Center City is really characterized by three separate subdistricts: Temple Bar running along the Liffey River, Georgian Dublin south of Trinity College spreading south and east to the canals, Trinity College, and the more “unlabeled” part of Center City between Temple Bar and Portobello.
Temple Bar is characterized by excellent narrow streets running between the river and R 137, an excellent mixed-use historic street. Temple Bar is the most touristy part of Dublin filled with bars, restaurants, live music and plenty of tourist traps. But it is quiet charming with its coble stone streets and 18th century and 19th century buildings.
Georgian Dublin: This occupies a large part of Central Dublin extending south from Trinity College all the way south and east to the canal and westward to Aungier St. The district contains some of the best urban fabric of all of Dublin with consistent 3-5 story early 19th century flat Georgian architecture. The premiere park in the district is Stephen’s Square. But there are several other lovely squares (i.e. Merrion Square Park, Fitzwilliam Sq, Wilton Park, and Iveagh Gardens). The most regal Georgian flats surround the squares or are along Harcourt St. Several excellent business districts cut through the district including Leeson Street Lower, Bagget Street Lower, Camden Street, R138, Pembrooke St, and Dawson St.
Trinity College/Center City: Trinity College is located just east of Temple Bar and is a gorgeous campus with many historic gothic buildings from the late 18th to 19th century. North of here is a non-descript district mixing historic Georgian architecture and a lot of mixed-use in-fill spilling over from the Docklands. The area between Temple Bar south to Kevin Street and west to Patrick Street is the core of Center City Dublin. This includes some of the most important Dublin landmarks (i.e. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Cathedral, Dublin Castle, St. Audoen’s Church, Dublin Linn Garden, George’s Street Arcade, and Stephen Green’s Shopping Centre). The City’s best pedestrian mall/shopping district is also here along Kings Street/Clarendon Row/Grafton St/Wicklow Street. William/St. Andrea’s Street is a wonderful semi-pedestrian street nearby. R 137 is a solid business district that forms the Center City’s northern and western border with Temple Bar and the Liberties, respectively. Augier St is a wonderful business district with tons of gorgeous mixed-use architecture running north-south through the district and hosting George’s Arcade.
Click to the right to view several of my Center City Dublin Albums on Flickr: Center City, Temple Bar, and Georgian Dublin
* Great dedicated bike lane system, many of them being separated.
* Highly walkable, mixed-use fabric with many business districts, landmarks, squares, and pedestrian street with excellent shopping options.
* Excellent cultural amenities including tons of restaurants, bars, numerous art galleries, plenty of museums and historic sites, tons of live music venues in Temple Bar, and several performing art and movie theaters.
* Lot of gorgeous historic architecture especially in the Temple Bar and Georgian subdistricts. Wonderful historic commercial buildings along Kings Street, Clarendon, Grafton, William St, Dame St, and Augier St.
* Several excellent urban plazas and squares.
* Fair amount of ugly post WWII buildings in Center City between Temple Bar and Portobello.
* Tree Canopy is limited to the squares and plazas.
* Connectivity and imaginability are a bit challenging with all the winding and dead-end streets.
* Disappointing access to the river in Center City. Just a simple sidewalk runs along the riverside.