Experience authentic Georgian elegance is this unique large OVAL studio apartment, overlooking park. Accommodates two in cosy sleeping loft. Light a fire, cook dinner in the designer kitchen, and then head out to enjoy the attractions of the city.
Come stay in one of Dublin's unique Georgian apartments, a perfect oval room, situated on Mountjoy Square, in the heart of Dublin's North Georgian core, and just minutes from O'Connell Street.
This large studio apartment is on the ground floor of a beautiful redbrick townhouse, built in 1792. Both house and apartment retain all their original features, combined with modern comforts.
The apartment has a fantastic 10ft window and overlooks a quiet side street, with an oblique view of the park. It has a working black Kilkenny marble fireplace with a spectacular gilt over-mantle mirror. The log basket is fully stocked with fuel- we charge cost price on an 'honour system'. The fully equipped kitchen has a granite worktop, a gas hob, electric oven, dishwasher and microwave.
The rest of the apartment is comfortably furnished with period furniture including a Georgian oval 'hunt' dining table and four matching chairs, a comfortable 6 ft., sofa, TV & DVD player along with an iPod/iPhone dock for music. A small library of Irish books, and DVD's is available.
The bedroom is upstairs and overlooks the apartment. It has a comfortable contract-quality double bed ,Siberian white goose down duvet and pillows and pure Pima/Egyptian cotton sheets. Read in comfort with vintage Anglepoise reading lights. Please note there is restricted headroom in the sleeping loft, and consequently, the bed is low.
A 90cm contract-quality single bed, and extra linens are available for a third guest. A charge of €10, to cover the cost of the extra laundry, will be collected upon arrival, if the room is occupied as a twin.
The bathroom has a high-pressure shower and loads of storage space.
•You will receive a welcome pack of the basics- quality tea, coffee, home-made granola and preserves, yoghurt, fresh fruit, free-range eggs and fresh brown soda bread.
•100% cotton bed linen and towels are provided
•Local tourist information and guide books available
•Fuel, at cost price, is available for the fire, if required.
•Washing machine and dryer are available in the building- €7.50
•Secure off-street parking is available for €5 per night
CHECK-IN IS FROM 2pm, but we are happy to take in your bags earlier. CHECK-OUT IS BY 11AM, please.
The house is perfectly located for exploring the city; all of the city's cultural institutions are within walking distance and the transport connections are excellent.
Airport bus (41) passes door, 8 min. walk to LUAS Red line, DART, (Connolly and Tara) and city busses. Dublin Bikes stand opposite house.
KARIN'S GUIDE TO THE CITY
LOCAL GROCERY SHOPPING, SERVICES AND BREAKFAST OPTIONS
In general, shopping hours are 9.30-6pm, with late-night shopping till 8pm on Thursdays. Sunday opening is from noon.
The Old Music Store on North Frederick Street, a few blocks NW of us, does a good Irish breakfast in comfortable surroundings. The Kingfisher Café, a no-frills 'caff' on the corner of Parnell Square and Parnell Street West is good for breakfast, with friendly and efficient service. Good value, and good fish and chips later in the day.
LOCAL GROCERY SHOPPING
Tops in Pops, just down the street to the right, for fresh local produce and basic groceries, 8.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. They are a fourth-generation local business, who have been trading on the site since 1931. The Londis corner store next door opens 8am to 10pm, but charge for privilege. There is an ATM machine at the back, right hand side of the store.
Dunne's Stores, is the indigenous supermarket and department store chain, and has branches in every sizeable town throughout the country. There are two local branches. In North Earl Street, opposite O’Connell Street’s Spire, the Off-Licence (liquor store) is in a separate premises, a few doors apart - look for the James Joyce statue. You will find a bigger branch in the ILAC Shopping Centre, flanked by Henry Street, Moore Street and Parnell Street West (Moore Street entrance is opposite Paris Bakery).
There is Metro Tesco on Parnell Street West, just past the Rotunda Hospital. A main branch is to be found in the basement of the Jervis Centre, off Henry Street.
Carney’s Butchers, is another multi-generational local family business, which prides itself on the quality of its meat. In keeping with local tradition, they sell fresh fish on Friday’s.
F.X. Buckley’s Butchers have two local branches; Moore Street and Talbot Street. This is a very old Dublin business and they have everything; free-range pork, beef and lamb from their own herds, poultry, game in season and fish, and, in the Moore Street branch, a deli counter for cooked meats next door. They are very obliging, and the lads have a great line in smart (sassy) chat.
Foley's Pharmacy on Parnell Street East is a 100+ year-old family business; they are very helpful. Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9am 6pm.
There is a late-night pharmacy, Hickey’s at 55 Lower O’Connell Street, (west side, within the block closest to the river). Opening hours: 8am -10pm M-F, 8.30am-10pm Saturday. 10am 10pm Sunday. Web: (email hidden)
Nearest Post Office is Parnell Street East, at corner of Marlborough Street, but much nicer is the GPO, O’Connell Street. 1828 façade, but badly damaged in the 1916 Rising, and largely rebuilt in 1928. The main hall is beautiful, with its entire original, 1928, fittings intact. It also contains the iconic statue, by Oliver Shepherd, The Dying Cuchullin. You will find a booklet with postal rates in the black folder.
Allied Irish Bank has a branch on O’Connell Street, at the SW junction with Parnell Street, opposite the Rotunda Hospital. ATM in the wall.
Bank of Ireland has a branch at Lower O’Connell Street, on the east side of the street, between Middle Abbey Street and Ashton Quay. ATM inside, opens
MEDICAL AND DENTAL PRACTICES
Mountjoy Medical Practice, Dr. Gerry Roebuck, Dr. Holly Porter (female) Dr. Colm Killeen. 2-3 Baker’s Yard, Portland Street (website hidden) 01 850 6640/850 66 50.
