There are many preconceived notions about the Irish and the country. From its love of Guinness, its sense of humor, and St. Patrick’s Day. Dublin’s history dates back to 9th century, and is as rich as any other European city.
It’s a delightful place to travel, where the famed local hospitality comes to the floor and the city’s fascinating history comes to light. Much may have changed over the last 150 years, but Dublin’s incredible Georgian architecture and its quirky doors still remain.
Travelers will enjoy a memorable experience walking along the cobblestone streets with Yeats and Oscar Wilde, before trying to manage the whiskey-soaked streets in Temple Bar. To help you make the most of your Dublin experience, read on to discover not just where to stay in Dublin, but the best hotels in the nation’s capital.
Dublin: Where to stay by Area of Interest
Do you need to be quick and know where to stay in Dublin? These are the best vacation rentals and hotels to suit every budget.
The Best Hotels in Dublin
Dublin: First time? You’ll love O’Connell Street thanks to its central location. You can take your pick of public transport, or you can explore the nearby streets filled with shops, bars, and other delights.
We wanted to make it easy for you, so we have listed the top places to stay in Dublin and our recommendations for the best hotels at every price point. This guide will help you make an informed decision when you’re looking for a place to stay in Dublin.
You must remember, however, Each of these seven neighborhoods is listed belowEach brings something new to the table. You can enjoy endless museums and galleries, or a nightlife that lasts until the early hours. Some areas are ideal for families, with their beautiful parks and modern architecture. Others are well-known for their luxury hotels and Georgian townhouses. Let’s dive in.
The Merrion is Dublin’s Best Luxury Hotel
The Merrion is a five-star hotel with a Michelin Star restaurant, in a stunning Georgian building. It is the ideal place to live in Dublin.
Each guest room is equipped with a sparkling Italian marble bathroom, comfortable bathrobes, and high quality toiletries. You will feel completely satisfied after a day of exploring the city. Each suite has a cable flat-screen TV and either a view of the city or a view of the lush gardens.
With a cozy double bed as a minimum, you’ll wake up with a hit of joie de vivre. Before you go, take a dip in the pool or visit the fitness room. After enjoying the hotel’s delicious breakfast, the Merrion’s position in Dublin will place a buffet of exciting attractions within walking distance.
Rejoin us for a delicious meal at the Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. Or, enjoy authentic Irish cuisine at The Cellar Restaurant.
Best Luxury Hotels Dublin:
Drury Court Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Dublin
In Dublin’s cultural quarter, which includes Temple Bar and Grafton Street, Drury Court Hotel is the perfect base to explore Dublin while enjoying spacious and comfortable rooms.
Drury Court is in a great location. Visitors will find the best shopping on Grafton Street within 650 feet of the lobby. You can shop until you drop, while street performers and buskers create a lively atmosphere on the thoroughfare.
From there, you’ll be able to get about on foot to explore nearby St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, and the Dublin Castle before checking out the famed nightlife in Temple Bar.
Each room has a coffee and tea maker, free Wi-Fi and apartment options for families. Some suites include a private balcony so you can take in the sights. The on-site restaurant offers a delicious breakfast.
More Mid-Range Hotel Options in Dublin
Kildare Street Hotel, Dublin’s Best Budget Hotel
The Kildare Street Hotel is a great option for budget-minded travelers looking for a place to stay in Dublin. The hotel has been open since 1837, which is a little over a decade ago. Its charm and hospitality haven’t wavered from the days of yore and continue to offer a wonderful budget-friendly stay.
The Kildare hotel may be historic, but you’ll be glad to know that the rooms have kept up with the times offering more modern amenities from free Wi-Fi, along with a TV and coffee/tea making in each room. Some rooms have ensuites, while others share bathrooms. This will save you some money.
The Kildare Street Hotel’s on-site bar will be the highlight. Not just any old bar, it’s the famed Blarney Inn Pub. Enjoy traditional music and dancing with a pint Guinness, while the food never fails to impress. You can walk from the hotel to Trinity College, Dublin Castle and Merrion Square.
