More casual, and usually cheaper, than a hotel, Dublin’s hostels are suitable for everyone from solo travellers looking to make friends to families in need of a group booking. These are the best hostels in the city for partying, relaxing or meeting your new travel companions.
Sky Backpackers is housed in a former recording studio | Courtesy of Sky Backpackers / Hostelworld
Previously a recording studio that hosted stars such as David Bowie, Def Leppard, Van Morrison and homegrown heroes U2 and Sinead O’Connor, Sky Backpackers has retained a strong musical theme. Today, the old rehearsal studio is a cool and cosy common room, decorated with images of the artists who made their masterpieces within these walls. The hostel offers both mixed-sex and female-only dorms that accommodate four to six people, as well as a selection of private double rooms suitable for couples and six-bed private rooms ideal for families or groups. Just a minute’s walk from the Temple Bar area and hosting events every night of the week, Sky Backpackers is recommended to travellers who want to be in the middle of it all. Its calendar includes free beer nights, free sangria nights, free wine and cheese nights – and of course, live music. If you’re looking for more nightlife, check out the best bars and pubs in Dublin.
With overflowing flower baskets hanging from the brick facade, Isaacs Hostel is a charming and characterful accommodation option in Dublin. This traditional hostel, which lies in what was previously a 19th-century wine store, has been praised by Lonely Planet and Hostelworld. Offering free breakfast and reasonably priced basic dorm beds, Isaacs is the perfect place to stay for backpackers on a tight budget. However, saving the cents doesn’t mean compromising on quality – as well as activities such as quiz nights, free walking tours and a games room, Isaacs has a self-catering kitchen and even a free sauna for the ultimate relaxation after a long day of sightseeing. Guests can choose from private rooms, which are available to families with children under 16, and shared dorms of between two and 16 beds.
This hostel is just minutes away from O’Connell Bridge and the nightlife hub of Temple Bar; this central location means that Dublin’s adventures are right on your doorstep. As well as a self-catering kitchen and free breakfast, Abbey Court Hostel also has power showers and laundry facilities – a godsend for any weary backpacker. This family-run hostel is great for groups, with en-suite dormitories ranging from four to 24 beds. With a bar on-site and 24/7 facilities, there is always a friendly face to offer advice on attractions or provide recommendations for things to do in Dublin. From the free morning walking tour to the pub crawl in the evening, Abbey Court Hostel makes sure you have the best experience possible in the city. For families or groups looking for a more secluded experience, the hostel also offers affordable apartments.
Based in a 200-year-old red brick convent building, the interior of Gardiner House is unexpectedly modern. Bright, with a more contemporary feel than most hostels, this is a stylish option for a stay just outside the city centre. It’s also close to the bus and train stations, making it ideal for backpackers who want to explore other parts of Ireland after visiting Dublin. Opt for the Chapel Experience if you want to sleep under their colourful stained-glass windows, or choose from a selection of dorms and private rooms.
Jacobs Inn underwent major refurbishment in late 2018 and early 2019, and the modern makeover has transformed it into the perfect accommodation for travellers seeking a balance between privacy and socialising. Each dorm bed is now a private pod, giving guests a chilled, personal space to relax in comfort with its own light, plugs and USB charging available. The communal social spaces host games and movie night, making this an ideal hostel for solo travellers. The rooftop terrace even allows guests to make the most of the fleeting good weather of an Irish summer. Jacobs Inn has private rooms for up to four people, which are also family-friendly, as well as dormitories with up to 12 capsule-style beds.
Avalon House is a long-established and family-friendly hostel based in a beautiful listed building on Dublin’s Aungier Street. The main tourist hotspots can be easily reached by foot or by bus, but the local area is also worth exploring, as it’s home to important monuments such as St Patrick’s Cathedral, the open space of St Stephen’s Green, and a range of quirky independent bars and restaurants. The friendly staff embody the best of Irish hospitality, and are happy to give recommendations for where to go. Avalon House offers single rooms right through to 12-bed dorms, giving guests the option of mingling with new friends or maintaining their privacy. With a kitchen, laundry room, games room, cinema and 24-hour security, this is one of the best hostels in Dublin for families with young children. Those under the age of 18 must book into one of the private rooms, and be accompanied by an adult.
Based in Smithfield, Generator Hostel Dublin is surrounded by contemporary cafés, chic bars, vintage shops and the city’s distinctive Jameson Distillery. It’s a short walk to the city centre, and is also close to a tram stop to travel the city with ease. As with others of the Generator chain, the interior of this hostel is characterised by a modern, chic design and street art-style decor with quirky local touches such as a chandelier crafted out of Jameson whiskey bottles. Smithfield is quieter than the likes of Temple Bar, but the hostel itself acts as a social hub hosting movie nights, karaoke and occasionally markets. The bar’s drink deals and entertainment even sees locals drop in to join in the fun. Generator offers a range of private rooms, from single rooms to private family-style accommodation suitable for parents with children under 18. In the shared rooms, guests can choose from mixed or female-only dorms, sleeping up to 10 people.