Opening hours 9-1.30 and 3.30-5.30. You can just drop in. €50 per visit.
Frederick Dental Clinic, Dr. Peter Dwyer, North Frederick Street.
-My dentist- is happy to see people on an emergency basis. Call for (website hidden):(phone number hidden).
My favourite local is W. J. Kavanagh's on Dorset Street, just two blocks north of us, on the main road to the airport. It's an old Dublin pub, which has undergone a gentle transformation - a huge selection of craft beers, and a small, artisan-based seasonal menu. very laid back and no tourists.
'The Cobalt Cafe', in a beautiful Georgian house on North Great Georges Street, which doubles as a gallery, is great for lunch. Parnell Street, Dublin's emerging 'Chinatown' is just a half a block to the south. Newly opened, on Parnell Square West is 'The Hot Stove', serving modern Irish food in a smart and comfortable setting.
Across O'Connell Street, on Moore Street, you will find the Paris Bakery, and (new) Deli. They serve all day, until 10 pm; superb pastries and great coffee from 8am, as well as excellent bistro-style meals, and fantastic bread.
Nearer the river, 'Le Bon Crubeen' (crubeen=pig's trotter- it's a modern Franco-Irish restaurant) is on Talbot Street, as is the venerable and immensely popular 'Talbot 101'. It is packed to the gunnels with locals between 5.54 and 7.15, enjoying their pre-theatre supper before the Abbey curtains rise at 7.30, when they relinquish their seats for the rest of us!
On the riverfront, I love Panem, facing the Millennium Bridge, for a quick coffee and a delicious Sicilian almond biscuit, baked on the premises. A few doors down, you'll find a cluster of Italian bars, cafes and restaurants serving good quality food. Half a block to the east is the trendy 'Winding Stairs' restaurant, with its book-lined walls (relics of a former second-hand bookshop-cum-cafe of the same name), while The Woollen Mills, opposite the Halfpenny Bridge, has a sophisticated casual menu, based on 'plates' for sharing.Back on Capel Street, locals rave about Brother Hubbard for lunch.
LOCAL PUBS include the 'Hill 16' just opposite the house, on Gardiner Street - very popular with the GAA crowd on match days (the Gaelic Athletic Association Stadium, Croke Park, is just 3 blocks to the east), they pull a superb 'pint'. ‘The Heritage Parnell’, on Parnell Street West, just around the corner from O’Connell Street 'The Flowing Tide', on the corner of Marlborough Street, opposite the Abbey Theatre, is one of my favorites - after the curtain goes down in the Abbey, half the cast are likely to (email hidden). A few doors closer to O’Connell Street is Mulligan’s, another very nice pub, dating from the Edwardian era. 'The Church' on Mary Street, in a converted 1720's church, is another fine place for a drink; the former owner won many accolades for the high quality of the restoration. Capel Street has many typical local pubs, which have the added benefit of serving a largely local population. They include Mc’Neill’s' which is good for traditional music, and Slattery's . 'The Black Sheep' has the local craft beers covered, and does good bar food, (as does its sister pub, ‘The Brew Dock’, on Store Street, at the bottom of Gardiner Street. The north side traditional music 'musician’s' bar is 'The Cobblestone', at the top of Smithfield, and is suitably grungy.
DEPARTMENT STORES AND FASHION
Henry Street, off O’Connell Street, at the SPIRE, is the premier shopping street on the north side of the river. Here you will find Arnott’s the local department store, which highlights Irish fashion and design, throughout the store, and has several nice cafes. Henry Street also contains large branches of Debenhams and Marks&Spencers, as well as branches of most of the high street fashion chains. There are two large shopping centres, the Jervis, with a large branch of Tesco’s in the Basement, and the ILAC, which has a Dunnes Department Store, with a Food Hall in the basement. (You can shop for fresh produce on adjacent Moore Street, Dublin's oldest street market, now also home to a thriving cluster of ethnic food markets and restaurants.) Clery’s Department Store is on O’Connell Street- have a look at the elegant 1940’s neo-classical façade, a mini version of Selfridges’s in London.
NORTHSIDE CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS
The North side of Parnell Square is home to the city's Hugh Lane Gallery of Modern Art; we share a significant collection of Impressionist painting with the Tate Gallery in London, part of the Hugh Lane Bequest, which is rotated in seven-year cycles. Next door is the Writer's Centre, and next door again, is the Writer's Museum, with a Michelin-starred restaurant in the basement, the amazing Chapter One. Down on the East side of Parnell Square is the beautiful jewel-box that is the Gate Theatre - part of the 18th-century entertainment complex established by the entrepreneurial Dr. Bartholomew, to help support his new Rotunda Maternity Hospital (the oldest purpose-built such hospital in the world, and still delivering babies on a daily basis, 270 years later (9000 is 2012).
You could be seated in either the Abbey or Gate Theatres within 10 minutes of leaving the house, and the James Joyce Cultural Centre is even closer, on North Great Georges Street (don't forget to check out the Cobalt Cafe, opposite).
Hop on the Luas Red Line, going west, in Abbey Street, halfway between Mountjoy Square and the river, and you will be dropped at the ‘Museum’. The National Museum, Collins Barracks, housed in an old military barracks, dating from 1702, contains the Decorative Arts Collections, (basically, everything post 1700). Descend at the next stop, ‘Heuston’ for IMMA, Ireland's National Museum of Modern Art, housed in the old Kilmainham Hospital, built in the1660’s. It pre-dates the more famous Chelsea Hospital in London by several years.
Not to be missed is the Old Jameson Distillery, in Smithfield. Jameson was distilled here until 1971, when three historic distilleries amalgamated, and centralized distilling in Midleton, Co. Cork. The Museum is very well presented; one is guided around the distilling floor, among the huge old pot stills before retiring to the Bar to sample the goods.
