Shopping in Dublin is split between popular UK High Street brands and a multitude of quirky local shops you won't find anywhere else. The High Street brands are generally located on the Northside of the city and the smaller local shops on the Southside. If you are looking for gifts that are typically Irish, head for Nassau Street, which runs right alongside Trinity College. Here you will find a wide selection of woollen knitwear, tweeds, Irish crafts and traditional music in a number of shops sitting literally shoulder to shoulder on the southern side of Nassau Street. Dublin is a very young town with a large number of resident artists, that trend conscious mix is reflected in the small boutiques in the Temple Bar quarter and around Wicklow Street. Dublin is very compact and you can cover a lot of ground in half a day. Do as the locals do, and stop for a coffee or a 'cuppa of tea' and some people watching in one of the many cafes located in between Dublin's shops.
The founders of Avoca combined traditional Irish wool weaving with bright, stylish designs in a small village in the Wicklow Mountains. The look fast became fashionable in Ireland and abroad and the Avoca brand has since branched out into ladies clothing, home accessories and more - All in the trademark bohemian, slightly funky Avoca style. The Avoca flagship store in Dublin is a city centre emporium of Irish style spread over four floors. From funky kitchen utensils and delicatessen in the basement, ladies clothing and home wares on the ground floor, gifts and knick knacks on the mezzanine to wooden kids' toys, Avoca is a great store to rummage around in. If you like a sophisticated hippie look with a touch of jet set glamour, this is the place to go, Ladies. Do not miss the opportunity to lunch in Avoca's renowned restaurant on the top floor of the shop. If you like the food, you can take home one of the Avoca cookery books and replicate the experience at home.
Suffolk Street, Dublin 2
Grafton Street is Ireland's premier shopping mile. The wide pedestrian zone invites you to window shop at your leisure, stopping at the many different fashion boutiques, shoe shops, jewellers and the exclusive Brown Thomas department store and its younger BT2 offshoot. Brown Thomas offers the widest selection of luxury designer labels in Dublin while BT2 specialises in upmarket streetwear. The legendary Bewley's Cafe with its picturesque Art Nouveau facade invites you to have a break from all that shopping and enjoy a savoury snack or a cake or pastry from its sumptuous selection on the ground floor.
Georges Street Market
This covered former Victorian market hall with ornate red brick facade and glass roof is home to a funky selection of small stalls and shops. From used books to records, CDs, vintage clothes and streetwear, Georges Street Market is a must for trend conscious shoppers. The market features Dublin's only stall specialising in trendy hats and caps as well as a selection of street food vendors, delicatessen and fine wines. The market runs between Drury Street and South Great Georges Street.
Irish Gifts: Nassau Street
Running parallel to Dublin's famous Trinity College campus, Nassau Street offers great shopping for typically Irish gifts, such as Donegal tweeds, hand knit wool jumpers as well as Irish crafts, traditional Irish music and musical instruments. Within less than a kilometres walk, you can find many local specialities from all over Ireland. At the end of the row of shops, just before Nassau Street turns into Leinster Street South, you find Kilkenny Design, a convenient one-stop shop for typical Irish crafts and fashions of high standards.
Kilkenny Design Centre
The Kilkenny Design Centre is a one-stop shop for established and up-and-coming names in Irish design. In the bright and airy building opposite Trinity College you will find pottery, crystal glass, silverware, wood craft, handmade jewellery, ladies clothes, handbags and accessories by Orla Kiely, Stephen Pierce, Nicholas Mosse, John Rocha and more. The top floor is home to a restaurant and coffee shop overlooking Trinity College. The food and the relaxed atmosphere make this a very popular lunch destination for Dubliners.
