Around Dublin, Dublin
Watch out when you get around in Dublin, cause, as in every big city, there are pickpockets!! Especially be very cautious when you get around O' Connel St and Henry Street..it's full of pickpockets but they'll just hit on the unware and distracted people! So don't stand there at the phone box with your bag open you'll get their next victim!
After having a lovely meal don't be tempted to walk home or pick up a Taxi on the way. In my experience the best thing to do is order a Taxi from the restaurant. Sometimes particularly at the week-end it can be difficult to pick up a taxi on the street, and it may not be safe to walk to your accomodation. Ask where you are staying!
This guy stands out in front of the Guinness Brewery with his cart and horse and poses for pictures....But, pay up first. If you dare to raise your camera before offering him a coin or two you hear about it.
Dublin may possess many fine streets and squares, but it also contains a range of remarkably ugly buildings that put a blot on the landscape.
My VT description of St Stephen's green shopping centre was "A Marahjah's palace crossed witha tacky cruise line', although a recent newspaper article went with "Like a Mississippi steamboat marooned on the Green'.
Other truely ugly buildings that may offend your sense of calm...
Dublin City Council offices....the bunker
Irish Life insure health....but not beauty
O'Connell bridge house...right in the centre , ugly as sin
Trinity College art's block....how ironic
Airport hotel...truely awful, with its own control tower
Ilac centre...80's kitsh
and the completely awful Busaras...a bus station dropped in from Bulgaria around 1973.
There has been quite an increase in the amount of beggars / homeless people in Dublin in the past couple of years and they tend to hit the posher or busier parts of town to beg money (makes sense when you think about it!).
I find that some of them are developing more, shall we say, "in-your-face" methods of begging money, for example: sitting under an ATM, standing beside a vending machine with their hand stuck out, walking up and down Dawson st where all the "posh" bars are shaking their little paper cup in front of the people smoking outside looking for change.... not that they ever seem to get much from what I've seen.
You'll also come across beggars in Temple Bar or on the various city bridges.
You'll also see a lot of little traveller kids (gypsies, itinarants) on Grafton st being egged on by their parents to sing in the street to get money.
It's also been known for skangers ("chavs", "white trash") to pretend they're begging for the day and see how much money they can scab off people.
OF COURSE, there are people who have genuine problems and trying to get back on their feet, but don't feel intimidated by the more aggressive sort is what I'm saying here. If you want to do something, donate money to the Simon Community instead.
Dublin, unfortunatley, is not the type of city where you can just walk around and 'get your bearings' as a tourist. Even in the nicer,richer parts of the city centre(e.g grafton street) you can just turn a little corner and be in a totally different area with rough people and scumbags threatining you. If you want to explore Dublin properly, get a special bus which takes you round the city or let someone you know show you round cos it really isn't the type of place where you can just walk around if you don't know the city
You may unwittingly on your travels in Dublin stuble into an area of "ill repute" un-beknowns to yourself. Dublin has a drug problem to put it bluntly, as Im sure does most other cities. I lived on the quays and was shocked at the number of stoners I would see at ANY time of the day, but particularly at night in their little clusters. I imagine they would see the many naive tourists in this are, down near the four courts hostel as easy targets for the financial providers of their next "hit" so to speak-All Im saying is be careful-I know people who have been mugged in the city, it happens!
Sadly, Dublin isn't as safe as it used to be, and some central areas are definitely best avoided late at night, especially at the weekend.
I wouldn't walk down O'Connell Street at night under any circumstances - despite having a police station of its own, there are a very large number of incidents on the street.
Parts of Temple Bar can get very rowdy when the pubs and clubs let out at the weekend: unfortunately, the drinking that can be amusing early in the evening can be ugly in the small hours, and aggressive revellers are a hazard.
That said, plenty of other areas are very safe: just keep your wits about you, and leave a little before closing time if you do decide to go on the town in Temple Bar.
Leeson St & Fitzwilliam square are well-known prostitute pickup spots. Baggot St Bridge, around the canal area is another spot.
A survey published in July 2002 shows that Dublin has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in Europe.
So if you can't be good, be careful! :)
As you are about to step out in the street, remember the cars come from another direction, unless you are from Britain, Australia, New Zealand or other countries that followed the get off the horse on the left side routine.
Dublin has made it easier to remember this because at almost every intersection there is painted on the roadway sign saying... look right...
Follow it carefully.
I was afraid before starting our week journey to Dublin because of the comments I had read in here, I thought I was travelling to the Bronx. The thing is that we are just back from it and all I can say is wonders about Dublin and its people.
I was never afraid or felt insecure in any situation. I saw no beggars or gipsies or anything close (maybe becase of the weather they were gone off the streets, I don't know). What I do know is that Dubliners are the nicest and more polite people I've ever met. (I guess all irish are the same I just didn't meet anyone from outside Dublin). I mean they are completely opposite to english people (no harm here, it is just my experience).
People will stop by you and ask if you need directions or help of any kind. If they step on you or push you they will say "sorry" (this does not happen anymore in places like Paris, London, etc) and whenever they can they say thank you and hello and talk to you but always in a nice way and with a smile on their face. I was just amazed on how nice they are.
So dont be afraid of talking to people on the street, ask for directions or simply what time it is, you will always find your answer and a smile.
However, you do have to take the same precautions you would in any major city around the world. Watch were you walk at night, watch who is coming behind you, dont use your phone unless necessary and everything will be fine. There is bad people everywhere, but in Dublin there is less bad people than usual.
While I visited there was a huge protest march (for health care i think), which from what I could tell was mostly peaceful but comprehensive to say the least. Our tour guide wasn't at all shocked to see the protest as they are quite common in downtown Dublin. So unless the protest gets violent there's no real danger they are just more of annoyance since they tend to block traffic, for a long while, on major streets.
Never go into the Phoenix Park on your own at night, as it's a well-known cruising area. I've come across used condoms and syringes when walking through the park and its not pleasant.
Photo from http://www.finneganswake.org/PhotoAlbum/
This is the section of town where the Brewery Hostel is located. The Liberties is also called "The Coombe" because of a street by that name that runs parallel to Thomas Street.
It is known these days as an area rife with drug-addicts and dealers.
That said, I found the worst thing to be the smell of the Guinness Brewery.
Really, I saw lots of drug addicts and shockingly overt drug deals but nothing that was threatening in the least - and I walked around there at all times of the day and night (though usually with someone).
I would say that Thomas Street is probably pretty safe. Hanging around Coombe Street and back alleys in that area might get pretty rough.
Whilst no city including Dublin is without its areas not to go, the classing of the North Side as a No Go Area is stupid. You will be in no greater danger than anywhere else in Dublin especially when near the river (and hence in popular nightlife areas). Do be more wary of where you wander the further you get up O'Connell Street, but by no means avoid the area!!