Nearby is one of the oldest churches in Dublin, St.Michan’s, on Church Street, dating from the mid-11thc. There are several mummified bodies in the basement, thought to be Crusaders. When I was a child, one was allowed to shake their hands…..
In the south city centre, the RESTAURANT HUB is in the pedestrian streets to either side of Grafton Street, and in Temple Bar. Particular favourites of mine include:
* Nede, Temple Bar Square
* Eden Bar and Grill, South William Street
* The Green Hen, Wicklow Street
* Fallon and Byrne, Exchequer Street, basement wine-bar, full service restaurant first- floor, and coffee bar within the food-hall on the ground floor.
* Fade Street Social, Fade Street, tapas bar and full-service restaurant.
* The Rustic Stone, Exchequer Street, upmarket, sophisticated and healthy ‘fast food’.
* Cornucopia, Wicklow Street- vegetarian café day, full service by evening.
* The Port House, South William Street, wine bar and tapas.
* Pinxto, Crowe Street, Temple Bar, as above, same management.
Southside city-centre TRADITIONAL PUBS we like are:
* Mulligan's, Poolbeg Street
* Neary's, Chatham Street
* Grogan’s, South William Street
* International Bar, Wicklow Street
* O'Neill's, Suffolk Street
* The Dawson Lounge, Dawson Street
* The Stag's Head, Connaught Court
* The Long Hall, South Great Georges Street
* Doheny and Nesbitt’s, Merrion Row
* Kehoe’s, South Anne Street
* The Duke, Duke Street
Fronting the river, TEMPLE BAR, with its vibrant mix of independent shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, markets and cultural institutions occupies an area three blocks deep and ten blocks long. At the western end, look out for the two branches of the Queen of Tarts- a wonderful teas shop that offers really good home baking and teas and coffees, all served on mismatched antique china (Lord Edward Street and Cow's Lane).
TEMPLE BAR FARMERS MARKET, is held every Saturday in Meeting House Square, 9-4.30, now has a smart new tensile roof for wet days, and is a good place to rub shoulders with the locals, whilst sampling local food culture. Don’t miss the Oyster Stall, Hick’s Pork Butchers, or David Llewyllan’s fantastic ‘Double L’ local cider- 100% apple (not even water), and the two local cheese stalls, among others. Don’t’ forget to check out the overflow stalls on Curved Street, where Rossa Crowe’s fantastic bread is on offer- Rossa took himself off to France for two years to train, and now produces slow fermented breads, made with the very best organic flours.
TRINITY COLLEGE is a good orientation point; from here it is easy to find the mediaeval core, the cultural/political hub of the country around Kildare Street, and the Grafton Street fashion hub.
The campus occupies a 40-acre (16ha.) site, and is over 400 years old, though what one sees today are mainly beautiful eighteenth-century buildings. It is worth a wander around, after a visit to spectacular Long Library, to see the Book of Kells and other illustrated Celtic manuscripts.
From Front Gate, look south to Grafton Street or west up College Green and Dame Street, which lead to the mediaeval core. At the brow of the hill you will find:
* Dublin Castle (visit the State Apartments, the Chester Beatty Library and the lovely garden in front (which is actually the helicopter-landing pad for the Castle).
* The City Hall with its 'Museum of the Capital' in the basement is worth a look- the Hall is free, and there is a nominal charge for the Museum.
* Christchurch Cathedral
* Dublinia-in the Christchurch Chapterhouse (Viking Exhibition).
* Old Saint Audeon's Church, built almost into the city wall.
* St Patrick's Cathedral, and historic park beside.
* Marshe's Library-the oldest public library in these islands, 1701.
* Francis Street- the Antiques Quarter.
* Thomas Street/Meath Street, for a touch of 'Old Dublin'.
* The Guinness Storehouse.
* Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, (IMMA) Ireland's National Gallery of Modern Art, with its wonderful, recently restored formal garden.
KILMINHAM GAOL is worth a visit, and tells the story of Irish Nationalism. It can be reached via the grounds of IMMA, passing Bully’s Acre, and old graveyard, where Brian Boru was reputedly rested on his way to his final burial place in Armagh.
Alternatively, exit onto Nassau Street, with its cluster of high-quality shops showcasing the best of Irish crafts - fashion, knitwear, weaving, glassware, ceramics and contemporary jewellery - the Kilkenny Shop has a great cafe upstairs, with views over College Park.
Continue along the College Park railings till you reach Kildare Street, the cultural-institutional hub of the country. All of our national cultural institutions have free admission. Here you will find the National Library, and the National Museum, facing each other over the forecourt of Leinster House, home to the Oireachtas, our National Parliament. The National Library has a lovely exhibit on the poet, W.B. Yeats, and the Treasury, in the National Museum houses both the Bronze Age and Early Christian collections.
On the opposite side of the block, on Merrion Street/Merrion Square, you will find the National Gallery, and the Natural History Museum (known to Dubliner's of my father's generation, as 'The Dead Zoo’. This is a very refreshing look to the past, with absolutely no interpretation, and nothing, not even a postcard, to buy).
The National Gallery is halfway through a four-year renovation programme; in the meantime, the Millennium Wing, on Clare Street, has a ‘highlights of’ exhibition, and the Café and Gift Shop are also accessed via the Clare Street Entrance.
Two operators offer Hop-On/Hop-Off tours:
They both offer a 2-day ticket, and cost roughly the same price - check them out online before you make up your mind.
One can buy an integrated LEAP card in most newsagents, at train stations, and in the Dublin Bus Head Office at 42 O’Connell Street (on the west side of the street, just north of the Spire). This can be used on the LUAS, DART, some suburban mainline trains, and on Dublin Bus routes.