Nassau Street, Dublin 2
Trendy Boutiques: Wicklow Street
Branching off Grafton Street just in front of the Brown Thomas department store is Wicklow Street, the home of some of Dublin's most cutting edge boutiques and niche shops. Stop for trendy trainers and streetwear at Size?, or browse for fashionable shoes at the Camper and Buffalo stores. You can try on surf wear at Fat Face or get stuck into the vast choice of delicatessen at Fallon & Byrne's - The choice is yours. Stroll down Wicklow Street and turn into any of the small lanes going South - Clarendon Street, South William Street and Drury Street - and you will find more trendy boutiques. If you are looking for alternative music by contemporary Irish bands, visit Road Records in Fade Street off Drury Street, who stock all releases on Irish independent labels.
Funky Streetwear And More: Temple bar
Dublin's cultural quarter Temple Bar is home to an ever growing number of funky boutiques offering the latest in street wear as well as vintage clothing from the 1950's through to the 1980's. From the four floors of Urban Outfitters to small t-shirt shops with exclusive designs, there is a shop in Temple Bar for every taste and budget. Handmade jewellery, tattoo and body piercing parlours as well as contemporary art galleries complete the shopping experience. Pop into one of the trendy music shops like City Discs (Temple Lane South) and Beat Finder Records (Fownes Street) to hear the latest tunes and get tips and tickets for live music gigs and DJ nights in Dublin.
Art And Antiques: Francis Street
Whether you are looking for Irish antiques and bric-a-brac or you are looking to buy some works by Ireland's hottest contemporary artists, Francis Street has the highest density of art galleries and antique dealers in Dublin. Located off the beaten track to the West of Christchurch Cathedral, Francis Street can be reached from Dublin city centre with the 123 bus. Just ask the driver to give you a shout when your stop comes up. Walking down from the northern end of Francis Street, things start off a bit low key with a few old fashioned grocers, pubs and knick knack shops. Halfway down the hill you are suddenly spoilt for choice of classy shops and cutting edge galleries on both sides of the road.
High Street Fashion: Henry Street
Henry Street and its extension Mary Street are a popular shopping destination on Dublin's Northside, running East-to-West between O'Connell Street and Capel Street. On Henry Street and Mary Street you will find many UK High Street retail brands such as Body Shop, Game Stop, HMV, Office, Early Learning Centre and more. Henry Street is also home to Arnott's department store, a Dublin institution, and two sizeable shopping centres, the Ilac and the Jervis Centre. Moore Street, which branches off Henry Street just before the Ilac Centre, is home to a daily fruit and vegetable market. You will also find many ethnic shops here, trading in Asian, African and Middle Eastern groceries and spices.
Henry Street, Mary Street and Moore Street, all Dublin 1
The Jervis Centre is located directly opposite the Ilac shopping centre and offers a wide range of shops from ladies and men's fashion to books, kids’ toys and arts and crafts. Retailers at the Jervis Centre include Wallis, Waterstones and Schuh among others.
Henry Street, Dublin 1
The Ilac centre is home to large flagship stores by fashion retailers H&M and Debenhams. It also features a dozen smaller boutiques plus cafes and Dublin's central public library.
Henry Street, Dublin 1
Stephen's Green Centre
Resembling an old time Mississippi river boat with its ornate white metalwork and glass facade, the Stephen's Green Centre features a Benetton flagship store, fashion discounter TK Maxx, a Dunnes department store and several boutiques by surf wear brand Quiksilver and other labels. The centre also features more than a dozen cafes and restaurants, including a TGI Fridays and a Wagamama Japanese noodle bar.
King Street South/corner St. Stephen's Green West
Designer Shopping: Dundrum Town Centre
The Dundrum Town Centre is Dublin's most upmarket shopping mall with outlets by exclusive London department store Harvey Nichols and a dependence of Brown Thomas' BT2. The centre is home to many UK High Street brands including House Of Fraser, Next, Monsoon, LK Bennett, Molton Brown and more. You also get branches of US brands Urban Outfitters, Timberland and Tommy Hilfiger. The generously proportioned and landscaped centre further features cafes, restaurants and a cinema. The Dundrum Town Centre is located on Dublin's Southside and can be conveniently reached from St. Stephen's Green with the Green Luas tram line (Dundrum stop).
Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin 16
Another great place for shopping is the city of Brussels. You can read about it on this fine website about Brussels shopping.