Maddie’s Guide to Dublin

Heading to Dublin and looking for some recommendations? Here’s a list of my favorite places in the city! I lived in Dublin while doing my masters at Trinity back in 2016 and have been back a bunch of times since, most recently in May of 2022, so this list should be pretty up to date. There have been some closures and hour changes due to covid, though, so I’ve included links to each place and recommend double checking beforehand. Have a fantastic trip and say hi to Ireland for me!

Favorite Hotels

The Morgan HotelTemple Bar – I stayed here the last time I was in Dublin and it was great! I don’t generally recommend staying in Temple Bar because it can be crazy and loud, but the hotel is centrally located, the rooms are shockingly quiet, and the service was excellent. I got a deal when I booked, too, so check if they have any discounts going.

The Westbury HotelGrafton Street – I have not stayed here, but it’s on my bucket list for a shorter trip when I want to really ball out. A 5-star hotel right off the main street in city centre, the Westbury is known for its luxurious rooms and delicious on-site restaurants. Would be perfect for a special trip or honeymoon.

Airbnb – If you’re planning a trip far in advance, I do recommend checking out what’s available on Airbnb, but know that housing in Dublin is tight right now so there may not be many options available. If you’re okay with staying outside of the city centre, Ranelagh, Ballsbridge, and Rathmines are nice neighborhoods to look at.

Favorite Breakfast

Keogh’s Cafeoff of Dame St – My favorite spot for a coffee and one of their amazing scones.

Lemon Crepe and Coffee Co.South William St – A great casual place for crepes, coffee, and people watching. My go-to hangover spot.

Bewley’s CafeGrafton St – A Dublin institution, this big, beautiful cafe on the city’s main street is perfect for a proper Irish breakfast. I haven’t been since it was renovated, but I imagine it’s better than ever.

Favorite Lunch

KC PeachesNassau St & Dame St – My favorite lunch spot while I was at Trinity. I recommend their cold bar for salad and pasta, a coffee, and a pastry.

Sproutvarious locations – For when I want to feel healthy after eating a bunch of rich Irish food all week.

EathosBaggot Street – If you’re looking for a fancy lunch spot, Eathos is really delicious and worth the walk out of the city centre. The lentils and chicken thighs are unreal.

Favorite Dinner

Fade Street SocialFade Street – With great shareable dishes and fancy cocktails, this is the perfect dinner-with-the-gals restaurant. Plus, it’s right in the middle of all the Friday night action so it’s a great place to start a night out.

The Shakespeare/ Kimchi HopHouseParnell Street – The perfect and unexpected combination of Irish pub and Korean restaurant, complete with a back beer garden that sells kimchi pancakes.

The Winding StairOrmond Quay Lower – My favorite little restaurant overlooking the river. It’s perfect for a date night or a nice dinner with family.

Hugo’sMerrion Row – Another place I used to take family when they would come into town. A delicious and classy little bistro right off St. Stephen’s Green.

Favorite Dessert

Murphy’s Ice CreamWicklow St – The best ice cream in town with fun, Irish flavors like sea salt, brown bread, and chocolate whiskey. I went three times the last time I was in town.

Favorite Cocktails

The Rooftop at the Marker HotelGrand Canal Quay – The perfect rooftop summer evening cocktail situation with a view of the mountains.

Sophie’s at The DeanHarcourt St – For when the weather sucks, but you still want that rooftop experience and excellent food.

Vintage Cocktail Club Temple Bar – A fabulous speakeasy tucked away in Temple Bar, you have to find the VCC door and ring the bell to be let up. The food is just okay, but the cocktails are glorious.

The Bar with No NameFade Street – Fun, buzzy bar with great cocktails and a large, covered smoking area.

Roberta’sTemple Bar – Beautiful glasshouse restaurant with delicious drinks and instagrammable interiors.

Cafe en SeineDawson St – Another gorgeous bar for cocktails and wine with art deco interiors.

Favorite Pubs

Doyle’sCollege St – My favorite Irish pub just across the street from Trinity. Perfect for pints and pub food.

The Ginger ManFenian St – Another classic from my Trinity days, The Ginger Man is a chatty pub with lots of atmosphere and a vibrant front stoop.

Grogan’sSouth William St – This old man pub is a Dublin institution and I pretty much only order Guinness here.