There is also a 3-day tourist pass, the Freedom Ticket, which provides good value. €28 will give you 72 hours transport, starting at the Airport; Airlink from the airport, the Hop-On-Hop –Off tourist bus and all local bus routes. Web: (website hidden)
•The DART, the local electric commuter train, runs north/south along the coast. The northside city centre station is Connolly, on Amiens Street, facing Talbot Street, but I usually suggest people use Tara Street, as Connolly is also a mainline station, and is very big, and a bit confusing. Tara is purely a commuter station, and is about the same distance. It is on George’s Quay, just south of the Custom House. The other south-side city centre station is Pearse, on Westland Row, at the south end of the Trinity campus.
•The LUAS Red Line runs east-west through the north side of the city, as far east as the docks, and serves both Connolly and Heuston mainline stations. The nearest stop to Mountjoy Square is Abbey, on Middle Abbey Street, opposite the Abbey Theatre. The LUAS Green Line serves the south suburbs; Ranelagh, Dundrum, Leopardstown Racecourse, and on out to Cherrywood, on the county boundary with Wicklow.
•Main cross-city bus routes run north-south through O’Connell Street. The No.7 terminates on Mountjoy Square North, and there is a ‘shopper’s fare’ of 50c, to Grafton Street- alight at Trinity. On the return journey it skirts the Trinity campus and comes along Pearse, to the east of the campus - catch it on Clare Street, at the Millennium wing of the National Gallery.
•DUBLIN BIKES are free to use for the first half hour, and have a stand on Mountjoy Square West, but one needs to go to the Princes Street stand (to the right hand side of the General Post Office (GPO)), to purchase a short term card. It costs €2, and is only available to credit card holders.
SHOPPING WITH A DIFFERENCE
Those interested in the local fashion, art and design scene should look out for the following addresses (in no particular order):
•Designist, South Great George's Street (stock chosen for good design)
•Irish Design Store, Drury Street
•Article, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre (housewares)
•Irish Designer Store, Top floor Powerscourt Townhouse Centre
•Cow's Lane Gallery, Temple Bar (artist’s collective)
•The Jam Factory, Nicholas Street (artist’s collective)
•Avoca, Suffolk Street
•Kilkenny Shop, Nassau Street
•Designyard, South Frederick Street (jewellery)
•Louise Kennedy, couturier, Merrion Square, and Tipperary Crystal
•Gallery Zozimus, Francis Street (art gallery and carefully chosen crafts)
•Graphic Studio Gallery, Temple Bar (artist-printmaker’s gallery)
•Malthouse Design Centre and Shop, Distillery Court, 537 North Circular Road, just around the corner from Mountjoy Square (cluster of design-led businesses, 10-5 M-F)
•Magee's of Donegal, Wicklow Street, and,
•Kevin and Howlin, Nassau Street have hand-woven tweeds covered.
•Dubarry's, College Green produce wonderful, country-style outerwear, including the most perfect alternative to sweaty, waterproof Wellington boots…
•Monaghan's, Hibernian Way, the House of Ireland on Nassau Street and the Sweater Shops on Wicklow Street and Nassau Street has the best selections of traditional knitwear. Monaghan's specialise in cashmere.
•Murphy and Sheehy, Castle Market, stock Irish tweed, Irish linen and a quirky selection of designer fabrics. Look out for their ‘Linen Union (linen/cotton blend) Glass Cloths- the best ever for polishing glassware, they make a super, useful, inexpensive and lightweight traditional gift!
•The Cloth Shop, St. William Street, for interesting designer fabric, including a good selection of Irish Linen, and Liberty of London
INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOPS and MUSIC STORES
Eason’s, O’Connell Street, is a Dublin institution for over 100 years. It encompasses a large stationery department, a branch of Tower Records on the top floor, academic books in the basement, a nice café and two floors of general books. It is a good place to browse books of Irish interest, and they have a really good Information Desk.
Chapters, Parnell Street West is my ‘local’. John Gannon is one of the best booksellers in the business, and his staff are hand-picked enthusiastic bibliophiles, one and all. Stock is a mixture of the latest releases, and carefully chosen remaindered books. Their ordering service is superlative, and they ALWAYS know exactly what one is talking about, even with just the vaguest, half-remembered clues from a newspaper review. Very strong on contemporary fiction, natural history, non-fiction and books of Irish interest. Extensive second-hand section upstairs.
The Secret Bookstore, Wicklow Street is another favourite. It’s tucked away down a passage, near the L’Occitane shop and often throws up gems among its large second-hand stock. An eclectic music store occupies the rear of the shop.
Cathach Rare Books, Duke Street, specializes in Irish first editions, and have an interesting selection of Irish maps and prints.
Stokes Books is another interesting antiquarian/secondhand shop, specializing in books of Irish interest. You’ll find it in Georges Street Arcade.
Claddagh Records, Cecelia Street, Temple Bar, is primarily a music publisher, but they have a retail outlet in Temple Bar, which is the oldest independent music shop in Dublin, and specializes in traditional Irish music, with some interesting World Music additions.
The Celtic Note, on Nassau Street, beside the Kilkenny Shop is another good bet.
PLACES OF WORSHIP:
Many Catholic churches have Mass on Saturday evening, in addition to morning Masses.
•St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Upper Gardiner Street. Gospel Mass, 7.30pm Sundays, September to mid June.
•St. Mary's Metropolitan Church - the Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough. Sung Mass, 11am, Sundays, with the Palestrina Choir.
•St. Joseph’s Church, Berkeley Road, Dublin 7.
•St. Teresa’s Church, Clarendon Street Church, choir sings at 11 o’clock Mass, Sunday’s
•St. Peter’s Church, Phibsborough, Dublin 7, has wonderful Harry Clarke (phone number hidden)) stained glass windows.
