MUST READ – Where to Stay in Dublin: Neighborhood Guide (2020)

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Planning a trip to Ireland and wondering where to stay in Dublin? Look no further! Here are our favorite hostels and hotels in Dublin.

Where to stay in Dublin Pinterest graphic

Dublin is a lovely city with a contagious and welcoming vibe that has so much to offer – excellent pints, lots of history, and unique tales.

The city usually is the entrance door for most tourists visiting Ireland or even the starting point of an Ireland road trip full of adventures.

We have visited it many times, and we know it’s essential to choose carefully a good place to stay in Dublin.

You don’t want to end up sleeping above a noisy pub, after all.

Just like Amsterdam, Dublin suffers from a bad rep because of the many drunk tourists talking loud in the night.

No wonder it’s overwhelming to search for a convenient hotel in Dublin. If you don’t know the city well, you might end up staying in a busy street jam-packed with pubs and drunk tourists.

Best hotels in Dublin

Unless you’re planning to party in the city, this scenario sounds more like a nightmare, right?

That’s why we decided to write this complete guide on where to stay in Dublin for the first time.

While we also recommend hostels, our preferred type of accommodation is a hotel because we like the privacy and facilities on-site that only hotels offer.

But because the city is on the expensive side, top hotels in Dublin can be a bit pricey.

That’s why we recommend that you not only book your accommodation in advance but that you also choose one of the areas we’ll mention below to score good deals.

To help you, we will split the best places to stay in Dublin based on the attractions in the surrounding area so that you know if it suits your interests or not.

Mind you, we’ll only recommend top hotels in Dublin that are conveniently located, and most of them are pretty affordable too.

Without further ado, let’s talk about accommodation in Dublin.

Best places to stay in Dublin near the Trinity college
The Old Library in the Trinity College

Best places to stay in Dublin

Best places to stay in Dublin

Not enough time to read this guide in one sitting? If this is your first time in Dublin, you might want to check out our favorite hostel and hotel described below.

These are our top choices in the city.

Later in the article, we’ll talk thoroughly about the neighborhoods they are in as well as other accommodations worth staying in Dublin.

Best hostel in Dublin – Abigail’s Hostel

Perfect location for a reasonable price and friendly staff make Abigail’s Hostel the best accommodation in Dublin for those who want to 1) enjoy the nightlife and 2) save some money.

For us, this is the best hostel in Dublin City.

Dorms are clean and equipped with free WiFi. The beds are comfortable, and each one of them has its lamps and plugs, which is very convenient.

Cages are placed under the bunkers to store your belongings. You need to bring your lock, though.

The breakfast is good and pretty affordable too.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Best hotel in Dublin – Hotel Harrington Hall

Within walking distance to most attractions, Hotel Harrington is the best hotel in Dublin because of its exceptional suites.

The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and their decoration is very sophisticated.

Not only that, but they’re also equipped with a tea kettle, TV, and free WiFi. Perfect for those traveling with kids. 

The English/Irish breakfast is lovely, and the property also offers free parking.

The Hotel Harrington Hall is in one of the best Dublin neighborhoods to stay in, Portobello.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Where to stay in Dublin - Old Trinity Library
Calling all bookworms…to Dublin!

Dublin neighborhood guide

The Irish capital has many districts and loads of things to offer, but in this guide, we will talk about only the best neighborhoods to stay in Dublin.

And to make it easier for you, we divided these regions not only by the kind of attractions nearby but also by the vibe of the area.

This way, you can easily choose where to stay in Dublin based on your preferences and avoid being annoyed by others or even bored, who knows.

NeighborhoodPerfect forCheck accommodation
Temple BarNightlife, pubsCheck top hotel
Check top hostel
North CityBudget, pubsCheck top hotel
Check top hostel
Clontarf
Portobello
Affordable luxury, couples, familiesCheck top hotel
Check top hotel
PortobelloFamilies, couples, shoppingCheck top hotel
Check top hostel

Dublin is a popular destination because of its lively pubs, among other excellent attractions, of course.

While there are pubs spread throughout the city, Temple Bar is an area jam-packed with plenty of touristy pubs and clubs.

