When it comes to European cities, it seldom gets better than Dublin. Home to a wealth of cultural gems, world renowned nightlife and abundantly hospitable locals, there is a lot of love about the Irish capital. From the fun and frivolity of Temple Bar to the elegance and splendor of The Spire, this is a city worthy of a weekend of your time, ideally more.
Home to just 527,000 people, there is a strong community feel in Dublin that serves only to reiterate the open and welcoming nature of the Irish people. A city rich in history, Dublin is something of a budding historian’s dream. Dublin Castle, built in the 13th Century, is not to be missed. Nor is, in fact, St Patrick’s Cathedral with its 43-metre steeple.
Dublin is certainly a year-round destination. St Stephen’s Green is the perfect summer picnic spot and a visit to the Jameson’s Distillery will certainly warm the cockles on a wintery day.
With so much to see, do, and experience, it is safe to say that at the end of each day you will be in need of a place to rest your weary head. Thankfully, Dublin is awash with outstanding places to stay. So, let’s explore where to stay in Dublin so you can start planning your Irish adventure.
Temple Bar is the epicenter of Dublin’s vibrant nightlife scene. Travelers flock from all corners of the world to hop onto a bar stool in one of Temple Bar’s famous pubs. While propping up the bar, you can get chatting with locals and travelers alike. Live music sets from local musicians are laid on nightly, and it would be rude not to partake in an Irish jig or two. Naturally, no visit to Temple Bar would be complete without having a pint of ‘the black stuff,’ as the locals call it. Guinness is perhaps Ireland’s most famous export and really does taste better when drunk at source.
Aside from the lively pubs, there is a lot to take in when visiting the Temple Bar area of Dublin. The must-visit trio of Grafton Street, Temple Bar and Trinity College all sit within a 15-minute walk of one another.
Good For: Party People, Young Travelers, Solo Travelers, Whistle-Stop Tourists, Backpackers
Neighborhood Highlights: Traditional Irish Pubs, Trinity College, Grafton Street, Molly Malone Statue, Dublin Castle and The National Photographic Archive
- Temple Bar Inn – Situated at the heart of Fleet Street, this is an ideal hotel in Dublin central. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel and the rooms are modern and bright. Guests have complimentary access to the gym, swimming pool and sauna. Trinity College is a 3-minute walk away.
- The Norseman – The Norseman is a traditional Victorian bar that dates back 120 years. Homely and cozy with a boutique charm, The Norseman offers you a touch of the Temple Bar vibes while ensuring a comfortable and quiet night’s sleep for all. Great for travelers of all kinds.
- The Merchant House – Built in 1720 and restored in 2005, this hotel incorporates all the charm of yesteryear with the home comforts of the modern day. Lavish suites and more humble, homey rooms are available. The Merchant House is great for romantic getaways. Free WiFi and breakfast included.
Sitting on the northern bank of the iconic River Liffey that cuts Dublin in almost perfect halves, O’Connell Street is the gateway to Dublin’s upper sphere. O’Connell Street is lined with quintessentially Irish pubs, restaurants, and live music venues. Being the beating heart of the capital, O’Connell Street is well connected to both the bus and Luas routes that run through the city center and beyond. Luas is Dublin’s tram/light rail network that runs over 40km, and is one of the most cost-effective ways to cover ground while exploring this exciting city.
O’Connell Street is one of Dublin’s most famous thoroughfares and holds a number of remarkable achievements. It is considered to be the widest urban street in all of Europe and is home to the ‘Spire’, a 120-meter-high sculpture that is undisputedly the tallest in the world.
Good For: Shopaholics, Foodies, Couples, Urbanites, Backpackers
Neighborhood Highlights: O’Connell Monument, Parnell Monument, St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Spire, James Joyce Statue, Dublin Visitor Centre, Ned Kelly’s Casino, High Street Shops
- RIU Plaza – The Gresham – One of the best located hotels in all of Dublin at the heart of O’Connell Street and a short walk to Temple Bar. Offering an outstanding selection of ensuite rooms, The Gresham has earned its rave reviews. A traditional Irish breakfast is included on a complimentary basis, as is WiFi.
- Academy Plaza – Modern, stylish and classy, the Academy Plaza is a great hotel for young travelers keen to stay in the heart of Dublin. With a restaurant and bar onsite, and fitness center, Academy Plaza has everything you could wish for. Located just off O’Connell Street, it’s wonderfully quiet.
- Cassidy’s Hotel – This boutique hotel is one of O’Connell Street’s best hidden gems. Set in a gorgeous Georgian townhouse, Cassidy’s Hotel is ideal for a romantic getaway. A matter of steps from both the Gate and the Ambassador Theatre, if you’re in town for a show, Cassidy’s Hotel is ideal.