•Whitefriars Street Church, Aungier Street, church has relics of St. Valentine.
Church of Ireland:
•Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch Place, sung Services Sundays,
•St. Patrick's Cathedral, Nicholas Street, sung Services Sundays.
•St. Anne’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin 2
Dublin Hebrew Congregation
Daily services in Synagogue at 32a Rathfarnham Road,
Buses: 16, 16a, 15, 15a, 15b, 65, 65c, 49, 49a, 17.
Get off at Terenure Cross (road). Walk up Rathfarnham Road, pass AIB Bank and one row of terraced houses; shul is next building, with wooden/metal security gates. Across the street is a shop called Window Fashions.
Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation (DJPC)
Website: (website hidden)
Email: (email hidden)
Postal: PO Box 3059, Dublin 6
President: Mrs. Hilary Abrahamson
Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI)
19 Roebuck Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14,
Tel: (phone number hidden)
Islamic Foundation of Ireland (IFI)
163 South Circular Road, Dublin (website hidden): (phone number hidden)
Moore Street, Dublin 1.
SHORT TRIPS OUTSIDE THE CITY BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Catch the No.46A bus, (heading north on O'Connell Street to the Phoenix Park- the largest enclosed urban park in the world, 1750 acres behind a seven-mile-long stone wall. Ashtown Castle Interpretive Centre, with its wonderful walled garden and café is a good place to orient oneself. From here, on Saturdays, it is possible to visit Aras an Uachtarian, the official residence of our President. One can also visit Farmliegh, the Official State Guesthouse, a former Guinness mansion. Among it’s attractions are an art gallery, café, occasional free concerts, and regular weekend Farmer’s Markets. The Park also houses the Dublin Zoo, (1827, the second-oldest Zoo in the world, after London’s Regent Park Zoo). Several herd of Fallow Deer roam at liberty.
Many sports are catered for; there is Polo ground, a cricket club, and lots soccer pitches. The Duke of Wellington is commemorated by a marvelous granite obelisk, which can be seen for miles. The area know as the Forty Acres affords superb views over the city, with the Royal Hospital and Guinness in the foreground, along the south side of the River Liffey. Phoenix Park can also be reached via the LUAS Red Line, direction Tallagh, heading west. Alight at 'Museum' and take a detour into the National Museum-Collins Barracks, which houses the Decorative Arts, post-1700, wonderful collections of silver, furniture, glass and other artifacts.
Just up the road, in Glasnevin there are three worthwhile attractions: Glasnevin Cemetary, was founded by Daniel O’Connell as one of his first initiatives, post Catholic Emancipation in 1829, to provide a dignified place for Catholic burial. The Glasnevin Musuem is new, and has superlative displays of Nationalist history. They also have a very good Geneology Department.
The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, date from the end of 18thC. Though relatively small, they contain an internationally-aclaimed collection of plants and three iconic Glasshouses, by Turner of Dublin, which have all been restored in the recent past. There is a nice café in the Gardens, and entry is free. The Gravedigger’s Pub, over-looking a Green, is not to be missed. It got its name from the fact that there used to be a hatch in the rear wall, through which the gravediggers were served. They do nice simple pub food, and one can sit outside on sunny days. Walk back into town, and stop at either the The Botanic Bar at Harte’s Corner or the Brian Borus, typicl local bars. The Porter House, at Cross Guns Bridge, which is a micro-brewery, with nice food, is on the corner of the Royal Canal. Take a stroll east down the canal bank, and you will see swans, and moor-hens going about their business. At the next bridge, at Dorset Street look out for the lifesize bronze statue of Brendan Behan, a local author. From here is just a few minute’s stroll up Belvidere Place, with its charming stepped terraces of tall Georgian houses, to Mountjoy Square.
Another favorite is the Marino Casino, in Fairview/Clontarf, an early 18th century pleasure house, built to the design of Sir William Chambers, for Lord Charlemont, purely for entertaining, also just a few miles by bus, north of the city centre.
Catch the DART, the coastal commuter train, heading north, at Tara Street Station, on the South Liffey quays, at Butt Bridge, and take a short ride. You have the choice of Howth (a working fishing village) or Malahide.
Howth Demesne or Howth Head, behind the village will both afford walks with great views; the Harbour has a dozen restaurants along the quay- ranging from take-out fish and chips to the very upmarket. Book an early-evening window table at Aqua, and be astonished by the sunset over the coast, looking north-west. Another favourite of mine is Deep, midway along the quay (and do watch out for the local tame and greedy Harbour Seal, who begs shamelessly from the trawler men, who tie up alongside).
Malahide is a charming village, with some of the most expensive urban residential properties in the country. Good food and good shopping are to be had here. On the edge of the village you will find Malahide Castle and Demesne, open to the public, which includes a renowned private Arboretum, as Milo de Malahide, the last of his family, (who had occupied the castle continuously since Norman times, in the 10th-12th centuries) was a significant plants-man. The Castle contains the National Portrait Collection, as was as magnificent furniture and other contents. There is a smart new branch of the AVOCA Shop and Café in the Courtyard.
South of the city you will find Rathfarnham Castle, and its Berkeley Costume and Toy Collection. Marley Park is a little further, just at the foot of the Dublin Mountains. It has wonderful parkland with easy walks, and a magnificent walled garden with a nice cafe. The No.16 bus, from O’Connell Street will leave you close by.
Powerscourt is at the edge of Enniskerry, its associated estate village, at the end of the No.44 bus route, which winds its way through the south side suburbs, into Wicklow, through the Scalp, a deep and picturesque glacial valley. The 19th century gardens are fabulous, and make great use of the 'borrowed landscape' beyond. The terrace and Nepture fountain are centred on the Sugarloaf mountain, which marks the beginning of the Wicklow Mountains. The Powerscourt Waterfall, part of the same estate, is a few miles further on, and there are beautiful, way-marked, woodland and moorland walks in the hills nearby. Do be mindful; these ‘mountains’ can be deceptive- while not high, they can be treacherous, as weather conditions can change in minutes. Stick to the way-marked paths, and do keep an eye on the weather.
