Are you planning a trip to the beautiful Irish capital city, Dublin? If you are, then you’re probably wondering where to stay in Dublin, so you’re close to all of the best things to do!
Dublin was my very first solo trip destination, and I’ve been back to Dublin itself three times and Ireland in general about six times. I love everything about Ireland, and my most recent trip to Dublin had me falling even deeper into love.
Dublin has a rich history and culture, gorgeous architecture, fantastic pubs, and seriously welcoming people. In addition, Dublin is a compact city, so no matter where you decide to stay, you’ll be near great restaurants, pubs, and museums. However, each area in Dublin has its vibe and energy. One will likely resonate with what you want from your trip more than another.
In this guide for where to stay in Dublin, I’ll break out the best accommodation options in Dublin’s best neighborhoods and include options for every budget. Because while Dublin is an expensive city, it can be done in a budget-friendly way (trust me!).
After reading this post, you’ll have decided on the perfect place to stay as you plan your Dublin itinerary.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a tiny bit of income if you decide to make a purchase or booking.
Ireland travel resources
- Book your flight to Ireland with Skyscanner
- Get reliable travel insurance with World Nomads
- Find awesome accommodation with booking.com or Hostelworld
- Check out this awesome Galway Food Tour
- Must haves for your trip to Ireland: my favorite waterproof booties, this power bank to stay connected, and a reusable water bottle
Understanding Dublin’s Layout
If it’s your first time visiting Dublin, understanding Dublin’s layout will help you decide where to stay.
Dublin is divided into two halves by the River Liffey. When people refer to North or South Dublin, that area is either North or South of the River Liffey.
Central Dublin is generally considered O’Connell Street near the General Post Office. O’Connell Street is located North of the River Liffey.
Alternatively, you could stay near the Temple Bar area as it’s almost directly opposite O’Connell St., south of the River Liffey.
I wouldn’t worry much about what is the city center, but that will give you a good idea of how far you are from the city’s main attractions.
I also recommend saving what you want to do and see in Dublin on your own Google Maps to gauge where most of the activities are located and then picking a place to stay near them.
Neighborhoods North of the River Liffey
- O’Connell St.
Neighborhoods South of the River Liffey
- Temple Bar & Trinity
- St. Stephen’s Green & Grafton St.
- Merrion Square
If this isn’t your first trip to Dublin and you find yourself staying in the same neighborhood each time you visit, I highly encourage you to stay in a new area to see a different side of Dublin.
Top 5 Best Places to Stay in Dublin
Don’t feel like reading the entire post and just want some quick recommendations? I get it.
Here are my top 5 picks for where to stay in Dublin:
- Best Budget-Friendly Hostel: Jacob’s Inn Hostel
- Best Budget-Friendly Hotel: Sonder the Earl
- Best Boutique Hotel: Wren Urban Nest
- Best Luxury Hotel: The Westbury Hotel
- Best Overall Hotel: The Dean Dublin
Where to Stay in Dublin: O’Connell St
Located in the heart of Dublin, O’Connell Street is often recommended as a great area to stay for first-time visitors to Dublin. There are many public transportation options. Most airport buses drop off and pick up here, as well as buses to places like Belfast and Galway.
O’Connell St. is great for shopping and has plenty of pubs, restaurants, and live music. You’ll find the Spire, one of the tallest sculptures in the world that has a fun nickname that I’m sure you’ll hear while in Dublin.
To be honest, I’ve only gone to O’Connell Street to access buses. I prefer some of the other neighborhoods mentioned here.
Additionally, while I consider Dublin a very safe place to visit, especially for solo female travelers, and have definitely walked home alone at night, I would avoid the area around O’Connell St. at night. So, as a solo female traveler who loves to indulge in the vibrant Dublin nightlife, I choose to stay elsewhere in the city.
O’Connell St. Places to Stay
Budget Friendly: Abbey Court Hostel
Abbey Court Hostel is one of the most centrally located hostels in Dublin. Located on the River Liffey in between the Ha’Penny Bridge and O’Connell Bridge, Abbey Court offers en-suite dorms from four to twenty-four beds. There are plenty of common areas to meet other people including a full kitchen, games room, and hammock room.
