The good news for tourists and residents alike is that Dublin is a walkable city. In fact, Dublin is one of the most walkable cities in Europe.
The flat, compact nature of the city lends itself perfectly to getting around on foot. While Dublin has expanded considerably since it was founded as a Viking settlement in the 10th century, the city centre is still quite small by international standards. Taking into consideration that the majority of tourist attractions are located in the city centre, it makes perfect sense to explore Dublin primarily by walking from point to point.
From O’Connell Bridge at the heart of the city where the north and south sides of Dublin meet, an amazing variety of restaurants, bars, monuments, cafes, museums, parks and cinemas are easily reachable on foot.
Public Transport vs Walking
In contrast to most European capitals, Dublin does not have an underground rail network or metro. However, there is a good bus network, the Luas tramline system, and the DART light rail system. However, factoring in waiting times, in many cases walking is still the fastest way to explore Dublin. Unfortunately, the high cost of living in Dublin also extends to the cost of public transport, making walking even more appealing.
Hopping on a Dublin bus or the Luas is generally recommended when travelling outside the city centre to one of the suburbs of the city.
Dublin is in general a safe city to walk around, especially during daylight hours. However, like most major cities, there are some areas where caution should be taken, for example the north inner city area. Keeping your wits about you and stowing away any valuables should go a long way towards avoiding any trouble. Happily, there is generally a good police presence in the city at all times.
Thankfully, several popular shopping streets in Dublin have now been pedestrianised, such as Grafton Street, Mary Street and Henry Street, making them the perfect spots for a safe stroll and some window shopping. However, all of the city streets have good pavements and the quays feature dedicated pedestrian walkways over the river Liffey.
To fully explore the beauty of Dublin, it’s best to wander the city on foot. Try some of the walking routes in our autumn walking routes and winter walking routes guides for some inspiration. For a longer route to stretch your legs, there is nothing better than walking to the Phoenix Park and taking a stroll on one of the many routes through the park, which is the largest city park in Europe.
There’s no doubt that living in a walkable city is one of the simple joys of life, as you can just step out your front door and follow your feet wherever they take you.