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Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth Smith

Articles (3)

Where to stay in Dublin

Where to stay in Dublin

With so many great neighbourhoods to choose from, where is the best place to stay in Dublin? Well, that all depends on what you're looking to get from visiting the Irish capital. If you want late-night excess, Temple Bar should tick your boxes – while laid-back Portobello offers something a little more relaxing. Dublin is the perfect combination of a big city and a friendly community, a collection of villages that have come together to create something special. Choosing where to stay in Dublin is an integral part of any memorable trip to this fabulous place. Dublin is mighty compact, too, but choosing the right spot for accommodation can be the difference between a good stay and a great one. Check out our collection of the best things to do here and make your plans – not before taking a little advice from your old pals at Time Out first. RECOMMENDED:🏛 The 10 absolute best museums in Dublin🏠 The 8 best Airbnbs in Dublin

The 5 best day trips from Dublin

The 5 best day trips from Dublin

The Irish capital is positively overflowing with exciting things to do, but the best day trips from Dublin offer the opportunity to get to know this fascinating country a little deeper. The Emerald Isle hasn’t earned that moniker through luck, after all. Ireland is all stunning hilltops and craggy coastline, a love letter to the beauty of nature that will have breathing deep romantic sighs in no time. What’s more, most of these spots are just a car, train or bus ride from the city centre, meaning you can explore the best that Ireland has to offer and get back to Dublin in time for a pint or two. Perfect. 

The 12 best free things to do in Dublin right now

The 12 best free things to do in Dublin right now

Looking for free things to do in Dublin? The Irish capital isn’t exactly the most budget of destinations, but there are plenty of activities here that don’t require opening the wallet and parting way with those much-cherished Euros. The architecture, for a start; Dublin is packed with gorgeous buildings that are free to gawp at, while the cosmopolitan culture of this most literary of cities will soon find its way into your pores and deep into your soul. Throw in plenty of green parks and government-subsidised free entry into several museums and you’ll find plenty to do on a budget here, saving extra cents for one more pints of Guinness.   

Listings and reviews (61)

The Dean

The Dean

Located smack dab in city centre, The Dean doesn’t hide its buzzy surroundings, providing earplugs at check-in to help block out late-night noise from nearby hotspots. The hotel’s fifty-two rooms range from tiny Mod Pod double to two-bedroom, two-bath penthouse. Quirky and cool, each one has a rain shower, record player, Nespresso machine, and a smart TV with Netflix access. Vibes extend from the basement nightclub to the rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar, making the hotel popular with stylish locals as well as first-time visitors. There’s no onsite gym or parking lot, but Dean guests get €9 daily passes for the nearby Raw Gym and a 50 percent off discount at the Q Car Park on Glover’s Alley. Time Out tip: Save 10 percent by booking and pre-paying for your stay at least 28 days in advance on the Dean website. Nearby:Iveagh Gardens: For some peace and quiet in a seemingly private parkBunsen: For juicy burgers, crispy fries, and creamy shakes in a quirky, compact spaceDevitts: For drinks and traditional pub fare in a swanky saloon

Number 31

Number 31

Somewhere between bed-and-breakfast and boutique hotel, Number 31 encompasses both a classic Georgian townhouse and a modernist mews. Hiding in plain sight on an unassuming residential street, it’s well-removed from city din. The understated entrance opens up to a grand lounge complete with leather sofas, modern artwork, and a roaring fireplace. Like any reputable refuge, there’s a secret garden waiting around back. The hotel’s polished, period-style guestrooms mimic the reception’s mix of traditional and contemporary, featuring lofty ceilings and plush furnishings. There’s no onsite restaurant, but the organic, made-to-order breakfast is enough to keep guests clamouring for a spot in one of the 21 ensuite rooms. The warm hospitality and lavish, laid-back ambiance don’t hurt either. Time Out tip: Though Number 31 boasts many remarkable elements, an elevator is not one of them. Plus, smaller rooms lack sufficient baggage space, making it best for those that travel light. Nearby:Dax: For French bites and fine wine in an elegant basement barEirlooms: For hand-crafted souvenirs and floral arrangementsCanal Bank Café: For all-day dining in a cosy café-cum-bistro

