In this post we will analyse the best places to stay in Dublin, featuring cost of travel and when to visit the capital of Republic of Ireland
Planning a trip to Ireland? Check our guide on the best places to stay in Dublin, one of the fastest growing capitals in Western Europe.
Liffey River, Dublin. Photo by Daniel Dudek
Dublin has 1,024,027 habitants; It’s the biggest city in Ireland and also the most visited by foreign tourists. Over the last 5 years it become a popular destination for students who want to learn English. It is a cosmopolitan city, with a lot of friendly people drinking Guinness in pubs around the city.
Tourism in Dublin: Overview
Even if Dublin is famous for its brewery traditions, the capital of Republic of Ireland has much more to be explored, besides pubs and the beer.
Dublin is a charming city, divided by the Liffey River. During your stay in Dublin, it is easy to divide the places to visit between the Southside of the River and the Northside.
In the Northside, you can start your visit at Phoenix Park. The Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed recreational spaces within any European capital city. About 30% of the Phoenix Park is covered by trees. A good way to explore the Park is renting a bike. If you are lucky you can bump into a group of deers which live in the park.
For families with children, the Dublin Zoo, inside Phoenix Park is also a good place to start the day.
Still on the Northside, the Four Courts, and the Spire on O’Connell Street, are important places to go. For those who like some shopping during the holidays, it is worthy to stop at Henry Street and visit Penneys, part of the English Primark Group.
Penneys is the most famous Irish fast fashion shop, it is very popular among the teenagers and young adults. The prices are very welcoming and there a huge range of styles.
Now, let’s cross the Liffey River to the Southside.
In the Southside, there are a lot of tourist places to be visited. The main ones are: The Guinness Factory, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, The Christchurch, The famous Book of Kells Old Library of Trinity College, Grafton Street and the well-known Temple Bar district.
I recommend to start with the Guinness Factory, followed by the St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Christchurch. Then Dublin Castle, Book of Kells Old Library, Grafton Street and finally Temple Bar District to enjoy the famous Beer and appreciate the Irish music.
Just leave the Temple Bar District for the last, so, you are free to enjoy as much as you can. The best pubs to visit in Temple Bar are the Temple Bar Pub, which gave its name to the district, The Quays, and The Porterhouse.
Usually two days are enough to cover the main attractions of the city. However, if you have more time available, you can also go for a day trip to amazing towns and villages near Dublin.
Best Places to Stay in Dublin
As you can presume considering the cost of travel, in terms of hotels, Dublin can be very expensive. However, for those with a short budget there are always options to consider.
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Grafton Street and Stephens Green Park
If you are looking for a luxury hotel, this is the best place to stay. Grafton Street is the shopping street of the city for the fancy customers. Premium brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Burberry can be found there.
It is a great location just 5 minutes walking from the Temple Bar District.
Christchurch and Temple Bar Area
It is a very tourist location, close to restaurants and pubs. In this part of the city, you likely will find more hotels and B&B with good standards, as well as more affordable ones compared to Grafton Street.
Near O’Connell Street, you can find a different category of hotels. It is in this area where you can find more hostels and lower budget hotels.
If you are going to stay in Dublin to study English, most of the English Schools are in this area.
Budget Accommodation in Dublin – €
Jacobs Inn Hostel – An excellent budget choice if you want to stay near the Temple Bar area in Dublin.
Sky Backpackers – A great hostel in Dublin that was once a recording studio for famous artists.
Abbey Court Hostel – A cosy hostel close to the Trinity College and the Temple Bar area.
Reasonably Priced Accommodation in Dublin – €€
Gate Lodge B&B – This cosy Bed & Breakfast is next to the Heuston Station, ideal if you are traveling inside Ireland by train.
Drury Court Hotel – One of the best choices in central Dublin, this hotel is just a short walk to the Grafton Street.
Luxurious Hotels in Dublin – €€€
The Marker Hotel – One of the most luxurious hotels in Dublin, located in the Grand Canal Square.
The Westbury Hotel – The Westbury Hotel offers one of the best locations to stay in Dublin, at a walking distance from many of the city’s attractions, including the Temple Bar.
Cost of Travel in Dublin
Dublin is a quite expensive city. For sure, one of the most expensive things in Ireland compared to other countries in Europe is the beer.
For example, in Madrid a pint of beer in a pub usually costs around €3. In Dublin, it costs €6.
If you are planning to visit the places mentioned above, have in mind to leave a considerable budget for it. The Dublin zoo ticket for a family, which includes 2 adults and 2 kids, cost €47.
The entrance for St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle and Christchurch is around €6 each attraction. Also the ticket for the Guinness factory costs €16, and the entrance for the Books of Kells library costs €11.
Best Months to Visit Dublin
The best time to visit Ireland is relative, depending mostly n what you are looking for. In March, the city gets very busy, due to the St Patrick’s Festival. A lot of tourists from different parts of the world come to Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
The St Patrick’s Day is on the 17th of March when there is the famous St Patricks Parade. However, the whole festival lasts for around 4 days, with a lot of attractions scattered throughout the city.
Besides the St Patricks Festival, during the spring and summer, tourists usually flock to Dublin. In the spring and mainly summer, the temperature rises a little, and the average is 20° C.
If you are planning to visit Dublin during the winter, it is important to have in mind that due to the location of the island, rainy days are common when the average temperature is around 4°.
Day Trip from Dublin
There are so many places to visit in Ireland. And most of them are easy to visit on a day trip from Dublin.
Ireland is very famous for its landscapes. Just 40 minutes away from Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains is one of these beautiful places to visit. Start on the Powerscourt Garden.
The next stop is the Glendalough Valley, part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, one of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations.
The valley of the two lakes is an amazing scenery, very important for Irish History. There it is possible to visit the famous Monastic Site with round Tower and one of the oldest cemetery in Ireland.
After Glendalough, if you are driving, you can go to the highest pub in Ireland. Johnnie Fox’s Pub is traditional local pub, with excellent Irish food.
If you have more days available in Dublin, you can also go to Malahide, Howth and Dun Laoghaire for a day trip.