View of the Samuel Backett Bridge and River Liffey during sunrise in central Dublin, one of the best places when choosing where to stay in Dublin

Where to Stay in Dublin (Best Places & Areas in 2023)

👉 Jump to: Best Places to Stay in Dublin | Best Neighborhoods & Areas | Tips | FAQ

Figuring out where to stay in Dublin can be tricky for a first-time visitor. There are so many things to do and see in Dublin, so many different Dublin neighborhoods and the distance of a few streets can make a big difference in the quality of your stay.

I’ve spent significant time in Dublin and I’ll be happy to help explain the different neighborhoods in Dublin and the best places to stay in each on your trip to Ireland.

First, let’s take a look at a quick summary of some of the best hotels in Dublin before deep diving into the best neighborhoods.

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Best Places to Stay in Dublin

Looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Dublin?

Here are my top picks:

These are all great options for setting up a home base and exploring Dublin. Now let’s take a look at the different areas of Dublin and the other hotels, pubs, and other attractions they have.

10 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Dublin

Dublin has many different neighborhoods. In this article, we’ll look mostly at areas in and around Dublin’s city center. Temple Bar, O’Connell Street, and Trinity are the closest to Dublin’s main attractions.

Dublin’s neighborhoods each have their own personality. You may like the trendy, but crowded neighborhoods in the Dublin city center. Places further afield may be more to your taste if you want a quiet stay or are traveling with a family. 

The following 10 neighborhoods are some of the best choices for visitors wishing to make the most of their stay in Dublin. Each of them offers something unique, so see what stands out the most to you!

O’Connell Street

View of "The Liberator" statue at Daniel O’Connell Street on a cloudy day
Statue of Daniel O’Connell, “The Liberator”

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin for First-time Visitors | ✨ Best O’ Connell Street Hotels: Wynn’s Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Holiday Inn Express Dublin City Centre

O’Connell Street is where I would suggest staying if it is your first time in Dublin. As the Dublin city center, O’Connell Street’s central location puts many major Dublin attractions within a short distance. Be sure to check out the General Post Office. Besides delivering the mail, it served as headquarters for the rebel forces in the 1916 Easter Uprising. 

O’Connell Street is also a major hub for local transportation. Bus routes from the Dublin Airport end here. Routes for the city’s light rail, the LUAS, converge at O’Connell Street too. The LUAS is a great way to get around, and I used it throughout my travels in Dublin.

The area around O’Connell Street has several great shopping centers. There are lots of international restaurants and groceries here as well. O’Connell Street and its environs have lots of great coffee shops too, including Insomnia Coffee, a local Irish chain and my go-to when in Dublin.

Pros of Staying on O’Connell Street

  • Central location makes for a great starting point
  • Many tours start from here
  • Plenty of restaurants and pubs

Cons of Staying on O’Connell Street

  • Noisier and more crowded than other areas

📚 O’Connell Street Mini Guide 📚 
Where to Stay in Dublin for First-time Visitors
Google Maps

Temple Bar

Exterior view of the bright red and famous Temple Bar Pub
The famous Temple Bar Pub (photo: Giannis Papanikos / Shutterstock)

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin for Nightlife | ✨ Best Temple Bar Hotels: The Fleet The Morgan Hotel The Temple Bar Inn

No other neighborhood rivals Temple Bar when it comes to Dublin nightlife. Tons of traditional and modern Irish pubs line its narrow streets. Although now the thriving heart of Dublin’s nightlife, it nearly faded into oblivion. In the 1970s, it consisted of many abandoned buildings, but renewal efforts starting in the 1990s made it into what it is today.

Besides bars and pubs, there are also significant historic buildings here such as Dublin Castle. Dublin’s most famous cathedrals, St. Patrick’s and Christ Church are both near the Temple Bar area. Several of the most famous bridges, such as Ha’Penny Bridge, span the River Liffey, connecting Temple Bar to northern Dublin.

Overall, Temple Bar is one of the best places for nightlife and sightseeing (walking tours and pub tours are very popular things to do here). While ambling around Temple Bar, keep an eye out for a plaque on Fishamble Street marking the site of the first performance of Handel’s Messiah!

