If you’re wondering where to stay in Dublin, Rathmines is a solid option.
Rathmines makes an excellent base if you’re planning a visit to County Dublin. Just 3km from the city centre, it’s lovely corner of Dublin with a fine bit of history attached to it.
And, while there aren’t many things to do in Rathmines itself, it’s a short walk from many of Dublin’s top attractions, as you’ll discover below.
Some quick need-to-knows about Rathmines
Although a visit to Rathmines in Dublin is nice and straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
The village-style suburb of Rathmines is 3km south of Dublin city centre in the province of Leinster. It’s a cool, edgy suburb just south of the Grand Canal and east of Harold’s Cross in the Dublin 6 district.
2. A cool base to explore from
Rathmines is a quirky cosmopolitan place to base yourself when visiting Dublin. It’s a short walk to the city (an even shorter taxi/bus ride) and it has a huge choice of pubs, eateries and places to stay, whatever your budget.
3. The James Joyce connection
Acclaimed writer James Joyce was born in Rathmines in 1882 and spent his early years there. Born at 41 Brighton Square, the family lived for a while at 23 Castlewood Ave before leaving Rathmines. Joyce never returned, however, his life in this Dublin suburb is captured in minute detail in his novel Ulysses.
Rathmines is in south Dublin, between Ranelagh and Harold’s Cross. The town has been a thriving commuter suburb for city workers since the 1930s with a diverse population including many immigrants and students.
The name Rathmines is anglicised from Ráth Maonais, meaning “ring-fort of Maonas”, possibly referring to a Norman family. The town grew up around the fortified structure.
The Battle of Rathmines and Joyce
It is famous for the bloody Battle of Rathmines in 1649 when Royalist forces were routed. It was also active in the War of Independence when weapons were stored in Rathmines Church.
Birthplace of James Joyce, Rathmines is arguably Dublin’s Literary Quarter. In the 20th century, it was home to a series of playwrights, authors, poets, journalists and reading clubs and has a fine library.
This cool cosmopolitan neighbourhood is a trendy hangout for young Dubliners and students with its superb nightlife.
The area has excellent local transport into Dublin city centre making it an attractive place to live, socialise and commute. It has a host of individual bars and eclectic eateries (see our pick below!).
Things to do in Rathmines (and nearby)
While there aren’t many things to do in Rathmines itself, there are endless things to do a short distance away.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from The Stella Theatre and the Teeling Whiskey Distillery to nearby cathedrals and more.
1. The Stella Theatre
The Stella Theatre is a oRathmines institution. Opened in 1923, this glamorous cinema is a cultural Dublin landmark. It was recently renovated but still retains its 1920s aura.
When it opened it was the biggest cinema in Ireland and the massive ballroom hosted many prestigious events.
The cinema is still popular and the Stella Cocktail Club is one of the most unique places for cocktails in Dublin (it’s in the original ballroom). The bar has stunning city views and has a lovely cocktail terrace. Open daily, it’s well worth a visit.
2. Teeling Whiskey Distillery
The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is one of the most popular whiskey distilleries in Dublin. A tour provides an unmissable opportunity to learn how the distillery works and discover how Teelings made its mark on the area.
Known for its traditional and more unconventional methods, Teeling Whiskey is produced in small batches. With over 300 international whiskey awards, this distillery continues to be operated by the Teeling family.
It moved to new premises in 2015 and became the first “new” distillery in Dublin in over 125 years. It’s less than a 30-minute walk from Rathmines.
3. St Patrick’s Cathedral
Around a 25-minute walk from Rathmines, St Patrick’s Cathedral has been part of Dublin’s cityscape for over 80 years.
Named after Ireland’s patron saint, this mediaeval building is the largest cathedral in Ireland.
Check out the beautifully restored Lady Chapel and choir on a guided tour or download the free app self-guided tour. If you get the chance, listening to Choral Evensong is outstanding!
4. The Guinness Storehouse
Follow the story of “the black stuff” since it’s inception here in 1759. Located on St James’s Gate, the Guinness Storehouse building was constructed as a fermentation house in 1902. It now offers an all-encompassing attraction on seven floors.
Enjoy the Taste Experience and Guinness Academy and finish with a stoutie with your own selfie on the creamy head! Head to the rooftop Gravity Bar for panoramic city views and don’t miss the 1837 Bar & Brasserie and gift shop!
5. St Stephen’s Green
St Stephen’s Green is the green hub of Dublin and provides a leafy oasis for walks as well as being home to many civic and historic memorials.
