When people make a trip to Ireland, most of them stop at Dublin at some point during their trip. It’s a convenient place to start your vacation thanks to the large number of flights from around the world that go to the Dublin Airport. I recommend staying at least one night in the city before beginning your trip, but you’ll need to know the best neighborhoods in Dublin before you can pick out your accommodation.
I’ve stayed in a different area each time, and you’ll want to decide where to stay in Dublin based on what activities you’ll be doing in the city. If you’re spending three days in Dublin, you might want to pick an area that’s central to what you’ll be doing.
Here are some tips for deciding on the best areas to stay in Dublin as well as the pros and cons of some of the more popular areas.
Tips for Deciding Where to Stay in Dublin
When it comes to finding the best neighborhood to stay in Dublin, you’ll have plenty of choices. Dublin is a compact center with history (and plenty of interesting Dublin facts!) and adventures around every corner.
You’ll find it easy to explore by foot with top attractions within walking distance from each other. Get ready to tick off some of your Ireland bucket list items in this captivating city.
The city is home to a rich history with areas displaying unique characteristics. Some things to take into consideration when deciding between the various Dublin areas include:
- Your preferred form of commuting
- Nearby amenities (restaurants, shops, and attractions)
- City center or seaside community?
With the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of Dublin neighborhoods, you’ll easily find your fit. To help you decide, I’ve highlighted some of the best places to stay in Dublin.
8 Best Neighborhoods in Dublin to Stay In
Here are 8 of the best neighborhoods to stay in Dublin, which is one of the best places to go in Ireland. The list includes nearby attractions and accommodation.
1. City Center
If you want the best of Dublin right on your doorstep, the City Center is the place to be. It’s filled with vibrant culture and activity, perfect for exploring on foot. It is a top tourist destination that is well-suited for short-term travelers and students. If you’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, you’ll want to be in this area.
You’ll find an enchanting combination of 18th-century Georgian and 19th-century Victorian styles on the winding streets. The City Center allows you to experience numerous attractions within one day in Dublin.
The narrow lanes of the compact area provide an abundance of intriguing experiences. From endless pubs and clubs to iconic landmarks, the City Center is the hub of activity in Dublin.
Pros of Staying in the City Center
- Easy access to must-visit attractions
- Lively nightlife
- Abundant tours
Cons of Staying in the City Center
- Accommodation is relatively expensive
- Can become noisy with endless crowds
City Center Highlights
- Guinness Storehouse
- The National Gallery of Ireland
- The National Museum of Ireland
- Dublin Castle
- St. Stephen’s Green Park
- Christchurch Cathedral
Where to Stay in Dublin’s City Center
- The Shelbourne Hotel: This hotel is a historical landmark located on St. Stephen’s Green. From fine dining to a relaxing spa treatment, this 5-star hotel features several premium services. It is within walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions. Rates start at $471 per night.
- The Fitzwilliam Hotel: This luxury 5-star hotel is on St. Stephen’s Green. It features a modern fitness facility, a restaurant with French influences, and the Inn on the Green bar. You can even enjoy a rejuvenating massage at the hotel’s Spirit Treatment rooms. Rates start at $259 per night.
Portobello is a trendy suburb on the southside of Dublin, near the City Center. It provides an enchanting village vibe and streets filled with abundant activity.
This vibrant neighborhood is an ideal location for young travelers, art lovers, and students.
It is a haven for hipsters with various bohemian venues. You’ll find homely bookstores, yoga studios, art galleries, and inviting pub culture.
If you love brunching, this is the spot for you, as Portobello is teeming with Instagram-worthy brunch locations. Some of the top restaurants for a delicious brunch include Bibi’s Café, ALMA, and 31 Lennox.
Pros of Staying in Portobello
- Provides an artsy atmosphere with numerous amenities
- Innovative restaurants and cafes
- The perfect place to stay in Dublin for a lively scene
Cons of Staying in Portobello
- One of the priciest neighborhoods in Dublin
- The streets of Portobello bustle with activity
- Walking along the Grand Canal
- Irish Jewish Museum
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- St. Kevins Church
- Marsh’s Library
- La Touché Bridge
- National Concert Hall
- Trinity College and Long Room library
Where to Stay in Portobello
- Maldron Hotel Kevin Street: This 4-star hotel is situated in the heart of Dublin on Kevin Street Upper, Portobello. You’ll encounter a modern interior, mouth-watering meals, and great hospitality. It overlooks St. Patrick’s Cathedral and is within walking distance to top attractions. Rates start at $136 per night.
- The Camden Street Hotel: This lovely accommodation option provides affordable places to stay on Lower Camden Street in Dublin. It offers friendly and attentive service with easy access to nearby attractions, perfect for exploring the city on foot. Rates start at $94 per night.
3. Temple Bar
For those looking to explore the city’s cultural scene, the best area to stay in Dublin is Temple Bar. It is considered the Cultural Quarter of Dublin with impressive art galleries, numerous cultural spots, and live music every night.