Southern Georgian Dublin
Spanning from St Stephens Green to Merrion Square and beyond, Southern Georgian Dublin is both charming and abundant in heritage. The townhouses adorned with colorful doors and ornate archways are some of Dublin’s most recognizable landmarks, and are picture perfect in every way. Southern Georgian Dublin is home to some of the city’s most significant cultural spots, including the National Concert Hall, The National Gallery of Dublin and The Oscar Wilde House.
Lovers of exquisite architecture and those interested in Ireland’s turbulent history will have their sights firmly set on staying in Southern Georgian Dublin. Although there are examples of Georgian townhouses north of the River Liffey, the best preserved architecture can be found south of Butt Bridge.
Come July and August, both St Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square Park are the embodiment of summertime serenity – should the Irish rain clouds stay at bay that is.
Good For: History Lovers, Culture Vultures, Older Travelers, Families
Neighborhood Highlights: The Little Museum of Dublin, National Museum of Ireland – Archeology, Fitzwilliam Square, Merrion Square Park, St Stephens Green, The Oscar Wilde House
- House Hotel – Only 6-minutes-walk from St Stephen’s Green, House Hotel is a homely hotel set in a classic Georgian Townhouse. Featuring boutique decor, excellent service and a complimentary breakfast, House Hotel is great for travelers of all kinds who yearn to stay in Dublin’s cultural center.
- The Dean Dublin – The Dean features an atmospheric rooftop bar and restaurant that boasts incredible views of Dublin’s cityscape. Each and every rooms features an ensuite bathroom, minibar, flat screen TV and complimentary toiletries. Proudly boutique and fiercely unique, The Dean seamlessly blends the property’s heritage architecture with modern design elements.
- Stauntons on the Green Hotel – Stauntons is set within a row of beautiful Georgian townhouses, just a matter of steps from the serene St Stephen’s Green but only a few minute’s stroll from Dublin’s bustling tourist sites. The breakfast is one of the best offered in all of Dublin.
Home to generations old family homes and with a strong sense of community, there is a lot of local history to explore in the Donnybrook neighborhood.
Incredibly, there are graves that lie within Donnybrook Graveyard dating back to the 8th Century. This is an area proud of its history and family ties. To this day, it is a safe and homely area for families to stay in during their visit to Dublin. Donnybrook is well connected to Dublin’s city center via public transport.
Avid sports fans will be interested in Donnybrook as it is the home of Leinster Rugby. Donnybrook Stadium often has last minute tickets for sale, so be sure to see if there is a game on should you want a real local experience. Kiely’s Pub is the heart of the rugby community, and night or day, you’ll find a punter or two keen to chat about the latest gossip from the pitches.
Good For: Families, Sports Fans, Like a Local Travelers, Long Term Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Aviva Stadium, Donnybrook Stadium, RDS Main Arena, Herbert Park, Elm Park Golf & Sports Club, Kiely’s Pub
- Donnybrook Hall – Donnybrook Hall offers you the calmness of the suburbs with the benefit of easy access to Dublin’s tourist hotspots. Family-run, cozy and homely Donnybrook Hall has particularly comfortable beds and a brilliant homemade, locally sourced cooked breakfast. Previous guests have described it as ‘exceptional’, not to be missed.
- Donnybrook Lodge – This cute and cozy B&B is at the heart of Donnybrook, and a quintessentially Irish welcome is afforded to all. Owner Viola will ensure your every need is catered for. Donnybrook Lodge is great for travelers on a tight budget in Dublin.
- Broc House Suites – Broc House Suites are ideal for families or long term travelers seeking an authentic home away from home in residential Dublin. Each apartment comes with its own living room, compact but fully-equipped kitchen and spacious bedroom. Free WiFi is available throughout every apartment.
Drumcondra is home to one of Dublin’s most important modern, cultural and historical landmarks: Croke Park. Amidst the Irish War of Independence, Croke Park was the scene of a tragic massacre that is forever known as Bloody Sunday. In recent times, Croke Park has provided an arena for cultural celebrations, hosting world famous bands like local legends U2, and epic sporting events, such as the Six Nations rugby tournament.
Drumcondra is a particularly picturesque neighborhood in Dublin, thanks to the Royal Canal and the River Tolka that transect the suburb from west to east. Although not considered the city center, Drumcondra is just a 20-minute walk from O’Connell Street.
