The Most Amazing Airbnbs and Holiday Rentals in Ireland

From luxurious properties to rustic gems, Ireland has an Airbnb accommodation to suit everyone
From luxurious properties to rustic gems, Ireland has an Airbnb accommodation to suit everyone | © Krzysztof Nahlik / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Isabella Noble
22 April 2021

Ireland’s lyrical landscapes, lively cities and delightful rural villages invite slow exploration, and a self-catering stay is the perfect way to get stuck in. Whether you’re keen to get lost in Dublin’s literary corners, roam the wilds of Killarney National Park or soak up the unbelievably beautiful Connemara coastline, book into one of Ireland’s best holiday rentals, from secluded country cottages to centuries-old estates.

Cottage style: a chic Connemara retreat

Baybridge House, Sky Road
Courtesy of Baybridge House / Expedia

The natural setting is a dream at this design-led, three-bedroom cottage, surrounded as it is by rippling inlets and rugged greenery, on Western Ireland’s knockout-pretty Connemara Peninsula. Marble surfaces, pastel palettes and splashes of nautical navy create a soothing look; each double has its own bathroom (one with a rolltop bath); and the sprawling kitchen-lounge makes a statement with floor-to-ceiling windows and a curving island bar. It’s perfectly placed for exploring Victorian-era Clifden, the sweeping local beaches and the wild island-dotted coastline.

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A coastal escape on the Connemara Peninsula

Apartment, Cottages
Atlantic Sunset, Aughris
Courtesy of Atlantic Sunset / Expedia

You’re wedged between the crashing Atlantic, the spectacular Connemara coastline and miles of rolling green fields at this delightful stone-walled cottage in County Galway. With a bright, cream-washed double, two twin rooms, two bathrooms and a wonderfully cosy lounge with a log fire, it has space for six guests. There are wraparound ocean views – and the Victorian town of Clifden and the dramatic 2000ha (4940 acres) Connemara National Park (known for its rewarding hikes and glinting bogs) are both within 30-minute drives.

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A Howth stay with buckets of style

Apartment, Guesthouse
Sweet Inn - Gorgeous Howth II
Courtesy of Sweet Inn - Gorgeous Howth II / Expedia

Combine city thrills and seaside calm with a sunny, stylish base in the upmarket fishing village of Howth, a 40-minute train ride east of central Dublin. Tropical-print cushions, navy-blue feature walls and bunches of fresh flowers offset the neutral styling at this seven-person home, which has three bedrooms, a bamboo-lined terrace and attentive details including a capsule-coffee kit. Enjoy Howth’s 16th-century castle, restaurant-packed port, excellent farmer’s market and divine views across Dublin Bay, not to mention the lovely walks around the headland.

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Canalside calm in central Dublin

4.3/5 (3 Reviews)
Sweet Inn - Spacious Grand Canal
Courtesy of Sweet Inn - Spacious Grand Canal / Expedia

This peaceful collection of urban-stylish apartments, just steps from the Grand Canal in central Dublin, was created in collaboration with local designers. Sleeping two to six people, all have hardwood floors, zigzag carpets, lots of natural light and balconies gazing out on the city, along with Nespresso machines and complimentary toiletries. You’re a 20-minute walk from must-see city-centre attractions such as 16th-century Trinity College, the standout National Museum of Ireland and lovingly landscaped St Stephen’s Green, and there’s canalside dining on the doorstep, too.

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A Dublin haven by the Grand Canal

Sweet Inn - ContemporaryCharlotteQuay II
Courtesy of Sweet Inn - ContemporaryCharlotteQuay II / Expedia

For a Dublin break with a tranquil retreat, hunt down this intimate one-bed apartment – perched in the desirable docks area around 20 minutes’ walk from the city-centre buzz. It’s a bright and cheery space, with thoughtful touches including potted orchids, a Nespresso coffee maker and toiletries from responsible French brand Nuxe in the smart marble-clad bathroom. Wander along the sparkling canal to unearth independent cafes, delis and restaurants, then hit Dublin’s lively pubs and exceptional galleries.

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Cottage cosiness in the Boyne Valley

The Coach House 14837
Courtesy of The Coach House 14837 / Expedia

Escape into Ireland’s history-rich Boyne Valley for rippling hills, Unesco-listed Neolithic tombs, and ancient castles and monasteries. These smart, stone-walled cottages, 40 minutes’ drive northwest from Dublin, are set around leafy courtyard gardens. The two-bedroom Coach House sleeps four, with a crackling log fire, a Lavazza coffee machine and underfloor heating. Extra perks include an in-house Dermalogica spa, gym, barbecue, kids’ den, bikes for borrowing, and seasonally stocked welcome baskets. The team can arrange fresh-produce breakfasts and hampers, and even pets can tag along, too.

