Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is the perfect destination to go for cute streets, delicious gastronomy, Guinness beer and parties, of course! Dublin is a place that successfully combines old architecture and new, modern buildings, culture and clubbing, history and fun.
If you’re planning to travel to this beautiful Irish city, congrats, that’s a great choice! Next in line is the accommodation. You’re probably wondering what are the best places to stay in Dublin, right?
In case you’re visiting Dublin for the first time, expect to get VERY confused mid-way. It’s so hard to understand how this city is organized, what is the city center exactly and how big it is and, more specifically, where is the best area for tourists. Each and every article online is saying something else, there is no clear map anywhere and you’ll encounter so many different names of areas and streets. So I started an even deeper research and, in order to make your life easier, I will explain everything IN GREAT DETAILS!
- If you’re in a hurry…
- What is the city center of Dublin?
- First of all, which area should you choose?
- 1. O’Connell Street
- 2. Temple Bar, Trinity and Grafton Street
- 3. Portobello
- 4. Phibsborough
- 5. The Docklands
- 6. Smithfield
- 7. Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square
- Best apartments in Dublin, Ireland
- BONUS 1: Best hotels near Dublin Airport
- BONUS 2: Where not to stay in Dublin
Let’s find out how is the city organized and what are the best Dublin neighborhoods. Scroll down to find out everything you need to know about your stay in Dublin (with maps!), as well as my best, hand-picked hotels in the city. All of them have amazing reviews and perfect service!
NOTE: I’ll tell you right from the beginning: I wouldn’t classify Dublin as a cheap city, so expect the prices to be a bit higher than your usual budget European hotels. You’ll clearly see what to expect for the price ranges for each budget and each area.
If you’re in a hurry…
In short, the best area to stay in Dublin, Ireland for first-timers is the city center. Anything close to O’Connell Street will do! This is the main road in the city, so you’ll be close to all the landmarks and places you’ll want to visit.
Best hotels in a nutshell
- Best luxury hotel: Conrad Dublin
- Best middle-priced hotel: Staycity Aparthotels Dublin Castle
- Best budget hotel: Leeson Bridge Guesthouse
What is the city center of Dublin?
If you’ve never been to Dublin before, it will be VERY confusing to understand what, where and how wide is the city center. So I’ll do my best to explain this to you.
Dublin is divided into two (almost perfect) halves by River Liffey – the North and the South. Each of these parts contains smaller neighborhoods, each of them having its own charm and advantages.
But there’s a simple way of understanding what is the centre of Dublin – the General Post Office located on O’Connell Street (the main street of Dublin) is considered to be the main core of Dublin and the measurement point to and from the center.
Dublin is not a big city, and the center isn’t limited to one single area either. If you want to stay as central as possible, choose an accommodation that’s close to O’Connell Street, regardless if it’s North or South of the River Liffey. Temple Bar is also very central and one of the most famous areas of Dublin, as well as Trinity and Grafton Street.
The city center (both North and South) is the best place to stay, as you’ll find here countless of shopping opportunities, great restaurants, cozy coffee places to enjoy your afternoon tea, beautiful streets and the main landmarks of the city.
That being said, let’s see what are the best areas to stay in Dublin, more specifically. In each of these areas I selected the BEST hotels for you and grouped them by budget for your convenience:
NOTE: As I mentioned before, Dublin is pretty small, so any area and hotel you’ll choose from the list below will be in the city center or walking distance from it and from the best sights and traditional restaurants. Your choice depends on your preferences and what type of traveler you are.
First of all, which area should you choose?
