One Day in Dublin City: Ballsbridge and Ringsend

One Day in Dublin City: Red Georgian Door in Ballsbridge

About This Dublin City Itinerary

One Day in Dublin City Itinerary Rating: Leisurely
This Dublin itinerary is recommended for people with the following interests: nature, photography

Ballsbridge and Ringsend Itinerary in Brief

  1. Breakfast Choices in Ballsbridge
    1. Roly's
    2. Maia
  2. Walk along the Dodder River path
  3. Explore Beggar's Bush
  4. Lunch at Press Cafe
  5. Tour the Georgian Doors of Dublin
  6. Pub Stop
    1. Beggar's Bush
    2. Becky Morgan's
    3. The Schoolhouse
  7. Dinner in Ballsbridge
    • Baan Thai
    • Girl and the Goose
  8. Evening Activities
    1. Places your bets on Irish Greyhound racing at Shelbourne Park
    2. Experience traditional Irish music and dancing at the Irish House Party

Ballsbridge and Ringsend Detailed Itinerary

Start your day out in Dublin with breakfast in Ballsbridge. Roly's Cafe and Bakery has takeaway coffee for just 2 EUR and a very tempting display of sweet treats. Maia is a Dublin local's favorite restaurant in Ballsbridge and a good stopping point for morning coffee roasted by Silverskin Coffee, my favorite local roaster. It's impossible to miss Maia's bright red awning on Shelbourne Rd. Across the street, there are some adorable stone cottages to admire and photograph.
Non-Touristy Dublin City One Day Itinerary: The Dodder River Path in Ballsbridge
After breakfast walk along the Dodder River path. Today you'll walk north toward Aviva Stadium and Ringsend. You can also take a fantastic long nature walk to the south along the River Dodder but save that for another day. You'll find commuters walking to work along the leafy path lined with stone walls. Aviva Stadium rises along the path and catches the morning sun if you happen to do this walk on a bright day. We've spotted all kinds of wildlife along the Dodder River including plenty of ducks and even bright blue kingfishers. A seal once made an appearance along the Dodder River path swimming in from the Irish Sea.
Non-Touristy Dublin in a day: Beggars Bush and the Print Museum in Ballsbridge
Leave the Dodder River path and walk up Bath Ave. to Beggars Bush. Beggars Bush is a former military barracks and now boasts housing, some offices, and the National Print Museum. Take a closer look at the fence surrounding Beggars Bush. It's made from the barrels of old cannons painted black. Stop for lunch at the cafe in the National Print Museum before embarking on a tour of the Georgian doors of Dublin. You could even try embarking on a Dublin doors scavenger hunt to make things even more fun.
One Day in Dublin City Itinerary: Cannon fence at Beggars Bush
In my opinion, Dublin's Georgian doors are one of the city's most impressive features. Legend has it that women painted their doors different colors so that their drunk husbands wouldn't mistake other homes for their own. Another story I've heard suggests that during the time of British rule over Ireland, there was a mandate to paint those doors black. In a subtle rebellion against the ruling Protestant upper class, citizens of Dublin's painted their doors in bright mismatched colors adding individuality and charm to each home that survives to this day. The area of Ballsbridge bounded by Northumberland Road in the north, Leeson Street in the south, the Grand Canal to the West and Waterloo Road to the east makes for a great afternoon photo walk to see the Georgian Doors of Dublin. This small area is packed with opportunities to take some of the best photos of Dublin.
Day out in Dublin: Pink Georgian door in Ballsbridge
After your walk, it's time for a well-earned pub stop. Choose among local favorites including Beggar's Bush, Becky Morgan's and the Schoolhouse. Beggar's Bush is a great local that does a high quality and relatively inexpensive pour of Guinness. Settle in to the quiet wood-paneled interior with the locals. Becky Morgan's is a *very* local choice. Becky Morgan's looks inconspicuous on the outside but you'll find great craic and sometimes live music on the inside. The Schoolhouse is a hotel and pub situated in a former schoolhouse. Go for the architecture. Sit in front of a cozy fire if it's cold or rainy or sit outside on a warmer sunny day. The Schoolhouse features live music on some nights.