Take the DART south to Bray and Greystones - via Dun Loughaire, Dalkey and Killiney - all interesting villages, with many cafes and restaurants.
Killiney Hill, with its eighteenth century obelisk at the summit, is a short climb that results in amazing views over Dublin Bay, and down into the Wicklow Mountains beyond. There is a nice pub in in the ‘village’- ‘The Druid’s Chair’.
Dalkey is a charming village with old-fashioned shops and lots of nice pubs, cafes and restaurants. The local Dalkey Castle Heritage Centre, is worth checking out, and in the summer run a theatre programme, and walking tours.
Bray Esplanade is a classic Victorian seaside amenity, sturdily built from local granite - the perfect place to enjoy an ice-cream. Campo di Fiori, either the Restaurant or the Café, both near the train station and the north end of the Promenade, are particular favourites of mine.
If one is feeling energetic, one could contemplate the Cliff Walk from Bray to Greystones - 4miles/6km along the rough cliff path. Lots of nice pubs for a pint of Guinness at the other end, The Hungry Pear is my favourite café, among many. The DART will take you straight back into the city. But.. make sure to do it in the morning, as by mid-day the path is in shade, and it can be windy and cold.
Travelling into the rich plains of Kildare, by the No. 67 bus route, you will come to the historic village of Celbridge, just twelve miles from the city centre. Castletown House is Ireland's finest Palladian mansion, and was saved from destruction by Desmond Guinness, in the early 1960's. He purchased it from the construction company who had acquired it. They intended to demolish it, to make way for a vast suburban housing estate. The Irish Georgian Society, founded by Desmond Guinness, restored the house and furnished it with the help of many volunteers and sponsors, and opened it to the public, a heroic task for a small membership conservation society. Today, it is in State ownership, and it is the flagship Georgian heritage property of Ireland. It is beautifully presented, and the parklands are undergoing restoration.
A local bus, or the commuter train from Connolly Station in Amiens Street, will take one to Maynooth, a charming University town, with another magnificent Palladian mansion, Carton House, now operating as a very upmarket hotel and golf club.
Lots of companies offer day-long coach tours. Some involve very long days, i.e, Cliffs of Moher in Clare and the Giant’s Causeway on the Antrim coast. Two more local, and very worthwhile ones are either:
The Boyne Valley Tour (Newgrange Neolithic ( 5000 yr old World Heritage Site) / Mellifont Cistercian ruins- (12thC.)/ Monasterboice Early Christian (6th-8thC.)
The Wicklow-Glendalough Tour (Powerscourt / Wicklow Mountains National Park and Glendalough (Glen of the Two Lakes) a 6thC. Early Christian site, in beautiful wooded valley.
Details of both of these trips, and others, are available in the big black folder in the apartment.
Guests have exclusive use of apartment.
Interaction with Guests
I live on the top floor of the building, and aim to greet my guests and give them an orientation, to the apartment and the city, upon arrival. I am normally on hand to answer any questions. If I am not here, a family member will usually deputise for me.
A beautiful, historic, residential square, built in 1790's, within 5-10 minutes walk of the city centre. Elegance and convenience combined with a bit of inner city grittiness. I have loved it all, since 1978!
Very well connected. No.41 Airport bus passes door. No.7 cross-city route terminates on the opposite side of the Square. LUAS Red Line 7-minute walk south. DART and MAINLINE N-S train station 10 minutes walk. Most cross-city routes traverse O'Connell Street, three blocks to the west of us.
Other Things to Note
WEEKLY PRICING IS AVAILABLE - PLEASE ASK
PLEASE NOTE- there is restricted ceiling height in the sleeping loft, and the bed is (very) low.
AS I DO NOT CHARGE A DEPOSIT, IT WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED IF YOU WOULD OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING HOUSE RULES, IN ORDER TO MINIMISE WEAR AND TEAR, AND TO PREVENT DAMAGE
NO SMOKING IN THE HOUSE
The house has been painstakingly restored, with wooden floors in the common areas, and cork flooring in the apartment, so NO STILETTOES, please.
NO FOOD OR DRINK, apart from water, to be taken upstairs. Tea/coffee/wine and expensive white sheets are a disaster waiting to happen.
Please be mindful of security, and remember to DOUBLE LOCK THE FRONT DOOR, as you enter and leave. The top lock is a night latch, but the bottom one is a deadbolt, which needs to be locked, when both coming and going from the building.
Please DO NOT OPEN THE CENTRE SASHES OF THE WINDOW- they are curved and the tolerance is very tight, a design issue that is not easily resolved. The side sashes are on spring balances, and are very easy to operate, though you will have to unlock them ( key is handing over the sink). Please keep them locked when they are closed.
Otherwise, please treat the house as you would your own home.
I found Karen to be welcoming and knowledgeable. The suite was unique, attractive and clean. The breakfast items were really appreciated. My only concern was the neighborhood. I was not comfortable walking there, especially after dark.
100% one of the best places I have ever stayed abroad. Karin is an absolute delight. She went way above and beyond to make our stay comfortable, and get us acclimated with Dublin. She is extremely accessible, will answer any questions, and strives to make her home the highlight of any trip. I can say with full confidence that we will return to her Georgian Studio for another visit one day.
A great apartment. Karin is a very helpful host. I very much enjoyed my stay.