Now that you understand what’s the center of Dublin, it’s time to decide which area to choose for your vacation, depending on what type of traveler you are. To make your task as easy as possible, I will give you my personalized recommendations below for where to stay in Dublin:
- Where to stay in Dublin for luxury: The Docklands
- Best area to stay in Dublin for budget travelers: Smithfield
- Where to stay in Dublin for a local, traditional atmosphere: Stoneybatter
- Where to stay in Dublinfa for shopping: O’Connell Street or Grafton Street
- Best nightlife: Temple Bar and Trinity
- Best for families: Portobello or Merrion Square
1. O’Connell Street
You’ll find anything here from boutique shops, supermarkets, vintage stores and more. You’ll also be surrounded by tons of restaurants, pubs, cafes, bars, clubs and a lot of amazing hotels for all budgets. Remember: the General Post Office on this street is considered the very center of the city, so anything close to it will be perfect for your trip!
So if you want to be right in the core of Dublin, make sure to find a hotel that’s as close to O’Connell Street as possible.
O’Connell is the city’s main street and the widest road in the entire Ireland!
And to make your job easier, I made a selection of the best hotels on O’Connell Street and around:
Luxury (US$170 and up)
O’Connell Street is surrounded by many fabulous luxury hotels and down below I found 4 options for you with excellent service:
- Hotel Riu Plaza – If you’re on the search for Gresham Hotels, I have good news! This awesome 4-star hotel boasts a luxury service and beautiful rooms, all in a historic building right in the center of the city!
- Jurys Hotel Dublin – Here is another great 4-star hotel with amazing reviews! Believe it or not, it’s located just around the corner from O’Connell Street. You’ll definitely enjoy the contemporary rooms and great service they offer!
- Castle Hotel Dublin – This one’s on O’Connell Street Upper, very close to Temple Bar as well, one of the most famous areas in the city and the best nightlife area. The hotel is decorated in a beautiful Georgian style and it even has an on-site restaurant with a great menu!
- Belvedere Hotel Dublin Parnell Square – Last but not least, here is another great choice for visitors that want to feel spoiled during their Dublin vacation! The rooms are very cozy and clean and the location is just great – you’ll be surrounded by many shops and restaurants!
Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)
- Wynn’s Hotel Dublin – If you’re looking for a central hotel, this is your choice! This is actually an iconic building, dating from the 19th century and it offers an excellent service for a good price. All the rooms have a traditional, creative decor and the hotel has its own traditional Irish restaurant as well!
- Hotel St. George Dublin – This awesome hotel has many great facilities such as free Wi-Fi, elegant decor, a great and very convenient location and clean rooms, perfect for a good night’s sleep after a full day of exploring Dublin!
Budget (up to US$110)
- Abbey Court Hostel – This awesome hostel has some very accessible prices, considering the excellent service they provide and the amazing location! Probably the best advantage of staying here is the all-you-can-eat Irish breakfast – so good! Plus, the location is amazing, being super close to O’Connell Bridge.
- Gardiner House – Here’s an awesome idea: how does it sound to stay in a 200 year old converted Victorian chapel? With some excellent prices as well? Yep, it’s possible! This awesome hostel offers both private and dormitory rooms!
2. Temple Bar, Trinity and Grafton Street
Temple Bar is the most well-known area in the entire city and the perfect choice for all the party animals out there!
You’ll find Temple Bar mentioned in all Ireland guides and itineraries, as it’s an iconic area! Temple Bar is located right between Trinity College (another landmark of the city and one of the top ranked Irish universities) and Grafton Street and, because the area is not that big, I decided to group them into one single neighbourhood.
There are TONS of great Irish pubs and bars around this area, so it’s THE place to be if you want to indulge in some Irish beer and snacks. But that’s not all! You’ll also find many cute shops, markets and restaurants here, as well as a beautiful architecture, so it’s basically impossible to get bored.
Now let’s see what are the best hotels of this neighbourhood:
Luxury (US$180 and up)
- Westin Dublin – For all those searching for Marriott hotels in Dublin, Ireland – I listened to your request and I’m recommending this gem! This gorgeous 5-star hotel is anything you’ll ever want from a luxury hotel – it has a great location, fabulous rooms, a fitness center, and a flawless service!
