Ireland is a “gateway” country to international travel for many travellers. It’s easy to access, there are affordable places to stay in Dublin, and English is the official language. And no trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to the capital city of Dublin.
Many visitors find it cheaper and easy to fly into Dublin anyway, so even if you’re travelling elsewhere in Iceland, it’s well worth sticking around for a few days. But there are enough things to do in Dublin to fill a week or more.
Dublin only has half a million residents but it manages to pack in a lot of history. It is most famous for the Guinness Storehouse, the traditional Irish hospitality of the pubs in Temple Bar and the prestigious Trinity College.
Even though it might seem compact compared to other capital cities like London, all the Dublin areas have their own personality. The best place to stay in Dublin, Ireland for your budget and travel style will differ from other travellers.
So, where is the best part of Dublin to stay? This guide offers a full breakdown of all the neighbourhoods and areas in Dublin so you can decide which is best for you, you can also check out Rent Hero for other options.
It covers the best areas to stay in Dublin if you’re on a budget and the best places to stay in Dublin, Ireland if you’re travelling with your family. It will also show you the best districts of Dublin for nightlife, culture, and food and the areas of Dublin where you can live like a local Dubliner so you can have an amazing trip!
We will cover off all types of Dublin accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Dublin hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Dublin Ireland 2024, the best Dublin hotels, best places in Dublin to visit, the best places to stay in Dublin, hotels near Dublin attractions and many more.
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Dublin City Centre – Where To Stay in Dublin for First Time Visitors
Let’s start with where to stay in Dublin City Centre. This is the part of Dublin around O’Connell street which is the beating heart of the city. If you’re wondering, “where is the most central place to stay in Dublin?” then you couldn’t get more central than this street.
It’s within walking distance of all of Dublin’s main attractions and other Dublin neighbourhoods like Temple Bar and Trinity.
It’s just north of the River Liffey and all of the top high street shops. There are also lots of pubs and museums like the James Joyce Centre and the National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland.
You’ll find lots of tram and bus stops in this neighbourhood so you can reach all areas of the city easily. The best places to stay in Dublin City Centre are as close to O’Connell street as possible. Just pack some earplugs as Dublin’s nightlife is thriving seven days a week!
Best places to stay in Dublin City Center
Portobello – Where To Stay in Dublin With Family
Wondering where to stay in Dublin with family? Portobello is a lovely little residential neighbourhood south of the River Liffey next to the Grand Canal.
It has some cracking restaurants, bars, and cafes but not too many so this area of Dublin always seems less crowded and quieter which is perfect for families.
There are also a couple of quieter parks where you can go for a stroll. Plus, it’s still within walking distance of Dublin’s main attractions.
The Grand Canal has paths alongside which are perfect for walking or cycling. You’ll also find the Irish Jewish Museum here and Whelan’s live music venue is just on the outskirts.
Best places to stay in Portobello
Trinity – Best Area To Stay in Dublin for Culture
One of the best places to stay in Dublin has to be Trinity. It has gorgeous parks, historic southern Georgian-style buildings, and fantastic museums. It’s also where you’ll find Trinity College, hence its name.
Merrion Square Park, Fitzwilliam Square and St Stephen’s Green are all charming green spaces and they’re lined with famous 18th-century townhouses. You’ve probably seen the Southern Georgian Dublin doorways in Merrion Square on Instagram without even knowing it!
If you want to know where is the best place to stay in Dublin close to most of Dublin’s cultural and historical attractions, Trinity is the answer.
You’ll not only find Trinity College here, but you’ll also find the Oscar Wilde House, The National Library, the National Concert Hall, the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery are all here too.
The Book of Kells in Trinity College is the most important book from the medieval ages and the adjoining library is also spectacular. The Little Museum of Dublin is probably the best museum in the city because it will help you learn so much about Ireland’s past in a fun and accessible way.
There are plenty of things to do in this gorgeous neighbourhood that you will never get bored of it. Trinity is also one of the best place to stay in Dublin for couples, it has a very chilled cultured vibe.
Best places to stay in Trinity
Temple Bar – Where To Stay in Dublin for Nightlife
One of the main reasons why people travel to Ireland, and specifically Dublin, is to check out the traditional Irish pubs and live music venues. Irish folk music is beloved around the world!