For dinner, dine in Ballsbridge Village at either Baan Thai or the Girl and the Goose. Baan Thai serves authentic spicy Thai cuisine in a traditional three story brick home. The restaurant has this great vibe of local Dublin architecture combined with exotic decorations in the interior. Start with a spicy carrot salad and Tom Yum soup. The Thai Chicken Basil is full of flavor and served with a flourish. Baan Thai is our go-to place for Thai food in Dublin.

The Girl and the Goose serves more traditional European fare. Also located in a cozy Georgian home in Ballsbridge Village, expect generous portions and fresh ingredients. Definitely save room for the warm flourless chocolate fondant. I would have licked the plate had it been socially acceptable to do so.
Non-Touristy Dublin: Becky Morgan's Pub
After dinner, you can either place your bets on Irish greyhounds at the races at Shelbourne Park or check out more traditional Irish Music and Dance at the Irish House Party.

Greyhound racing is a popular, albeit controversial, pastime in Dublin. Pore over the race program and try to guess who the winner of the next race might be. My betting strategy was very simple at first -- which dog's name did I like the best. However, I got more sophisticated as the races wore on and I was able to better interpret the program. Some factors I considered included:
  • (a) is the owner also the trainer? If not, the owner means business and is more likely to be a professional 
  • (b) what class of race had the dog competed in in the past? 
  • (c) had the greyhound shown ability to come from behind in past races? 
  • (d) did the dog look energetic when released onto the track? 
Overall, I think I broke even for the night which was all I could really hope for in an evening's entertainment.

If greyhound racing is not up your alley, spend the evening enjoying traditional Irish music and Irish step dancing. The Irish House Party is hosted several times a week at the Lansdowne Hotel in Ballsbridge. We were impressed by the quality of the music and dancing which included Irish pipes, an accordion, and a guitar player with an amazing singing voice. After showing us how it's done, GrĂ¡inne, a world champion Irish dancer, taught the audience a few steps. I'm woefully uncoordinated but got up to dance a jig. If you happen to be musical, make sure to come prepared. The performers invite audience members up on stage to perform a little number of their choosing. They claim that they've never done a show where no one volunteers. The majority of the audience the night that we went to the Irish House Party was a music troupe from Denmark and they played a couple tunes and a did a little dance of their own. I was quite impressed!

After your evening's entertainment, head back to your hotel where you can explore other one day Dublin City itineraries here:
One in Dublin City Itineraries

Map of This Dublin City Itinerary: Ballsbridge and Ringsend

Guide to Sidewalk Safari Dublin City Itineraries

  • Leisurely: No need to get up super-early to start this itinerary which is always good if you experienced a little too much of Dublin's famous craic the night before. Take your time exploring the sights on these itineraries or take detours that you discover on your own in the process of following my suggestions.
  • Intermediate: You should be able to comfortably fit in the activities recommended even if you don't get an early start. There is a fair amount of walking involved in these itineraries to get from place to place.
  • Ambitious: Lots to see plus a lot of walking. Make sure to get an early start or you won't make it to everything on the list.
The perfect formula for a day out in Dublin City includes: breakfast/coffee, morning activities, lunch, afternoon activities, a pub stop, dinner, and evening fun.

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One Day in Dublin City Itinerary: Ballsbridge and Ringsend

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: One Day in Dublin City: Ballsbridge and Ringsend
One Day in Dublin City: Ballsbridge and Ringsend
Learn about a one day Dublin City itinerary focused on non-touristy places in Ballsbridge and Ringsend. Photograph the Georgian doors of Dublin. Visit Beggar's Bush and enjoy local places to eat in Ballsbridge.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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