- The Clarence – In case you’ve been searching for the “Bono hotel” in Dublin, this is the one you’re looking for! This hotel was indeed purchased by Bono and it’s a great, luxury hotel with 4-star service. They even have “super king-size” rooms, can you believe it?!
- Trinity Hotel Dublin – This beautiful 4-star hotel is super close to Trinity College, so the name doesn’t lie at all. They have free Wi-Fi, modern and cozy rooms, an on-site restaurant and bar as well (both of them with a big menu)!
- Brooks Hotel – This one’s another iconic Dublin hotel that awaits with amazing service and beautiful rooms! It’s walking distance from Grafton Street and Temple Bar and they even have a whiskey bar on-site, so cool!
- Mercantile Hotel Dublin – Last but not least, here’s another option for you! This one is right across the street from Dublin Castle and it has beautiful rooms and an excellent service, so it’s perfect for your trip to the city!
Middle-priced (US$100 – US$180)
- Kellys Hotel Dublin – This awesome 3-star hotel has easy access to Temple Bar, so it’s perfect for anyone that wants to be close to all the Irish pubs and entertainment places in the area! But please note this is an adult-only hotel, so unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend it to families with kids!
- Temple Bar Hotel Dublin – Here’s another awesome choice for people who want to be right in the middle of the action, but close to Aviva Stadium as well! Except for the awesome rooms, this inn also has a beautiful terrace, a shared lounge, luggage storage and a super friendly staff!
- Staycity Dublin Aparthotels– For those who prefer the comfort of their own home, no worries, I got you covered! This one is actually an aparthotel that offers 4-star service for some pretty good prices. They also have free Wi-Fi and a kitchen that you can use!
Budget (up tu US$100)
- Drury Court Hotel – Here’s my recommendation for anyone looking for cheap hotels in Dublin City Centre! This hotel comes with an excellent service and some very good prices, considering its great location – very central and not far from Aviva Stadium either! So if you find a room that’s available for your dates, make sure to reserve it!
If you go a (little) bit South of the city center, you’ll reach the colorful area called “Portobello”.
Portobello is a central, laid-back area in Dublin and my recommendation for people traveling with their family!
Portobello quarter is also known as “Little Jerusalem” and it’s also the birthplace of George Bernard Shaw, the famous Irish playwright; they even have an Irish pub with its name and it’s pretty great – “The Bernard Shaw”! The area is has a village vibe to it and it’s located very close to the Grand Canal. Most importantly, you’ll easily reach the city center by foot in 15 minutes if you decide to make Portobello your base!
It’s an amazing place to stay if you want to be surrounded by plenty of amazing restaurants and shops as well. Compared to Temple Bar and Trinity area, this one is calmer and less vibrant, but this doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of activities and things to see here.
Here are the best Portobello hotels:
Luxury (US$170 and up)
- Conrad Dublin – This amazing 5-star hotel is my first recommendation for any traveler that wants to be spoiled during their stay in the city! This one has an amazing location, a bit south of central Dublin and basically everything in this hotel screams “luxury”! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
- Maldron Hotel Kevin Street – Here’s a 4-star hotel in Portobello that awaits with beautiful rooms, a super friendly staff, free Wi-Fi and a delicious buffet breakfast served daily at the hotel. They even have an on-site restaurant and free luxury toiletries!
- Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin – You may already know about Hyatt hotels around the world. Well, their property in Dublin has the same excellent service you know about! This one has a fitness center, an on-site restaurant, a bar, and more!
Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)
- Albany House – Here’s an amazing Portobello hotel that I consider to be perfect for people who want an excellent value for the money! This one has some simple and cozy rooms that are just perfect for some relaxation. But please note they don’t have an elevator!
- The Camden Hotel Dublin by theKeyCollections – Book a room here if you want to be in a calm, village-like area, but also extremely close to Grafton Street and Temple Bar, so you can have the best of both worlds! This hotel even has its own club that you can enjoy at night, how cool is that?