Pros of Staying in Temple Bar

  • Very close to the Dublin city center
  • Lots of live music venues
  • Plenty of restaurants, bars, etc.
  • Close to many major attractions

Cons of Staying in Temple Bar

  • More expensive than in other regions
  • Feels more touristy than other neighborhoods
  • Can be more crowded and noisy at night, especially on weekends

📚 Temple Bar Mini Guide 📚 
Where to Stay in Dublin for Nightlife
Google Maps

Trinity College

Exterior view of Trinity College and the students walking along the pathway leading to the entrance
The entrance to the Trinity campus

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin for Budget Travelers | ✨ Best Trinity College Hotels: Trinity City Hotel Trinity Townhouse Hotel Trinity College Campus Accommodation

The area around Trinity College, located just east of Temple Bar, has some of the best places to stay in Dublin on a budget. Trinity College houses the Book of Kells, a 7th-century illuminated manuscript famous for its intricate illustrations. If you want to beat the crowds to see the Book of Kells, check out this early-access tour!

Trinity College actually opens its dorms to tourists during the summer months. Most hotels can’t match the prestige of a centuries-old, world-renown university, either. It’s definitely one of the most unique places to stay in Dublin. Book early, though, as lodging at Trinity College sells out rapidly!

Grafton Street connects Trinity to the St. Stephen’s Green area to the south. If you’re looking for high-end shopping, be sure to check out the shops here. There are also great gift shops on Grafton Street. Even if you’re not interested in shopping, the atmosphere makes it well worth a stroll. Grafton Street has some of the best street musicians in Dublin, too!

Pros of Staying near Trinity College 

  • Within walking distance of the city center
  • Great shopping opportunities on Grafton Street
  • Live street music on Grafton Street
  • Lodgings here are often more affordable than elsewhere

Cons of Staying near Trinity College

  • Often crowded
  • Student-oriented pubs may be too crowded/noisy for some

📚 Trinity College Mini Guide 📚 
Where to Stay in Dublin for Budget Travelers
Google Maps

Merrion Square – St. Stephen’s Green

View of the famous green and yellow Georgian doors in Merrion Square
Dublin’s famous Georgian doors

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin For Families | ✨ Best Merrion-St. Stephen’s Hotels: Iveagh Garden Hotel Stauntons on the Green The Mont

Moving further east and south from the Trinity College area, you’ll come to Merrion Square Park and St. Stephen’s Green. These parks make great places for picnics or letting the kids run around a little. Though still urban, this area doesn’t get the same amount of tourist traffic that Dublin’s city center does.

There’s still plenty to see around Merrion Square, though. The National Gallery of Ireland and the National Concert Hall make great additions to a day’s itinerary in Dublin. The brick houses here, with their brightly-colored doors, make for a very charming atmosphere. St. Stephen’s Green has a hidden gem awaiting fans of Irish music–O’Donoghue’s. 

This pub has some of the best music in Dublin, with “sessions” of traditional tunes every night! The bar itself is fantastic, too. Locals love the place, and it’s far enough off the beaten path that it avoids the more tourist-oriented feeling of some more central pubs. This was my favorite place to go in Dublin when visiting there, so I highly recommend it!

Pros of Staying Near Merrion Square

  • Quieter than other central Dublin locations
  • The parks are great places to relax
  • Lots of options for higher-end accommodations
  • Charming aesthetics

Cons of Staying Near Merrion Square

  • Cheap hotels are hard to find, especially in peak season.
  • Not much going on at night

📚 Merrion Square Mini Guide 📚 
Where to Stay in Dublin for Families
Google Maps

Stoneybatter – Smithfield

View of the people chilling outside the shop on a local street and the mural of Stoneybatter
Local street art in Stoneybatter (photo: Derick P. Hudson / Shutterstock)

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin For Hipster Vibes | ✨  Best Stoneybatter Hotels: easyHotel Dublin City Centre Ashling Hotel Dublin The Hendrick Smithfield

Stoneybatter is the place to stay in Dublin if you want to get a taste of trendy local culture. This is Dublin’s “hipster” area with cafes and bars featuring more modern aesthetics. Many venues have live music, from traditional tunes to modern genres. 

Stoneybatter lies on the western edge of the city center and does not get as crowded as the most central neighborhood. Phoenix Park, the largest of Dublin’s inner city parks, borders Stoneybatter to the west. A herd of deer even lives here! Be advised, though, city laws forbid feeding them.

If you want to sample some of Ireland’s most famous libations, Stoneybatter can’t be beaten. The Guinness Storehouse and its rooftop bar lie a short walk south of Stoneybatter across the River Liffey.  The Jameson Distillery stands closer at hand in Smithfield. For thirsty tourists, there are several great tour packages of these facilities available.