If you’re wondering where is the best part of Dublin for nightlife and live music, Temple Bar is without question where you should stay.
Temple Bar is an actual bar, but it gained such popularity and notoriety that the whole neighbourhood is now called Temple Bar.
There are dozens upon dozens of pubs and clubs in this area as well as restaurants. It also happens to be one of the closest neighbourhoods in the city centre to the Guinness Storehouse too.
Best places to stay in Temple Bar Dublin
Dublin Docklands – One of the Cool Places to Stay in Dublin
Straddling the River Liffey with the Samuel Beckett Bridge in the middle to the east is the modern side of Dublin. The Docklands has always been a commercial hub, even when the Vikings used the area as a port.
Today, tech companies and banks have moved in and the area is becoming built up with high-rise modern buildings. With all of the new businesses, dining and entertainment have also moved in, with world-class restaurants popping up.
Recreation on the river is gaining momentum, with kayak rentals and SUP tours available. The Docklands also has a few attractions, the National Theatre of Ireland and the EPIC Museum of Emigration. Best of all, the Docklands is within walking distance from Dublin city centre.
Best places to stay in Docklands
Smithfield – Where To Stay in Dublin on a Budget
For an up-and-coming part of Dublin, check out Smithfield on the north side of the city across the River Liffey. The former warehouse district is centred on Smithfield Plaza, a former market.
Unique restaurants and cafes surround the square and nightclubs have taken over many of the old warehouses.
Backpackers looking for where to stay in Dublin on a budget should head to Smithfield. There are some fun hostels in this neighbourhood and a wide variety of dining options for all budgets.
Nearby Phoenix Park has several Dublin attractions, including The Dublin Zoo, Viking Cemetery, Ashtown Castle and the American Ambassador’s residence.
Best places to stay in Smithfield
Phibsborough – Best Area To Stay in Dublin to Live Like a Local
Phibsborough is a huge neighbourhood in the north of the city above O’Connell Street and the city centre.
It’s known as one of the hipster parts of town with lots of vintage shops, independent cafes and bookshops as well as pubs and restaurants that are Dublin institutions and have been around for decades. It’s also closest to the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin.
While there is a lot to do in Phibsborough, it is a residential neighbourhood so it’s perfect if you’re sticking around in Dublin for a week or more. You can live like a local while still being close to the city centre. You can easily hop on a bus into the city centre if it’s too far to walk.
Best places to stay in Phibsborough
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Phibsborough
Leevin Hostel Mountjoy
Mid range Hotels in Phibsborough
Charleville Lodge Hotel
Family Friendly Hotels in Phibsborough
Maldron Hotel Parnell Square
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Phibsborough
Stoneybatter – Where To Stay in Dublin for Foodies
Stoneybatter is further west of Portobello along the Grand Canal next to St James’s Park, so this area is a bit further out of the city centre. However, it is one of Dublin’s hippest neighbourhoods with tons of exceptional fine-dining options, cafes, and pubs.
If you’re struggling to find a small-town pub vibe in the Temple Bar district (and you probably will!) then Stoneybatter will likely have quieter neighbourhood pubs where locals play Irish folk music
This neighbourhood is also where you will find the great Jameson Distillery. You can go in for guided tours and tastings and compare it to other types of Irish whiskey when you’re in the bar afterwards.
You’ll also find a branch of the National Museum of Ireland and the old Colin Army Barracks in Stoneybatter.
Best places to stay in Stoneybatter
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Dublin
Finding out where not to stay in Dublin is a tricky one. Families and those who want a quiet night’s sleep shouldn’t stay in Temple Bar, but it’s a great neighbourhood for backpackers and partiers!
And Dublin is no less safe than any other UK capital city like London or Belfast. Use your common sense and don’t walk in unfamiliar parts of town or down unlit streets at night.
But like every big city, some Dublin areas have much higher crime rates than others. Avoid Finglas, Clondalkin, Lucan, and Blanchardstown in Dublin West.
These neighbourhoods are unfortunately rife with gang-related violence, so much so that some bus routes don’t even go through here anymore. Luckily, these neighbourhoods are far away from Dublin City Centre so you’re unlikely to stumble across them without realising.