Not accurate listing. Apartment cute but on top of loud daycare (creche). Bed is not a "real bed" with expensive sheets but futon on the floor stuffed in a loft with low ceiling. At 5'8" I had trouble. Windows do not face park, but another building. And you have to pull heavy shutters so people don't watch you. Drug use in neighborhood makes it dicey. Stressful host. Her concern for my arrival, due to the fact that she felt there were too many emails exchanged (I'd asked about rugby tickets and later discovered complications because of her holiday..she wrote me about some friend who was a writer, as I am a writer ) made her frustrated. When airbnb asked me to confirm, and I did, she sent me a very upset email in caps chastising me about bothering her while she was on vacation... although I was just doing what airbnb asked. Shocked me and I asked to get out of reservation but was denied. Not a good way to start. Came in with hope, as she was rated so very highly, but was quickly disappointed. While check-in was at 2, as stated, I was told I had to collect keys before 4. Not much room for travel mishaps or delays, as the niece was going to work and once she left, and the daycare closed, I would not be able to get keys. So that was strange. While niece who let me in was lovely, I arrived to dirty towels in bathroom, used orange juice, out-of-date yogurt, dirty glasses, and a toilet that was iffy. Since niece went off to work, I wrote her an email and explained this. I was hoping to get clean towels and blanket to sleep on couch as a futon doesn't suit. One of the reason I chose this place was supposed on-site host, 'real bed', good location, and first floor access..none of which I got. The day before I left, (had been there 4 nights) I found towels, blanket ,and a note explaining the cleaning people were at fault for everything outside my door. The toilet finally broke completely during my last night there in the middle of the night and didn't know who to call. As other reviews point out, if you get off on the wrong foot with this host, it's difficult. Been to B&B all over the world and have not ever been as disappointed as I was here. The ad makes it seem like heaven, and its pretty, but be honest about the drawbacks.
The first item of the Airbnb review guidelines is: Stick to the facts.
‘’Not accurate listing.”
My listing is accurate, with many photographs that show the apartment from all angles, and a clearly described, exhaustive description, which highlights the ‘quirks.’ It is regularly amended, in light of comments left by guests. We aim to anticipate guests’ needs, and to exceed expectations; it’s no fun for anyone when this doesn’t happen.
The listing has 31 photographs showing the apartment from every angle. Picture no. 11 shows the view from the window, and is labeled ‘Window facing side street.’.
The height of the bed, and the height restrictions in the sleeping loft are highlighted in the text: “Please note there is restricted headroom in the sleeping loft, and consequently the bed is low.”
The apartment IS on the ground floor of the house, as described. The basement is occupied by a crèche/ nursery/ daycare facility, which operates from 8am to 6pm M-F. It has never been raised as an issue until now.
The bed IS a ‘real’ bed. It is NOT a futon. It consists of a locally-manufactured contract-quality 4’6” interior sprung mattress, (as supplied to hotels and the health-care industry) sitting on 11-ply sprung beech slatted base - which is becoming the industry standard in Europe (ref. IKEA) .
There is over €750-worth of luxury-quality bedding on each bed in all of my listings- White Siberian goose down 13.5 tog duvet, and matching white Siberian goose down pillows. 100% Pima/Egyptian. snow-white linen that is washed in hypoallergenic detergent, line dried and ironed before each bed is made. AND, a hand woven 100% kid mohair throw.
The listing describes the apartment as ‘facing a quiet side street’. The window has starched white cotton voile ‘modesty curtains’ on the lower sash, to 6’6”. Most people consider the original wooden shutters an asset – they provide security, heat and sound insulation, as well as privacy.
‘Drug use in the neighbourhood makes it dicey’. Not sure what to make of this—did the guest witness drug use? Or maybe she overheard a good, middle-class surburbanite expressing their concerns/fears of city centre living? I have lived here, perfectly safely, since 1978, and have never been bothered by ‘drug use’. This is the first time since I started with Airbnb three years ago, that the issue has been raised by a guest. MY concern for my guests is pick-pockets in Temple Bar…
My listing states very clearly our check-in procedure:
“Check-in at 2pm, but we are happy to take in luggage after 9am, and can give you keys to come back at your leisure, after 2pm.”
From the outset, the guest was told that she was free to check–in early, but that she would need to collect the keys from my tenants in the basement and gave the opening hours as 8am-6pm- otherwise I could have my niece meet her at 2pm
The guest was never told that she had to check in by 4pm. The night before the guest arrived , at my behest, my niece sent her and email, asking her to confirm arrangements, and stating that she, Orla, could be there to greet the guest between 2pm and 4pm.
I fail to understand the point about not being able to get keys- Had she been unavoidably delayed, she could have collected keys up to 6pm, by which time Orla would have been back in the house. In three years I have never failed to accommodate a guests’ check-in. It seems petty to be complaining about hypothetical problems.
After 13 emails from the guest, and having my offer to have a quick telephone chat, to clarify that the guest was happy with all the arrangements, rebuffed, I admit that I was totally exasperated. It was clear from the emails that the guest was not reading/paying attention to my explicit communications.
The final email from the guest stated that she would leave her luggage (she had already warned me that she had a ‘ton of luggage’) with my tenants in the basement. My arrangement with my tenants is that they will hold keys for collection – they don’t have space to mind luggage.
At this point I resorted to block capitals, in order to get her attention- which worked… I most certainly did not ‘chastise’ her, and apologized for the capitals within the message. See below:
If you arrive early, please COLLECT THE KEYS from my tenants in the basement. DONT drag your bags down the stairs. Your apartment is on the ground floor, through the double doors, to the right of the foot of the stairs. As I said in a previous message, any half obliging taxi driver will wait while you pop down to collect the keys, and will help you with your bags to the front door.
I had arranged with Orla that she would skip a class to be at the house to meet you at 2. If you intend to come earlier she will need to leave the keys for you.