The Marker Hotel

The Marker Hotel

Don’t let its location on Misery Hill fool you. Dublin’s Docklands have transformed, and the Marker Hotel offers an ultra-modern luxury stay in spitting distance of downtown attractions. The lobby resto-bar and sprawling spa (23-metre infinity pool and fully-equipped fitness centre included) generate buzz, but it’s the bold checkerboard exterior that dominates conversation. Love it or hate it, the distinctive façade sets the tone for the six-story, 187-room property. Spacious bedrooms are outfitted in royal tones and marble bathrooms are teeming with upmarket Malin+Goetz products. There are no balconies but guests in waterfront rooms wake up to Grand Canal views. One thing’s for sure: you won’t confuse the Marker for a chain hotel. Time Out tip: Take advantage of free add-ons, like rides on the hotel’s retro cruiser bikes. While not ideal for city centre, they make for a fun ride through the neighbourhood. Nearby:Famine Memorial: To learn the harrowing history of Ireland’s mass emigrationMV Cill Airne: For a memorable, modern meal aboard a renovated shipThe Ginger Man: For pints and pub grub among a lively crowd

The Address

The Address

Built in a row of simple white townhouses, The Address blends extremely well into its surroundings considering how exceptional the interior is. Warm lighting and ambient music in the grand lobby exude calming energy. Each of the 72 newly-refurbished rooms has luxurious bedding and state-of-the-art entertainment systems. Big windows keep things light and airy, while Irish blankets add a homey feel. Bedside buttons control the lights, curtains, and the housekeeping message beside the door. There are also plenty of plugs and USB ports throughout. The buffet breakfast is served in the adjacent North Star Hotel, and includes a wide selection of cereals, bread, pastries, fruit, yoghurts, and nuts in addition to full Irish fixings and a pancake conveyor belt. Time Out tip: Don’t miss a meal at the onsite McGettigan’s Cookhouse. The exposed brick, leather chairs, succulents, and copper light fixtures are decidedly of-the-moment, but European meals are best described as classic comfort. Light sleepers beware that the convenience of the well-connected Connolly station could become a boisterous burden at night and bring the appropriate accessories. Nearby:Brew Dock: For craft and homemade brews served by sociable staffThai Spice: For unfussy Thai classics in an equally simple settingThe Celt: For hearty pub fare and nightly trad tunes

The Merrion

The Merrion

Occupying a wide block of faultlessly restored townhouses dating back to the 1760s, the Merrion radiates formal elegance and period charm. Country-style furnishings, open fireplaces, and servant closets are paired with Nespresso machines, plentiful USB ports, and a range of free movie options for the flat screen. In addition to its 143 rooms and suites, the world-class hotel is home to the largest private collection of nineteenth and twentieth century art in all of Ireland. Its halls resemble a world-class gallery (and drops many of the same names). Stucco ceilings and sweeping staircases cement the vintage vibe, while abundant light and neutral tones help usher the space into modern times. From the atmospheric Cellar Bar and airy Garden Room to the secluded cocktail club and 2-Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, food and drink options abound. The afternoon “Art Tea” (€49) in the Drawing Rooms features pastries inspired by the hotel’s collection. With an onsite fitness centre, blue-tiled pool, and tranquil spa, you won’t have to feel guilty for indulging. Time Out tip: Request a garden-view room to get the most for the hefty price tag. Concierge can arrange walking and cycling tours of the city, complete with picnic baskets and Merrion rain jackets.  Nearby:Natural History Museum: To see the weird, wonderful taxidermy display lovingly referred to as the “Dead Zoo”Pearl Brasserie: For inventive French fare in an intimate settingO'Donoghue’s Bar: For nightly live music,

