City Center Shops
17 D'Olier St., City Center
The bright blue-and-gold façade on otherwise unremarkable D’Olier Street lures you into Books Upstairs. This is one of the many independent bookstores that keep Dublin’s credentials as a literary capital alive. Owner Maurice Earls is not catering to the masses with bestsellers, instead, his edit is for the kind of reader who wants to delve into something memorable, some of it new, a lot of it old. It's not the fanciest bookseller around (the red carpet is a bit jarring), but it oozes the quiet personality of an independent business—posters from Earls’s own collection dot the walls, every surface piled high with titles. Light streams through the original stained-glass windows at the upstairs café, the rickety seats always occupied by bookworms young and old, the occasional writer, and more often than not, Earls himself.
88-95 Grafton St., City Center
Ireland’s answer to Barneys New York, run by the Weston family (who also own London’s Selfridges), Brown Thomas is a serious shopper's temple. The beauty of having a store like BT’s in a smaller city like Dublin is that many of the season’s most coveted items that sell out immediately in London or Paris are often still available here. The buying team does an incredible job filling out each floor—more casual attire and lingerie upstairs and premium designers and shoes downstairs—with beautiful pieces by Sandro, Carven, Stella McCartney, and Chanel in a way that feels incredibly thoughtful. All marble and hardwood floors with plush dressing rooms, the store is a pleasure to shop. The very top floor is a mecca of kitchen tools, china, and every implement under the sun, plus a good restaurant to fill the tank.
10 Castle Market, City Center
Owned by a trio of sisters since the '90s, Costume is centrally located amid the buzz of Castle Market, which makes it almost too easy to drop in often. Both floors of this teeny boutique are filled with luxe Yves Salomon coats, Giambattista Valli dresses, and Isabel Marant knits—always a great port of call when you want something particularly beautiful.
56-58 Dawson St., City Center
Ireland’s oldest and most loved bookstore, feeding imaginations since 1768, is perpetually crowded (at Christmas, it's a struggle to get in the door). This may suggest that the store is small, but in fact it’s huge. Four floors heaving with tomes across every topic imaginable, including the largest collection of books relating to Ireland as a subject anywhere in the world. Trinity students treat the place as an extension of the three libraries they already have; the art and history sections in particular usually have a student or two illicitly taking notes from books they’re not going to buy. Despite always being full, Hodges Figgis, with its carpets and many hidden nooks, is always quiet. The seats by the windows on the second floor are the ones to grab, conveniently located by the travel-writing section.
Industry & Co.
41 a/b Drury St., City Center
Industry is an independent design store doing a pretty excellent job of bringing the concept of hygge to Dublin. It is impossible to leave the store without picking up a few things and lusting after the rest: ceramics by local artists, wool blankets, sculptural light fixtures, the most beautiful teakwood chopping boards, textiles, and design books, just to give you an idea. It's a solid edit of traditional craft pieces for the home and more unusual items, like hand-carved Japanese wooden spoons, that elevate daily rituals into something special. Mull over your purchases at the cute in-store café, or pop across the street to Kaph for the best matcha in Dublin.
6 Nassau St., City Center
A love letter to Irish design on tourist-laden Nassau Street, Kilkenny showcases some of the country’s most renowned products, like Waterford Crystal, Irish linen, wool throws, Stephen Pearce pottery (the artist's actual studio is a few minutes walk from Ballymaloe cookery school should you find yourself in Cork), the works. A great spot to pick up gifts to bring back home or simply some new tableware. Upstairs you’ll find a good restaurant and café.
Powerscourt Town Center
Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 59 William St.
A townhouse suggests a more compact property, suited to city living, Powerscourt, however, was once the residence of Lord Powerscourt and is of mansion proportions. Now glass-roofed, and the rooms filled with retail and restaurants, it’s a great spot to while away an afternoon: coffee and a sandwich at the Pepper Pot, browsing for antiques (serious enthusiasts should also hit up Frances Street). Article is one of its more noteworthy stores, occupying what was once Lord Powerscourt’s dressing room and home to a thoughtful assortment of homewares, knickknacks, and textiles. If you're lucky, a musician will be playing the grand piano at the base of the staircase, filling the space with music that somehow manages to soar above the din of a hundred or so people shopping, dining, and chatting.
29 Wicklow St., City Center
"Siopaella" translates quite simply to "Ella’s shop," Ella being owner Ella de Guzman. Guzman’s siopa is where locals go when they want designer vintage and resale, without having to bin-dive for it. The store itself is a tiny, crowded nook on a busy stretch of Wicklow Street, but the inventory is a legitimate treasure trove of vintage Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and if you’re lucky, the occasional Hermès Kelly bag. The racks of clothing are snugly packed, perfect for treasure hunters who like a good find. Best of all, each item is properly authenticated and always in peak condition.
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