Budget (up to US$110)
- Portobello Hotel – This great hotel is overlooking the Grand Canal and it’s my recommendation for people who want some more accessible prices. The rooms are pretty spacious and very clean and all of them have free Wi-Fi. By the way, the hotel is pretty old and iconic as well – it was first opened in 1793!
If you’ll go a bit North of the city center instead, you’ll enter the charming area of Phibsborough (also known as Phibsboro). It has recently become one of the coolest areas in the city and it’s a great place to stay if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Temple Bar, for example, but still have easy access to the city center and its main attractions.
This neighborhood has plenty of great restaurants and cool shops, as well as cozy cafes, bars and Irish pubs (most of them established in abandoned buildings – so cool!) where you can enjoy a beer and people-watch.
Phibsborough is a pretty cool and balanced area and if you think it’s a perfect fit for you, let me tell you about the greatest hotels that you can choose from:
Luxury (US$160 and up)
- Hotel 7 – Here’s another one of my recommendations for luxury hotels! This one awaits with 4-star service and some super beautiful rooms with modern, creative decor! All the rooms have comfortable beds and the property has a fab location as well – 15 minutes away by foot from Temple Bar!
- Maldron Hotel Parnell Square – This is a beautiful, colorful luxury hotel that will make you feel like royalty during your stay! If you book a room here, you’ll be super close to Trinity College and Dublin Castle as well – so cool!
Middle-priced (from US$110 – US$160)
- B&B St Annes Dublin – In case you want to stay in a bed & breakfast in Dublin, this one’s for you! This accommodation has very good reviews from its guests and it awaits with Free Wi-Fi, city views, continental or a la carte Irish breakfast and many other awesome facilities!
- Tom Dick and Harriet’s Cafe and Rooms – This one is actually a guest house but I’m definitely recommending it for the simple and cozy rooms and homey atmosphere! During your stay, you will benefit from free Wi-Fi, private bathrooms, a seating area and more!
Budget (up to US$110)
- Gardiner House – If you want to save some money during your stay, you can book a bed in one of the dormitory rooms at this hostel – it’s one of your cheapest Dublin hotels and it’s a pretty good one as well! They even have a shared kitchen that’s open 24 hours – a great advantage!
5. The Docklands
The Docklands is your perfect base if you’re looking for a more upscale experience!
In case you didn’t know already, this area is also known as “Silicon Docks”, as some people compare it to Silicon Valley in the United States! It’s the perfect area for luxury travelers and city-lovers who want to be surrounded by skyscrapers and modern buildings.
The neighborhood of the Docklands is located right along Liffey River, close to “Docklands” station. It’s a great area for business travelers as well, as many big banks and companies have their base here, such as Facebook or Google.
Go to the Docklands for world-class restaurants, luxury hotels, and modern architecture. So even if you don’t decide to book a hotel here, it’s a must-visit nevertheless!
But if you decided to book a hotel here, I have selected the BEST ones for you:
NOTE: Unfortunately, as The Docklands is such a high-end area, there are basically no budget options for accommodation. But I found some gorgeous middle-priced and luxury hotels for your stay:
Luxury (US$170 and up)
- The Mayson – This gorgeous 4-star hotel is one of my first recommendations for people who want to enjoy a Royal treatment during their stay. The rooms are simply stunning and they have river views; they even have an on-site restaurant with local dishes!
- The Spencer Hotel – Spencer Hotel is another iconic property in this beautiful city! They have an excellent service and an even better location – extremely close to the city center, which I’m sure you’ll appreciate a lot!
Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)
- Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House – Book a room here if you want to stay in an upscale district and in some pretty awesome rooms as well! This one’s located only 15 minutes away by foot from the city center, which is another great plus!
- Pearse Street Suites – In case you want to stay in an apartment in this area instead, no worries, there are options for you as well! This one is actually one of the best sellers in Dublin and it’s located very close to the National Library of Ireland, not far from the city center!