For visitors who want to enjoy the Irish nightlife, that’s a no-brainer – the best place to stay in Dublin.

But if you walk a couple of minutes out of this area, you will find North City, an ascending area of Dublin with plenty of less-touristy pubs and eating venues.

On the western front of North City, you will find Docklands, a fast becoming must-see destination in Dublin because of the urban landscape filled with many modern and historic buildings.

On the other hand, Clontarf offers the serenity any couple could wish for a romantic stay in the city. The castle hotel in Clontarf is one of the most magical affordable luxury hotels near Dublin.

Map of Dublin neighborhoods
Map of Dublin neighborhoods

Clontarf is a suburb of Dublin on the northside by the bay. It’s surrounded by green areas, parks, and a promenade overlooking the port: not the prettiest view, but an energizing walk for sure.

Although Portobello is not a neighborhood near Clontarf, it also is an excellent place to stay in Dublin for couples and families.

That’s because excellent restaurants and shops surround Portobello. This area near the city center is an excellent base to reach most attractions easily and to chill at St Stephen’s Green on a sunny day.

Have a better idea of where to stay in Dublin yet? Well, it’s a challenging task since every inch of the city is irresistible.

But we’ll talk more about the best neighborhoods to stay in Dublin below.

Best areas to stay in Dublin

To help you choose where to stay in Dublin, we will talk in detail about each neighborhood.

As said, our recommendations are divided by the atmosphere of each region and what kind of traveler they are best for.

And if a place we mention seems too far away for you, don’t worry. Dublin is a relatively small capital, and public transportation works very well.

You can quickly get from one side of the city to the other in minutes, although it might take longer during peak hours, of course.

Either way, there are loads of things to do in Dublin in all corners, so being bored is something you won’t experience here.

Temple Bar District: best neighborhood to stay in Dublin for the nightlife

Best areas to stay in Dublin - Temple Bar
Dublin busy nightlight near the legendary Temple Bar

If you are going to Ireland to party and enjoy the pubs the most you can, there is no better place to stay in Dublin than the Temple Bar District.

The streets here are jam-packed with pubs and restaurants, and you can easily walk to your hotel after enjoying different venues during the night.

Naturally, you also are near most attractions since the Temple Bar is the central area of the city.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Dublin, Ireland, for the nightlife, this neighborhood is the best you could find.

Things to do in or near the Temple Bar District:

  • Have a pint or two at the famous Temple Bar
  • Marvel at the Book of Kells, one of the world’s oldest books
  • Visit Dublin Castle and visit the museums inside
  • Learn about the history of the Viking’s in Dublin in the family-friendly Dublinia museum
  • Spot the colorful doors of Dublin near the Merrion Square
  • Rub your hand on Molly Malone’s breasts (it’s said to bring luck!)
  • Get immersed in European art from the 14th to the 20th-century at the National Gallery of Ireland
  • Buy excellent books of Irish authors at the Gutter Shop in Temple Bar

Best hostel in the Temple Bar area: Abigail’s Hostel

Perfect location for a reasonable price and friendly staff make Abigail’s Hostel the best accommodation in Dublin for those who want to 1) enjoy the nightlife and 2) save some money.

For us, this is the best hostel in Dublin City.

Dorms are clean and equipped with free WiFi. The beds are comfortable, and each one of them has its lamps and plugs, which is very convenient.

Cages are placed under the bunkers to store your belongings. You need to bring your lock, though.

The breakfast is good and pretty affordable too.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Best hotel in the Temple Bar area: Blooms Hotel

The Blooms Hotel is perfect for those who want to enjoy the nightlife of Dublin because it’s only 492ft (150m) from the Dublin Castle and Trinity College and a couple of minutes walk from the Temple Bar itself.

That’s because this hotel has its Irish pub and nightclub, for which guests receive free entry.

All rooms feature ironing facilities, safe, tea kettle, and free WiFi, while some have a bathtub too. Blooms is one of the best hotels in Dublin City.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

North City: the best area to stay in Dublin for a reasonable price

Grattan Bridge in Dublin, near North City, one of the best districts to stay in Dublin
Grattan Bridge in Dublin

The North City is the area of Dublin right above the River Liffey, and although it is still well located, hotels in this area are slightly more affordable than the ones below the river.

