One of the unexpected delightful discoveries during our trip to Ireland was the number of bookstores throughout the country. Every town, both large and small, that we visited supported at least one bookshop. Thankfully, my fellow vacationers were endlessly patient and allowed me to pop in to practically every store we came across! Since our itinerary took us around the entire country, I put together this bookstore tour of Ireland to showcase the ones we visited. Hopefully someday soon we’ll make it back across the pond and I’ll know to pack an empty suitcase just for books this time!
Dublin: There’s no shortage of things to do in Dublin, but you’ll want to make time for book browsing in between sips of Jameson and pints of Guinness! There’s a wide variety of bookstores, but we stayed on the northern side of the River Liffey so the two we visited are located in that part of town.
Chapters Bookstore – Our very first bookstore was quite possibly my favorite in terms of actually purchasing books. Some stores are perfect for relaxing and browsing, but this one is devoted to reasonable prices and a huge selection! I marveled over the UK book covers since they’re often quite different from the US versions. This fact alone led to a number of impulse purchases!
Winding Stair Bookstore – This is your typical quaint shop with a much smaller selection. You’ll find both new and used books inside, though. It’s located along the River Liffey, so the view from the windows is lovely.
Kenmare: After leaving the city and stopping for a night in Kinsale, we made our way toward County Kerry. Kenmare is a convenient charming stop on the way to the Ring of Kerry. It’s full of cute shops and restaurants, including one bookstore! We didn’t have a ton of time to browse, so I was only able to snap a quick picture of the bookshop. I can highly recommend stopping for tea and scones at Jam, though!
Kenmare Bookshop – This tiny store is located at the corner of Shelbourne St and Main St. They sell a variety of new books as well as local walking guides.
Dingle: The Dingle Peninsula gets less attention than the Ring of Kerry, but it’s a beautiful drive. You’re rewarded at the end with the colorful port town of Dingle. Don’t forget to to keep an eye out for Fungie, the Dingle dolphin!
Dingle Bookshop – Near the top of Green St you’ll find the Dingle Bookshop. Fun Fact: It is the westernmost bookshop in Europe! New books (and a few secondhand) from all your favorite genres can be found inside as well as a selection of local interest literature. Plus, the kids section is particularly charming in the back!
Galway: After wrapping up County Kerry and stopping at the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, we stayed two nights in Galway. This vibrant city is full of life and features endless pubs where live music is playing any night of the week.
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop – This is a well-known treasure in the heart of Galway. Charlie Byrne’s stocks over 100,000 new and used books, so everyone’s sure to find something within. Also, don’t forget to step outside the store and visit the walkway between the store and the pizza place next door. There is a humongous wall of books priced at 3 EUR or less!
Belfast: Our last stop of the trip was in Belfast, where we explored the city and visited the phenomenal Titanic Museum. For you Game of Thrones fans, you can also see the studio where parts of the TV show were filmed!
Eason – If you’re looking for the Barnes and Noble equivalent, this is it. In addition to multiple stories of books, they sell gifts and stationary.
Oxfam Bookshop – Oxfam is a worldwide charity working to end poverty. This shop has a surprisingly large selection of books at great prices. Have a browse and support a great cause while you stock up on books!
Thanks for joining my bookstore tour of Ireland! What are some of your favorite bookstores that you’ve visited while traveling?