Smithfield is located on the North of the River Liffey as well and it’s my recommendation for people who want to take care of their budget during their Dublin vacation. Compared to the other areas I am talking about in this article, this one has some of the cheapest hotels the city (and trust me, Dublin isn’t cheap at all!).
The neighborhood of Smithfield is pretty close to the city center as well, only a 10-minute walk from the main attractions and Temple Bar as well. It’s also very well connected to the rest of the city by public transportation and one of the best things in this area is the Jameson Distillery and Museum where you can go to learn more about whiskey.
In case you want to stay in Smithfield, here are the best hotels that you can choose from:
Luxury (US$150 and up)
- McGettigan’s Townhouse – This is actually a pretty cool inn with an amazing location – close to the center and to the National Museum of Ireland as well! The rooms are very cozy and they have a traditional, rustic decor that you’ll surely enjoy if you want a local atmosphere!
- Handels Hotel Temple Bar Dublin by theKeyCollections – This awesome 3-star hotels awaits with a flawless service and an awesome location, super close to the city center, the National Gallery and Temple Bar as well. How perfect is that? Plus, the rooms are simply stunning!
Middle-priced (US$110 – US$150)
- The Hendrick Smithfield – This gorgeous accommodation awaits with free Wi-Fi, a terrace, an on-site bar, and a very cool decor! The rooms are super bright and very clean as well. No need to talk about the location either, as it’s super close to Dublin’s main attractions!
- Generator Dublin – In case you didn’t find your perfect hotel yet, I might have a solution! This is a pretty cool hostel that has 3-star service, so you can expect the best value to money ratio! Plus, it’s right next door to Jameson Distillery!
Budget (up to US$110)
- P&P House – No worries, I didn’t forget about budget travelers either! This great homestay in Ireland is a great choice if you want to save some money to spend on some traditional food or local attractions. Plus, it’s less than 10 minutes away by foot from the National Museum of Ireland!
7. Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square
Merrion Square is another calm and interesting area of Dublin which I am recommending to families and laid-back travelers!
Merrion Square is located nearby Fitzwilliam Square and St. Stephen’s Green, so I’m considering all three of them as a single area. Pick a hotel here if you want to be surrounded by charming cobblestone streets, a nice park, brick houses, Georgian architecture, the National Gallery (one of the highlights!), and many other cool attractions.
Even though it’s not the heart of the city, this area is still pretty close to the city center and it’s a great choice if you want to be a bit far away from the hustle and bustle of Temple Bar, for example.
Scroll down to find the best accommodation options I am recommending in these areas:
Luxury (US$150 and up)
- The Mont – If you are still wondering where to stay in Dublin with your family, this hotel might be a perfect choice for luxury travelers! This gorgeous 4-star property has a very central location; the rooms have a modern decor and even an on-site Irish sports bar and wood fire pizza restaurant, how awesome is that?
- The Davenport – Here’s another 4-star modern hotel for your stay in the city. This hotel offers many amazing facilities such as design furniture, marble bathrooms, a stylish restaurant and more. It’s just ideal for a family or two travellers!
Middle-priced (US$100 – US$150)
- Fitzwilliam Townhouse – This hotel is super chic and I’m recommending it for an accessible stay in the heart of Dublin! Book a room here if you want to be only 5 minutes away from Trinity College, restaurants, pubs, live music venues and more! Plus, one cool feature of this hotel is the building – a historic, Georgian townhouse!
- Baggot Court Townhouse – Here’s another 3-star hotel that you can choose if you want to have free Wi-Fi, a great location, quality beds, and a friendly atmosphere! Best of all? You’ll be close to many shops and restaurants!
Budget (up to US$100)
- Leeson Bridge Guesthouse – Where to stay in Dublin on a budget, but still close to the center? Well, here’s a solution! This guesthouse is very cute and cozy and the prices are pretty unbeatable compared to the majority of the hotels in this city!