The Brazen HeadUsher’s Quay – The oldest pub in Dublin! Sort of a tourist trap, but cool nonetheless. Recommend stopping by for dinner and a pint after hitting the Guinness Factory.

The BargeCharlemont St – If you’re there on a sunny day, head to The Barge for a full party on the canal. Everyone hangs out along the water and drinks pints and gets sunburned and it’s the best.

Gravediggers (aka John Kavanagh)Glasnevin – If you’re up at the Glasnevin cemetery or the botanical gardens, pop into John Kavanagh, also know as The Gravediggers, for a pint. It’s right next door to the cemetery and used to be a haunt for gravediggers back in the day, hence the name.

Dingle Whiskey Bar Nassau St – If you’re looking to sample a bunch of single pot Irish whiskeys, Dingle Whiskey Bar (attached to Porterhouse Brewing Company) is a great spot. I recommend the Writer’s Tears, Redbreast 12, and Green Spot.

Favorite Nightlife

The George George’s St – If you’re looking for a fab gay nightclub, The George is everything. Fun dancing, great music, easy chats in the outdoor smoking area, it’s an iconic Dublin experience.

Dicey’s GardenHarcourt St – A popular destination for hen parties and nights out. Go here if you want a proper rowdy drunk night out. Plus, it’s right next door to the other big nightclub in Dublin, Copper’s.

Whelan’sWexford St – Fun, vibrant music venue with an attached pub. Sort of doesn’t matter who’s playing, it’s still a fun time.

Zaytoon – This isn’t a club or bar, but this late night restaurant is an essential part of Dublin nightlife. Serving Persian food until 4:30am on the weekends, it’s the place to go after a night of drinking.

Favorite Shopping

Brown Thomas Grafton Street– The ultimate luxury Irish department store. They’ve got all the big brands, including handbags and shoes, if you’re looking to splurge.

Om Diva Drury St – Three floors of vibrant, quirky clothes and accessories featuring vintage and local Irish designers. I bought an incredible corset there recently and am obsessed.

Bow & PearlSwan Centre, Rathmines – Lots of modern, feminine pieces and baby wear. I worked here in grad school!

Kilkenny ShopNassau St – A great place to buy Irish souvenirs (knit sweaters, scarves, artwork, Waterford crystal, etc.)

Ulysses Rare Books – Duke St – I’ve literally never bought anything from here, but it is the most fun place to browse for beautiful old books and unique paper items.

Hodges FiggisDawson St – The big Dublin bookstore with lots of Irish and British new releases and editions.

Favorite Tourist Attractions

Jameson Distillery Smithfield – Everyone does the Guinness Factory, but, frankly, I like the Jameson Distillery better. It’s a true tasting experience and you get another cocktail at the end, so come thirsty.

The Long LibraryTrinity College Dublin – It’s just as stunning and iconic in person and worth the wait, in my opinion. The Books of Kells is also included in admission, if you’re interested.

Glasnevin Cemetery & Botanic GardensGlasnevin – For something a little off the beaten path, I recommend Glasnevin, Ireland’s National Cemetery, where famous folks like Michael Collins are buried. It’s also directly next to the Botanic Gardens, which are really pretty, so it makes for a good afternoon outing.

Favorite Events

Longitude FestivalMarlay Park – If you happen to be in town during Longitude and want to do the music festival thing, it’s worth checking out. With shockingly good headliners like Kendrick Lamar and Megan Thee Stallion, it’s a good time and without being too overwhelming.

Gaelic Football or Hurling Match – I’m certainly not a sports enthusiast, but I did really enjoy going to Gaelic football and hurling matches when I lived in Dublin. Beer, men in short shorts, and lots of yelling? What’s not to love?

Favorite Day Trips

Howth – A cute little coastal town with lots of delicious seafood and views of the ocean. Take the DART out for an afternoon of walking around and eating fish and chips.

Galway – If you want to check out a smaller Irish city, then Galway is full of cute pubs and cafes and is considered a cultural capital. A lot of tour companies do bus trips through Connemara (beautiful scenery) and into Galway, which is the way I’d do a day trip.

The Cliffs of Moher – This is a long day, but worth the long trip for some very epic scenery! I definitely recommend looking into tour companies for this since they have it down to a science.

Belfast – Take the train up to Belfast to explore the Titanic Museum and grab some drinks at The Crown Liquor Saloon and Sweet Afton.

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