Temple Bar is best known for being the city center’s nightlife hub. It’s the perfect location for travelers seeking activity after dark, and you’ll stay warm at these pubs during Dublin in winter.
This tourist hub offers breathtaking river views and top-quality restaurants and cafes for a more relaxing day out. Like many Irish neighborhoods, it is within walking distance from the city’s attractions.
Head over to the Meeting House Square for top restaurants, film screenings, and concerts. I suggest visiting this cultural venue on Saturdays to experience the Temple Bar Food Market.
Pros of Staying in Temple Bar
- Area is culturally rich
- Buzzing neighborhood with a party-like atmosphere
- Center of nightlife in the city
Cons of Staying in Temple Bar
- Can become crowded with partygoers
- Not ideal for those looking for a peaceful trip
- Cost of living is relatively high
Temple Bar Highlights
- The Temple Bar
- Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum Experience
- Ha’penny Bridge
- National Wax Museum
- Temple Bar Gallery & Studios
- Meeting House Square
- Smock Alley Theatre, 1662
Where to Stay in Temple Bar
- The Westbury Hotel: This is a 5-star hotel with splendid views of Grafton Street. You’ll be treated to a luxury experience with top-tier amenities. The hotel is near top Dublin attractions and just a short walk from Stephen’s Green Shopping Center. Rates start at $472 per night.
- The Morgan Hotel: This 4-star deluxe hotel in the buzzing Temple Bar area provides exceptional service. It is perfect for romance seekers with amenities including contemporary dining, a relaxing pool, and a gym. Rates start at $164 per night.
4. Dun Laoghaire
If you’re looking for seaside Dublin suburbs, Dun Laoghaire is a delightful coastal suburb with a lively seafront. It is just 13km (8 miles) from the city center and is a well-suited location for families.
The area has a rich history and spectacular views. It is an ideal spot for relaxing beach walks with the fresh sea air and sounds of crashing waves. For the best ice cream in Dublin, drop by the city-famous Teddy’s Ice Cream.
Dun Laoghaire provides a fun-filled adventure that’s perfect for a Dublin day trip. From enjoying pleasant bike rides to diving into the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire has plenty to offer.
Pros of Staying in Dun Laoghaire
- Seaside suburb with splendid views
- Provides various outdoor activities
Cons of Staying in Dun Laoghaire
- 40-minute drive to the City Center
Dun Laoghaire Highlights
- Dun Laoghaire Harbour
- Forty Foot
- National Maritime Museum of Ireland
- Dun Laoghaire Sunday Market at People’s Park
- Pavilion Theatre
- Killiney Hill Park
- James Joyce Tower & Museum
Where to Stay in Dun Laoghaire
- Rochestown Lodge Hotel and Spa: Located just 2.3km (1.4 miles) from the beach with spectacular views and friendly service. The 3-star hotel features a fitness center, spa, and swimming pool. With a bus stop right outside the hotel, it’s perfect for exploring. Rates start at $129 per night.
- Haddington House: This is a beachfront hotel in Dun Laoghaire’s town center that overlooks Dublin Bay. Enjoy sea views and delicious dishes, including authentic Italian food and drink. Dun Laoghaire DART station is only a 5-minute walk from the property. Rates start at $248 per night.
Dalkey is one of the most sought-after Dublin neighborhoods and is between the breathtaking Killiney Hill and the southeast coastline. This affluent suburb is only 20-minutes from the city center, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Dublin.
With numerous outdoor activities and attractions, it’s best for adventure seekers, families, and travelers looking for a tranquil environment. The area is also a perfect base for any Dublin day trips you may want to take.
Dalkey’s spectacular surroundings make it the ultimate location for walking and hiking in Dublin. Experience the picturesque views of the city with a walk up Killiney Hill.
If you’re looking to explore Irish history and culture, Dalkey is the place to be. The area offers striking architecture in the historic County Dublin.
Although peaceful and quiet, Dalkey is not a dull seaside suburb. The neighborhood becomes lively at night with its array of Dublin pubs.
Pros of Staying in Dalkey
- Filled with breathtaking architecture and rich history
- Abundant outdoor activities
- Excellent walking trails
Cons of Staying in Dalkey
- Off-center with high prices
- Dalkey Castle and Heritage Site
- Killiney Hill
- Dalkey Island
- Bulloch Castle
- Coliemore Harbour
Where to Stay in Dalkey
- Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel: Located on the edge of the exquisite Killiney Hill Park, the 4-star hotel overlooks Dublin Bay. It is within walking distance to Dalkey Castle with a DART station 10-minutes away. From its Scandinavian wood sauna to the whirlpool spa, you’ll experience the best services. Rates start at $182 per night.
- Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel: The opulent 5-star hotel in the historic St. Helen’s estate is only 7.2 from Dalkey. With acres of awe-inspiring private garden views, it’s one of the best hotels to stay in Dublin. The hotel provides stylish rooms, a fitness suite, and The Orangerie Bar and Ballroom Lounge. You’ll also find a DART station less than a kilometer from the premises. Rates start at $168 per night.
Contemporary meets classic in this area of redevelopment in Dublin. Although Docklands is central, it is a peaceful location spreading over The River Liffey and providing an ideal spot for families.
If you enjoy waterfronts, this is the best area to stay in Dublin, Ireland. It provides its visitors with splendid views of Dublin Bay, canals, and boundless boats.
With both ancient and modern elements, you’ll find an abundance of history and heritage in Docklands. The area’s former focus was on business travelers. However, many tourists are discovering that this is the place to be to enjoy a serene trip.
Pros of Staying in Docklands
- Peaceful environment in a central location
- Family-friendly neighborhood
Cons of Staying in Docklands
- Relatively high prices
- Can become busy with sightseers
- The River Liffey
- EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
- Irish Family History Center
- Grand Canal Dock
- The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship
- The Famine Memorial
Where to Stay in Docklands
- Zeni Ensuite, in the Vibrant Docklands: Zeni Ensuite provides you with affordable accommodation in the city. The apartments are 2.1km (1.3 miles) from the city center and near numerous attractions. It’s only a 2.8km (1.7 miles) journey to Poolbeg Beach and 1.1km (0.7 miles) from the Jeanie Johnston and Famine Museum. Rates start at $57 for two nights.
Ranelagh is an upmarket, urban village on the south side of Dublin. It is within walking distance to the city center, surrounded by thriving parks and residential areas.
Ranelagh is a family-friendly location offering a combination of residential and central living in Dublin, Ireland. The suburb boasts spectacular Victorian and Edwardian architecture with streets lined with redbrick 19th-century houses.
It is a haven for foodies with some of the best gourmet meals in the city. The restaurants, cafes, and bars are plentiful in Ranelagh. Visit the Ranelagh Village Market for mouth-watering, organic foods and exquisite crafts.
Pros of Staying in Ranelagh
- Residential area in a central location
- Great spot to dine and drink
Cons of Staying in Ranelagh
- Not ideal if you’re looking for lively nightlife
- Dartmouth Square
- Statue of Molly Malone
- Ranelagh Village Market
- Ranelagh Gardens Park
- Dublin Castle
- Romanian Orthodox Church
Where to Stay in Ranelagh
- Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge: A 4-star hotel providing a 19th-century feel with a modern interior. This contemporary hotel is in D4 Dublin, just 1.3km (0.8 miles) from Ranelagh. Experience elegant rooms, breathtaking landscaped gardens, and the restored Thomas Prior Hall. Rates start at $162 per night.
- Grafton Street Studios by City Break Apartments: this apartment building provides excellent city views with captivating attractions right on your doorstep. It is less than a kilometer away from the city’s top attractions, including the Statue of Molly Malone, Dublin Castle, and Temple Bar. Rates start at $171 per night.
- The Devlin Dublin: This 4-star hotel in Ranelagh offers exceptional city views. The hotel features a restaurant with delicious local dishes, a rooftop bar, and a cinema. It is just 2.3 km (1.4 miles) away from both the Grand Canal and the National Museum of Ireland. Rates start at $195 per night.
Drumcondra is a traditional, sports-loving suburb located 3.4km (2.1 miles) from the city center.
It’s the best place to stay in Dublin, Ireland for young travelers and families who want to stay centrally without the crowds and congestion. The area features accommodation fit for every budget with some of the most affordable lodging in Dublin.
The neighborhood is also a popular spot for sports fans. Here you’ll find Ireland’s largest stadium, Croke Park, which you’ll want to know when looking for where to stay in Dublin as a hurling or football fan.
Drumcondra attracts many travelers with its quiet, peaceful environment. You’ll find an array of drinking dens, restaurants, and cafes.
Pros of Staying in Drumcondra
- Provides a quiet environment
- Affordable accommodation
Cons of Staying in Drumcondra
- Not much activity after dark as in other central areas
- The National Botanic Gardens
- Watch Gaelic Games at Croke Park
- Croke Park Tour and Museum visit
- The Grand Canal
- Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
Where to Stay in Drumcondra
- Dublin Skylon Hotel: Nestled in the heart of Drumcondra, you’ll find this family-run 4-star hotel. With stylish rooms and extensive restaurant menus, you’ll experience exceptional service. The hotel is 5-minutes from the city center. Rates start at $132 per night.
- Ashling House: This cozy guesthouse is on Upper Drumcondra Road in Dublin. It is 3.2 km (2 miles) from the city center and 2.9 km (1.8 miles) from The Irish Emigration Museum. With a bus stop outside the building, you’ll find it easy to commute to various locations. Rates start at $93 per night.
Hopefully, this guide helped you narrow down where you’ll stay based on the best neighborhoods in Dublin!