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The Ultimate Guide to Shopping, Dining and Socialising in Dublin

  • Wed, 31 Aug 2016

Arriving in Dublin for the first time? We know it can be tough to find your way around a new city, so we’ve put together the ultimate guide to #DublinTown

Shopping in #DublinTown:

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ARNOTTS: – Henry St

Arnotts is Ireland’s oldest and largest department store. They opened their decorative brass-clad doors in 1843 and have been greeting visitors from all over the world ever since. They are proud of being a reliable family favourite for generations of Irish people too. Arnotts’ iconic building now occupies over 300,000 sq. ft at their famous location on Henry St in Dublin. They are a totally unique department store featuring over 700 international brands and 100 Irish craft brands, lovingly displayed over seven luxurious floors.

BROWN THOMAS: – Grafton St

The crème de la crème of department stores, Brown Thomas offers the most luxurious in clothing, cosmetics and homeware. This is where Bobbi Brown and Chanel nestle side by side amongst Tiffany’s and Louis Vuitton with a delicious café on the top floor that rejuvenates whilst simultaneously delighting taste buds.

ILAC CENTRE: – Henry St

Opened in 1981, it was the first shopping centre in Dublin’s city centre. Still one of the favourites among Dubliners, this shopping centre is one to go and get fabulous fashions at affordable prices alongside brand names such as Debenhams, River Island and H&M. It is home to over 80 stores, the centre boasts over 28 fashion and accessory outlets, 11 homewares stores and 13 eateries
from waiter service to self-service and takeaways. The centre is also home to the Central Library on the first floor with a small chapel underneath.

POWERSCOURT TOWNCENTRE: – South William St

South William Street Powerscourt Centre is a speciality shopping centre set in an elegant Georgian house centrally located just off Grafton Street. The Powerscourt Townhouse could be a self-sufficient commune all on its own. It has high street, good quality brands like All Saints and French Connection, independent Irish designers and stylish sellers, eateries, a gallery and dress hiring service among many other things.

CARROLL’S IRISH GIFTS: – Various locations

Multiple Locations in the city Carroll’s Irish Gifts are specialists in traditional Irish gifts and merchandise. You will find lots of stores dotted around the city, where you can pick up some quirky Irish souvenirs.

JERVIS SHOPPING CENTRE – Jervis Street

Jervis St/Mary Street Located on one of Dublin’s busiest shopping thoroughfare Henry/Mary St, this is a vibrant shopping centre that has a mix of tenants from domestic, UK and European retailers such as Miss Selfridge, M&S, Berskha, Next and Boots.

STEPHEN’S GREEN SHOPPING CENTREStephen’s Green

This stunning centre is home to a wide variety of top retailers including household names such as Dunnes Store, Argos, Boots, Easons, Golden Discs and TK Maxx, as well as leading homegrown retailers such as Best Menswear and Tribe. It’s also known for its slightly more eclectic tastes with stores like Asha, Cactus and Retro Nation stocking anything from Goth Fashion to quirky gifts. Gift and Souvenir shops also feature, as well as a huge variety of top quality cafes, bars and restaurants

CREATIVE QUARTER stretching from South William St to George’s St, and from Lower Stephen’s Street to Exchequer Street.

The area has a long standing  history dating back to the 18th century of  specialist design, and hosts exceptional artisan boutiques, studios, cafés and restaurants. The Creative Quarter is a hub of design creativity and innovation, there are plenty of inspiring and exciting places nestled in the area waiting for you to explore. It is home to an eclectic mix of shops, cafés, galleries, restaurants, creative businesses and plenty more.

Dine in Dublin

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Now that you’ve shopped till you dropped, it’s time to dig into some tantalising grub. From traditional Irish food to modern cuisine with a twist, DublinTown has everything you could ever want, all within the city centre.

