Where to Stay in Dublin: An Expert Guide to the Irish Capital

Make the most of your trip to the Irish capital with our where to stay in Dublin guide.

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Temple Bar, Dublin

The fairest city of them all. Well not quite, it can get pretty grimy in places, but it has more than its fair share of delights. Wondering where to stay in Dublin? From streets creaking with history in the Docklands to more cafés and farmers markets than you can shake your alt-milk cappuccino at in Stoneybatter. Museums, galleries and walking tours will keep you busy, a host of top-notch restaurants provide very tasty sustenance and there are some beautiful places to lay your head. Ice cream and fish and chips are all a stone’s throw away at pretty coastal towns Dún Laoghaire and Howth. It's a great place to celebrate a special occasion, whether it's an anniversary or a birthday in Dublin (or just a few days away from home). It's also an ideal place to bring the whole family, with plenty of great areas to stay with kids. Your warm welcome is guaranteed from the friendliest of folk in the Irish capital, just don’t say ‘top of the mornin’ - <s>the locals are</s> everyone is bored of that.

Portobello

All the joys of being close to the city-centre action, but with a big old dollop of chill. Portobello is where hip locals frequent, so there are plenty of brunch spots and coffee shops...all with white walls and house plants. Contemporary galleries jostle for space among boutique shops – and the Jewish history museum is worth a visit. Spend an afternoon walking the scenic canal before feasting at Michelin-recommended Richmond Restaurant.

Dún Laoghaire

Escape the hustle of the centre and breathe in the salty air of coastal town Dún Laoghaire. With a maritime museum, a homage to James Joyce and the People’s Park, you can almost call yourself a tourist Irish after a day here. Try to spot the resident seals as you stroll the East Pier with vinegar-drenched chips, windswept hair and a big smile on your face (read: smug), knowing that you’re in one of the best areas to stay in Dublin.

Howth

With the Irish Sea flanking three sides of this coastal area, you have to try really hard to miss a great sunset here. Really hard. A short ride on the Dart from North or South Dublin and you find yourself in the jolly old seaside town of Howth. They take their seafood seriously here (they host a prawn festival and everything). You’re spoilt for choice with many fishy restaurants dotted around the harbour. Extra points if you spot the boat bringing your dinner in.

The Docklands

Misery Hill, Blood Stoney Road and Gallows Hill just scream holiday, don’t they? Dublin’s Docklands has a rich, murky history that is well on its way to being quashed, thanks to the tech giants that call it home today. When you’re not ruminating on the spread of capitalism, this is genuinely a nice place to while away the hours. From shopping independents to stand-up-paddleboarding and catching a show at the Abbey Theatre, The Docklands has choice for all.

Georgian Dublin

Where to stay in Dublin with ornate doorways, wide, cobbled streets and beautiful fanlights? Georgian Dublin is the one, and it is oh so easy on the eye. Alongside some beautiful green spaces, culture vultures can explore Merrion Square’s Natural History Museum or pop in on Vermeer and Turner at the National Gallery of Ireland. Each of the grand streets are named after Viscount This and Viscount That so it makes for really great blue plaque spotting.

Temple Bar

It’s not all Guinness, €2 shots and pulsing bars. Hmm, it mainly is actually...but some spots are worth a visit even if sticky floors aren’t your thing. For those looking to sample 450 whiskies (please drink responsibly), head to the famous watering hole of Temple Bar - you won’t miss its bright red facade, and it’ll undoubtedly be teeming with whisky lovers. Dublin’s cultural quarter Temple Bar was formerly known as Temple Barr - a Barr being a raised estuary sandbank; should that ever come up in a pub quiz, you’re welcome.

Stoneybatter

We can’t decide whether we like the name Stoneybatter or its historical name Bohernaglogh better. You can muse on this too when you’re holidaying here and let us know. Delicious eateries such as Grano and Social Fabric Cafe have elevated the area to foodie status and it has been topping ‘Coolest And Now Way More Expensive So Locals Are Annoyed’ lists for a few years now. Take a picnic to Phoenix Park and say hello to the resident deer.

Smithfield

Smithfield has that inner city village vibe. Doffing your cap to neighbours and cheery hellos on the street. If you find this kind of thing horrendous less than ideal, you can just ignore people. Home to many a family-friendly festival, an award-winning independent theatre and handily sandwiched between Stoneybatter and Phoenix Park for the best of all the worlds. Families wondering where to stay in Dublin will be happy here.

O’Connell Street

The beating heart of the capital. An expansive thoroughfare with easy access to all corners of the city, its streets are lined with classic Irish pubs, restaurants and venues belting out live music. On the bank of the River Liffey and boasting the title of Europe’s widest urban street. (‘Ooh’ we hear you cry). Wander its pavements and spot monuments, the famous Spire sculpture and of course, the James Joyce statue.

Creative Quarter

Less of a postcode and more of an atmosphere. Dublin’s Creative Quarter runs the gamut of South William Street to George’s Street, and from Lower Stephen’s Street to Exchequer Street. Red-brick architecture sets a grand tone and (usually) houses boutique hotels, independent shops and the kind of cafes that do really fancy cakes. Walk the open-air art gallery on Love Lane before visiting the smallest gallery in Ireland for your art fix.

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