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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.
City Break Dublin!
- The Clarence is owned by Bono and The Edge. So it's pretty hip, but not so that it might irritate - all the rooms and light, airy and non-gimicky. It's also right on the banks of the Liffey, perfectly positioned for seeing the sights and enjoying yourself of an evening.
- Five townhouses have been converted to crete Buswells Hotel, a great value hotel in the centre of Dublin. You're close to both daytime and nighttime highlights and the decor is cosy but comfy.
- If you're looking for big and luxurious, The Westbury Hotel is a good choice, it's a classical style hotel with fresh designs, in one of the most desirable locations in town.
- The Intercontinental Dublin runs along similarly elegant and luxurious lines, but in a green and leafy spot surrounded by lovely gardens.
The Best Places to Stay in Dublin on a Budget
- Ariel House is a converted Victorian townhouse on Lansdowne Road - which is super central for all Dublin's main sights and great for the rugby. And rooms start from just £66 per night.
- Aberdeen Lodge is a lovely Victorian mansion turned B&B on a desirable residential street in Ballsbridge. New arrivals are checked in over a cup of tea in the civilised sitting room, the breakfasts are award winning and amongst the 20 rooms are a couple of family sized suites.
- The Schoolhouse Hotel has been converted from a Victorian school right next to the grand canal and the new rugby stadium. You're also just ten minutes walk from Dublin's main sights.
The Best Places to Stay in Dublin for Something Different
- Dylan is arguably Dublin's funkiest hotel - and possibly most colourful. Red and lime greens seem to be the favourites, and there are bold patterns and big furniture. Bedrooms are calmer than the public rooms, and the welcome is very warm for such a hip property.
- The Merrion Hotel has been converted, to elegant effect, from four Georgian townhouses, creating the effect of a gracious grande dame hotel in just ten years of service. The garden is lovely, there's a small spa and the restaurant has a Michelin star.
- The Marker Hotel is right in Dublin's Docklands, a big, shiny, stylish, contemporary building, which looks like a checker board box. The location is particularly good for the Dublin Convention Centre, but you're also only 20minutes walk from the centre of town, so this is more than a business hotel.
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Best Hotels in Dublin
Ariel House 37 rooms from $82Dublin (Ballsbridge)
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.Sights nearby - Ballsbridge enjoys easy access to all of Dublin's major attractionsRecommended by - Fodors
Schoolhouse Hotel 31 rooms from $103Dublin (Ballsbridge)
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.Sights nearby - 10 mins walk from Dublin's main sights and events venues
Buswells Hotel 67 rooms from $105Dublin (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.Sights nearby - Central location. All the major sights are within easy reachClose to nightlife - Close to Dublin's legendary nightlife
The Dean 51 rooms from $130Dublin 2
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.Historic - Harcourt Street is an example of some of Dublin's finest terraced Georgian architecture.Museums - Ten minutes walk from Trinity College Dublin and The Book of Kells.Sights nearby - Fifteen minutes walk from the world famous Guinness Storehouse.Close to nightlife - Prime location for accessing Dublin's finest clubs and bars.
Brooks Hotel 98 rooms from $157Dublin
On Dublin's trendy Drury Street, Brooks Hotel is an excellent, family-run hotel. It's style is modern with smart, comfortable rooms and an inviting, low-key bar. Central Dublin is on the doorstep, so return after a day's exploring for a delicious meal at in-house Francesca's. A stylish city hotel.Sights nearby - Five minutes walk from Dublin Castle and the Chester Beatty Library.Recommended by - Frommers, Small Luxury Hotels
The Clarence 50 rooms from $135Dublin
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.City StyleSights nearby - The hotel is situated in the heart of Dublin's cultural quarter with all major attractions near byPrivate Hot Tub - If you book the penthouse suite it comes with private terrace and outdoor hot tubSpa - Relaxation area offering aromatherapy treatments and massagesRecommended by - Tablet, Frommers, CN Traveller
Aberdeen Lodge 20 rooms from $172Dublin
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.Local exploring - Explore the coast line of Dublin's south side, with a quaint village-like charm and wonderful seafood.Local markets - Explore the affluent coastal suburb of Sandymount, with charming fish shops, delis and restuarants.Great walks - A five minute walk brings you to Sandymount Beach, a popular walking spot for locals.Sights nearby - The James Joyce Tower and Museum is a Martello tower only six minutes away.
The Marker Hotel 187 rooms from $176Dublin (Docklands)
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.Contemporary - Checker board front facade reflects the money that has been spent on the visual impact of the hotelBusiness Hotel - Ideal for business travellers attending at the nearby Dublin convention CentreSights nearby - Well placed for getting to all of Dublin's sights. 20 minute walk to the centre of the citySwimming Pool - 23m indoor infinity pool
The Cliff Townhouse 9 rooms from $198Dublin
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.City Style - Colourful modern guestrooms, superb dining, knowledgable staff and stones throw from the sightsSights nearby - Trinity College, is just a five- to 10-minute walkGreat walks - Across St Stephen’s Green
Intercontinental Dublin 139 rooms from $224Dublin
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.City StyleSwimming Pool - Indoor PoolSpaSailing - Can be booked nearby.
Dylan 44 rooms from $371Dublin
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.Sights nearby - Head to James's Gate and take a tour of the Guinness Brewery, fascinating and includes a pint in the panoramic Skybar.Great walks - Wander through leafy Georgian Dublin to St. Stephens Green, a charming central park complete with swan filled pond.OpulentFull of characterRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Fodors, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel
The Merrion Hotel 142 rooms from $412Dublin
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.City Style - This Georgian masterpiece is the epitome of subtle style and effortless elegance.Sights nearby - Nearby Number One Merrion Square is the former home of one of Dublin's most famous sons, the writer and dramatist Oscar Wilde.Great walks - After a hearty meal take a stroll around the charming garden, or head down the road to the picturesque Merrion Square Park.Views - Faces the stunning Irish Government Buildings.Recommended by - Tablet, Fodors, Frommers, Kiwi Collection