The Best Things to See and Do in Rathgar, Dublin

A Rainy Day in Dublin
A Rainy Day in Dublin | © Giuseppe Milo/ Flickr

Rathgar is a sleepy, aspired-to suburb in the south of Dublin, and a great local-feeling spot to base yourself on any trip to the capital. Its wide streets and classy accommodations are reflective of the city’s recent economic success, but also of its long history of south-of-the-river opulence and mellow, memorable corners. There aren’t ‘big draws’ in Rathgar, as such, but there is plenty to uncover if you know where to look. Here are our favourite corners of one of Dublin’s priciest postcodes.

Explore a city wildlife haven in the Dodder Park

This strip of parkland along one of Dublin’s rivers is home to a fishing club (contact Dodder Anglers about any opportunities to fish yourself) but is best known for its surprisingly abundant wildlife. Regulars along the narrow river include herons, sparrowhawk, foxes, kingfishers and plenty of types of fish. Incredibly, a grenade from 1919 was found in the river just a year ago and had to be detonated, but this is usually the most serene of city corners.

The Dodder River post-flood

Stroll around grandiose Kenilworth Square

This tiny urban square has quite an interesting if sedate history. Dublin’s first bowls club started here, for example (it’s moved to Rathmines now, but retains the name ‘Kenilworth’), and the bookseller Charles Eason, who founded the still-popular national chain that bears his surname, was once a resident. Houses here regularly go for multiple millions of euros, and reflect the decorative Victorian era in which the majority were built. A quiet, atmospheric stop off.

Explore Rathgar Village

Neighbouring Rathmines might be a touch more fashionable, but Rathgar is enviably classy, and has lots of village-like local spots to explore. Kanem (Thai) and Mahek (Indian) are the area’s more international eateries, and both exude flavour. The Flower Bowl is an extravagant local florist worth sticking your head in through the door just for the scent. The Revolution offers family-friendly dining, and Runzone is a haven for athletes. Finish at Comans Pub, which is a local institution.

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