Let’s start off with…

THE HAIRY LEMONStephen St Lower

It’s just about as unconventional as its namesake and is one of Dublin’s Trendiest Pubs. After taking a stroll through St. Stephens Green, drop into the The Hairy Lemon for some Beef and Guinness Pie, Dublin Coddle, or their Traditional Bacon and Cabbage! Random fact: The Hairy Lemon Pub was christened in memory of one of the city’s great characters who was a dog catcher in the 1950’s. He was reputed to boast a lemon shaped visage and a stubble of gooseberry like hair. You definitely didn’t need to know that, but there you have it!

PICHET  Trinity St

This trendy, award-winning restaurant is a modern take on the classic bistro so expect some delicious french cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. Indulge your palate with the freshest cuisine and you might just get a front row seat to the theatrical displays provided by Pichet’s team of chefs in the main area. This chic eatery, located in the heart of Dublin city on Trinity Street, offers quality dining in a relaxed and informal surroundings with exquisite service provided to all those who walk through Pichets’ door.

THE CHURCH BAR & RESTAURANT Mary Street

The grandeur of this venue cannot be denied. The former St.Mary’s Church of Ireland still boasts an original giant organ, spectacular stained glass windows and an awe inspiring history. Enjoying a meal in such elegant surroundings makes any occasion special. The Church has hosted such names as Former American President Bill Clinton and Music superstar Taylor Swift & Macklemore. Whether you’re in the mood to sit in the main bar and chat, visit the beer garden for some outdoor drinks or enjoy some delicious food in The Gallery, The Church has you covered.

SAN LORENZOS  – South Great George’s St

With high quality ingredients and laid back style, San Lorenzo’s is the go to restaurant for quality Italian food with a NYC twist in Dublin City. It is also home to the famous #Brunchofchampions, hailed as the best brunch in Dublin (don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!) Virtually everything is made in house and they delight in preparing the best Ireland has to offer. They believe in seasonal, locally sourced Irish produce. They make all of their own pastas, breads, desserts and ice creams.

CAFES:

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In need of a coffee fix? or just want a tasty treat? Dublin has more than its fair share of scrumptious coffee shops and cafes to help satisfy your needs. 

CLEMENT & PEKOE – South William St. 

Clement and Pekoe is a unique coffee house in the city centre. A place where local’s gather for their morning coffee fix or their evening wind down. Take a perch and watch the world go by.

TRAM CAFE – Wolfe Tone Square

Wolfe Tone Square. This vintage tram has been transformed into a quirky café that serves delicious food cooked freshly each morning. The menu changes daily so you never know what you might be treated to!

ACCENTS COFFEE & TEA LOUNGE – Stephens St Lower

Accents is the perfect home from home where you can curl up with a cup of coffee and dwindle away the hours on their cosy couches. A nice touch is the provision of popular table games and a library of books to keep you occupied. Branded as ‘the sober pub’, Accents is an alternative destination for evening socialising.

THE WOODEN WHISKTalbot St

A pastry gem for those who like things sweet. With delicious homemade goods and tasty coffee, it’s the ideal place to sit with friends for a catch up or to sit and rejuvenate with lunch after a hard day’s shopping.

SOCIALISING:

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You have seen the shops, been well feed and it’s time to unwind and socialise in city’s hotspots. Whether your looking for great cocktails and jazz, or the latest chart toppers or bands Dublin’s Social Scene won’t leave you disappointed. 

37 DAWSON – Dawson St

Set in one of Dublin’s busiest nightlife spots, just off St. Stephen’s Green, it is a fresh and innovative concept with this being apparent from the minute you walk through the door. They go late 5 nights a week from Tuesday to Saturday and with four bars throughout the building meaning you won’t ever have to wait long to quench that thirst. Every one of the bars boasts an extensive range of cocktails with twists on traditional recipes and a range of new concoctions, catering for the avid connoisseur.

MADIGAN’S – O’Connell St

This is a traditional Irish pub serving great Irish food with live Irish music every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Within walking distance from The GPO, The Spire, O’Connell Street Bridge and Trinity College, it’s a great spot to stop for a beverage of choice.

