Friendly, arty, welcoming, beautiful, atmospheric. The epithets applied to Dublin are familiar. (And while we're on the subject of Dublinish words, lets get the word craic out of the way. It can be good there, as you know). Dublin has a reputation for welcoming folk in, so there's no shortage of choice when it comes to the best places to stay in Dublin, and there's plenty of great options across the price brackets, from chic hotels to city centre apartments - which you'll find via our online partner, booking.com.
Despite being a capital city, Dublin feels compact and more village-y than most European capitals. It's got some beautiful architecture - from its medieval castle and cathedrals to the Georgian splendour of some of its houses - but it's also got some corkers, and it's the miss-matched effect which really gives Dublin its great character.
Dublin also has a wonderful mix of strong local traditions and cosmopolitan forward thinking. There are a thousand pubs to choose from, but there are also restaurants serving food from all over the world. If you're looking for pub suggestions try Kehoes in South Anne Street, which is authentic and quirky, and has a country pub type atmosphere, or the The Long Hall on South St George's Street.
Known for being a great place to have a good time, Dublin's live music scene plays a big part. It's easy to find out what's on, but if you're not sure what kind of thing you'll enjoy maybe try The Cobblestone at Smithfield, or O'Donohhoe's on Merrion Row. If you're after traditional Irish music try the Brian Brou on Prospect Road or The Bleeding Horse on Upper Camden Street.
As well as the pubs, the people and the music, Dublin's appeals include its museums and galleries. The Irish Museum of Modern Art houses a good collection of modern and contemporary art and has frequent visiting exhibitions. The Hugh Lane Gallery has a collection of contemporary art and includes a reconstruction of the studio of Francis Bacon, relocated lock, stock and barrel from London. Or try a lesser-known permanent exhibition in the Chester Beatty Library at Dublin Castle: Sacred Exhibitions, a display of sacred texts and icons from many world religions.
The Book of Kells in the Old Library of Trinity College is a highlight for many. Ancient, and staggeringly intricate, this book of gospels was created by monks around 800AD.
Another great attraction for lovers of history is Kilmainham Jail, one of the biggest unoccupied jails in Europe. Inside is an interesting and affecting exhibition charting Ireland's journey towards independence.
For a completely authentic sporting experience, the best places to stay in Dublin will point you in the direction of a hurling match at Croke Park which is excellent. Like a cross between the most hotly contested rugby match you can imagine and polo (without horses), it is fast and furious.
Converted Victorian townhouse on the Lansdowne Road just steps from the Aviva stadium. Rooms are traditional in style - book a suite for a four poster experience. Incredible value for this excellent Dublin location, close to all major sights and nightlife. Perfect for a budget break or rugby fans.
Converted Victorian school located next to the grand canal in Ballsbridge. Especially handy for the centre of town and the new Aviva stadium for rugby enthusiasts. Thirty one traditionally decorated rooms feature king sized beds, free wifi and free movies as standard. Excellent value.
Dublin (St Stephens Green,)
Five townhouses have been converted to create this great value hotel in the centre of Dublin. Ideally situated to enjoy culture, shopping and nightlife. The feel is cosy and rooms are kitted out in traditional fashion whilst offering the usual modern amenities. Ideal for a short city break.
Stylish, vibrant hotel in Dublin's city centre. Offering a selection of chic rooms and three bars, the Dean aims to reinvigorate it's Georgian setting with a modern twist. A stone's throw from a host of clubs and bars, it's the perfect launching pad for a lively weekend in Dublin.
Famously owned by Bono and The Edge of U2, The Clarence has been transformed into one of Dublin's hippest hotels. Situated on the banks of the Liffey it is perfectly placed for making the most of Dublin's many sights and legendary nightlife. A stylish, good value spot for a city break.
Part guesthouse, part boutique hotel with superb breakfasts and a laid back vibe. Large, gloriously decorated rooms that supersede guesthouse status. A lovely garden and superb sitting room that connects the mews side of the house with the Georgian side. A truly luxury B&B.
Gracious living in a grand mansion in a more secluded setting on a residential street in Ballsbridge. Elegant bedrooms with brass or four poster beds, floor to ceiling windows, and big armchairs. Lovely gardens can be enjoyed from the terrace over an award-winning breakfast.
Striking contemporary hotel in the heart of Dublin's docklands. Super stylish, design conscious interiors, rooftop bar for taking in the cityscape and great food in the brasserie. Ideal for business travellers, but also perfect for a hip city break.
Centrally located town house hotel. Pastel shaded rooms feature park views, modern bathrooms and antique style furniture. Chic dining in the restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood, or enjoy champagne in the oyster bar. Popular and good value.
Assured luxury standards and a good range of rooms and rates. Stunning grounds, popular bar, elegant bedrooms in neutral tones, and an excellent spa. A city escape in true luxury.
Dublin’s funkiest hotel. Bold colours of scarlet red and lime green are exaggerated by contemporary Baroque flourishes - extravagant patterns and oversized furniture. Sleek, more neutral bedrooms with all the high-techery and sophisticated meeting rooms - a lavish spot for business or pleasure.
Effortlessly gracious grande dame that just happens to be only ten years old. Timelessly classic decoration that oozes understated elegance and grace - marble floors, colonnades, fireplaces, artworks, bedrooms in neutral tones. Beautiful garden, Michelin restaurant, and small spa.