From here, you can easily take the airport bus or reach the train station to go on a day trip, for example.

But you can also easily reach the city center since it’s within walking distance.

North City is an excellent area to stay in Dublin with a good balance of location vs. price.

Things to do in or near the North City:

  • Listen to Leprechaun tales at the National Leprechaun Museum
  • Wander through the business area of Dublin, the Docklands
  • Photograph the iconic Ha’penny Bridge
  • Learn about the Irish emigration history in a dedicated museum
  • Marvel at the O’Connell Monument, one of the most significant ones in Ireland
  • Catch a traditional music performance at Madigan’s O’Connell Street Pub
  • Photograph the Spire; a monument commissioned to improve the streetscape of O’Connell Street
  • Taste some Irish whiskey at the Jameson Distillery Bow St

Best hostel in the North City: Isaacs Hostel

Located in a former 19th-century wine shop, this hostel is ideal for budget travelers who are looking for accommodation near the city center.

The hostel is conveniently near the Connolly Station and has a great connection to the airport with the Airlink bus 747.

Decoration-wise, the hostel is pretty simple, but its facilities make up for it. Isaacs Hostel has a sauna, ironing facilities, free breakfast, and a communal kitchen open for guests.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Best hotel in the North City: Academy Plaza Hotel

This well-priced hotel is within a 10-minute walk from the Temple Bar District, and the airport bus stops around the corner.

Besides its convenient location, the rooms are clean and neat. Moreover, rooms feature air-conditioning, free WiFi, work desk, and TVs.

While there is an on-site restaurant, the Academy Plaza Hotel is near many eating venues and the major attractions, including the Temple Bar.

This is one of the best hotels in Dublin near the bus connection to the airport.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Clontarf & Portobello: best places to stay in Dublin for couples

Clontarf castle hotel in Dublin, best hotel to stay near Dublin
Clontarf castle hotel is one of the best places to stay in Dublin

While the two hotels we will mention are in different areas of Dublin, we believe both neighborhoods are excellent for couples and families too.

Clontarf is our top choice because of a majestic castle hotel with the same name.

It’s an affordable fairytale place that any couple would love to stay in. The decoration, facilities, and venues make it a unique hotel near Dublin.

On the other hand, Portobello has a top-notch hotel with similar features, except it’s not a castle.

Both are delightful and worth checking out.

Things to do in or near Clontarf:

  • Play golf in a very well-kept golf course in Clontarf
  • Have a delightful afternoon tea at the castle
  • Stroll along the promenade with a view of Dublin Port
  • Release the athlete in you and play tennis near Clontarf promenade
  • Have the perfect pint of Guinness at Pebble Beach Pub
  • Marvel at the historic Clock Tower at St Anne’s Park
  • Go on a joyful ride to Howth, an Irish village east of Dublin

Best hotel near Dublin for couples: Clontarf Castle Hotel

Ideal for couples who want to stay in a castle hotel in Ireland, but also want to experience Dublin.

Naturally, there is enough space for families too. Still, because Clontarf has the perfect mix of modern looks built around an old shape, it looks especially charming, in our opinion – so perfect for couples!

Oh, and it’s affordable for a castle! With an excellent location, the castle is within a 10-minutes drive from Dublin City center, and 5 miles away from Dublin airport.

Moreover, this Irish castle has a rich history and an award-winning restaurant as well as an outstanding lounge and knights bar, which have different styles, but both are equally sophisticated and elegant.

Be sure to check out the acclaimed tea afternoons and gourmet BBQs of one of the most famous castle hotels in Ireland.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Best hotel in Dublin for couples: Iveagh Garden Hotel

The luxurious and eco-friendly Iveagh Garden is conveniently near St Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street, in other words, near the city center.

This is one of the best areas in Dublin to stay because it is just outside the buzzing city center, but yet close enough to reach it on foot.

The spacious rooms are not only beautifully decorated but also feature a laptop safe, TV, hairdryer, and free WiFi.