Pros of Staying in Stoneybatter-Smithfield

  • Great restaurants, pubs, and cafes
  • Less crowded than other areas
  • Close to Phoenix Park and the Dublin Zoo

Cons of Staying in Stoneybatter-Smithfield

  • Not as many lodging options
  • Prices are higher here
  • Pubs are often crowded, so not the best place for a quiet drink

📚 Stoneybatter Mini Guide 📚 
Where to Stay in Dublin for Hipster Vibes
Google Maps

The Dublin Docklands

View of the illuminated Samuel Beckett Bridge and Dublin Convention Center reflecting on the water at night
The Samuel Beckett Bridge and Dublin Convention Center

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin For Business Travelers | ✨ Best Docklands Hotels: Anantara-The Marker The Spencer Hotel The Mayson

Locals refer to Dublin’s business district as “Silicon Docks,” referring to America’s Silicon Valley. This is where Dublin’s thriving tech industry lives. It also has more modern architecture than other areas of the city. Tourists tend to overlook the Docklands but wind up missing out on the cultural attractions that it has.

For one, there’s the Irish Emigration Museum. Begun in 2016, this museum tells the story of Ireland’s large diaspora. The Samuel Beckett Bridge, which many people liken to a harp, spans the River Liffey. The impressive Customs House building is a great place to learn about Dublin’s history.

The Dublin Docklands is just a short walk east of O’Connell Street. It’s a very convenient location for staying central, but dodging the crowds of the more popular areas. Given the business nature of the neighborhood, it’s also a great location for finding the best luxury hotels. Many offer spacious rooms overlooking the river.

Pros of Staying in the Dublin Docklands

  • Great hotels and restaurants
  • Right next to central Dublin, but not as crowded
  • Lots of attractions

Cons of Staying in the Dublin Docklands

  • Hotels and restaurants tend to be more expensive here
  • Industrial/modern aesthetic lacks the charm of other neighborhoods

📚 The Dublin Docklands Mini Guide 📚 
Where to Stay in Dublin for Business Travelers
Google Maps


Exterior view of the popular local pub Doyle’s Corner with parked cars in the street of Phibsborough
Popular local pub Doyle’s Corner (photo: Derick P. Hudson / Shutterstock)

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin For Local Charm | ✨ Best Phibsborough Hotels: Eccles Townhouse Maldron Hotel Parnell Square Dublin One

This neighborhood in northern Dublin has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. It combines an everyday-neighborhood simplicity with a growing number of hip restaurants, cafes, and pubs. You won’t find high-end attractions and establishments here, but that’s why people have been drawn to it.

If you’re looking for quick eats, it’s easy to find something in Phibsborough. Whether it’s fish and chips or more foreign fare, Phibsborough has it all. Like Stoneybatter, there’s a hip vibe, and there’s lots of street art here. At the same time, it has more of a local neighborhood feel than Stoneybatter 

Want to catch a game of football (that’s “soccer” for you Americans)? Dalymount Park, the home of Bohemian FC, is here in Phibsborough. Dublin’s major sports stadium, Croke Park, lies just across the Royal Canal from the northeastern end of Phibsborough.

Pros of Staying in Phibsborough

  • Charming atmosphere
  • Tons of casual dining options
  • Still close to many main attractions.

Cons of Staying in Phibsborough

  • Hard to find a good parking

📚 Phibsborough Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Dublin for Local Charm
Google Maps


View of the illuminated buildings reflected on the waters of The Grand Canal in Portobello at sunrise
The Grand Canal forms the southern border of Portobello

👉 Where to Stay in Dublin for Foodies | ✨ Best Portobello Hotels: Maldron Hotel Kevin Street Aloft Dublin City Clayton Hotel Charlemont

Tired of the tourist-trodden parts of town? Book a place to stay in Portobello. This Dublin neighborhood has a much more relaxed feeling despite its proximity to the city center. The businesses here serve locals more than tourists, so it’s a great place to mingle with locals. Food and lodging tend to be cheaper here than in the more central areas, too.

Many establishments have a trendy feeling and there’s more street art here than in other areas. 

At the same time, Portobello hasn’t gotten attention like Phibsborough has of late. For those looking for something more authentically local, Portobello may edge out its neighbor to the north. 

The laid-back, local feeling makes Portobello a great place for foodies looking to explore local fare minus the crowds. Camden Street is the best place to find restaurants and pubs. It’s also considered to be one of the safest neighborhoods in Dublin.