Mid Range: Riu Plaza Gresham Hotel
Located right on O’Connell Street in a historic Georgian building the Gresham offers modern rooms, an onsite restaurant and bar, and even parking! Parking is rare for hotels in Dublin, so if you’ve got a rental car, this would be a great option for a place to stay.
Luxury: The Morrison Dublin
The Morrison Hotel is everything you’d expect from the Hilton Curio Collection (plus, you can use or build up your Hilton points). Located right on the River Liffey, with a new onsite bar and restaurant, and trendy rooms, some of which have views of the River. The Jervis Luas stop is right around the corner from the hotel meaning your minutes either walking or via public transit from all of the popular attractins in Dublin.
Where to Stay in Dublin: Smithfield
Still on the North Side of Dublin, just west of O’Connell Street, is the former warehouse district turned trendy neighborhood of Smithfield. Smithfield was named one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods in 2023 by Time Out Magazine, and I’d have to agree!
Here, you’ll find the Old Jameson Distillery, great street art, and some of my favorite Dublin pubs. It’s also just across the river from the oldest pub in Dublin, the Brazen Head.
There is a Luas tram stop right in the heart of the Smithfield neighborhood. Staying here will put you in a well-located spot to explore the rest of Dublin and beyond.
This is one of my favorite neighborhoods to stay in Dublin.
Smithfield Places to Stay
Budget Friendly: Generator Hostel
The Generator Hostel is located right next to the Jameson Distillery in the heart of Smithfield. With vibrant street art on the walls, a cafe, bar, and restaurant onsite, as well as clean rooms ranging from private to 10-bed dorms. The Generator is a good place to stay if you want to meet new people!
Mid Range: The Hendrick Smithfield
The Hendrick Hotel is in a brick building with a continental breakfast included in your stay! The rooms ensuite modern rooms have everything you need, although they may be a bit small. You’ll have easy access to pubs and other attractions either on foot or with the LUAS which has a stop nearby.
Luxury: Maldron Hotel Smithfield
The Maldron is a hotel chain found in Ireland and the UK. You’ll see multiple locations throughout the city, and the Smithfield location is an excellent choice for your stay. The rooms are clean, spacious, and modern with an onsite restaurant. It’s located almost directly across the street from the Cobblestone pub, so you’re not far from your bed after a good night out!
Where to Stay in Dublin: Phibsborough
Looking for a quieter area to stay with a more local vibe? Check out Phibsborough. Located 2km north of the city center, this area of Dublin is a convenient base. The Luas Green line serves Phibsborough and will get you to the city center in 10 minutes.
The buildings are the quintessential red Victorian style and are home to local pubs and quirky cafes. There is easy access to great parks, like Phoneix Park, where you’ll not only find miles of walking trails but is also home to the Dublin Zoo if that’s of interest. There’s also the National Botanic Gardens, Blessington Street Park, and the historic Glasnevin Cemetery.
If you’re in town for a Gaelic football match or a concert, Croke Park is nearby. If an event isn’t on, there are tours of the stadium available to learn more about Irish sports.
You could spend a few days just exploring this Dublin neighborhood and have a great time!
Phibsbrough Places to Stay
Budget Friendly: Gardiner House Hostel
The Gardiner House Hostel offers dorm room accommodations from four to eighteen beds. Some of the dorms are in a restored chapel area of the hostel with stunning stained glass windows. The hostel is about a 15-minute walk from the main attractions in Dublin.
Mid Range: Belvedere Hotel Dublin
The Belvedere Hotel is in a beautiful Georgian building and it offers clean and comfortable rooms with an Irish breakfast buffet each morning. It’s a 5-minute walk to the bus stop for the airport and a 10-minute walk to Connolly train station
Luxury: Sonder Mt. Joy Square
Sonder Mt. Joy Square offers clean, modern, and vibrant apartment-style accommodations with fully equipped kitchens in each room. If you are staying in Dublin for more than a few days or simply want a residential and homey feel to come back to each night this is the perfect place to stay.