More Budget Hotels in Dublin
These are the 7 Best Areas to Stay In Dublin
Although Dublin is easy to navigate once you get the basics, it can be difficult for first-time visitors to find its center. The city is divided in half by Liffey River. It has a northern and southern side. Both have different neighborhoods that come with their own charm but if you want to stay as close to the center of it all then you should base yourself as close to O’Connel Street (Main street of Dublin) as you can.
Dublin is a small city, so you can choose to stay in Merrion Square. You won’t be far from the highlights at Phibsborough.
1. O’Connell Street (Dublin City Center)
Featuring the widest thoroughfare in all of Ireland, O’Connell Street in Dublin central. On the north side of the River Liffey, the street and the surrounding blocks are your gateway to Dublin’s North Bank.
Along the always hectic street (by Dublin standards), you’ll find the quintessential Irish pubs straight out of your dreams. There are also rows of boutique shops, restaurants, and live music venues.
O’Connell Street is more than just food, drinks, and clothes. It’s a convenient location serviced with several forms of public transportation, including the city’s bus network and light rail system. Running the length of O’Connell Street and dispersing around Dublin are the brightly colored double-decker buses. The Luas, which is Irish for speed, is Dublin’s light rail system. Both of the lines stop along O’Connell Street before reading further north or back over the river.
Staying in the Dublin city center makes sense for first-timers and those who wish to enjoy easy access to Dublin’s main attractions. But there’s plenty to see in this area, including the highest sculpture in the world. The Spire of Dublin is just shy of 400 feet tall and represents Dublin’s march towards an ever-prosperous future.
O’Connell Street is also where you’ll find the famed General Post Office. The GPO is the official symbol of the town’s central area. It was opened for the first time in 1818. It is an important piece of architecture. The backdrop of many historic events in Ireland has been the post office, including the War of Independence at the beginning of the 20th Century.
The only drawback to O’Connell Street’s central location is how busy it stays through the day and into the evening. It can be difficult to escape the bustle of O’Connell Street’s shops, bars, and restaurants. If you’d rather have a more quaint location, make use of the city’s public transport and explore O’Connell Street during the day.
Top Rated Hotels near O’Connell Street (Dublin City Centre):
2. Temple Bar & Grafton Street
For those who want great food and nightlife, Grafton Street and Temple Bar are the perfect places to stay. From Temple Bar, you’ll have envious proximity to some of the best attractions, parks, and charming bridges in town. It’s the tourist hub of Dublin and in peak season, you’ll stumble upon as many travelers as locals.
However, this doesn’t diminish this part of town, it only serves to strengthen it. But it wasn’t always like this. The story of Temple Bar’s ascension into a nightlife hub and the most exciting place in town begins in the 1990s. Rundown and shady, Temple Bar was revitalized into Dublin’s “cultural quarter”. It picked up ahead of steam and not long after became that place in Dublin to drink the “black stuff” (Guinness).
The shops, restaurants, and Irish pubs that are also seen on O’Connell Street ascend to the next level in a district that boasts an exciting atmosphere at all hours of the day. Grafton Street and Temple Bar are more than just a place to gather, they host many cultural events. These include festivals, live music events, and markets. They provide an extra boost of energy throughout each year. Grafton Street is known for its high-end shopping.
If you’ve gained an affinity for Guinness outside of Ireland, you’ll be excited to try some in the homeland. Arguably Ireland’s most famous export, international Guinness isn’t the same as the local drink. In fact, you’ll quickly see why many Irish refuse to drink it outside of their native country. It’s just not the same. You can try it at a Temple Bar pub to experience the rich creamy finish.
While you’re at it, take a quick trip to the nearby Guinness Storehouse. Temple Bar itself is another great place to visit. The bar was founded in 1840 and houses 450 rare whiskeys, making it the largest collection of Irish whiskeys.
From Temple Bar, you can walk across the beautiful Ha’penny Bridge to the Northside. Or enjoy a pleasant stroll to St. Stephen’s Green, Trinity, and the Dublin Castle.
