The affluent, leafy suburb of Ballsbridge is located in the Dublin 4 postal area, just south of the city centre. It’s well served by public transport, the DART stops at Lansdowne Road and there are several bus routes to town making it an ideal base for checking out the sights and sounds of Dublin. Find out more about Ballsbridge…
The name Ballsbridge is derived from the bridge over the River Dodder. The bridge was built and owned by a Mr Ball – there’s a plaque on the bridge that still states ‘Ball’s Bridge”.
The bridge itself creates the centre of the Ballsbridge suburb, which extends to the north towards the Grand Canal along Northumberland Road and Shelbourne Road, southwards along Merrion Road towards Merrion and then along Anglesea Road towards Donnybrook, and westwards to surround the area of Herbert Park.
The houses in the area date back primarily to the Victorian era, with some Georgian mansions dotted here and there. Houses in the main are detached and semi detached houses, apartments and bungalows. In fact Ailesbury and Shrewsbury Road in the Dublin 4 area are considered to be the most expensive streets in Ireland! The area is also home to the head offices of Allied Irish Banks (AIB).
Attractions in Ballsbridge…
Ballsbridge is home to some of the most popular cultural and sporting venues in Ireland.
Lansdowne Road sports stadium is the official home of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), whose offices are located on the stadium grounds. Up until late 2006 all of Ireland’s home Six Nations and test matches were played there. It was also used for Irish soccer internationals, soccer League of Ireland Cup Finals and also several music concerts in the past. In fact, it was the oldest international rugby venue – Ireland played England in a test match in 1878. The first soccer international was played at the venue was in 1900, but from 1926-1968 soccer was rarely played there. The stadium had a previous capacity of approximately 48,000. Rock legends U2, REM, The Eagles and Bon Jovi are amongst the artists to have performed at the old stadium.
The stadium is set for a major development and modernisation by April 2010, creating a magnificent 50,000 all-seater stadium for both rugby and soccer. The redevelopment of the stadium was finally announced in January 2004 at a cost of approximately €365 million; of this, €190 million is reported to come from the Irish government, with the remainder paid by the IRFU and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
Royal Dublin Society (RDS)
The Royal Dublin Society was founded nearly 300 years ago, to foster and encourage the development of science, agriculture and industry in Ireland. The current premises was purchased in 1879, and now encompasses an area of forty acres. The venue comprises a number of exhibition halls (the main RDS Hall), the RDS arena, meeting and conference rooms, bars and restaurants, and the RDS Simmonscourt Pavillion. The RDS main hall is a popular centre for exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events. The Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is held each January there, along with the Travel Trade Show.
The RDS in the past has hosted many music concerts. Popular artists such as Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles, Radiohead, Guns n’ Roses and Metallica have all performed here. Indeed, in February 2008 the Meteor Music Awards were hosted there. The RDS has also been developed as an Equine Centre. In August each year, the RDS is home to the Dublin Horse Show, featuring local and international equestrian stars, this is a major international horsing event.
The RDS is also the home of the Leinster rugby team, and the team play their Magniers League and Heineken Cup games there.
Herbert Park is a beautiful green area in Ballsbridge. It covers an area of about 32 acres and is close to the luxurious Herbert Park Hotel. The park is near to the River Dodder, and incorporates a number of soccer pitches, flowering gardens and a huge duck pond. Also located on site are a childrens playground, a number of tennis courts, and the bowling green of the Herbert Park Bowling Club.
The DART train passes through Ballsbridge, stopping at Lansdowne Road and also nearby Sandymount, and offers access to Dublin city centre. Ballsbridge is also serviced by the following Dublin Bus routes, 4, 5 , 7, 7A, 7E, 8, 18, 45, 63 and 84 buses.
Attractions near Ballsbridge…
Ballsbridge is just a short bus drive, taxi ride, or Dart stop from all of Dublin’s major attractions including Trinity College, Kilmainham Gaol, the National Concert Hall, Guinness Storehouse, The National Gallery, National Library & Museum, Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s and Christchurch Cathedrals, Abbey Theatre; Gaiety Theatre and of course the buzz of Temple Bar and the shopping on Grafton Street.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay don’t forget to take a look at our Dublin hotels.