, but beautiful all the same. However, over time things have changed and we can find very good neighborhoods in the North, such as Smithfield, Clontarf or Howth, and worst areas in the South, such as Ballyfermot.
For those who prefer to live near the city centre and reduce public transportation expenses (which can be a bit expensive. However, by using leap card you can pay cheaper fees as a student) you can choose between Dublin 1 or 2. This area is full of English Academies, restaurants, colleges, supermarkets and everything you need, and you can reach all of them by foot.
Dublin 2 is, in my opinion, the best part of the city to live in, with really nice houses but it’s also the area everyone wants. Therefore, it is very difficult to find apartments there, and they are usually a bit expensive. On the other hand, Dublin 1 is well-known as one of the cheapest districts in the city but with the disadvantage that the houses there are old and small, and the zone is considered lower class.
A bit far away: quieter areas
If you prefer to live a bit farther from the noise of the city centre, you have a lot of convenient alternatives: Dublin 3, 4, 6, 7 or 8. These areas satisfy all your needs because you can find hundreds of bars, restaurants and supermarkets there
Dublin 6 is the most popular, especially the quiet and pleasant areas of Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar, which are located just a few Luas stops away from the centre. It is not the cheapest area, but you can find a nice room at a fair price. You just have to be patient and have a bit of luck!
All the areas of Dublin 4, like Ballsbridge, Donnybrook and Sandymount, are famously picturesque but honestly, very expensive for a student´s tight budget. Whereas some areas in Dublin 3, such as Clontarf or Marino, are similar in that they are nice coastal residential areas they are benefited by the fact that they are significantly cheaper than those in Dublin 4.
Then, we have also Dublin 7 in the North, and Dublin 8 in the south, both very good areas with some exceptions that I will elaborate on later. Smithfield is the best alternative in Dublin 7, with new buildings and decent prices, but you have equally good neighbourhoods like Phibsboro and Four Courts. In Dublin 8, one of the best areas is Portobello, very neat, clean and with a beautiful canal running through it.
I have to include two more areas that have become very popular, despite being a bit far from the city centre: Drumcondra in Dublin 9, close to Croke Park Stadium and Dundrum in Dublin 14, which houses Ireland’s biggest shopping centre. While these are very good options you will need to accept the fact that they are quite far from the city centre
Areas you should avoid
I recommend you to avoid living in the following areas, as they are considered a bit dangerous:
● Mountjoy Square
● Dolphins Barn
● Finglas South
However, you should not follow this list to the letter. Historically these areas have a bad reputation but it doesn’t mean they still deserve it. For example, I live in Dublin 1 and I have never had any trouble or felt unsafe. Just pay attention, like you would do in your own city!
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