Needless to say that the staff is very friendly, which makes this hotel one of the best in Dublin.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Portobello: best area in Dublin to stay with kids

Best neighborhoods to stay in Dublin, Portobello
Your guide to where to stay in Dublin

Next to a couple of parks, Portobello is the best neighborhood to stay in Dublin for families.

The area is just outside the buzzing city center where most pubs are. Still, there are lots of venues in the area, and you can easily reach most attractions on foot with your kids.

As said, St Stephen’s Green and Iveagh Gardens are nearby, and weather permitting, you can have a delightful picnic with your family in one of these green areas.

Things to do in or near Portobello:

  • Stroll around the St. Stephen’s Green
  • Learn the history of the Irish Jewish communities in a dedicated museum
  • Sip whiskey at Teeling Distillery
  • Be humbled by St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Escape Dublin’s most mysterious room at Escape Dublin
  • Watch a concert at the National Concert Hall
  • Have a picnic at Iveagh Gardens

Best hostel in Portobello: Times Hostel Camden

This hostel in Portobello is excellent for travelers who want to stay near the city center but are looking for a budget-friendly accommodation.

Although simple, the clean dorms have free WiFi, and each bed has socket plugs nearby for convenience. Also, each bed has a cage under the bunkers to store belongings.

The hostel has an Artists Gallery, where they feature local artists every month. There is also a TV lounge for guests as well as board games.

Oh, and continental breakfast is included in the dorm price.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Best hotel in Portobello: Hotel Harrington Hall

Within walking distance to most attractions, Hotel Harrington is the best hotel in Dublin because of its exceptional suites.

The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and their decoration is very sophisticated.

Not only that, but they’re also equipped with a tea kettle, TV, and free WiFi. Perfect for those traveling with kids. 

The English/Irish breakfast is lovely, and the property also offers free parking.

The Hotel Harrington Hall is in one of the best Dublin neighborhoods to stay in, Portobello.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Where to stay in Dublin

Although choosing where to stay in Dublin can be quite overwhelming, we hope these tips will help you while planning your trip.

Unless you want to party in one of the city’s legendary pubs, which you should do at least once, you will want to run away from the areas where drunk tourists who walk around at night.

The Temple Bar area suits best for party beasts or solo travelers who prefer to stay close to “where things happen.”

But North City also offers a great location, but for budget-friendly prices – at least, more affordable than below the river.

Portobello and Clontarf are perfect for couples and families, and both places have their pros and cons.

Balance what your needs are, and you’ll undoubtedly make the best choice for you, unless you want to splurge a little and stay in a castle in Ireland, of course.

Well, if you were wondering which neighborhood to stay in Dublin, we hope you can now choose the place that suits your interests the best.

For us, the best hostel in the capital is Abigail’s Hostel because of its location, facilities, and price.

On the other hand, if you, like us, prefer to stay in a hotel, Hotel Harrington Hall in Portobello is the best in Dublin. This is always our first choice, and unless they are booked out, we will stay here.

It’s by far the best location to stay in Dublin.

Dublin travel resources

No matter where you’re going to, purchasing travel insurance is a must!

So many things can go wrong while traveling, and even last-minute problems aren’t uncommon.

Canceled flight, anyone? Or lost baggage, or illness, etc.

Healthcare bills build up pretty fast when you need medical attention, so be sure to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself.

We use and have never had a problem making a claim with WorldNomads. We’re happy to recommend them to our friends and family.

Click here to get a quote

But to avoid being pickpocketed (travel insurance doesn’t cover that!), you’ll want to have an anti-theft purse with you during the day.

Also, be sure to have a good travel backpack for Europe that will last for many vacations around the world. But if you’re #TeamRollingLuggage, check out our complete guide on backpacks with wheels.

While planning your trip to Ireland, consider going on a day trip from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher. That’s a jaw-dropping place you must visit!

Trust us on this. You won’t regret it.

Oh, and if you’re looking for souvenir ideas, we have some pretty cool Irish gift ideas here.

That’s it for today. We hope you have a fantastic time in Ireland!

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