This neighborhood is fast becoming a hotspot for foodies. From local favorite Restaurant 104 to San Sab Thai, there is something to please every palate. One of the best brunches around can be found at The Lovely Food Co. on Drumcondra Road Lower.
Good For: Foodies, Backpackers, Young Travelers, Like a Local Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights – Croke Park Stadium, National Botanic Gardens, GAA Museum, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
- Egans House – Affordable, homely, and a 10-minute walk from Croke Park Stadium, Egans House is a home away from home for all. A classic Dublin B&B, Egans House offers spacious and comfortable rooms and a hearty breakfast that provides the perfect start to the day.
- The Croke Park Hotel – Situated directly opposite the stadium, The Croke Park Hotel is a purpose-built accommodation option that caters for everyone. Fairly priced and with all the amenities you could desire, The Croke Park Hotel is a one-stop shop for whistle-stop travelers to Dublin’s most famous arena.
- Gardiner House – Offering affordable communal dorms and a great selection of private rooms too, Gardiner House is designed with outgoing travelers in mind. Private rooms get booked out quickly. The sun terrace is the place to hang out if you want to meet and mingle. Ideal for backpackers in particular.
Lying to the south east of Dublin City center is the quaint coastal suburb of Dún Laoghaire. Home to 26,000 people, this port town is a lovely spot to wake up in each morning. Although the wind blows cold in this part of Dublin, especially in winter, the brisk air is more than compensated for by the myriad of phenomenal fish and chips shops. Freshly caught and lovingly cooked, the fish and chips of Dún Laoghaire simply must be sampled during your stay.
Dún Laoghaire is a traditional fishing town, where visitors can learn about the area’s maritime heritage at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, which can be found on Haigh Terrace. There are dozens of independent and artisan shops to explore in Dún Laoghaire that thrive on the annual influx of tourists.
If you are feeling brave, you can take a dip in the Irish Sea; one of the most popular swimming spots off Dún Laoghaire is The Forty Foot.
Good For: Nature Lovers, Active Travelers, Culture Vultures
Neighborhood Highlights: National Maritime Museum of Ireland, East Pier, The People’s Park, Peruse the 200+ shops.
- Royal Marine Hotel – The Royal Marine offers incredible value for money and outstanding service. The Royal Marine is situated a brief 2-minute walk from the DART train station which connects you to Dublin City Centre. There are a variety of room types that are stylish and spacious – suites are available too.
- Haddington House – Haddington House offers guests everything they could wish for during their stay in Dublin: easy access to the city center, free WiFi, and excellent service. There is a relaxed and welcoming feel that makes guests feel at ease and in flow with the rhythms of this costal Irish neighborhood.
- Ferry House Bed & Breakfast – A quaint and charming family-run B&B in central Dún Laoghaire. The property itself was constructed in 1860 and much of the old world charm is retained within the hotel today. Ferry House is brilliant value for money and has twin, double and family rooms available.
East of central Dublin and set due north of Dún Laoghaire, Howth is a picture perfect Irish village that is dreamy, to say the least. The Howth Peninsula is one of the most photogenic landscapes in the east of Ireland, and Howth village itself is abundant in rustic charm. The most iconic feature of this rural hamlet is Howth Castle – considered to be one of Dublin’s best kept secrets.
In terms of things to do and places to explore, Howth is a neighborhood ideal for travelers who enjoy the great outdoors. Howth Castle is home to expansive rhododendron gardens that come into full bloom in March and continue to flower until June.
Nature lovers will surely have Ireland’s Eye already on their must-visit list. This island is uninhabited by humans and provides complete sanctuary for sea birds of all varieties: cormorants, fulmars, gulls, and more.
Good For: Couples, Older Travelers, Nature Lovers, Country Bumpkins
Neighborhood Highlights: Howth Castle, Ireland’s Eye, Dublin Bay Lighthouse, St Mary’s Abbey, Martello tower
- King Sitric – Getting a sea view for such an affordable price is almost unheard of elsewhere in Europe. King Sitric is renowned for its on-site seafood restaurant – their lobster is highly, highly sought after. Homely, cozy, and with a complimentary breakfast for good measure, King Sitric is ideal for all.
- Tara Hall – Four poster beds, sea views, exquisite décor – lovers of the finer things in life will fall in love with Tara Hall. Whether you stay for one night or one week at Tara Hall, Elaine and the team will treat you like royalty. The perfect choice for a romantic mini-break in Dublin.
- Howth Village Apartment – Howth Village Apartment can sleep up to six guests a night and is a real home away from home. Complete with kitchen and washing machine, Howth Village Apartment is situated above the popular The House restaurant. Host Karl can help you arrange all sorts of activities from hiking to sailing.