Top Rated Hotels at Temple Bar
On Dublin’s south bank, Trinity is home to Trinity College and some of the best budget accommodation in the city. Within walking distance of the city center and the happening Temple Bar area right across the O’Connell Street Bridge, Trinity is another neighborhood in a great location to explore.
Trinity has preserved many of its historic buildings making your morning coffee pleasant. Trinity covers a large area of downtown Dublin. It is filled with leafy quadrangles of stone facades, fitting for such a renowned university.
Trinity’s striking beauty is not only impressive, but it also has the youthful energy you would expect from college towns. The air is alive with vibrancy, which carries through the streets to the cafes and delis. The Temple Bar neighborhood is a great place to find the perfect balance between green space, culture, nightlife, and both. Visitors can easily explore the city in a single day, before deciding when they want a break on the rowdy streets nearby.
From Trinity, those visiting Dublin will have access to the Luas, several bus stops, and the DART, the city’s urban train network that connects to rural and coastal towns. Dublin is ideal for walking. Its storied streets are an architect’s dream and the flat landscape means you can walk all day long.
Trinity College’s campus is full of green spaces and a friendly atmosphere. A picnic basket is a great way to enjoy a beautiful Irish day. There are many large parks surrounding the college. Have your choice of the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square, and even the up-and-coming “Silicon Docks” (Docklands).
St. Stephen’s Green is Dublin’s Central Park. There are miles of walking paths that will take you through beautiful gardens, past waterfalls, to a stunning lake. Horse-drawn carriages provide a pleasant background sound as you lay down a picnic rug or read a book under the shade trees.
Minutes from Trinity, you’ll reach the Dublin Docks. After crossing the River Liffey on the Samuel Beckett Bridge, you’ll find the high-tech office buildings of Google and Meta among the old warehouses and quaint cottages. It’s a lovely mix that showcases the city’s burgeoning international economy.
Trinity’s Best Places To Stay
Portobello is south of Temple Square and one of the best areas to stay in Dublin. But solo travelers and couples shouldn’t keep scrolling as the town known as Little Jerusalem is a hub of culture with a growing nightlife district.
Portobello has a more residential feel than other neighborhoods. As you get up in the morning, the peaceful atmosphere of a village will soothe you. From wherever you choose to stay in Portobello, you’ll enjoy the hip local cafes. On a grey day, you can look at the adorable homes or go to the park and sunbathe on the many benches.
Brunch-lovers will eventually find their own way to Portobello, no matter where their hotel is. From Bibi’s Cafe to Lennox Cafe, enjoy your delectable mid-morning meal without breaking the bank.
Portobello is a quiet area that offers easy access to central Dublin for families. It may seem further off the map but residents who choose to stay here will only be a 15-minute walk from the River Liffey, the city’s center, and it will not look any different. Portobello may lack the striking Georgian architecture of Southern Georgian and Merrion Square but the town has its own fascinating history, as a Jewish community in the 19th Century. The Irish Jewish Museum in an old synagogue provides information about this period of Dublin history.
Like the other southside neighborhoods, you’ll have plenty of relaxing parks to enjoy, including St. Stephen’s Green along with Iveagh Gardens. The Grand Canal, which runs through the southern neighborhoods, is also within easy reach of residents.
When you’re up for a pint, wander down to Camden Street, which is quickly growing into a fun, but more relaxing alternative to Temple Bar.
Top Rated Hotels in Portobello
Phibsborough is a great place to spend some time away from the city, just like Portobello. Phibsborough, located on the north side the River Liffey is the most chilled town in our Dublin neighborhood directory. A mix of residential and commercial, the town has all you need to be comfortable when you aren’t exploring central Dublin.
Visitors will find themselves just over a mile away from the Grand Post Office. This allows them to stay close to the action, but also gives them access to one of the most overlooked parts of the city. Phibsborough blends old-school charm with modernity. You’ll find dozens of independent bars, odd and delightful cafes, and delicious cuisine that all display the area’s artsy personality.
