Smithfield Market: Dublin’s Vibrant Neighbourhood


Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is well-known for its rich history, lively culture, and bustling neighbourhoods. One such neighbourhood, tucked away in Dublin 7, is the iconic Smithfield Market. This area is steeped in history and has evolved over the years, becoming a hub for modern commerce, art, and entertainment. This article takes a closer look at the history, attractions, and charm of Smithfield Market in Dublin 7, exploring why it has become such a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

History of Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market, also known as Smithfield Square or Smithfield Plaza, has its roots in medieval times. Originally used as a marketplace for the sale of horses, cattle, and other livestock, the market was also known for hosting fairs and public gatherings. In the 17th century, the square was enclosed by a wall and gates, giving it the name “Smithfield” as it was a field for blacksmiths and farriers to practice their trade.

As the city of Dublin expanded, so too did the Smithfield area. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Smithfield Market was home to the Old Jameson Distillery, which played a significant role in the growth of the Irish whiskey industry. The distillery was eventually closed in 1971, and the site was redeveloped into a visitor centre, preserving the history of the whiskey-making process for future generations to experience.

Throughout the years, Smithfield Market continued to evolve, and in the late 20th century, the area underwent a significant regeneration project. This project sought to preserve the historical character of the neighbourhood while introducing modern amenities and commercial ventures. The revitalised Smithfield Market now offers a blend of old-world charm and contemporary appeal, attracting a diverse crowd of visitors and residents.

Attractions and Activities in Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market offers a variety of attractions and activities, catering to a wide range of interests. Some of the most popular destinations in the area include:

  1. The Old Jameson Distillery: As mentioned earlier, the Old Jameson Distillery is a crucial part of Smithfield Market’s history. Visitors can take guided tours of the distillery, learning about the whiskey-making process and the history of the Jameson brand. The tour ends with a whiskey tasting, providing guests with the opportunity to sample different varieties of this iconic Irish spirit.
  2. Lighthouse Cinema: This independent arthouse cinema showcases a diverse selection of films, from mainstream releases to lesser-known indie and international films. The Lighthouse Cinema is a favourite among movie buffs and offers a unique cinematic experience in a comfortable, modern setting.
  3. Generator Hostel: Once a warehouse, this building has been transformed into a trendy, contemporary hostel that attracts travellers from all over the world. The Generator Hostel boasts a lively atmosphere, complete with a bar, café, and events such as live music, DJ sets, and cultural performances. It’s not just a place to stay, but also a social hub for visitors and locals alike.
  4. The Cobblestone: A true gem of Dublin’s pub scene, The Cobblestone is an authentic Irish pub offering live traditional music sessions every night. With its cosy atmosphere and friendly staff, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a pint of Guinness while listening to talented musicians playing jigs, reels, and folk songs.
  5. The Third Space: This popular community-oriented café and restaurant serve as a gathering place for locals and visitors. With its warm, inviting interior and a menu that features locally sourced ingredients, The Third Space is an ideal spot for breakfast, lunch, or a casual coffee break.
  6. The Market at Smithfield: On selected weekends, Smithfield Market hosts a lively outdoor market where visitors can find a wide range of items, including fresh produce, artisanal food, handmade crafts, and vintage clothing. It’s a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon, browsing the stalls and soaking up the atmosphere.
  7. The Chimney Viewing Tower: The 67-meter tall Chimney Viewing Tower, a remnant of the Old Jameson Distillery’s industrial past, offers visitors panoramic views of the city. The tower is open to the public on select days, and a trip to the top provides a unique perspective on Dublin and its surrounding areas.
  8. Street Art and Murals: Smithfield Market is home to a vibrant street art scene, with numerous murals and graffiti works adorning the walls of buildings throughout the neighbourhood. These colourful displays of creativity contribute to the area’s artistic atmosphere and make for a visually engaging stroll around the streets.

Living in Smithfield Market

In recent years, Smithfield Market has become an increasingly attractive place to live, with a growing number of residential developments taking shape. The area offers a diverse range of housing options, from modern apartments to refurbished historic buildings. With its excellent location, just a short walk from Dublin’s city centre and an array of public transport options, Smithfield Market is a convenient and appealing choice for urban dwellers.

The neighbourhood is also home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, catering to the needs of its residents and visitors. Smithfield Market’s lively atmosphere and sense of community make it an attractive option for those looking to embrace city living while still enjoying a sense of connection to Dublin’s rich history and cultural heritage.


Smithfield Market, with its fascinating history and thriving contemporary scene, is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Dublin. The area’s unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities has made it a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re interested in exploring the history of Irish whiskey at the Old Jameson Distillery, catching a film at the Lighthouse Cinema, or simply enjoying a leisurely afternoon browsing the stalls at the market, there’s something for everyone at Smithfield Market.

For those considering a move to Dublin, Smithfield Market offers a vibrant and welcoming community with excellent housing options and convenient access to the city centre. With its rich history, thriving arts scene, and diverse range of attractions, it’s no wonder that Smithfield Market has become such a beloved neighbourhood in the heart of Dublin 7.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!