Covering 9 hectares (22 acres), it has an ornamental lake for waterbirds, footpaths, shelters and a playground.
It is surrounded on all sides by significant buildings including the Little Museum of Dublin and the MoLi (Museum of Literature) as well as noteworthy bars, cafes and restaurants.
6. National Gallery of Ireland
Just steps from St Stephen’s Green is the prestigious National Gallery of Ireland. Opened in 1854, it houses a fine collection of over 2,500 paintings and 10,000 other artworks, sculptures and drawings.
It’s a must-see for fans of Irish artists. Make the most of your visit with a free audio tour or join one of the guided tours offered on weekends. Most galleries are free to visit with a charge for some special temporary exhibitions.
Pubs in Rathmines
Although we go into the best pubs in Rathmines in our Rathmines pubs guide, I’ll take you through some of our favourites below.
1. Martin B. Slattery
Dive into a slice of local history at Slattery’s. This popular Dublin 6 watering hole on the corner of Lower Rathmines and Wynnefield Road is a great place for a pint of Guinness at the polished mahogany bar. Trad sessions are regularly hosted at the upstairs bar.
Corrigans is worth seeking out if you like authentic old school pubs. Sip a pint slowly at the bar and listen to quiet conversation or pick a booth and enjoy socialising with mates. There are plenty of pub games including Jenga and dart. Sports TVs are dotted around but at Corrigans, it’s all about the ambience.
This dimly lit Rathmines haunt has a homely interior with comfy chairs and antique lamps providing a cosy glow. Affordable food and a full range of craft beer and spirits are the cornerstone of this succesful pub. As well as pool tables, it’s a popular hub for young professionals to gather after work.
Although we go into the best restaurants in Rathmines in our Rathmines food guide, I’ll take you through some of our favourites below.
1. Farmer Browns
Feeling peckish? Farmer Browns Restaurant and Sun Terrace serves up a tasty selection of soup and sandwiches, brunch dishes, salads, burgers and steaks. Visit on Taco Tuesday and snack on nachos, quesos and guacamole along with cocktails. They also have an amazing selection of craft beers.
Located on Rathmines Road Lower, Sushida is a contemporary Japanese Restaurant known for its authentic sashimi. Eat in or take-away their flavoursome fried rice, noodles, stir fries and sushi. Open daily from 5-10pm, everything is tasty and first-class quality.
3. Voici Crêperie & Wine Bar
Paris meets Dublin at Voici Creperie and Wine Bar. This upscale wine bar offers something a little different to tempt your tastebuds with filled crepes, meat or cheese platters to go with the fine wines. Enjoy casual dining for lunch and dinner with French favourites such as pate on toast or croque monsieur.
If you fancy staying in Rathmines or nearby, you’ve a decent number of top-notch hotels to choose from.
Note: if you book a hotel through one of the links below we may make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.
1. Uppercross House Hotel
Uppercross House Hotel has been recently restored and provides comfortable 3-star accommodation on Dublin’s Southside. Guests have free parking, modern spacious guest rooms with Wi-Fi and tea/coffee facilities. There’s an onsite bar/restaurant with live entertainment and bus/LUAS stops nearby.
Check prices + see more photos here
2. Travelodge Rathmines
Located on Lower Rathmines Road, the Travelodge Dublin Rathmines has clean modern rooms that are well furnished with flat-screen TV and tea/coffee facilities. Rooms include an ensuite bathroom with power showers.This budget hotel has vending machines and WiFi in the lobby. Breakfast cafes, pubs and public transport are nearby.
Check prices + see more photos here
3. The Devlin
Treat yourself with a night or two at The Devlin (one of the coolest boutique hotels in Dublin), a contemporary hotel with beautiful rooms featuring comfortable beds, quality linens, TV and tea/coffee makers. The iconic building includes a rooftop bar/restaurant with uninterrupted views across the city.
Check prices + see more photos here
FAQs about visiting Rathmines in Dublin
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Are there many things to do in Rathmines?’ to ‘Where is there to visit nearby?’.
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 Rathmines worth visiting?
I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit Rathmines, unless I was visiting one of its pubs or restaurants. The area, however, makes a great base to explore Dublin from.
Are there many things to do in Rathmines?
Aside from The Stella, great pubs and excellent restaurants, there isn’t a huge number of things to do in Rathmines. There is, however, endless things to do near Rathmines.