Where to Stay in Dublin: Temple Bar & Trinity College
If you’re looking for a lively place to stay in Dublin, consider Temple Bar. Located just across the Ha’Penny Bridge from O’Connell St, Temple Bar is the nightlife center of Dublin.
While this area is very touristy, you will be close to diverse restaurant options, cute and quirky shops, and, of course, pubs. While the pubs may not be the best in Dublin, they are a good time, and most will have live music every night.
Temple Bar is a very convenient location as it places you steps away from Trinity College, where you can visit the historic Book of Kells and the Long Room Library. Additionally, the historic Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral are just a quick walk away.
Temple Bar & Trinity College Places to Stay
Budget Friendly: Abigail’s Hostel
I stayed in Abigail’s Hostel for two nights before my flight home on my very first trip to Ireland. The rooms were all ensuite, clean, and comfortable. I liked that it was near Temple Bar, but was still quiet and I was able to get a good night’s sleep before a long travel day. There is a fully equipped kitchen and dining room where it’s easy to meet other travelers.
Mid Range: Wren Urban Nest
Located just up the road from the Molly Malone Statue and O’Neill’s pub is the Scandinavian inspired Wren Urban Nest. While the rooms are small, they look beautiful and the lobby is warm and inviting. I plan on staying here on an upcoming trip. It looks like a great place to rest and relax while still being right in the heart of everything to do in Dublin.
Luxury: The College Green
The College Green Hotel is a Westin property by Marriott located directly across the street from Trinity College and just steps to Grafton Street. You just know that those luxurious rooms are going to have the most comfortable beds to help you beat the jet lag. While its location can’t be beat, there is a Luas tram stop nearby if you want to explore a different area of Dublin.
Where to Stay in Dublin: St. Stephen’s Green & Grafton Street
Continuing south from the Temple Bar area, you’ll find the pedestrian-friendly Grafton Street with many upscale shops. There are plenty of winding streets off Grafton Street that are filled with great shops, cafes, restaurants, and hotels.
Grafton Street connects to the peaceful and picturesque St. Stephen’s Green. St. Stephen’s Green is an excellent place for an afternoon stroll when you need a bit of a break from the bustle of the city. It’s also a gorgeous park to visit in the Fall.
Just across from St. Stephens Green is the quirky Little Museum of Dublin, and the Gaiety Theater is nearby.
This area is a great place to base yourself as it’s still very much near the city center but has public transit options on the Luas to quickly take you to other neighborhoods.
St. Stephens Green & Grafton St. Places to Stay
Mid Range: Arthaus Hotel
On a quiet corner off of Grafton St and one block away from St. Stephen’s Green is the hip Arthaus Hotel. The rooms are colorful and quirky, but not in an overstimulating type of way. The rooms look cozy and inviting, promising a quiet place to rest amidst the bustle of the city.
Luxury: The Westbury Hotel
If you want a truly luxurious experience with impeccable service, check out the Westbury Hotel located just a couple blocks off of Grafton Street. There is an onsite bar and restaurant, which I recommend getting a reservation at! Also, just look at the bathrooms! Some have stand-alone claw foot tubs. It’s absolutely stunning!
Where to Stay in Dublin: Merrion Square
If you love Georgian architecture and want to feel like you’re staying in a piece of Dublin’s history, consider the Merrion Square Park area.
The heart of Merrion Square is, of course, the park that gives the area its name. There is lots of green space to enjoy a picnic on a rare sunny day, a great playground (according to my 6-year-old nephew), and a statue of Oscar Wilde, who once lived there.
Surrounding the park are stunning Georgian townhouses, some of which are homes, others are office spaces. Many have plaques on them detailing the historical figures who once called them home, like W.B. Yeats.
If you want to learn more about Ireland’s history and culture, there are multiple museums like the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland.
I recommend staying here if you want a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere to retreat to after a day of exploring that is still within walking distance to the heart of the city.
Merrion Square Places to Stay
Budget Friendly: Sonder, The Earl
This Sonder property, located across from Merrion Square in a stunning Georgian building, is also high on my list of places I want to stay in Dublin. The rooms are simply designed and cozy. Staying here looks like you’d get to experience what it’s like to live in Dublin, instead of visit.