Many tourists will spend their time exploring the historic architecture to the south of the river. However, Phibsborough offers a few highlights to its own. These include the 19th century St. Peter’s Catholic Church, a storied flour mill, and the beautiful facade at Broadstone Station. To the north of town, you’ll also find the Royal Canal and the National Botanical Garden.
If you’ve been meaning to watch some Gaelic football, make your way to the nearby Croke Park. It is home to the Hall of Fame, interactive Games Zone and one of Europe’s biggest stadiums.
If you choose to stay in Phibsborough, you’ll have your pick of cheap hotels, vacation rentals, and up-scale accommodation. The Luas also runs through town, providing a simple journey into the city core and to enjoy Dublin’s nightlife.
Phibsborough may be a difficult place for travelers who are looking to rent a car. Most homes, including vacation rentals, don’t have driveways. This results in a shortage of street parking, so you might have to use the metered parking sections.
Top Rated Hotels In Phibsborough
6. Southern Georgian Dublin
The historic town of Southern Georgian Dublin is surrounded by the towns Portobello and Temple Bar, as well as Merrion Square. Travelers wanting to experience culture, stunning architecture, and the city’s best museums should set up shop right here.
Charming old streets are full of stories and secrets that go back as far as the city itself. Beautiful Georgian townhouses are scattered throughout the landscape, with their intricate designs and colorful doors, as you walk. The neighborhood is surrounded by brick homes that add a sense of timelessness and beauty. The buildings shine when the sun is shining. The fall brings out the memories of Dublin, before the rebellion, as the fiery reddened buildings are coated in Boston Ivy.
These doors have also taken on a new life. It started as an open protest to British rule. All locals were required to paint their doors black after Queen Victoria died. Instead, they painted their doors in every color of rainbow. Keep an eye out for the brightly colored doors and embellished archways as you travel through Southern Georgian. Legend has it that these doors were painted brightly to assist people returning home from drinking nights in classic Irish.
The town is great for exploring on your own, but Southern Georgian also has some of the best museums and art galleries in Dublin. This includes the Natural History Museum which still contains some of its original exhibits from the 1850s.
Also in the area is the National Concert Hall and the National Gallery, where you’ll find the most complete collection of Irish and international art in the country. The National Concert Hall is also available for classical and high-quality music.
The stunning 18th-century townhouses make Southern Georgian one the most desirable places to stay in Dublin.
These are the Best Places To Stay in Southern Georgian Dublin
7. Merrion Square
Merrion Square is another Georgian-inspired square. The park is one of the most popular Georgian squares. It is lush and shaded. You will find monuments for famous writers and views of the surrounding houses as you follow the paths.
Merrion Square’s peaceful pace of life is despite its proximity Trinity and Temple Bar. Being largely a residential part of town, you’ll have to go elsewhere in search of vibrant nightlife. You can still explore the beautiful streets surrounding you, much like Southern Georgian.
The Square was founded in the 1700s, when most of the surrounding countryside was still rural. It quickly became popular with the well-to do and was soon surrounded redbrick homes. As you walk around the neighborhood, look out for metal circles. These are where coal was poured so that servants could heat the homes.
Dublin has long been a literature hub, playing host to some of the world’s greatest authors and poets. W.B. W.B. Yeats and Oscar Wilde were both once residents of Merrion Square. Their interesting statue is prominently displayed in the park.
Merrion Square offers a wealth of history and easy access to Dublin’s center. The Grand Canal Dock is a short walk away, marking the beginning of the waterway. The canal is a wonderful way to explore some of Dublin’s less-traveled areas. It also connects with the Liffey.
Foodies will also enjoy Merrion Square. Here, you’ll find two of Dublin’s Michelin Star restaurants along with plenty of casual and up-scale restaurants to suit both taste and budget. In typical Irish fashion, many have amazing names, from the Pig’s Ear to Dolce Sicily.
The Luas and the DART don’t directly make their way to Merrion Square, but visitors will have just a short walk to Kildare Street and Trinity to get into town or to the Dublin airport via the bus network.