- The Leeson Lodge – This is another great budget option for you – a charming family-run guesthouse! It has a very convenient location, small but cozy rooms and a full irish breakfast buffet!
Best apartments in Dublin, Ireland
For those of you that are looking for a cozier feeling, why not choose to stay in an apartment in Dublin? There are so many amazing ones on AirBnb that you can choose from; and trust me, the choice won’t be easy!
Down below I have selected the best apartments in Dublin city center:
Luxury (US$180 and up)
- Spacious Studio on Chancery Lane in the Heart of Dublin – Yep, it is possible to book an apartment and still enjoy some luxury, while also being super close to the city center. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this property! It looks simply amazing and it offers an excellent service and tasteful decor. What more can you wish for?
- Secret NYC Style Loft Apt – Heart Of Temple Bar – Here’s another luxury apartment which I can recommend for a couple or a group of 3 people. As the name suggests, it is basically super close to Temple Bar, so it has a great location!
Middle-priced (US$120 – US$180)
- Great Location 15 minutes walk from Temple Bar – For those of you who want to book a super cool place with a great value for the money, I got your back! This cool apartment has free Wi-Fi, beautiful rooms and it’s walking distance from all the awesome places in the city.
- Dorest House – On the other hand, this one is equipped with everything you might need for your vacation in the city! It has free Wi-Fi, two bedrooms, clean rooms, comfy beds and everything else in between!
Budget (up to US$130)
- Smithfield Modern city centre apartment – I think apartments, in general, are super good for budget travelers – and this one is the perfect example! The entire property is simple but very cozy and it has an excellent location, close to the main landmarks and points of interest!
- Dublin City Centre Flat – Perfect for couples – Even though it’s kind of small, this accommodation is very cozy and colorful and I truly believe the title is accurate – it’s perfect for a couple! Plus, the location is very good as well!
BONUS 1: Best hotels near Dublin Airport
In case you are arriving with a late night flight or you want to drop-off a rented car at the end of your vacation, it might be a better idea to book a hotel located near the airport.
Dublin Airport (DUB) is around 10km away from the city center. I have researched some great options for hotels located as close to the airport as possible, with an excellent service as well and I’m recommending them below (one per each type of budget):
- Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport – This one’s definitely my recommendation for luxury travelers that want to be as close to the airport as possible! This 4-star accommodation is less than 1km away from the airport and it’s biggest advantage is probably the free 24-hour shuttle service that they offer!
- Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport – If you’re looking for a middle-priced option instead, I have one for you! This is also a 4-star accommodation that comes with some more accessible prices. They also have a free 24-hour shuttle and breakfast is available from 6.30 a.m.
- Holiday Inn Express Dublin-Airport – If you’re looking for a budget airport hotel, this one’s for you! This 3-star hotel is only 10 minutes by car from the airport and it offers a free shuttle as well. How awesome is that?
BONUS 2: Where not to stay in Dublin
Although Dublin is pretty safe(as safe as any other European city, honestly), there are some areas and streets that are best avoided, especially late at night. I made a research and listed them down below:
- Talbot Street
- Dolphin’s Barn
- Sheriff Street
Other than this, no worries, Dublin is a very safe city! Just make sure you are aware of your surroundings and belongings and you’ll have no problems.
That’s it, this was my complete guide on the best hotels and neighborhoods in Dublin, Ireland!
If you’ve read this post, I’m sure that you already know everything you need to know about how the city of Dublin is organized and divided into neighborhoods and which are the best areas for your stay, especially in the city center.
I have given you my personalized area recommendations, as well as my hand-picked hotel choices divided by budget for your convenience. I’m also suggesting some great apartments in the city and airport hotels as well, so you’ll find everything you’ve been searching for and more!
That being said, I wish you the best trip to Dublin!
If you have any questions, just drop it in the comments section below, I will be happy to reply!
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