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Is Dublin Safe? Here’s Our Take (As Told By A Local)

Is Dublin Safe? Here’s Our Take (As Told By A Local)

We get asked ‘Is Dublin safe?’, or some variation of this, several times each week by tourists planning a trip to Ireland.

And it’s a hard question to answer. In my opinion, Dublin is, for the most part, safe. However, there are both situations and areas to avoid in Dublin, and assaults and robberies do happen.

However, there are plenty of things to do to ensure you stay safe in Dublin, from where your accommodation is to what time you stay out until.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about staying safe in Dublin during your visit. Dive on in!

Is Dublin safe? Some quick need-to-knows!

Ha'penny bridge

Photo by Bernd Meissner (Shutterstock)

So, please take this guide with a pinch of salt. You could do everything possible to stay safe in Dublin, and you could still fall victim to crime (hopefully that won’t be the case). Here’s some quick, handy info.

1. Yes and no

While Ireland itself is a very safe place (one of the world’s top-10 safest in fact, according to the 2021 Global Peace Index), Dublin has to be treated a little differently due to its size. Ireland’s a pretty rural country (no bad thing), however, Dublin’s metropolitan population is almost twice the size of the next largest city (Belfast) and with larger cities comes a higher crime rate.

2. 98% of tourists feel safe

And the lists keep coming! Though the fact that 98% of tourists felt safe in Dublin during 2019 is a pretty decent endorsement of the city. If you’re coming to Dublin for the first time then you’re probably going to take a well-trodden tourist path that’s unlikely to feel dangerous (and generally won’t be), but do keep your valuables secure and avoid dark and poorly lit areas at night. 

3. Dublin is a ‘Medium Threat’ location

According to the US Department of State, Dublin is a ‘Medium Threat’ location thanks to past incidents of “petty theft, burglary, and other minor offenses”. Dublin gets a lot of American visitors who can be relatively pickpocket-prone so definitely try to keep a close eye on belongings and make sure important items like passports are securely locked away at the hotel. 

What locals will tell you when asked is Dublin safe

o'connell street

Photo by Irish Drone Photography (Shutterstock)

The next section of the guide will give you a sense of what Dubliners will tell you if you ask them whether or not the city/county is safe.

1. Location matters

Every city has its good and bad parts and Dublin is no different. And most of the ‘bad’ areas are places that most tourists would have no business visiting anyway (see our where to stay in Dublin guide for the best areas to stay in!).

From Howth and Malahide in the north to Dalkey and Killiney in the south, Dublin’s got some lovely villages where it’s highly unlikely you’ll get any bother and the same largely goes for the city centre too (although we’ll talk about that in the next section). 

Basically, location matters. And if you’re in one of the spots I mentioned above (or similar) then you’ll be fine. Just be wary of any potential hassle at night around kicking out time. 

2. The city

Flanking both sides of the Liffey and spreading out into a compact collection of narrow streets, pretty squares and grand Georgian townhouses, Dublin city centre is small compared to other European capitals and it’s pretty easy to stay on the tourist trail. 

And your best bet would be to remain on that tourist trail unless you’re taking a train out to one of the seaside villages. There’s also so much to do (especially if it’s your first time in Dublin) that it would be difficult to leave the city centre anyway. 

Just be a bit warier at night and take extra care if you’re unfortunate enough to rub shoulders with any stag parties in Temple Bar at kicking out time!

3. When darkness hits

As we were saying, night is when you’re at your most vulnerable so keep an eye out for anyone who appears a bit dodgy or has clearly had a few too many!

Kicking out time is when most fights occur in Dublin so take extra care when you’re exiting a bar or club or trying to hail a taxi. 

Also, make sure to keep to the most well-lit areas. Sounds like obvious advice but there are plenty of dark alleys in this old city and, while Dublin’s easy to navigate during the day, when darkness falls it can be a different story if you don’t know your way around.

4. Keep your wits about you

Common sense always prevails when visiting somewhere new for the first time, so just keep your wits about you in Dublin and you’ll be fine.

It can be tempting to be a little blase just because you’re wandering around a vibrant city in a first-world country, but bad things can happen anywhere. Dublin’s safer than most European capitals, but it isn’t perfect. 

Watch out for pickpockets, don’t go out too late at night on your own, stay in the busier touristy areas and avoid parks and poorly lit areas at night. 

How to stay safe in Dublin

dublin castle tours

Photo by Mike Drosos (Shutterstock)

So, again, please take this with a pinch of salt as, again, you could do everything in your power to stay safe and still encounter hassle.

1. Use common sense

Simply apply the same common sense you’d use in any other new city and apply it here. Wandering around late at night isn’t recommended and take extra care when the pubs and bars empty.

2. Don’t stray off the beaten path

Going off the beaten path is typically one of the more seductive parts of the travel experience but it’s better to stick to what you know, especially at night or if it’s your first time in Dublin. If you’re staying in one of the hotels in Dublin City, then it’s a wise idea to stay around that area when evening falls. 

3. Eyes on the prize

I.e the important stuff. If you’re carrying cash then keep it safely tucked away somewhere and not on show. I know it’s tempting for photos, Whatsapp and maps, etc, but it’s also probably best not to walk around with your phone out all the time. And keep your passport locked away in your accommodation.

Is Dublin safe: Have your say

We’re basing this guide on is Dublin safe on experience of living in Dublin and visiting the city often, both at night and during the day.

I’d love to hear your take on 1, is Dublin safe and 2, what, if any dangerous areas of Dublin do you dodge like the plague.

FAQs about staying safe in Dublin

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is Dublin safe for tourists?’ to ‘Is Dublin safe late at night?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is Dublin safe?

I’d argue yes and no, as is the case with every major city in the world. A study by Failte Ireland in 2019 showed that 98% of tourists felt safe in Dublin.

What areas of Dublin are unsafe?

We get asked ‘What are the worst areas in Dublin? a lot. It’s a hard question to answer. I think the map above, compiled by 

Is Dublin safe for tourists?

Again, yes and no. Mostly yes, but you need to be cautious and keep your wits about you, as you would in any big city.

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