I booked my first night in Dublin at the Barnacles Temple Bar Hostel because they had some great packages available the week of my stay and the location looked perfect. I ended up staying two nights because I missed the transfer bus to Galway that was part of my package, due to various mishaps of my own causing which you can read about in my previous Dublin post.
About the Barnacles Temple Bar Hostel:
The Barnacles Temple Bar Hostel is one of two Barnacles hostels in Ireland, they have another one in Galway. I booked directly with them because it was actually cheaper than booking with a third party website plus they had some good package deals on their website which change throughout the year. You can find the website here: http://www.barnacles.ie/
They call themselves “the best located hostel in Dublin” and it’s true, I don’t think you can get any better than this! It’s right in the middle of the Temple Bar area, next door to the Temple Bar and within walking distance of many of the most popular Dublin attractions as well as close to the pick up points for walking tours and bus transfers to other cities and the airport. I know Temple Bar gets a reputation as touristy, but it is so in the best possible way, it’s also the artistic district of the city, and you’ll find a mix of locals and international visitors both of whom are very open and friendly to talking / drinking with solo travelers. If it’s touristy well then F that I’m going to be a tourist. It’s also within easy distance of more local spots if you want to try those out too. I feel like Temple Bar is where people go when they really want to celebrate/ party / have a good time. I saw a lot of bachelor / bachelorette parties (which they call ‘stag” and “hen” parties there), birthday parties and just people in really good spirits having a good time.
I loved that I could easily be back in my hostel bed in about 5 minutes once I was partied out for the night. I’m the kind of person that can be on the go all night, having a blast and staying up really late but once the party is over I really want to be in my bed right now!
Of course having a hostel in the middle of all that partying might not seem to be the best idea when you actually want to sleep. I think it you wanted to be in bed at 10 PM and had to wake up really early thee next morning you might need some ear plugs. Since I only went to bed past 2 AM both nights I was there, I slept fine. Most pubs close at 1:30 and people clear out pretty quickly so it was quiet after that point. The hostel itself was super quiet unlike some I’ve stayed in. So if you’re the kind of person who plans on going out and having a good time at night but still wants to have a quiet bed
to recover sleep in, this hostel would be perfect for you.
Dorm and facilities:
I stayed in an 8 bed mixed dorm my first night and a 6 bed female dorm my second night. I highly recommend taking the dorm with the least amount of beds that you can afford. It’s usually only a few extra dollars / euros to get a dorm with less beds but your quality of sleep goes up dramatically. The beds were comfortable, not the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on in my life but comfortable enough that I slept like a baby after all my gallivanting around Dublin during the day time. All the rooms/dorms are ensuite which I really like because I hate having to go out into the halls in order to shower or go to the bathroom especially late at night. Both the dorms I stayed in were clean and each bed had its own light and sockets for charging your devices even the top bunks had their own sockets up high on the wall. There are large wire clamshell type baskets underneath the beds which you can put all your stuff into and then lock with your own lock or padlock. It’s nice that they are big enough to fit even a backpack or carry on size suitcase.
They have adapters and hair dryers available for rent and laundry service available. I did not need to do my laundry yet so I can’t rate it. There is free breakfast available which I was too hungover to eat so I can’t rate that either, but the free coffee machine actually gave me a pretty decent latte which I desperately needed that first morning when I was crazy hungover and jet-lagged and had missed my bus.
The staff were super nice especially after I missed my bus and the really awesome lady at the front desk went out of her way to book me a bed for that night and try to re-book my tour for another day all at a discount even though it was all totally my own fault that I missed it. There is someone at the front desk 24 hours and good security to get back into the hostel which I appreciated as a female solo traveler.
*Sorry I was too busy getting drunk to actually take any photos of this hostel!
What to do, eat and drink nearby:
There are so many attractions within quick walking distance: Dublin Castle, The Guinness Factory, Trinity College, Chester Beatty Library, beautiful churches and little walking bridges over the River Liffey. I did a free city walking tour with Next City Dublin which helped me get orientated to where things were. They also have literary and brew legacy (i.e. daytime drinking) tours and a pub crawl.
So when I asked any Irish person what to do in Temple Bar they always said one thing: Drink!
I got addicted to beef and Guinness pie while in Ireland. The best one I found so far in Dublin was at the Hairy Lemon and obviously you need to drink some Guinness while you’re in Ireland. I don’t know why but it really does taste different and better in Ireland, it’s really strange!
Do not leave Dublin without having gone to see some live music at one of the pubs!
This was on a Monday night at the Temple Bar and it was the most happening I ever seen a bar be especially on a Monday night!
Who goes to Dublin or to Temple Bar to sleep?!