A Design Lover’s Guide To Dublin, Ireland

Add Dublin to your design target list.

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When people think of design-minded travel destinations in Europe, Dublin should definitely be on the list. With the city’s rich history in terms of literature, music, and art mixed with the city’s more contemporary creative places, you’ll find plenty of activities to fit your schedule (whether for a day, weekend, or longer). Include these locations on your itinerary for your next stop in Ireland’s capital.

Where to sleep

Whether you book a room or just dine at one of the on-site restaurants, the Mayson Dublin gets you out of the usual touristy areas and into an area called Dublin Docklands. An ideal place to experience the River Liffey that flows through Dublin or the elegant Samuel Beckett Bridge. Here you will find a cozy resting place.

O’Donnell O’Neill designed the hotel to draw on the region’s industrial past. If you just look outside you will see the first three floors of the original building and the recently added rusty steel extension. Details like exposed brick, an elegant copper bathtub in the penthouse suite, and brass lighting reflect Docklands history, but all of this is wrapped in a luxury hotel experience.

Restaurant in Mayson Dublin

The Mayson Dublin is well worth a visit, not only for its immaculate design, but also for its unique location in … [+] the Docklands.

The Mayson Dublin

“The Bottle Boy Pub and Townhouse Rooms at 81 North Wall Quay and the hotel’s main entrance at 82 North Wall Quay are different in nature and style, restoring their original character,” said Russell Hadley, general manager at The Mayson. “Our goal was to keep the public’s appreciation of Docklands heritage while preserving the importance of the historical footprint.”

Dublin Docklands on a sunny morning in Dublin, Ireland

The Samuel Beckett Bridge and Dublin Docklands in Dublin, Ireland

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Something to see

Just a few blocks from Mayson Dublin is EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum. Opened in 2018, the museum examines how Ireland became the country we know today thanks to the expatriates whose stories are shared here. You can also visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) for contemporary art exhibits, as well as a charming garden for an afternoon stroll.

It’s fun to stroll through Dublin’s Creative Quarter, an area that stretches from South William Street to George’s Street and from Lower Stephen’s Street to Exchequer Street. You’ll find an eclectic mix of almost everything here – boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and more. Visit The Kind, Designist and Industry & Co. to shop and buy unique souvenirs. Loose Canon Cheese & Wine is an ideal afternoon stop to enjoy local delicacies and biodynamic wines.

George's Street Arcade, Dublin

George’s Street Arcade, a shopping center in Dublin, Ireland.

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In this area, visit George’s Street Arcade, one of the oldest city markets in Europe with Victorian architecture. Then walk a few blocks to St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Center for even more architecture – the ornate white iron and huge clock add character to the interior.

Where to eat (and drink)

You will find some gems if you stroll through the Smithfield area, a former warehouse district that is now dotted with live music venues, bars and bistros. The Fish Shop’s menu changes daily and the focus is on the freshest and best-caught beer-beaten fish served with wine. The WokeCup Cafe will please vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike with offerings like kimchi waffles or more traditional toasties (a toasted sandwich). And for a proper caffeine fixation, Proper Order Coffee has you covered in a strong, energizing cup of joe.

And while it’s certainly not under the radar, head to the church for a drink in the evenings – it’s an 18th-century church that’s been converted into a cafe, bar, and restaurant. The unique space often also offers live music, making it an unforgettable place to end your time in Dublin.

Theresa Christine is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, CA. You can listen to their travel, culture and feminism podcast, The Wild and Curious Podcast, or follow their adventures by subscribing to their newsletter here.

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