Pros of Staying in Portobello

  • Quieter than other central Dublin areas
  • Lots of restaurants and pubs, especially for breakfast/brunch
  • Easier to get to know locals here
  • Considered to be the safest central neighborhood

Cons of Staying in Portobello

  • Fewer daytime attractions
  • Abundant street art may not be to everyone’s taste

📚 Portobello Mini Guide 📚 
Where to Stay in Dublin for Foodies
Google Maps


Exterior view of a building with vines around in Ranelagh District
(photo: / Shutterstock)

👉 Where to Stay for Peace & Quiet | ✨ Best Ranelagh Hotels: The Devlin Dublin Hampton Hotel Donnybrook Hall

Consider staying in Ranelagh for an even more “local” experience than Portobello. The neighborhood of Ranelagh, located further from central Dublin than Portobello, offers a real taste of everyday life in Dublin. It’s about 15 minutes by bus or LUAS to the Dublin city center from Ranelagh, so staying here means you are still not too far away.

Herbert Park in nearby Donnybrook offers plenty of space for picnics and walks. The Ranelagh Gardens are also well worth a stroll. Travelers from the United States will appreciate the fact that the US Embassy is in Donnybrook in case the need arises for any services.

Pros of Staying in Ranelagh

  • Peaceful, local neighborhood atmosphere
  • Not as touristy as the more central areas
  • Easier to mingle with locals

Cons of Staying in Ranelagh

  • Not as many options for hotels and restaurants
  • Apartments can be expensive
  • Further from the main attractions

📚 Ranelagh Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Dublin for Peace & Quiet
Google Maps

Dun Laoghaire

Aerial view of a lighthouse at Dun Laoghaire Harbour at sunrise
The lighthouse at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

👉 Where to Stay for Scenery | Best Dun Laoghaire Hotels: Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel Royal Marine Hotel Haddington House

One of Ireland’s most beloved features is its pristine natural beauty. Dublin, while charming in its own right, is a city of brick and stone. Its parks are pleasant but pale in comparison to the areas outside the city. A great way to combine natural beauty and still stay in the Dublin area is to explore the coast south of the city.

The neighborhood of Dun Laoghaire (pronounced lee-ree) and the nearby village of Dalkey serve as great bases for seeing these sights. Besides natural beauty, there are several other great attractions here. 

Visitors acquainted with Irish literature can visit the James Joyce Tower & Museum. The harbor here is quite scenic in its own right. Dalkey Castle offers entertaining living history tours, showing what life was like in medieval Ireland. 

Pros of Staying in Dun Laoghaire

  • Stunning scenery
  • Closer to nature
  • Very quiet compared to the city center

Cons of Staying in Dun Laoghaire

  • Fewer options for dining and lodging
  • Far from the city center

📚 Dun Laoghaire Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Dublin for Scenery
Google Maps

Tips for Staying in Dublin

Here are some tips for making the most of your stay in Dublin. Also, take a moment to check out our article on travel tips for Ireland in general.

Budget Well When Traveling to Dublin

Dublin has lots of options but tends to be on the more expensive side. This is especially true of lodgings during the summer. Decide how much you want to spend on your trip and go from there.

Book Dublin Accommodation in Advance

Some accommodations book up quickly (such as the Trinity College dorms). It’s always a good idea to reserve a room in advance. Booking your stay early also allows you more flexibility with change or cancellation policies. In general, hotels will not offer that option on last-minute bookings.

Decide What You Want to See in Dublin

View of the displayed books in the Long Room in Trinity College Library
Trinity College, one of the main attractions in Dublin (photo: VanderWolf Images / Shutterstock)

Despite being a smaller city, Dublin has a ton of things to do and see. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and maybe miss out on some attractions. Figure out what you most want to see and plan from there. This can also help you decide where it will be most convenient for you to stay.

Prepare for Dublin’s Weather

Ireland’s climate resembles that of the Pacific Northwest. The Irish have even delineated nearly a dozen different “kinds” of rain! It’s always a good idea to have a raincoat or umbrella handy. Having an extra layer or two is also a good idea, especially outside of summer.

For more, see my guide to the best time of year to visit Dublin.

Consider Travel Insurance for Ireland

Dublin is safe for travel, as a general rule. But a lot can happen when going overseas. Check out our article on the best Ireland travel insurance to learn about your options, or get a quote from VisitorsCoverage now.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Dublin

What is the safest place to stay in Dublin?

Overall, Dublin is a very safe city. Of all the neighborhoods, Portobello has the best reputation for safety. 

Is Dublin a walkable city?

Many famous tourist attractions are within walking distance of hotels and each other. During my stay in Dublin, I rarely used public transportation.

Where is the lively part of Dublin?

Temple bar area on the south bank of the Liffey River is by far the liveliest place in Dublin. Stoneybatter also draws large crowds and O’Connell Street never seems to sleep except on Sunday mornings.


I hope this helps answer the question of where to stay in Dublin! After booking your place to stay in Dublin, be sure to check out my guide on 29 Things to Do in Dublin too!

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