Written by 7:07 am Best Places to Live in Ireland

Best Places for Living in Dublin 7: Living in Smithfield, Stoneybatter & Phibsborough

Dublin 7 is a district in Dublin’s North side. It’s wedged between Phoenix Park and the city centre, making it a popular area to live. Although traditionally, only very few streets were considered to be part of Smithfield, people also now considering the regenerating Museum area to the West and Four Courts to the East as becoming part of the greater area. Smithfield also has its own LUAS stop along the Red line as well as some other stops close-by. So, whether you’re going for a few stops by tram or walking, you’ll be somewhere in the city centre within minutes.  These are just some of the reasons why living in Dublin 7 is popular.

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History & Location 

Smithfield is centred around Smithfield market square. In the past, the area used to be famous – or rather infamous – for its horse fairs. During the Celtic Tiger Smithfield was redeveloped. This involved the cleaning and relaying of 400k cobble stones in the market square. Since then, the square at the heart of Smithfield is less used for markets and more used to events, such as concerts.  

People & Lifestyle 

The area has the look of a classic gentrified area. New apartment complexes are mixed with small older houses, with some construction sights sprinkled in-between. There are still a lot of redevelopment projects going, especially closer to Four Courts. Smithfield and its surrounding neighbourhoods are also knowing for having many hipster-y venues, such as independent coffee shops with strong branding and art spaces.  

According to myhome.ie, the majority of people are single or couples without children. Myhomie.ie also found it’s a very young area with 65% of people being under the age of 34. So, its reputation of an area popular with students and young professionals is backed up by the numbers. Living in close proximity to the city centre is very convenient after all. There are many cultural events, including more indie ones, being held in the area, which means you may not even have to travel far from home to have something interesting going on. As a result, however, the areas immediately next to the Square and other event venues can be a noisier place to live.  

Activities 

Token in Smithfield

As previously mentioned, there are a lot of events and festivals hosted in the area. If you’re looking for somewhere quieter there are also lots of cafes and restaurants. Some of them have a unique personality, such as Token, which is a restaurant bar in a retro arcade. There’s also the Lighthouse Cinema, which is famous for showing more indie and international films. If you’re only visiting as a tourist, you may also be interested in the Jameson Distillery. Last but not least, there’s also Phoenix Park, which is the biggest green space in Dublin.  

Accommodation 

The regeneration of the area added apartment blocks, in particular around the Market Square. According to myhome.ie, 88% of buildings in Smithfield are apartments. Most started being built from the 80ies onwards and especially during the Celtic Tiger. So, they are still relatively new.  

In our review of daft.ie (January 10th 2022) we found 1-bedroom apartments starting at €1700 rent per month and a little higher for two bedrooms. In terms of buying, there were comparatively cheap properties, around 250-350k for some apartments or smaller houses. However, looking at their BER ratings and pictures, our uneducated opinion is that they would probably be in need of renovations.  

But wait there’s more in Dublin 7 

Perhaps Smithfield is too busy for you, but you still want to live somewhere close to where a lot of activity is happening, along with the convenience of the proximity to the city centre and Phoenix Park. There are some other popular and upcoming areas for living in Dublin 7. 

Grangegorman 

Grangegorman left behind its sad history of workhouses. The quiet neighbourhood has completely rebranded itself and has become part of the TU Campus. It even has its own stop along the Green LUAS line now. Although it’s a very functional neighbourhood, you do see the locals coming together in the sportsgrounds or to taking a walk.  

Stoneybatter 

This very small neighbourhood has a big reputation. It’s been featured in a Spice Girls’ music video. It’s been named one of the “50 coolest neighbourhoods in the world” by TimeOut. The Guardian has referred to it as “Williamsburg by the Liffey”. The reason for this comparison is the rapid gentrification of the area, which has turned it into a popular hipster area. The same, however, could be said for the other Dublin 7 areas we’ve been visiting.  

Phibsborough 

Blessington Basin is one of the reasons people living in Dublin 7
Blessington Basin

Phibsborough features some of the oldest areas of the district. It’s where Mater Hospital is located, making it a popular area with healthcare workers. Gentrification is also reaching the neighbourhood, with much discussed projects, for example, around the Phibsborough Shopping Centre. Phibsborough is also home to the Blessington Basin, one of the perhaps most underrated locations in Dublin. It’s a small park with a walkway around a water basin. Its high stone walks give it a sense of being closed off, making you feel like you’re stepping outside of the city and into a different world.  

Living in Dublin 7 in a Nutshell 

Most of Dublin 7’s neighbourhoods are gentrified areas with hipster vibes. These days, they’re trying to find their balance between being artsy and new, while trying to maintain their beloved older parts, which is getting increasingly hard. For example, there’s a hotel seeking to build over the famous Cobblestone pub. Generally, Dublin 7 is appreciated as an area for younger people who like having a lot going in the area and who have the funds to buy that artisan coffee. 

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