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Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Dublin

18 January, 2022by Bounce

Dublin is one of Europe’s favorite destinations for fun-loving and curious travelers. Ireland is a famously welcoming country with an unmistakable culture. Almost everyone has an image of Ireland in their mind of rolling hills, craggy coastlines, and cozy pubs. This is most certainly the case throughout the Irish countryside, but Ireland's capital city is a modern city with cutting-edge culture and luxury shopping. During the last decade and a half, Dublin has ridden the “Celtic Tiger” wave of Ireland’s economic explosion to become one of the best shopping destinations in Europe. 

With a compact but bustling city centre, shopping in Dublin is both convenient and fulfilling. The city’s winding alleyways, high street stores, and major thoroughfares are teeming with designer stores, vintage shops, and boutiques. To put it plainly, Dublin is incredibly fun to walk around (snd easy to navigate). Friendly crowds make this a pleasant city to navigate, and the stores (whether a quirky thrift store or luxury boutique) are inviting. Here are some of the best Dublin shopping spots.

And before you head out to spend some euros, don't forget to leave your bags behind at a Bounce luggage storage in Dublin. You're going to pick up plenty more bags while you explore the shops, so it's best to travel light as much as possible.

Best Shopping Centres

Brown Thomas 

This chic department store near both Dublin Castle and Temple Bar is the city’s premier institution for high-end Dublin shopping. First opening its doors in 1849, Brown Thomas is a one-stop shop for luxury clothing, lingerie, make-up, homeware, and jewelry, all under one roof.

Entering Brown Thomas via Grafton Street, you’ll find its doors are flanked by friendly and uniformed doormen that welcome shoppers to four floors of haute couture elegance. Prada, Chanel, Gucci, and other world-famous names are featured prominently throughout the store, and Brown Thomas has the city’s best selections from these brands. Because navigating the store is an extensive undertaking, a cafe and restaurant (suitably as chic as the luxury products the store sells) serve up much-needed food and freshly baked goods to shoppers in need of sustenance. 

Not being content with being Dublin’s go-to location for Cartier, Hermès, Balenciaga, Armani,  and Louis Vuitton, Brown Thomas also curates a roster of independent Irish designers. The CREATE installation is a who’s who of up-and-coming designers. Teatum Jones and Margaret O’Connor are two recent additions to a revered and influential program. 

George’s Street Arcade 

Walking distance from Grafton Street, Temple Bar, and Trinity College, this well-preserved Victorian-era shopping center is the hip counterpoint to Brown Thomas. George’s Street Arcade is home to an eclectic and wonderful selection of stores. Everything from quirky vintage clothes, to collectibles, and even music are on offer at this trendy plaza. Independent clothing boutiques seem to be the most common sight, but there are plenty of surprising additions like a tarot-card reader. If you’re popping in around lunchtime, grab some falafel, a coffee, or (surprise, surprise) some vegan bites. 

Designer Mart at Cow’s Lane

Located in the shadows of Dublin Castle, the outdoor market at Cow’s Lane is a treasure trove of charming Irish art and handcrafted goods. There is an emphasis on the “lane” part of the name, as this market is a cozy hideaway that can feel like only you and a few others are aware of. And yet, Cow’s Lane is a famous destination for Dublin shopping, and one of the best markets in the city. This is the perfect place to shop for art and handcrafted pieces to bring back home for souvenirs. Because many of the wares on offer are entirely unique, you might want to stash them at the hotel or Bounce locations in Temple Bar before hitting the pubs or visiting Dublin Castle. 

Dundrum Shopping Centre

If you find yourself outside the city centre on a rainy day, visit Dundrum Shopping Centre. This is the largest mall in Ireland and features familiar favorites. If it’s a rainy day, check out this year’s latest Marvel movie at the on-site movie theater. There are playgrounds and other entertainment if you’re with the kids, and restaurants, bars, and cafes if you’re in need of refreshment. This is a perfectly serviceable mall, with everything you’ll need in a shopping center, and just the right amount of Irish charm. 

Powerscourt Townhouse 

This Georgian townhouse, located a few minutes away from St. Stephen’s Green, has been repurposed into a distinctive shopping mall. Its halls are lined with high-end boutiques, where you can find everything from plants to purses. There is a bespoke atmosphere, and an elegant focus on high-quality independent stores create an elevated Dublin shopping experience. The mall’s atrium has three levels of stores like MoMouse and Chupi for minimalist jewelery, and the popular sophisticated homeware dealer Article. There is a focus on sustainability that is present throughout the many different stores, which suggests the trend is here to stay. 

Quirky Bookstores and Vintage Shops 

Hodges Figgis

First opening its doors in 1768, Hodges Figgis is Dublin’s oldest bookshop (it would be the oldest bookshop in most countries). This expansive four-floored library will make even the most intrepid reader feel as though they are lost in the Hogwarts library. Its proximity to Trinity College explains the massive selection of academic books, but there is a sizeable selection of bestsellers. The real treasures can be found in the travel, nature, cooking, photography, and literature sections. This is the best spot to grab your reading material for the trip home. 

A Fabulous Market

On the first Saturday of every month, this flea market is hosted at George Bar on Great George’s Street. While temporary markets can yield a variety of results, curious shoppers can walk away with everything from small-batch skincare products to custom jewelry, to even vinyl records. Regardless of what’s on offer that particular Saturday, the live music and people-watching are reason enough to head over. 

The Harlequin

This family business is the premier vintage outfitter in Dublin. If you’re looking for a statement piece that’s perfect for your next concert or night out in Temple Bar, search through this treasure trove of trendy vintage garb and accessories. Everything from formal to casual wear lines these shelves. Because it’s run by a mother and daughter team, you can expect to find a selection of unique and well-preserved items. 

