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Best Dublin Shopping

AOL PICK from our Editors

Dublin may be small but that isn’t to say it does not have its fair share of big name brands and funky independent shops. Dublin shopping demands a look around Grafton Street where you’ll find swanky department store Brown Thomas as well as popular high street names. Henry Street on the northside is chockablock with many of the same high street shops and Dublin’s big Jervis Centre (mall), but it also has many cheaper shops. The Dundrum Centre is one of Europe’s largest indoor malls, in a southside suburb of Dundrum and can be reached on the LUAS.

Grafton Street

Neighborhood: St Stephen’s Green

The centuries-old golden mile of Dublin shopping (and it’s not even a mile long), Grafton Street, famously commands some of the highest rent in the world (this year it slid into eighth place compared to last year’s fifth) giving it an exclusivity—in Irish eyes at least—akin to New York’s Fifth Avenue or Paris’ Champs-Élysées. It hasn’t been immune to recession though. Flagship department store Brown Thomas has been on the pedestrian promenade since 1849 and stocks the world’s most prestigious brands, from Gucci and Cartier to Tiffany & Co and Waterford crystal in its fashion, jewelry and house ware stocks.  Opposite BT you’ll find Weir & Sons, a family business selling exclusive jewelry and watches. Further up the street, stop for a coffee and a sticky bun (or lunchtime snack) in the famous Bewley’s Café, there since 1927. Elsewhere on the street you’ll find Karen Millen, Ted Baker, Monsoon, River Island and A|wear.

Avoca

Neighborhood: St Stephen’s Green

A Dublin shopping adventure should include a visit to Avoca. Life at Avoca began when the Pratt family took over a run-down 18th-century mill in the 1970s and set the looms to spin again, breathing new life into the moribund company. The beautiful brightly colored Avoca blankets, throws, and rugs, all made from natural fibers are now prized items and sell briskly. These days the four-story Avoca shop feels like an Aladdin’s cave of glistening treasures and colorful trinkets. As well as their trademark yarns you’ll find quirky ceramics and kitchenware, contemporary jewelry, offbeat books and toys, funky gardening tools and their own Anthology clothing line. Hit the basement for delicious deli foods to take away or make a meal of it in the excellent popular top-floor restaurant.

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Avoca  

Dundrum Town Centre

Neighborhood: Dundrum

It’s a far cry from Molly Malone touting her wares with a wooden cart, but for a retail therapy treat on a rainy day, you can’t beat Dundrum Centre for a packed afternoon of Dublin shopping. It has more than 100 shops, 34 restaurants, a 12-screen cinema and the fantastic Mill Theatre. As one of the largest indoor malls in Europe, the multi award-winning complex in the southside burb of Dundrum opened in 2005 with a dock full of brands (Brown Thomas, Harvey Nichols, Marks & Spencer, Zara, Fat Face, H&M and Penneys). To get there, catch a LUAS at St Stephen’s Green and hop off at Balally station (around 10 minutes later). 

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Dundrum Town Centre  

Francis Street

If you are looking for atmospheric shopping in Dublin Francis Street in Dublin’s old medieval quarter, is renowned for its antiques. Locals like to tab it as Dublin’s answer to Paris’s Left Bank. The area, called The Liberties, is still the best place to go for a serious browse through the city’s wide range of antique collections. If you’re looking for high-end period furniture, porcelain or objets d’art, try O’Sullivan Antiques, a family-run business that also sells in New York. Niall Mullen’s specializes in furniture—mostly Art Deco pieces, and Oxfam Home, great for bargains, is a cool charity shop that sells discarded furniture, bric-a-brac books and records at rock bottom prices.

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