The Best Things to See and Do in Ranelagh, Dublin

Courtesy of Scoop Ranelagh
Courtesy of Scoop Ranelagh

A popular, leafy and upmarket corner of Dublin, Ranelagh is a central suburb that sits within walking distance from all the city’s main sights, and one of the most expensive areas in Ireland to bed down. It has an interesting history, with battles over Irish sovereignty taking place here as early as the 17th century. The suburb was also the launching location of one of the earliest manned hot air balloon flights, way back in the 18th century, with the balloon heading across Dublin Bay to Clontarf.

You’ll be stepping in the footsteps of a host of historical figures as you stroll the village and take in Ranelagh’s best. Today, it’s glistening and pricey. Here are our tips.

Grab brunch

Ranelagh was recently labelled ‘the Brunch Capital of Dublin’ by local publication The Journal, and has plenty of great spots to indulge your inner Sunday morning. Dillinger’s does an astonishing chicken and waffles dish (it’s better than it sounds), while Nick’s Coffee Company, Cinnamon and Er Bruschetta offer less imaginative but nevertheless extremely sumptuous alternatives. The Exchequer has a bottomless prosecco brunch for €15. Then there’s the vast abundance of pubs opening early to do brunch or lunch.

Full English Breakfast

Stroll the Edwardian Streets

Yes, okay, ‘go for a walk’ might not be the most exciting piece of advice about a new place, but Ranelagh is fantastic to explore, with even a glance above the ground floor of the shopping streets revealing shapely, ageing brick buildings. Get away from the centre of the village, and you’ll find wide, leafy streets where the average property is comfortably in the million-Euro range. A glance at how the other half lives, then; it’s all kinds of charming, and extremely photogenic.

Check out the street art

Dublin is a surprising hub of street art, which is broadly accepted in the capital providing it’s reasonably well done (tagging tends to be unpopular; it’s more about murals and symbolism). While The Liberties – particularly Francis Street and the Tivoli Theatre car park – are probably the heart of the movement, Ranelagh has a lot of classy murals that you’ll have no trouble picking out both in the village, and as you walk through. Look out for work by politically influential artist Maser, who’s a regular around here.

Street Art in Ranelagh

Watch Leinster play cricket

Cricket is very much an emerging sport in Ireland, and the country recently made a major breakthrough at international level in obtaining test status, the first new country to do so in some time. Of the international players who don’t play in England or farther afield, most play for the east coast provincial team Leinster, based just outside of Ranelagh. Crowds are still in the hundreds even on a good day for the local league, but for anyone with more than a passing interest in the sport, this is a great chance to see some name players perform outside of the spotlight.

1 Observatory Lane, Dublin 6, Ireland. +353 14972428

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