Dylan

Dylan

Part brick Victorian building and part modern stone extension, the 44-room boutique hotel perfectly suits the posh, tranquil community it’s located in. Once you enter its imposing doors, a mixture of plush crimson couches, winding staircases, and hospitable staff are there to greet you. The playful, contemporary glamour isn’t dialed down in the rooms, which are outfitted with brightly-coloured furniture, arty headboards, and metallic mirrors. Quiet, comfortable, and spacious, each one comes with hospitality trays, flat-screen TVs, and iPods pre-loaded with city-wide walking tours. Perhaps best of all, the stately, smart bathrooms have underfloor heating in addition to a host of Mark Buxton toiletries. Expect to see the Ballsbridge elite if you visit the quirky Dylan Bar or elegant Tavern restaurant, which specialises in seafood. The fitness room, front terrace, rear courtyard, and 24-hour room service only add to Dylan’s already noteworthy amenities. Time Out tip: The Dylan has a special relationship with the Irish Museum of Modern Art, meaning you could score free private tours as well as discounted entrance to special exhibitions. Nearby:National Print Museum: For an in-depth look at printing traditions in IrelandForest Avenue: For a splurge-worthy tasting menu with five delectable coursesSearsons: For 1920s-themed debauchery

Clontarf Castle Hotel

Clontarf Castle Hotel

Dating back to twelfth-century Normans, the upscale Clontarf Castle Hotel offers a beguiling blend of medieval and modern. Victorian renovation accounts for the turrets, ivy-clad walls, and genteel details, while the dark wood accents, fashionable furniture, and astounding art collection can be attributed to more contemporary efforts. Unsurprisingly for an older property, the 111 rooms vary widely – though they’re all luxurious and light-filled. Consider an upgrade if you’re craving significant space, four-poster beds, and claw-foot tubs. Surrounded by golf courses, expansive parks, and fresh sea air, the peripheral area offers a welcome respite from city bustle. It’s an ideal location for those planning to explore further afield in the Irish countryside. Onsite dining experiences range from buffet breakfast to fancy Irish dinner, including an all-day gastropub menu and chic afternoon tea. Keep your ears peeled for jazz during weekend stays. Time Out tip: Request a room on the higher floors for views over Dublin to the adjacent highlands. Nearby:Kennedy’s Food Store: For strong coffee, diverse brunch options, and heavenly browniesSt Anne’s Park: For woodland exploration and rose garden contemplationBay Restaurant: For international eats and Bull Island viewsGAA Museum: For an interactive introduction to Gaelic sports and their role in the Irish independence movement

Schoolhouse Hotel

Schoolhouse Hotel

With origins in the Victorian era, Schoolhouse Hotel served as an actual school until 1969 and was converted into a 31-room hotel in 1997. Luckily, many of the original features, like turrets, soaring ceilings, and timber staircases, remain. In homage to the building’s past, each room is named for an influential figure in Irish history. With king beds, colourful quilts, antique oak desks, special edition wallpaper, flat-screen TVs, and a photograph of their namesake, the quaint lodgings are well above-par. Nothing displays the hotel’s architectural beauty better than the restaurant, though. Period details like exposed beams and an ironwork chandelier extend a warm contrast to the modern Irish-French cuisine. Time Out tip: Parking is free but limited, so reserve a spot ahead if you’re coming by car. Nearby:3fe: For quality take-away coffee and brewing necessitiesOscar Wilde Memorial: For an aptly colourful depiction of one of Ireland’s literary legendsOsteria Lucio: For surprisingly authentic Italian eatsCellar Bar: For lunch or pre-dinner drinks in an old wine vault