Mid Range: The Mont
Do you ever look at pictures of a hotel and go “oooOOooo”. No? Well, that’s what I did when I looked at photos of The Mont. While Sonder has a bright, almost feminine energy, The Month has a darker, more masculine energy. There is an Irish pub on the property as well! Dublin Pearse train station is also just a couple blocks away for an easy day trip from Dublin.
Luxury: The Merrion Hotel
The Merrion Hotel offers a classic luxury experience with well-designed rooms and a 2 Star Michelin restaurant on the property. Each room has either city or garden views and each comes with a cozy robe (I love hotel robes!). Plus, there is a spa if you want to double down on your luxurious experience and book a service.
Where to Stay in Dublin: Portobello
Portobello is the neighborhood that has my eye for where I’ll stay the next time I visit Dublin. Each time I save a place to eat or shop in Dublin that I see on social media, it happens to be in the Portobello neighborhood.
The Portobello is a residential neighborhood that gives off Village vibes as it borders the Grand Canal (a beautiful place for a walk) and has quaint cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops.
Staying here also puts you a few minutes walk away from Teeling Distillery if you’d like to do a whiskey tasting. Also, while St. Stephen’s Green is nearby, Portobello boasts Iveagh Gardens, known as Dublin’s secret garden!
This area of Dublin is also where Eastern Europeans and Jewish people made their home. As such, you can visit the Irish Jewish Museum, which contains memorabilia and the history of the Irish Jewish communities.
Portobello Places to Stay
Budget Friendly: Harcourt Hotel
The 100 rooms of the Harcourt Hotel are in eight Georgian buildings, one of which was the home of George Bernard Shaw. There are also multiple two bars, a heated beer garden, and a restaurant on the property. The Luas Green line stops down the street, or it’s about a 20-minute walk to Temple Bar.
Mid Range: Number 59
The adorably decorated Number 59 boutique hotel located in the heart of the Portobello neighborhood. You’re just steps away from the neighborhoods cute cafes and delicious restaurants. If you want to go towards Temple Bar, it’s a pretty walk through St. Stephen’s Green, down Grafton Street. Alternatively, the Luas Green Line is just down the street.
Luxury: The Dean Dublin
Home to the popular rooftop bar, Sophie’s, and a pool, The Dean is an excellent place to stay to explore Portobello and Dublin. The rooms are modern, and one reviewer said it was the most comfortable bed he’d ever slept in. Beat the jet lag at the Dean!
Top Area Attractions: Grand Canal, Irish Jewish Museum
Where to Stay in Dublin: Docklands
While most of my travel guides are geared towards travelers, Dublin has quite a bit of tech industry, with companies like Google calling Dublin home. So, you may very well be traveling to Dublin for business, making the Docklands area the perfect base for you!
This area has modern architecture with gorgeous waterfront views as it actually is on both the north and south sides of the River Liffey.
When you’re not in your business meetings, you can check out EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, to learn more about the impact of Irish emigration on Ireland and the rest of the world.
On the south side of the river, the Docklands district borders Trinity College and Temple Bar, so you’re also very near to fun nightlife!
Docklands Places to Stay
Budget Friendly: Jacob’s Inn Hostel
I stayed at Jacob’s Inn on my most recent visit to Dublin and loved the pod-style beds in the dorm rooms. It really minimized hearing my hostel neighborhoods or feeling them move as they slept. It’s a large hostel, with everything from private rooms to 12 pod dorms. Each room is ensuite, there is a bar on site, and fun events every night. It’s down the street from Connolly Train station and the Luas red lin stops around the corner. The airport bus picks up in front of the Customs House which is a max 5 minute walk away.
Mid Range: The Spencer Hotel
The Spencer Hotel is perfect for business travelers or if you’re in town for a show or game at Aviva Stadium (10 minute walk). The rooms are well designed, there is a pool, fitness center, and a car park! There’s also a restaurant on the property if you’re note feeling the 20 minute walk to the city center.
