Ireland’s capital, Dublin is steeped in history, dating back to its origins as a Viking settlement in 795 AD followed by centuries of tumultuous change. The city is known for its lively pub culture, rich literary tradition, friendly locals, and melancholic humor. And while the clichéd, Guinness-drinking character of Dublin remains, in recent years the city has moved into a golden new era, with a vibrant hospitality scene, a thriving digital sector, and a cacophony of urban developments marking the city’s surge into the future.
There are over 50 new hotel projects in the pipeline, including The Standard Hotel—sure to infuse its playful brand of glamor into the social scene (and capitalize on newly extended nightlife hours that reach into cappuccino territory). Similarly stylish boutique hotels are set to open in the city center, including Merrion Square–adjacent The Leinster, and further out by Dublin Bay, Hotel Cherrywood will become part of Ireland’s largest urban development. By the end of this year alone, the Irish Hotels Federation estimates that an additional 2,000 rooms will be available—and that figure will be doubling in 2023.
Part of Dublin’s evolution can be attributed to the wave of affluence stemming from Silicon Valley transplants (it’s the European headquarters for Meta, Google, Microsoft, Airbnb, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others). It is also one of the largest beneficiaries of Brexit. Over 135 financial companies have relocated their operations from London, surpassing Paris and Luxembourg. This has added to the city’s increasingly sophisticated and diverse population.
As with many other cities, neglected areas have been revitalized. “Dublin 8, one of the city’s oldest areas, and home to many historic and cultural landmarks, has become a thriving neighborhood in recent years, brought on by an influx of new creative hospitality concepts that found a home in the affordable area,” says Laura Arnold of Press Up, Ireland’s largest hospitality group. The area has become more multicultural, with world-class sushi available alongside innovative fine dining restaurants that redefine Irish cuisine.
There are many factors that make Dublin a great place to visit. These are the best places in Dublin to visit if you happen to be in the Emerald Isle.
Dublin: Where to Eat Right Now
Arriving at Café en Seine feels like stepping into a Wes Anderson film set. The lively multi-restaurant venue is an Instagrammer’s dream, with jewel-hued, art deco décor and costumed jazz singers. People drop in for lattes and lunch dates during the day, and by night, it’s one of the city’s most happening gastronomic destinations. It was also named Jameson’s Bar of the Year for 2022.
Regarded as one of Europe’s most creative fine dining experiences, Chapter One is a much-lauded Michelin-starred restaurant where seasonal Irish ingredients are presented like art on a plate (or an elaborate sculpture, in the case of the canapés). The vibe is authentic and remarkably unpretentious for its caliber (although, it’s not a place for children). Go for the five-course tasting menu and the sommelier’s wine pairing recommendations.