The Best Independent Bookshops In Dublin

Last updated on August 6th, 2022 at 06:13 am

As the home of such literary titans as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett, it’s only fitting that Dublin has an impressive selection of bookshops, ranging from small speciality shops to large chains. 

In the age of online shopping and next-day delivery, browsing for books in a thoughtfully curated, independent bookshop is almost an act of meditation. For many readers, online shopping will never replace the serendipity of finding the perfect book at the perfect time as a result of a chance browse in their local bookshop. 

In this post, we share the best independent bookshops in Dublin.

Map of Bookshops

The following map shows the location of every bookshop highlighted in this post:

The Winding Stair

Simply visiting The Winding Stair bookshop is an experience in itself. Combining a bookshop on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor, book lovers can peruse the excellent selection of books over a coffee, tea, or even a glass of wine. 

The book selection includes new titles, fiction, non-fiction, and second hand books. The bookshop is located in the centre of Dublin on the banks of the river Liffey. 

Location: 40 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin


The Gutter Bookshop

Taking its name from the famous Oscar Wilde line, ‘we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’, The Gutter Bookshop in the Temple Bar neighbourhood of Dublin is a vibrant and popular bookshop that is known for its literary events and bookclubs. 

A second location was opened in the Dublin suburb of Dalkey. Staff at The Gutter Bookshop are welcoming, friendly, and always happy to talk books. 

Location: Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin


Alan Hanna’s Bookshop

If the combination of the scent of a new book and the aroma of good coffee is your idea of heaven, then a visit to Alan Hanna’s Bookshop is a must. Coffee is served by Bark Coffee directly in the bookshop, which is run by the fourth generation of the local family who first started selling books on the premises.

 While the bookshop specialises in Irish literature, there is an excellent range of international fiction and non-fiction also available.

Location: Rathmines Road, Lower Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin


The Company of Books

The Company of Books is a gem of a bookshop, located in the leafy South Dublin suburb of Ranelagh. Established in 2009, the shop has a great mixture fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books. 

Location: 96 Ranelagh, Dublin


Books Upstairs

The beautiful blue facade of Books Upstairs should be enough alone to draw any book lover inside. The fact that the bookshop boasts one of the finest collections of books for sale in the city should seal the deal. 

Located in the heart of the city on Dublin’s famous D’Olier Street, there is also a cafe on the first floor where you can settle down with your latest purchase. The staff are hugely knowledgable on Irish literature, history, and society, and friendly too. 

Further information on the bookshop can be found here.

Location: 17 D’Olier Street, Dublin 

Ulysses Rare Books

Ulysses Rare Books is the undisputed leading antiquarian bookshop in Dublin. Established in 1969, the bookshop is now run by the second generation of the founders family.

The bookshop specialises in 20th century Irish literature, boasting an impressive selection of rare editions by the likes of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, and Samuel Beckett among others. A visit to Ulysses Rare Books is sure to leave you spellbound. The bookshop is located on Duke Street, one of the side streets off Dublin’s main shopping area of Grafton Street in the centre of the city.

Location: 10 Duke Street, Dublin


Stokes Books

Nestled in the centre of Dublin’s beautiful and atmospheric George’s Street Arcade shopping mall, Stokes Books is must-visit for those looking for books far from the beaten path. The antiquarian and second-hand bookshop specialises in Irish literature, military history, and philosophy. 

With shelves of books spilling out of the shop into the halls of the arcade, Stokes Books offers book lovers countless hours of happy browsing. 

Further information on the bookshop can be found here.

Location: 19 Market Arcade, South Great George’s Street, Dublin

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