Luxury: Anantara The Marker Hotel
This gorgeous hotel is located on Grand Canal Square with amazing amenities including an infinity pool, spa, and sauna. There is a rooftop lounge with great views of the city and a restaurant on the bottom floor serving traditional Irish food. This is a great base for your business trip, relaxing, and exploring Dublin!
Top Area Attractions: EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, Samuel Becket Bridge
Dublin Travel Tips
Now that you have a great understanding of where to stay in Dublin let’s go over some other important Dublin travel tips to make your stay even better.
How to Get from the Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center
The bus is the cheapest way to get to Dublin city center from the Airport. Once you clear customs and gather your luggage, follow signs for buses, specifically the Dublin Express. You can purchase your ticket online or from the person working at the kiosk.
Simply tell them your destination, and they’ll tell you the closest bus stop. They may not know your exact accommodation, so have a general idea of where you need to get in the city, and they’ll get you there.
A single ticket costs €9, and a return costs €11.
If you prefer to take a taxi to the city center, follow the signs for taxi ranks, which can be found outside of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The taxi will cost between €25 and €30 and take approximately 35-45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
How to Get Around Dublin
As mentioned throughout this article, Dublin is a very walkable city. The city is flat, and everything you want to do there is close from any of the neighborhoods shared here.
However, if you’re limited on time or it’s particularly rainy, there are some great public transportation options. There are multiple transportation options in and around Dublin.
I love the Luas! It gets you everywhere you need to go in Dublin when you’re tired of walking! Two tram lines, the Red and Green Line, stop at St. Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, and others. The Luas also connects to Heuston, Busaras, and Connolly transit stations for trains and buses to other cities in Ireland.
The third option for getting around Dublin County is the DART system. DART connects Dublin to smaller towns outside the city center, like Howth and Bray. Both of which make excellent day trips from Dublin. There are multiple DART stops throughout the city, so no matter where you stay, you’ll be close to one!
Renting a Car in Dublin
If you’re planning an Ireland road trip, pick up your car after your time in Dublin. Driving in the city is challenging, and you only need a car once it’s time to leave. Return to the airport to pick up your rental car and continue your Ireland adventure.
Weather in Dublin
Dublin, Ireland experiences a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and cool summers. The city receives a consistent amount of rainfall throughout the year, with the wettest months typically from September to January. Winters in Dublin are relatively mild, with average temperatures ranging from 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). Summers are cool, with average temperatures between 15°C and 20°C (59°F to 68°F). It’s advisable to bring an umbrella and a light jacket when visiting Dublin, as the weather can be quite changeable, and drizzle is common.
What to Wear in Dublin
When packing for Dublin, it’s best to opt for layers and be prepared for changing conditions. In general, it’s advisable to wear:
- Rainproof Gear: Given Dublin’s frequent rainfall, a good-quality waterproof jacket or coat with a hood is essential. You might also want to carry a compact umbrella.
- Layered Clothing: Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to varying temperatures. Start with a base layer, add a sweater or fleece, and top it off with a waterproof outer layer.
- Comfortable Shoes: Comfortable and waterproof footwear is a must. Sturdy walking shoes or waterproof boots are ideal for navigating the city’s sometimes wet and uneven streets.
- Jeans: Jeans are suitable for everyday wear, and they’ll keep you warm and dry in cooler weather.
- Casual Tops: Dublin is generally casual in terms of fashion, so opt for t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, or blouses, depending on the season.
- Warm Accessories: Don’t forget a scarf, gloves, and a hat, especially during the colder months.
- Sunglasses: Even though Dublin’s weather can be gray, it’s a good idea to have sunglasses on hand for those occasional sunny spells.
- Swimwear: If you plan to take a dip in the Irish Sea or visit a spa, bring swimwear.
Ultimately, the key is to be prepared for rain and cooler temperatures, but also be ready to shed layers if the sun makes an appearance. Dublin’s weather can be unpredictable, so flexibility in your wardrobe is a plus.
Now that you’ve decided on where to stay you can start planning the rest of your trip to Ireland! Make sure to check out all of my Ireland travel tips so you can plan your ultimate Irish adventure! Have fun!