The 10 Most Amazing Airbnbs 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 Kate Phelan
27 July 2020

Owing to its rich history, rural countryside and buzzing hubs, Ireland has a diverse offering of accommodations scattered all over the country. It also happens to be where Airbnb’s European HQ is located – a fitting coincidence given how many short-term rentals in the country are on its website. From former castles of different shapes and sizes to rustic log cabins and old watering holes, Culture Trip rounds up 10 of Ireland’s most appealing homes from home.

Norman castle near Dublin, County Meath

Short-term Rental, Luxury
Map View
Courtesy of Sue / Airbnb

Durhamstown Castle in Meath is a Norman castle just a half-hour away from Dublin. It dates back to 1420 and is beautifully decorated, showing reverence for the incredible architecture alongside the owners’ design flair, with bold colours and exotic finds peppered throughout. There are plenty of opportunities for country walks in the area, with both the seaside and romantic woodlands nearby. While it’s on the expensive side, it has seven bedrooms and can sleep up to 16, working out at an affordable price per person at full capacity. To fully immerse yourself in the regal experience, you can also book to have some or all meals catered at the castle.

Traditional cottage by the Aran Islands, County Clare

Cottages
Map View
Courtesy of Phil and Valerie / Airbnb

The two-bedroom Yellow Cottage in County Clare’s coastal village of Doolin is an exemplar of the traditional Irish cottage. The owners have succeeded in the delicate balance of presenting the best of the property’s historic charm without venturing into “twee” territory. The natural materials and simple colour palette let the cottage’s history and unspoilt location speak for themselves. Enjoy evenings cosying up to the wood-burning stove in the open hearth, and eat breakfast at the picnic table outside, with a view that stretches across the rolling fields to the sea. This locale is also an ideal spot for exploring this beautiful stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, with the majestic Aran Islands, the craggy limestone planes of the Burren and the everyday rhythm of life of local towns Doolin and Lisdoonvarna.

About this place:

Cosy, Remote, Traditional

Log cabin nestled in nature, County Mayo

Cabin
Map View
Courtesy of Irma / Airbnb

Set in a private woodland, the Cuckoo Wood Hexagon has a grown-up treehouse feel. The cabin juxtaposes natural materials against its bold geometric form and bright-green trim, and the design inside is similarly attuned to the context while still modern and progressive in style. The vaulted ceiling and non-standard angles are complemented by a simple and tasteful white decor scheme, 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 the sound of birdsong on the raised deck area, 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.

Portobello townhouse with a private patio, Dublin

Apartment, Short-term Rental
Map View
Courtesy of Deborah / Airbnb

Upon arriving at this Victorian townhouse, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just walked into an Ikea showroom. Everything is immaculate here – if the photos don’t provide you with enough evidence of that, then the guest reviews surely will. Snuggle up on the giant L-sofa for a movie night or next to the state-of-the-art log burner to keep warm on chilly evenings. There are many more contemporary touches found throughout the three-bedroom home – from jet-black radiators to colourful wall art – as well as period features such as the gorgeous mahogany bed frame and wardrobe in the main bedroom. Before heading out to explore Dublin, start your morning with a breakfast on the leafy private patio – weather permitting, of course.

Bay views at the edge of Dingle, County Kerry

Short-term Rental, Luxury
Map View
Courtesy of Grainne / Airbnb
Dingle’s Waters Edge House is decorated sumptuously, with rich parquet floors, a cosy fireplace in the living room and sleigh beds in the bedrooms. However, the real star of the show is the view spanning over the bay outside, framed by generous windows throughout. This three-bedroom, three-bathroom property sleeps six in comfort, giving plenty of space for a family or group to spread out. It also comes with a utility space for washing and drying clothes that will come in especially useful for those who take advantage of the opportunities to hike, kayak and cycle nearby. Despite the incredibly peaceful location, the property is only a five-minute walk from the lively town centre, which is brimming with craic, ceol (music) and some of the best food in the country. The path is floodlit at night if you’re heading home after dark.

A miniature castle for two, County Cork

Short-term Rental, Luxury
Map View
Courtesy of Irish Landmark Trust / Airbnb

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. Annes Grove is chock-full of period atmosphere, saturated in Gothic style and nestled among mature birch trees, all on a miniature scale. 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.

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  • Spanish arch townhouse, County Galway

    Apartment, Short-term Rental
    Map View
    Courtesy of Francis / Airbnb

    Located a stone’s throw from the Latin Quarter – where most of Galway’s famous pubs and live music venues can be found – this renovated townhouse puts you right in the thick of it. With four bedrooms holding up to eight guests, the three-storey property is a great option for families or groups of friends who want to make the most of the city. There’s plenty in the way of modern comforts inside, including a snug sofa, a flat-screen TV, two modern bathrooms and a full kitchen for making breakfast and evening meals if you’d rather eat in. Appropriately christened the Spanish Arch Townhouse, the property has views of the pre-Medieval monument standing over the River Corrib.

    Rustic log cabin on Lough Derravaragh, County Westmeath

    Cabin
    Map View
    Courtesy of Sarah / Airbnb

    Those with a real desire to get away from it all may find just what they’re looking for in the national heritage area of Lough Derravaragh in County Westmeath. Built by hand in 2005, this cabin is a pared-back cocoon of relaxation with no electricity, an outdoor bathroom and heat provided by a small wood-burning stove. The dreamy wood-clad space has a simple daybed for reading and relaxing (that opens out into two single beds), bunk-beds and a small kitchenette, along with a large outdoor area with handmade benches and stools and cooking space with a barbecue-firepit to enjoy eating and drinking al fresco. There are many ways to explore the rugged scenery of the area, including hiking nearby Knockeyon hill to get even better views, taking a gentle walk through Mullaghmeen Forest or hiring the wooden rowboats available to get out on the lake.

    A restored stone Medieval castle, County Galway

    Short-term Rental
    Map View
    Courtesy of Peter / Airbnb

    The name of this listing says it all: “Live like a king in my castle.” That’s what Peter – your host and devoted restorer of this 15th-century stone citadel – is offering guests the rare chance to do. Restored with local limestone and oak, Cahercastle has several rooms (not quite wings) that provide enough space for up to four guests. There’s the top-floor master bedroom – which includes access to the old turret – a living room, a dining room, a bathroom with solar-heated running water, two guest rooms and a storage room still under construction. Expect winding staircases and a few cobwebs here and there – you will be staying in a 600-year-old Irish castle, after all – and if you’re craving some civilisation, Galway is just a 20-minute drive away.

    About this place:

    Countryside, Historic, Quirky, Hidden Gem, Remote

    A self-catering pub in Roscrea, County Tipperary

    Short-term Rental
    Map View
    Courtesy of Erron / Airbnb

    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, and the former bar area still features bar stools and even a dartboard. Meanwhile, 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 but comfortable 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, where they can become a fairy helper for the day in an immersive play and craft experience. Note that there is no shop in the village, but there is – of course – a pub.

    Josh Taylor contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on July 27, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.