While we’re here, by the way, it’s worth noting that if you come from outside the EU and are leaving Ireland without plans to return to the EU inside a year, you are entitled to recover your VAT (retail tax) on most things that you might be taking home with you under the ‘Retail Export Scheme’. The process for doing so is run by both larger stores and tax agents, and you can learn about it here.
Specialised in local artists, Jam Art Factory takes many of the icons of Dublin and reflects them in gorgeous, varied artwork that will always remind you of any trip to the city. From the iconic twin towers of Poolbeg that mark the mouth of the Liffey, to wooden replicas of the city’s famous Georgian doors, it’s all here. You can never be completely sure what you’ll stumble upon here, but they love pop art, suit every budget, and are nothing if not creative. One to explore.
14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland. +353 16165671
At the complete opposite end of the scale of The Powerscourt Centre, the fast-growing tourist emporium Carroll’s, of which there are dozens of outlets, is the place to grab your Irish cliches by the dozen. Get your leprechaun outfits, faux ‘national’ rugby shirts, penny whistles, postcards, thrown-together trad albums, and whiskey-infused chocolate here. Wade through the socks with soft-toy sheep woven into the design, and stereotype-infused joke images, though, and most will find something in these bargain basement stop offs that will always bring back Ireland, whether it’s a pub pic, a sliotar (hurling ball), or something with Guinness printed all over it. Does it impress? Not overly. Should you go there anyway? Probably.
58 O’Connell Street Upper, Dublin 1, Ireland. +353 18735709