Handpicked selection of the best family hotels in Dublin for location, comfort, style and family friendliness chosen by an expat mom who made Dublin her home. Our guide to where to stay in Dublin with kids.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked about Ireland is where to stay in Dublin with kids. Indeed, finding family friendly accommodation in Dublin is not as is easy as it may seem.
First, while not huge in size, Dublin is spread out enough to make choosing the right location important to avoid commuting time and traffic induced frustration.
Second, Dublin is expensive, so you want to make sure that what you pay goes to cover a good location, a good room or, ideally, both.
Last but not least, unlike other localities even in Ireland, Dublin hasn’t got many hotels presenting themselves as ‘family hotels’ and this means you need to spend a good bit of time to research weather the establishment you like is suitable for a family or not.
I have been living in Dublin for over a decade and while I haven’t been in all of the city hotels myself, over the course of the years I had the chance to test many and to hear opinions of friends and visitors about even more.
In this post, I round up what I believe to be the best areas of Dublin to stay as a family and the best hotels for families in Dublin.
No time to read the post? These are our top 3 family hotels in Dublin by budget (see quick synopsis of each below):
- Merrion hotel (5 star, city centre)
- Clayton hotel (4 star, Ballsbridge)
- Hilton Garden Inn (3 star hotel, IFSC)
Please note: this post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Best areas to stay in Dublin with family
South city centre
The best area to stay in Dublin, in my option, is the South city centre and precisely the area around Trinity College and Merrion square.
This area is part of the historical centre of the city and is where most attractions are located including famous Trinity College, Dublin castle, some of Dublin’s most famous museums and one of Dublin’s commercial roads, Grafton street.
This is the best area to stay in Dublin with kids for sightseeing and it is close to some of the city’s green spaces, namely Merrion square, where there is a gorgeous playground, and St Stephens’ green.
Christchurch and Dublin castle area
This area is still part of the city centre but has a different feel from Merrion square and therefore I believe deserves its own paragraph. Less monumental and elegant than the area above, this is a convenient area with some budget friendly options and is close to main landmarks such as Christchurch and St Patrick’s cathedral plus family favourite Dublinia
Ballsbridge is an elegant area to the South of the centre. It is home to some of Dublin’s most elegant hotels and is a great place if you want a quiet but beautiful place away from the busy city centre streets. This is a good area to stay in Dublin with kids for quality of hotels.
Again to the South of the centre, this area makes my list for its family friendly, residential feel and abundance of green spaces. Here you don’t find many large hotels but rather smaller guesthouses and B&Bs, offering a warm welcome to families with children in familiar atmosphere. This is the best area to stay in Dublin with kids if you want access to green spaces and local shops. The area is served by regular bus routes.
The IFSC is the financial centre area of Dublin and it may look like an unusual recommendation for families. However, we stayed here ourselves and found it so handy for sightseeing, it made my list.
Last but not least, I add to my recommendations on where to stay in Dublin with kids the area of Clontarf. This is slightly detached form the centre and requires public transport to go to Dublin’s main landmarks but has some attractive features including proximity to the sea, lovely local feel and something many would consider a huge plus: a castle hotel!
Best family hotels in Dublin in the city centre
The Merrion Hotel (5 stars)
Gorgeous Merrion hotel is a historical hotel in Dublin and a real treat. Located int he heart of Dublin, just in front of Ireland’s government buildings, the hotel is not just welcoming to families but has special treats for the kids. Here, as well as lovely appointed family rooms, the kids get their own bathrobe and slippers and are welcome to try the kids’packages on the onsite spa!
Drury Court hotel (3 stars)
Located beside Grafton street and St Stephens green, the strength of this hotel is its enviable location, perfect for sightseeing. The hotels has family rooms and caters for larger groups with serviced apartments. Restaurants, shops, St Stephen’s green park and Dublin’s main landmarks are nearby.
Fitzwilliam townhouse (3 stars)
A townhouse dating back to Georgian times, this family hotel in Dublin city centre offers nice family rooms and is famous for its exceptionally helpful staff. The hotel caters for families with family rooms for up to 4 people and is in an enviable location immediately outside Dublin’s busy city centre streets.
Best family hotels in Dublin: Christchurch and Dublin castle area
Jurys’ Inn Christchurch (3 stars)
This hotel is right in front of Christ Church cathedral, about 10 minutes walk away from Trinity college on one side and St Patrick’s cathedral to the other. The hotel has family rooms, a restaurant onsite and a popular cafe. The hotel strikes a good balance between convenient location and quiet rooms and it is just in front of one of the most popular kids’ attractions in Dublin, Dublinia!
Best family hotels in Dublin: Ballbridge
Mespil hotel (4 stars)
Lovely hotels on the grand canal, walking distance from Dublin’s main attractions. the Mespil has gorgeous family rooms catering for 2 adults and up to 2 children with one king sized bed, one single bed and a pull out sofa bed. An absolutely fabulous choice for families.
Clayton hotel Ballsbridge (4 star hotel)
Fabulous family hotels in Dublin 4 with family rooms and extra attention for the kids such as a dedicated menu on the onsite restaurant. The hotel staff is attentive to family needs and has a list of recommended family activities in Dublin to help you make the most of your family time in the city.
Herbert park hotel (4 star hotel)
This is a beautiful hotel catering for families with triple rooms (extra bed available) or two interconnecting rooms. The hotels is just in front of Herbert park, which is a lovely green popular with families and equipped with a playground.
Best family hotels in Dublin: Rathgar/Terenure area
St Aidan’s guesthouse (3 stars)
Lovely family run guesthouse in a leafy street in this lovely area of Dublin. Public transport (bus) is few minutes away and allows for an easy hop into town. the area is popular with local families and very well served with restuarants and cafes.
Ardagh house (3 stars)
Ardagh house is in a wonderful location close to Palmerstron park, a firm family favourite thanks to a lovely playground. The guesthouse has nice, well kept rooms, off street parking and caters for families with quadruple rooms.
Best family hotels in Dublin: IFSC area
Hilton Garden Inn (3 stars)
A nice hotel for families in Dublin city centre, just in front of the famous Jinny Johnston. The hotel caters for families with large, well kept room, an onsite restaurant with kids menu and free wifi. The hotel is well located, only 10 minutes walk from Trinity college and only a minute walk away from the red Luas line (Dublin’s tram). Read our full review here or
The Spencer hotel (4 stars)
Nice hotel with specially appointed triple and quadruple family rooms. The hotels has different layout rooms available including their luxury option with two bedroomed qadruple room. They have special attention for families such as their luxury family package that includes breakfast, dinner and access to the hotel health centre and heated pool (children hours apply, please check at reception).
Family hotel in Dublin: Clontarf area
Clontarf castle hotel (4 stars)
Spending a night in a castle is on the bucket list of many visitors to Ireland so I close this post with one castle hotel in Dublin that is family friendly Clontarf castle hotel. The hotel doesn’t have specific family rooms but welcomes children and offers the option of adding an extra bed in existing rooms (On request)
I hope you enjoyed this selection of family hotels in Dublin and it helped you decide where to stay in Dublin with kids on your next visit. Safe family travels!