A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without admiring the colorful & iconic Georgian doors. Get ready to lace up your tennis shoes & explore Dublin’s doors with a mindful photo walk!
A Love Affair With Georgian Architecture
Dublin’s colorful doors have become an instantly recognizable symbol of the city.
On my first trip to Dublin some years ago, the elegant doors caught my attention.
The next year I visited Bath, where there were even more glorious doors. That’s when my love affair with Georgian architecture was really ignited.
It’s just my thing.
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Self-Care & Photography
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to carve out time for photo walks.
Typically solo, it’s an activity I always look forward to with great excitement.
It allows me to do something I am passionate about (photography), experience personal growth (better my photo skills), stay in shape (walking) & be in the present moment (cultivate mindfulness).
Self-care tools really don’t get much better than that.
As an advocate for travel as a way to well-being, I think mindful photo walks are one of the most engaging activities out there.
Because anyone can do it, just about anywhere in the world.
Making them a perfect pairing for wellness travel.
Where to Find The Best Georgian Doors in Dublin
The city center has two general areas that can easily fit into any itinerary; the North Georgian Core and the South Georgian Core.
Located on each side of The River Liffey, both areas are in close proximity to many of the main attractions.
Boasting streets lined with Georgian townhomes and historic squares and parks, they’re a must see in Dublin.
Dublin’s Georgian Squares & Adjacent Streets
Built between 1750 and 1830, the Georgian squares were designed for use by the wealthy residents and showcase some of Dublin’s most stunning architecture.
The five most iconic square are; Mountjoy Square, Parnell Square, Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square, and St. Stephen’s Green.
These five squares along with the adjacent streets are where you’ll find many of Dublin’s famous doors.
The Origins of Dublin’s Doors
There are several legends about how the colorful doors came about.
The Georgians were known for loud & stylish living, so the vibrant doors certainly seem to fit the period.
One popular story surrounds two famous writers, one of whom painted his door green so the other wouldn’t mistakenly knock on it when he was drunk.
In response, the other writer painted his door red, for much the same reason.
True or not, we may never know.
But, you gotta laugh!
A Morning Mindful Photo Walk
Sunday morning’s are a quiet opportunity to explore Dublin’s doors… and a rare moment to enjoy solitude.
Which makes them ideal for a mindful photo walk.
Starting this early morning walk on the North side of the river, the first stop is Parnell Square.
Parnell Square is the oldest of Dublin’s Georgian Squares.
Today it’s home to The Irish Writer’s Center, The Dublin Writers Museum, hotels, galleries and restaurants.
In addition, it’s where you’ll find The Garden of Remembrance. This peaceful place commemorates the 1916 Easter Rising which lead to the Irish free state.
A mindful experience, the garden is definitely worthy of a visit.
A stroll down Gardiner Row, then Denmark Street Great leads me directly to Mountjoy Square.
This square is celebrated as the only true Georgian Square in Dublin with four equal sides.
Here mindful details like glazed fanlights above the doors capture the eye and the imagination.
Yet, the real curiosity of Mountjoy square are the super thin doors in the back corner.
I stare at these for a while, wondering how these came about.
Doubling back a few blocks, I don’t want to miss wandering one of the best streets in Dublin.
North Great George’s Street
North Great George Street is the only remaining fully intact Georgian street north of the River Liffey.
It’s short…and spectacular.
The ivy on the east side of the street makes me want to move in right away.
Wouldn’t you love to come home to a facade like this?
The feeling of happiness washes over me on this street.
The symmetry and uniformity appeals to a deep part of me and makes me wonder if I lived another life in this era…
From here, it’s a jaunt over the River Liffey to wander the South Georgian Core area.
The first stop south of the river is one of my favorite places in Dublin, Merrion Square.
Not only are the doors fantastic, but the garden square is an ideal place for a picnic lunch or relaxing stroll.
Just off the square is one of the finest 5 star hotels in Dublin, The Merrion Hotel.
With a Michelin restaurant, landscaped gardens and a spa; staying in this Georgian Hotel is certainly one for the well-being bucket list!
Mount Upper Street
Mount Upper Street meets Merrion Square on the SE corner.
This too is one fantastic street!
The view down the street terminates at St. Stephen’s Church. One of the last Georgian churches built by the Church of Ireland, the copper cupola is striking eye candy.
From here, it’s south to Fitzwilliam Square.
Fitzwilliam Square is the smallest of the 5 Georgian squares in Dublin and perhaps the least touristy.
A central garden surrounded by 4 streets, it has some of the most colorful doors.
Unlike the other squares, the gardens here are not open to the public. Making it a quiet place to stroll on a sunday.
St Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is Dublin’s most famous park and Georgian Square.
It has the largest park in the five Georgian Squares and some grand doors to boot!
Be sure to build in some time to explore the park. Peaceful and green, you’ll find it easy to immerse in the natural surroundings.
The facades on the east size are dramatic and quite impressive. Covered with green, they must be simply spectacular in the fall!
There are some lovely fan lights on this side street right off of St. Stephens Green.
A very short street, it leads to another atmospheric side street, Ely Place.
Ely Place has some of the most elegant and well-kept doors in the city.
I wander this area awe-struck by the quiet grace of these Georgian facades.
My walk is coming to an end, as now there’s just enough time to grab a coffee before heading to the airport and back home to Italy.
I can’t think fo a better way to end my self-care week in Ireland, than time spend doing something that makes my heart flutter.
Leaving the city, I am grateful and filled with hope after a wonderful summer break.
More Georgian Architecture
Dublin is full of Georgian grandeur, so if you’re looking to explore some more, here are some options that weren’t a part of this walk.
Henrietta Street is a beautiful Georgian period terrace north of the River Liffey.
It’s also the home of 14 Henrietta Street. This social history museum is the most intact collection of 18th century houses in Dublin.
And worth a visit if you love history or architecture.
I stumbled across this square on my way to Grand Canal Dock area and it was such a happy surprise.
Potted plants and flowers seem to be the order of the day in this little corner of the world. Making it a whimsical and unexpected surprise.
I bet these stoops add some positivity to the neighbor’s day!
Tools for a Mindful Photo Walk
You don’t need much for a photo walk, even capturing images with a SMART phone makes for a lighter and more relaxing experience.
On this walk I didn’t have a wide angle lens for my DSLR, but I did have my IPhone Moment Wide 18mm Lens. It works like a charm when you can’t step back any further because cars are in the way, but still want to capture a building facade. 😉
An ideal backpack for a photo walk is The Brevite Jumper Photo Backpack. This minimal design backpack can carry a DSLR, drone & tripod if needed.
Yet, the best feature is the quick access side zip pocket. It allows you to get to your camera without unzipping the entire bag! Making it super convenient.
I have the pine green color and love the versatility of a camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag.
Dublin’s doors are worth a wander in any weather and deserve a spot on your next Dublin itinerary.
A peek into an era gone by, they’ll also brighten today with some color and happiness!
until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well
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