A surge in tourist numbers and a relative lack of beds means hotel prices can skyrocket, particularly at weekends and during the high season (May to September). There are good midrange options north of the Liffey, but the biggest spread of accommodation is south of the river, from midrange Georgian townhouses to the city's top hotels. Budget travellers rely on the selection of decent hostels, many of which have private rooms as well as dorms.
Top-end and deluxe hotels fall into two categories – period Georgian elegance and cool, minimalist chic. No matter what the decor, you can expect luxurious surrounds, king-sized beds, satellite TV, full room service, wi-fi and discreet, professional pampering. While the luxury of the best places is undeniable, their inevitable affiliation to the world's most celebrated hotel chains has introduced the whiff of corporate homogeneity into the carefully ventilated air.
Dublin's midrange accommodation is more of a mixed bag, ranging from no-nonsense but soulless chains to small B&Bs in old Georgian townhouses. These days, hotel connoisseurs the world over have discovered the intimate but luxurious boutique hotel, where the personal touch is maintained through fewer rooms, each of which is given lavish attention. Dublin's townhouses and guesthouses – usually beautiful Georgian homes converted into lodgings – are this city's version of the boutique hotel, and there are some truly outstanding ones to choose from. These are beautifully decked out and extremely comfortable, while at the lower end, rooms are simple, a little worn and often rather overbearingly decorated. Here you can look forward to kitsch knick-knacks, chintzy curtains, lace doilies and clashing floral fabrics so loud they'll burn your retinas. Breakfast can range from home-baked breads, fruit and farmhouse cheeses to a traditional, fat-laden fry-up.
Budget options are few and far between in a city that has undergone a dramatic tourist revolution, so if you want to stay anywhere close to the city centre, you'll have to settle for a hostel. Thankfully, most of them maintain a pretty high standard of hygiene and comfort. Many offer various sleeping arrangements, from a bed in a large dorm to a four-bed room or a double. There are plenty to pick from, but they tend to fill up very quickly and stay full.
There are also central self-catering apartments for groups, families or those on extended stays who may prefer to do their own thing. And there are hundreds of rental options in the city, ranging from basic rooms in apartments to fully furnished Georgian homes. New rules on short-term lettings were introduced in July 2019 for landlords in rent pressure zones (all of the city centre), restricting them to 90 days or less of renting per year.
Self-catering apartments are a good option for visitors staying a few days, for groups of friends, or for families with kids. There are literally hundreds of short-term letting options in Dublin, the overwhelming majority of them listed on Airbnb. From beds squeezed into what was once a broom closet to deluxe, duplex apartments with views, there's plenty of choice to be had.
Alternatively, there are smaller companies in town with a stock of self-catering apartments, ranging from one-room studios to two-bedroom flats with lounge areas, bathrooms and kitchenettes. A decent two-bedroom apartment will cost from €150 a night, with most topping €200 in anything but the low season. Good, central places include the following:
Need to Know
- Keep an eye out for online offers.
- Flexibility is a must.
- Hotels that cater to business customers offer cheaper weekend rates.
Check-In & Check-Out Times
Checkout at most establishments is noon, but some of the smaller guesthouses and B&Bs require that you check out a little earlier, usually around 11am. Check-in is usually between 2pm and 3pm.
It's customary to tip bellhops €1 per bag, and concierges up to €5 for any additional service they provide, such as booking restaurants, taxis or advice on what to do or where to go.