She is picking up my messages, as I am in Morocco. PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR FINAL PLANS THE NIGHT BEFORE ARRIVAL, so that she can leave the keys for you.
Apologies for the shouty capitals -- but I am somewhat frustrated, and fear that there will be an issue with your arrival. I have to say it-- this endless stream of messages could have been entirely avoided, with a five minute phone conversation!
Everything will be ready for you- I hope you will enjoy your stay in Dublin.
This is the message that gave rise to all the problems!
I have a ‘strict’ cancellation policy, and I am perfectly within my rights, legally and morally, to adhere to it, especially a last-minute cancellation for no good reason, less than 24 hours before scheduled arrival.
It was unfortunate that the fridge had obviously been overlooked, and that the guest found out-of-date milk, and oj that had been opened. I truly regret, and am at a loss to explain the ‘used handtowel’, as I’ve been assured that all the towels came out of the same wash. As soon as these things were brought to Orla’s attention, she replaced them.
‘One of the reason I chose this place was supposed on-site host, ‘real bed’ good location, and first floor access…none of which I got.’….. T
This statement is not accurate, I've dealt with the bed, location of the apartment within the building.
Good location’ is a matter of taste – a city centre location implies certain drawbacks, which the sophisticated traveller will factor in.
My listing states I live on-site, but that, in my absence, ‘ a family member will usually be here to greet people’. Orla was staying here while I was away, but we are not a hotel, with 24-access and a night porter. My first response to my guests states ‘ So that I can plan my day round being here to greet you, please let me have your flight details/travel plans.’ I am a ‘sole trader’ and it’s just not physically possible to be here 24 hours a day. We are a boutique offering, with a unique and highly personalized service, and most people will willingly accept the limitations, in return for a truly authentic experience of Georgian Dublin.
‘Dirty glasses and an iffy toilet’ which ‘broke completely in the middle of the night’—did it become blocked/fail to flush? It was working perfectly after the guests’ departure.
Who would have left ‘a note explaining that the cleaners were at fault for everything outside my door’ ? My niece, Orla, who is the cleaner? In the listing we ask that guests strip the bed and leave the towels outside the door of the apartment when they leave. This is standard practice is self-catering accommodation- at least in Europe. Any hotel will have used linen and cleaning carts outside rooms in the morning- how else does the cleaning get done??? I think that the note Orla left for the guest, apologizing for the used hand-towel and the out of date milk is what the guest is referring to.
The last point in the review really galls:
‘As other reviews point out, if you get off on the wrong foot with this host, it’s difficult.’
The guest found ONE review which refers to getting off on the ‘wrong foot’, but it goes on to say ‘We would love to recommend this place for anyone who is staying in Dublin’. (Bobbye Joe Greene,, Nov 14) I’m not going to apologise for being cranky when woken at 7.15 am, when the arrangement with the guest was that they could drop off their luggage at 8am. The guest acknowledges that I was nonetheless ‘very accommodating’. See the review below.
'The Special Georgian Flat was a lovely place to stay during our visit to Dublin. The space is beautiful and the location is very walkable to the main parts of town like Temple Bar and O'Connell St. The neighborhood leaves something to be desired, but the local shop is run by very nice people and has all of the necessities. We got off on the wrong foot with Karen as we arrived 30 minutes before we had previously agreed to meet to drop off our bags. She was not happy with us, but very accommodating as she made the apartment ready for us to take immediately. We were so grateful for that as we'd be traveling for 14 hours and our check in wasn't for another 6. When we ran into her later she was very kind and informative. We would love to recommend this place for anyone who is staying in Dublin.
I have achieved ‘Superhost’ status, with 370 reviews in total, and garnered 81% 5-star reviews (down from 84%, since this one) over the past three years . Among these is a total of THREE (including this one) are negative reviews .
I am all for constructive criticism, but I really have issues with being so blatantly mis-represented. No-one gets it right all the time, and but we do try very hard, and I believe that, for the most part, we deliver way over and above what could reasonably be expected.
The silver lining in all of this? I constantly tell my staff that this is a ‘details business’ and that, if a guest finds one thing wrong, they will seek other things to criticize. That’s human nature. Thank you Nicole, for the perfect illustration of my point. I shall use this review as a ‘teaching tool’.
It was a real delight staying in this beautiful and historic flat. Karin gave me a warm welcome and set me up with a map and several recommendations. The flat itself is very comfortable and well-designed (particularly in its lighting, availability of electrical sockets, and in the layout of the kitchen) and maintains lovely C18 features like the shutters and fireplace. The location is a short walk from the city centre and there is a great deal that's of interest in the immediate area. This felt like a luxurious and historically fascinating place to stay which is slightly removed from the touristy hubbub but still perfectly convenient. I particularly enjoyed reading by the fire before heading out in the morning -- after preparing a breakfast of eggs, yogurt, juice, and granola that Karin had provided.
Exactly as described. This is the most perfect place for an Irish getaway. I enjoyed a couple of nights by the fire with a glass of vino in hand. Had a couple of days of exploring too which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Karin greeted me as soon as I arrived. Providing me with a map, she then sat me down and circled all the good places to go. I visited 3 of the places she recommended and they were all fantastic.
This was my first time in Ireland and I must say it was a really great visit.
Thank you Karin.
Lovely apartment with great location. Loved the extra touches; the guide to the city, the games and the stocked kitchen! Would definitely like to stay here again. Thanks Karen
This host has 230 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
Architectural enthusiast & committed urbanite, Alexander technique teacher, daily swimmer. I love to cook and to share meals with friends, and I aspire to grow at least some of my own food. I love where I live, and enjoy all the amenities the city has to offer. I am Secretary of the Mountjoy Square Society, whose aim is to improve our area for all who live work and visit here. I am also a committee member of the Irish Georgian Society, and I regularly organize day trips and walking tours for our members.