Looking up places to shop in Dublin, Grafton Street is the top recommendation of many guidebooks. Every city has one of these — I think of it like San Francisco’s Pier 39.
Do yourself a favor if you travel to Dublin and skip Grafton Street. There are lots of chain stores you can find anywhere and we hardly saw any of the famed street performers.
No, you should visit the Creative Quarter. The Creative Quarter is near Temple Bar and is a concentration of restaurants, boutiques, and other design-led shops. As a creative looking for neat places to shop, this was perfect!
We spent one morning visiting all the shops on my list. All of the shops below are walking distance from each other. All are independently run and feature lovely curated products. By the end of the shopping trip I was bouncing around, so pleased with myself that I hit so may creative stores.
I focused on homeware, craft, art, and stationary-type stores. We passed a few independent fashion boutiques that we didn’t have time to check out.
What I love about all of the shops we visited is that even though they are design-focused, they are unpretentious and cater toward normal people.
Hands down my favorite shop of the trip. Article has a nice mixture of homeware, books, and paper.
The card selection was fantastic. I found some beautiful neon letterpress cards!
I had to talk myself out of buying random bowls and containers I didn’t need. I walked out with a stack of greeting cards, notecards, and washi tape!
Irish Design Shop
Such a cute little store selling a little bit of everything including books, pillows, cards, jewelry, art prints, homeware, and more.
Everything is designed and made in Ireland and the shop has some maker spaces upstairs. I had to stop myself from buying a few handmade zippered pouches without having a clue what I’d put in them . . .
Designist is a gift and homeware store that focuses on bringing good design to customers in Dublin for reasonable prices. Out of the group, this is the only place that had a big selection of items for kids and had the most eclectic selection overall. I bought some cards for myself and a gift for a cute toddler in my life.
Industry focuses mostly on homewares (of the group, they had a furniture selection) but they do have a selection of paper goods. It’s a beautiful shop and I wish I lived closer so I could buy the red floor lamp!
A. Rubanesque sells ribbon and other cute handmade items. It is definitely the least gifty of the group of shops I visited — there were several people in there buying ribbon for projects.
I really really wanted to buy the triangle table runner. Look at it — so cute!
Jam Art Factory
The Jam Art Factory is an Irish design and art shop. There are two locations — we visited the shop in Temple Bar. It sells mostly art prints but also a few cards.
At this point toward the end of the day, I decided I needed a new place to decorate because I loved the prints!
The Pen Corner
Just a tad further away from the rest of the shops and nearer Trinity College is The Pen Corner, specializing in, you guessed it, pens! It’s not technically design-led like the rest of the shops but pens + stationary = sign me up.
There are two floors — the first floor for pens and I mean the kind that are displayed under glass. Downstairs from that, they have paper pads, stationary, planners, and a card selection. The card selection was a bit more mainstream, but we still found a couple cute ones to pick up.
The Pen Corner, 12 College Green, Dublin 2 | Click here for map
This was one of my favorite afternoons! Normally when we travel, it’s difficult to visit more than one design-type shop because they’re rarely so close to each other. If you’re in Dublin, skip Grafton Street and take some time in the Creative Quarter!
Mr. P and I traveled to Dublin for a long weekend in March. Learn how to plan a trip to Europe for the weekend (even coming all the way from California) here.