Generator Hostel

Generator Hostel

The Dublin outpost of this trendy chain of boutique-style hostels is the perfect base for a social, affordable getaway. Accommodation options range from budget bunkrooms to simple ensuites. The hen party suite complete with hot tub, pink sofa, and dressing tables is the closest thing to luxury (albeit still shared) lodging. High ceilings, exposed brick walls, leather settees, vibrant murals, and Jameson-bottle chandeliers lure travellers and locals alike to Generator’s industrial chic café-bar. Light snacks are on offer all day, but the breakfast menu’s famous burger is the true gastronomic highlight. When guests can tear themselves from the scene, there are free walking tours of the city and an on-site shop with tickets to the main attractions.  Time Out tip: All Generator Dublin guests get 10 - 25 percent discounts at both the Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse.  Nearby:Third Space Smithfield: For enormous Irish breakfasts in an industrial eateryThe Brazen Head: For wholesome food in a stone-clad, lantern-lit pub popular among literary legendsLight House Cinema: For arthouse flicks in an intimate, colourful venue

The Dawson Hotel

The Dawson Hotel

It’s all about location, location, location when it comes to The Dawson. A combination boutique hotel and award-winning spa complex, guests are never far from the city’s best offerings – or a relaxing beauty treatment. The site’s 28 rooms are elegantly decorated according to regional themes like the Far East and Northern Africa. Each comes equipped with pillow-top beds, full minibars, free Wi-Fi, and deluxe bathtubs. Between the quaint café, late-night art deco bar, Victorian garden terrace, and fine-dining supper club, guests will never go hungry. And while there’s no gym, day passes to Energie Fitness Gym on nearby Clarendon Street are distributed at check-in.  Time Out tip: Book direct to receive the best rate as well as discounts for spa treatments and drinks at the hotel bar. The “Vibrant Weekend” classification of rooms are situated directly above the hotel bar, which is open until 3:30am. They may be noisy on bank holidays or at the weekend.  Nearby:Trinity College: To walk in the footsteps of legends like Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, and Mary RobinsonThe Greenhouse: For inventive Irish cuisine with Scandinavian flairLittle Museum of Dublin: For an educational and entertaining look into Irish life in the twentieth centuryNearys: For drinks served with a side of wood-paneled nostalgia

Herbert Park Hotel

Herbert Park Hotel

Its bland, sandstone exterior may look more like an office park or one of the international embassies located nearby, but light, modern style reigns once inside the 153-room Herbert Park Hotel. King beds, luxury toiletries, and Nespresso machines come standard, but guests can select executive rooms for additional amenities, like expanded lounge space and balconies overlooking the 19-hectare Herbert Park. The multi-windowed Pavilion Restaurant also enjoys views of the park, and the veranda is an especially pleasant spot during warm weather. Though it lacks a pool and spa, the hotel does have a decently equipped gym, two onsite bars, and 24-hour room service.  Time Out tip: Pavilion Restaurant is known best for its fresh seafood specials, but the roast Wicklow lamb is a must-try. Nearby:Herbert Park Native Tree Trail: For an invigorating walk and dendrology lessonGirl and the Goose: For creative Irish-French fare in relaxed environsSearsons: For 1920s-themed debauchery

Teelings Whiskey

Teelings Whiskey

Opened in 2015 on the site where the company first started back in 1782, the boutique-style Teeling Distillery is on a mission to bring traditional whiskey production back to city center. In fact, it’s the only operational distillery in city limits. Fully guided tours are led by passionate “Whiskey Ambassadors,” who showcase every step of the process from milling and mashing to fermenting and distilling. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about Teeling, the Irish whiskey industry, and its place in Dublin’s history. At the end of the tour, you can choose from three tasting options based on your expertise and budget. Don’t leave without checking out the information and artwork on display in the gallery. Time Out tip: Take the Ambassadors up on their offer to interact with the distillers. You can ask questions and even get your hands dirty. Nearby:St Patrick’s Cathedral: To explore the history of the Church of IrelandBite of Life: For sandwiches, salads, smoothies, or all-day breakfast in a cozy, hip settingWhelan’s: For a pint and top-notch live musicGuinness Storehouse: In case you want to see how another Irish favorite gets made

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