BRUXELLES – Harry St

Situated next to a statue of Irish rock legend Phil Lynott, Bruxelles has become a haven for the rock sound featuring regular live music acts as well as DJs. It’s played a big part in the birth of the Irish music scene. Located just off Grafton St, one of Dublin’s busiest shopping thoroughfares it’s a great place to visit after a spot of shopping!

THE ACADEMY – Middle Abbey St

The Academy burst onto the Dublin music scene in October 2007, bringing rock & roll to Middle Abbey Street. Featuring 4 different venues within one building, The Academy now gives punters a big choice of acts, clubs & events to consider when on a night out in the city.

THE INTERNATIONAL BAR – Wicklow St

Probably the best known venue for comedy nights. It plays host to stand-up comedy seven nights a week and the show usually starts at 20:00 – get there nice and early because it fills up fast

THE SPORTING EMPORIUM – Anne’s Lane

The Sporting Emporium offers Ireland’s premier casino experience. Situated just off Grafton Street in the heart of Dublin and set in luxurious surroundings, members can choose from the best in live gaming including Blackjack and Roulette, while enjoying complimentary beverages. You can also watch live sporting games. Perfect for night owls planning an evening out.

CULTURAL DUBLIN:

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Dublin boasts many museums, galleries, churches and historic houses to visit. Get immersed in Irish culture with any one of the following suggestions.

GPO WITNESS HISTORY – O’Connell St

GPO Witness History is a brand new permanent visitor attraction in the iconic GPO building on O’Connell Street, Dublin. This highly immersive and engaging exhibition puts you right inside the GPO during Easter Week in 1916. History will come to life as you experience events from both sides of the confl ict and through the eyes of bystanders caught in the crossfi re through electronic touch screens, video, audio visual booths, sound and authentic artefacts – many previously unseen.

THE IRISH WHISKEY MUSUEM – Grafton St

This museum will take you back through time to unveil the intriguing tale of Irish whiskey. It depicts the origins of Irish whiskey, its rise and fall and the current revival of new Irish whiskeys. You are guided through the ages by entertaining guides and can enjoy a little tipple of Irish whiskey and become a true master of whiskey tasting.

NATIONAL LEPRACHAUN MUSEUM – Jervis St

For a fun and magical world full of fascinating folklore and enchanting stories visit to the National Leprechaun Museum, the first ever attraction dedicated to this Irish mythology. The National Leprechaun Museum is a story telling experience taking you to the heart of Irish cultural identity and imagination. Find yourself in a leprechaun-sized world and take a journey to the end of the rainbow to see if the elusive crock of gold really exists. You can also explore the dark twisted side of Irish story-telling with their night-time tours.

LITTLE MUSEUM OF DUBLIN – St Stephen’s Green

Boasting artefacts from famous visitations such as those by Muhammad Ali and JFK as well as items related to all aspects of Dublin’s history, The Little Museum of Dublin is truly unique. The Little Museum tells the remarkable story of Dublin in the 20th Century. Named as “Dublin’s best museum experience” by the Irish Times, the Little Museum has been nominated for the European
Museum of the Year Awards and is one museum experience not to be bypassed in Dublin.

THE ABBEY THEATRE – Abbey St Lower

Founded by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory in 1904, Ireland’s national theatre, was established to ‘bring upon the stage the deeper thoughts and emotions of Ireland’. Since it first opened its doors, the Abbey Theatre has played a vital and often controversial role in the literary, social and cultural life of Ireland. Over the years, the Abbey Theatre has nurtured and premiered the work
of major playwrights such as J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey as well as contemporary classics from the likes of Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr and Brian Friel to name but a few. The warmth of the bar, the intimacy of the venue and the history in the walls, make a night at the Abbey thoroughly enjoyable and culturally enriching.

This is just a snippet of the many shopping, dining and social destinations that are scattered around Ireland’s capital city. If your looking for more, go to our what’s on section or our Shop/Dine/Do section of this website.