Make a move to Dundrum: well-connected suburb with a lot of shops

With the Luas and shopping on its doorstep, the neighbourhood ticks a lot of boxes

What’s so good about it?

At the turn of the century, Dundrum was another quiet, fairly nondescript south Dublin area, where "shopping centre" meant a small strip of shops clustered around the local supermarket at the foot of the village. But a lot has happened the place in 20 years. Dundrum Town Centre (est. 2005) has become a destination for shoppers from all over the country. Ergo, you can buy pretty much anything your heart desires in the centre and its surrounds, and access a range of restaurants and cafes. Airfield and the cinema are other significant draws.

The Luas Green Line, with stops at Dundrum and Ballally, has made getting into town even easier, within about 20 minutes. Yet there's more to the place than just a city-grade shopping experience. Located in between Rathfarnham and Goatstown/Mount Merrion/Stillorgan, much of south Dublin can be accessed from here, including Churchtown, Ranelagh and Sandyford. And despite a wealth of sports, schools, parks and businesses (many of which open past 6pm), the main drag has still somehow retained a village feel.

What’s not so good?

Dundrum's reputation as a traffic bottleneck hasn't gone away, not least because locals have to deal with traffic from the M50 and Sandyford industrial estate too. On weekends, during sales season and in the run-up to Christmas, traffic in the area can understandably be close to bedlam.

Where and what to buy?

Apartments are in plentiful supply in this market. This two-bed, two-bath apartment at 26 Ash Grove Court is a canny first buy (€350,000 via DNG Rathfarnham), while 95 Southmede is a larger (84 sq m) and airy third-floor apartment looking out on Wyckham Way and the Dublin mountains (€430,000, via Mason Estates).


In the market for a family home? 12 Clonard Lawn represents relatively good value for the area: this is a four-bed semi-detached house on a quiet, tree-lined road, that would benefit from modernisation (€550,000, via Sherry Fitzgerald Dundrum). 24 Lynwood, meanwhile, is a spacious four-bed semi-detached (€825,000, via Lynam Auctioneers). It boasts the double benefit of being near the action, yet being off Ballinteer Road, on a peaceful street.

Where and what to rent?

Given that it’s such a high-demand area, properties are in relatively bountiful supply on the rental front. A three-bedroomed house can set you back anything from €2,400-€3,000, while two-bedroomed apartments are in the €2,000-€2,500 price range. Prefer living alone? Expect to pay about €1,600-€2,000 for a high-spec one-bedroomed property.

Where to eat and drink?

Take your pick from any of the Town Centre's 43 outlets, from Siam Thai and Zizzi to Jamie's Italian and Wagamama. The centre even has two particularly good bars: The Candlelight Bar and P Macs (a sister outlet to the Wicklow Street bar). Ananda is routinely hailed as one of the best Indians in Dublin. The Port House Ibericos is great for authentic tapas.

A little further afield, Airfield Estate’s Overends Kitchen, with an emphasis on locally sourced fare, rustles up a surprisingly good value lunch for a visitor/family destination. In terms of local pubs, there’s Dundrum House and the Eagle House on Main Street, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the Brickyard beside Balally Luas.

Who lives there?

A mix of well-heeled professionals are found in the wellspring of apartment blocks, while families prefer the leafy residential roads. According to research, the population is split thus: 21 per cent are lone dwellers, 27 per cent are couples without children, 28 per cent are couples with children, 8 per cent are single parents (16 per cent are classified as “other”).

Good for families?

Dundrum boasts a great selection of childcare facilities and schools.

Primary schools include Gaelscoil Scoil Naithí (Catholic, mixed), Ballinteer Educate Together National School (multidenominational, mixed), Taney Parish Primary School (Church of Ireland, mixed), Holy Cross Primary School (Catholic, mixed) and St Attracta's Senior National School (Catholic, mixed). On the secondary level side, the likes of St Tiernan's Community School (multidenominational, mixed), Wesley College (Methodist, mixed), Balinteer Community School (multidenominational, mixed) and St Benildus College (Catholic, boys) are all within easy reach.

Getting there and getting around

The M50 will get you there from most spots in Dublin. The Luas from St Stephen’s Green will get you there in under 20 minutes. If you’re in a car, expect a trip to Dundrum to take about 30 minutes from the city centre in decent traffic. Bus routes 14, 17, 44, 61, 75 and 175 all service the area.

What do locals say?

"I'm only a blow-in, Wexford born and bred, but other people on my road have been living in Dundrum for many years. Some of them love that the shopping centre has blown new life into Dundrumand boosted their property prices! But others aren't too fussed with the traffic and the hordes of teenagers that like to hang out near the centre. Personally, I think it's great to be near so many of my favourite shops, even if my bank balance rarely thanks me for it. If you move away from the centre, Dundrum has a nice village feel where people will usually say hello to you on the street." – Maria Caffrey, teacher