Lucy’s Lounge

Walking down Fownes Street, you will absolutely not miss this quirky vintage boutique’s pink facade. The wares certainly lean eccentric, but not freakish. There is a whimsical feeling to this store, and you can tell its owners don’t take themselves too seriously. Regardless of what you carry away from the store, you will have enjoyed your time shopping at Lucy’s Lounge, and you will most certainly have chuckled a bit at some of these items. 

Dublin Vintage Factory

If you’re interested in a vintage shopping experience that’s just a little edgier than your town’s Urban Outfitters, head to this warehouse on Smithfield Square. They offer a wide array of ironic 80’s band t-shirts, novelty windbreakers, and other hipster staples. The atmosphere is pleasant, and the actual store is not as dusty as some other vintage stores. 

A Store Is Born

Right in the thick of Dublin’s most bustling quarter, this Clarendon Street boutique offers only the best of the best in used clothing. Everything is high-end, just at vintage prices. It’s only open on Saturdays, so you’ll want to get there after your first coffee before the rest of Dublin’s expert shoppers get there and pick everything over. 

Dublin Designers and Boutiques 

Jennifer Rothwell

Located in the Powerscourt Townhouse Shopping Centre, Jennifer Rothwell’s flagship boutique is one of the greatest fashion institutions in Ireland. The influential designer worked with fashion titans Calvin Klein and Norma Kamali before establishing her own label. Using this experience and her New York/Dublin pedigree, Jennifer Rothwell has turned her company into one of Ireland’s foremost voices in fashion. She’s been winning accolades throughout the journey, with the Brown Thomas Designer Award under her belt and respect around the industry. Fine fabrics and sophisticated aesthetics are the common themes here. All of her collections are both designed and produced in Dublin, making her work essential to the Dublin shopping experience.  

Om Diva

Most people don’t associate Ireland with Laurel-Canyon-inspired retro aesthetics. But the flowery designers at Om Diva have turned a flower-power vibe into one of the best boutiques in Dublin for women’s fashion. Off-centered cheeriness and a keen eye for combining the fashion sense of both yesterday and tomorrow are what these dynamos hang their (bucket) hats on. The Atelier 27 Project supports young designers around Dublin, helping them create brands and open spaces that contribute to Dublin’s homegrown fashion scene, and their boutique is a marvelous addition. Their passionate and knowledgeable staff are extremely helpful for navigating their colorful collections. You might need a shot from their in-house espresso bar to keep up! 

Havana

Havana has one of the best collections of high-quality products with contemporary aesthetics in the city. The clothing and accessories on offer are targeted at those who know the fashion industry well, as their roster of brands might not be household names but are revered across the niche fashion world. 

Indigo & Cloth

This Temple Bar men’s boutique is one of the best in Dublin. Its stylish and contemporary main floor has a minimalist layout, which allows the store to more prominently feature some of Dublin’s best designers along with some thoughtfully-curated international brands. There are three floors of men’s clothing, some women’s shopping, a homeware section, and even a specialty coffee shop. 

Carousel 

Carousel has been a feature in Dublin’s shopping scene since 2001, and this boutique has made a name for itself with its timeless branding and sophisticated palate. While the clothing is newly designed and made, the entire Carousel line invokes a vintage feeling. Their ‘Circus’ range of products is entirely produced and designed using ethical materials and fabrication methods. Their retail location in Dublin is famously well-decorated, with well-appointed accents lining the walls. Carousel is known to provide one of the best shopping experiences in Dublin. 

Best Streets for Shopping in Dublin 

Grafton Street

You just cannot talk about Dublin without mentioning Grafton Street. Whether it’s the city’s premier department store or an eclectic smattering of indie shops and boutiques, this stretch has it all. Ted Baker’s flagship boutique in Ireland is also located on Grafton, and there is Dunne’s for budget-buys. The street is also as lively as they get, with buskers, flower stalls, and street food vendors

Even if you’re only window shopping, it’s worth the short trek from St. Stephen’s Green (where the “top” of the street intersects) or Trinity College. This bustling street is the epicenter of shopping in Dublin, and one of its best thoroughfares for people watching and taking a selfie in front of the famous Molly Malone statue. 

Drury Street

There is a cluster of independent shops (which skew high-end) on Drury, just parallel to Grafton Street. Home to city favorites Om Diva, this stretch is a must-visit for anyone looking for vintage design with a flair. There are also contemporary stores like Carousel, where you can find sustainable products and impeccably-curated clothing and accessory ranges. If you’re looking for homeware or plush furniture, Industry & Co is one of Dublin’s best. 

Francis Street

Fortunately for art and antique aficionados, Dublin’s Francis Street specializes in these products. The entire street (and surrounding quarter) has the highest concentration of antique jewelry stores, art galleries featuring contemporary Irish design, and high-end collectibles.

O’Connell Street

O’Connell Street functions both as Dublin’s main boulevard (as it runs directly through the Dublin city center as well as a well-trod stretch for shops, restaurants, and pubs. There is artwork lining the entire street, with a statue of James Joyce (a Dublin landmark), painted windows of the Carlton Cinema, and views of the Dublin Spire. 

Conclusion


With high-end additions and an already fantastic local culture, Dublin’s shopping can rival any capital in Europe. While the pubs of Temple Bar and hauntingly gorgeous countryside are what bring most visitors to Ireland, you can expect exceptional shopping on this historic city’s streets. 

If you hit every boutique on this list, you might have to procure additional luggage, but rest assured that Bounce is here to take care of the luggage you came with and help you appreciate this gorgeous city as it’s meant to be.

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