Dublin Shopping: Irish Crafts to Guinness Souvenirs
From vast shopping malls to funky boutiques, a souvenir for every taste can be found in Dublin.
With a wealth of free museums and galleries in Dublin, those with a wad of vacation cash in their pockets might find themselves itching for a place to spend it. Fortunately for them, shopping in Dublin is plentiful. From swanky boutiques to delicious food markets, there is a multitude of spending options throughout the city. The city center is a great place to begin with funky markets, small stores and huge shopping centers around every corner.
St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre
St. Stephen’s Green is a good place to start spending green (actually, you’ll be spending euro, so it’s a good place to start spending multi-coloreds). Walking northwest from the Green, you won’t get far before you find a nice place to pick up a keepsake. Across the street is a shopping mall that borrows its name from the famous park. St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is a beautiful building, built to look like a conservatory, with shops catering to locals and tourists alike.
For those young ladies who subscribe to the school of thought that when in Ireland, dress as the Irish do, a trip to Topshop is the perfect place to buy your blending-in clothes. Dublin is home to a huge flagship location of the famous British retailer. Located just across the street from St. Stephen’s Green, Topshop is a great place to start a spree.
From there, wander down Grafton Street, the heart of Dublin’s shopping scene. On Grafton Street you will find upscale department store Brown Thomas, which stocks international brands including Prada and Miss Sixty while also featuring upscale Irish designers such as Orla Kiely.
For those with shallower pockets, just across the street is Marks & Spencer, where you can stock up on everything from socks to pillows to picnic supplies. You’ll also find a number of small, hip fashion stores on Grafton Street and plenty of cafés in which you can recover over a latte.
If you’re more inclined to shop for others, finding an interesting Irish present in Dublin is incredibly easy. On every busy street there are shops that sell postcards, skillfully carved Celtic jewelry and other Irish goods. Linen, wool and glassware are traditional Irish souvenirs and are widely available at any tourist shop, with a particularly large selection at O’Connell’s Shop on O’Connell Street.
If you want Irish made but have an aversion to shamrock covered tourist goods, head to Avoca Handweavers on Suffolk Street. This seven-level store has a café serving delicious fare and is a great place to pick up Irish clothing, housewares and food.
If you can’t decide between taking in one last tourist attraction and picking up some gifts for those back home, a trip to the Guinness Storehouse will satisfy both desires. The gift shop is huge and features Guinness glassware, clothing, kitchenware, dart boards … the list goes on. Much of the Guinness paraphernalia features the company’s famous animal cartoons, lending the items vintage appeal.
Dundrum Shopping Centre
For more serious shoppers, a short trip south on the Dublin Light Rail System (LUAS) will deliver you to Europe’s largest mall, the Dundrum Shopping Centre. With shops, restaurants, a cinema and even a theater, the mall is a testament to Dublin’s status as a growing metropolis.
If all that intense shopping has left you feeling exhausted and undernourished, Dublin’s many markets provide a feast for the stomach as well as the eyes. On Saturdays, the Temple Bar Food Market takes over Meeting House Square. Here you can pick up locally grown produce as well as find exotic treats such as sushi and tapas.
Moore Street is also home to many vendors peddling food and flowers, Monday through Saturday. A stroll down this cobblestone, character-filled road is a great way to take in some authentic Irish charm.
And of course, no trip to Dublin could be complete without buying a pint. After your full day of shopping, head to the nearest pub, treat yourself to a drink and strike up a conversation with a local. While shopping is fun, experiencing this remarkable city is priceless.