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Home-from-home in wild County Kerry

Apartment, Guesthouse
Ardmullen 3 bedroom
Courtesy of Ardmullen 3 bedroom / Expedia

From this cosy three-bedroom semi-detached house in pretty 18th-century Kenmare, you’ll uncover Ireland’s spectacular, surf-washed southwest. With a private terrace, lots of greenery and space for six, it’s ideal for families and groups, and you can stock up on local produce at the town-square farmer’s market. Road-trip around the Iveragh, Beara and Dingle Peninsulas, past untouched beaches and sweeping Atlantic views, and explore Killarney and the 10,000ha (25,000 acres) Killarney National Park (Ireland’s original national park), both within 30 minutes’ drive.

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A lap of luxury in Ireland’s spectacular southwest

Apartment, Guesthouse
4.5/5 (2 Reviews)
Great Southern Killarney Holiday Homes
Courtesy of Great Southern Killarney Holiday Homes / Expedia

A prize-winning, family-owned, 19th-century estate surrounded by 2.5ha (6 acres) of gardens is the setting for a luxury escape in County Kerry’s buzzy Killarney. Whether you fancy a four-bedroom house with period features or a two-bedroom apartment in a fabulous Victorian-era building, all self-catering properties have access to the heated pool, sauna, hot tub and gym. Delicious spa treatments use Parisian Yon-Ka products, and fresh Kerry produce fires the creative restaurant, which turns out seabass with tiger prawns and goat’s-cheese mousse. Killarney National Park sits on the doorstep.

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  • Historic east Ireland home with hot springs

    Apartment, Guesthouse
    Hotwell House
    Courtesy of Hotwell House / Expedia

    Built in 1838 and known for its heated natural springs, Hotwell House, an hour’s drive west of Dublin, was once the home of Irish writer Katherine Purdon. Its 200-year-old coach house, with space for 10 people, has been reimagined with rustic-boutique flair by owners Nick and Becky (embroidered throws, open-stone walls, rain showers). Four ensuite rooms open onto a courtyard, and thoughtful details include homemade elderflower cordial, a Nespresso machine and goodies for cooked breakfasts. Yoga, reiki, 8ha (20 acre) grounds, farm animals and excellent hiking and cycling add to the fun.

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    Log cabin nestled in nature, County Mayo

    Map View

    Set in a private woodland, this rental has a grown-up treehouse feel. The cabin juxtaposes natural materials with bold geometric form and bright-green trim. The vaulted ceiling and non-standard angles are complemented by tasteful white decor, while generous windows frame vignettes of the woods outside and allow light to pour into the space. A few steps outside offers an immersion in birdsong, and the private woodland has some lovely walks, with the Owenwee River running by just 200m (656ft) away. The property is only 5km (3.1mi) from the designated heritage town of Westport, and there is a range of active excursions available nearby, from cycling along the Great Western Greenway to horse-riding along the edge of the Atlantic.

    A miniature castle for two, County Cork

    Short-term Rental, Luxury
    Map View

    If you have regal tastes but a modest budget (and a small party to accommodate), you can find your own personal castle without the excess in County Cork. Period details such as leaded windows, stone arches, timber ceilings and a red-and-gold palette of textiles set a romantic and luxurious tone throughout. This castle is perfect for two, with just one bedroom and a quaint little garden for some wine under the stars.

    A self-catering pub in Roscrea, County Tipperary

    Short-term Rental
    Map View
    Conroy's Old Bar
    Courtesy of Conroy's Old Bar / Expedia

    The “world’s first self-catering bar” in Aglish, County Tipperary, has garnered a lot of attention for both its novelty value and its sympathetic adaptation to a functional living space. The mahogany bar is now a fully functioning kitchen, still featuring bar stools and even a dartboard. The adjoining snug with an open log-turf fire is a perfect spot to cosy up after a day of exploring nearby Lough Derg and the River Shannon. Two modestly sized bedrooms open off the space. Despite its alcohol-focussed history, this characterful property is a fun choice for families, and there is a small playground nearby in the village. Kids will also love the Fairy Garden next door. Note that there is no shop in the village, but there is – of course – a pub.

    Josh Taylor and Kate Phelan contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on April 22, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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