Where to stay in Dublin near Merrion Square
Best Vacation Rentals Dublin
Apartment rentals are a great way to get a feel for Dublin. There are many VRBO listings and you can search for hours.
So, below we have selected what we feel are the best vacation rentals in Dublin’s City Centre.
Where to Stay in Dublin For the First Time
For first-time visitors to Dublin, O’Connell Street in the city center is the place to be. If you’re flying into Dublin, the bus will run you right into town, from where you can explore the entire city or jump on the light rail.
This layer of simplicity will take the stress off of finding your way and make it easy for you to get there. Around O’Connell Street, you’ll have plenty of nearby shops, eateries, and fun nightlife. On foot, you’re just steps from the riverfront and 15 minutes from Trinity College and Grafton Street.
Dublin’s Best Nightlife Place
Temple Bar is Dublin’s undisputed nightlife king. When the sun goes down, you’ll hear the revelry long before you step foot in the neighborhood. You can either get a drink at one of the many local cafes or just relax by the river, hoping it will fade.
For the rest, the night begins early. Locals and tourists mix in Temple Bar’s many bars, cocktail bars, clubs, and lounges that open until the early hours. With this in mind, if you aren’t one to say no to another drink, then staying in nearby Trinity will give you a reason to end your night at a reasonable hour.
Dublin Hotels for Families
Portobello is a great place to stay for both young and old families. Just south of all the action in Trinity, Temple Bar, and Merrion Square, you’ll have plenty to do within walking distance.
Portobello is a pretty village that doesn’t force anything upon you. In the morning, you won’t feel the rush of the city, with plenty of time to enjoy the quiet local cafes before venturing further afield.
Portobello has a wide range of hotels that are affordable for families. There are also vacation rentals available for those who need more space.
There are two main shopping streets in Dublin: Henry and Grafton. With both representing a different side of the River Liffey, you’ve got plenty of neighborhoods to choose from.
Grafton is the most well-known of the two because of its 20th century rise on the backs of upmarket and mid-range shopping. The lively street is popular with buskers, so you’ll hear plenty of live music as you make your way between each store.
Two large malls are located on Henry Street, which is pedestrian-friendly, and there are dozens of major retailers. It’s just off of O’Connell Street and is perfect for some retail therapy without breaking the bank.
Dublin Hotels for Sightseeing
Southern Georgian Dublin and Merrion Square combine to offer some of the best sightseeing in Ireland’s capital city. Both have their fair share Georgian architecture that reveals Dublin as it was back in the 1700s.
The cobbled streets won’t just lead you to historic townhouses, but also to 18th-century parks that were established when much of Dublin was simple farmland. These two areas are also home to the bulk of the city’s major museums, including the National Museum, which comprises four museums, including the Natural Museum of History.
Our Money-Saving Tips For Dublin
Dublin’s growth as a city has led to it being less budget-friendly. However, there are still ways to save money and enjoy traditional Irish hospitality.
The Dublin Pass is a great way to save money on transport and attractions. The Dublin Pass can be purchased for between 1 and 5 days. It offers discounted admissions and front-of the line access to most of the major attractions. It is fully refundable. Get your Dublin Pass now!
Start by taking an Aircoach from your airport. Dublin is the only major European city not to have an airport train and the taxis aren’t cheap.
It is easy to get around Dublin by foot due to its flat layout, and the proximity of the main neighborhoods. The public transport system is also inexpensive along with the city’s bike-share program, Dublin Bikes. Early bird discounts are available for dining out. A half-pint Guinness can help you keep your budget in check.
Getting Around Dublin
As we noted, walking in Dublin is a delight and it’s a very safe city. Our legs can only take you so far. Thankfully, the city’s bus network is extensive and connects all major neighborhoods, including the ones on this list.
One-off tickets are available for as low as $1.50usd to $3.50usd per trip. The cost for the Luas ranges from $2.50usd up to $4usd, depending on which zone.
You can load a Leap Card and use both DART and these systems. While the GoDublin card is designed for tourists and provides unlimited 72-hour transportation access for €45.