Dublin's most famous shopping street is the pedestrianised Grafton Street, which runs between St. Stephen's Green and Trinity College. It has recently, along with its surroundings, been classified as an 'Architectural Conservation Zone'. This will involve a re-establishment of the area's rich historic charm and urban character.
Brown Thomas, Dublin's most famous and expensive department store is on Grafton Street along with a wide range of clothing, jewelry, and photography shops, etc.
Alongside the historic Trinity College you will find Nassau Street where there are many shops selling tourist-related items such as Waterford Crystal, Belleek Pottery, Aran sweaters, and other Irish craft items. Shops selling these items include House of Ireland and Kilkenny Design.
Dawson Street, parallel to Grafton Street, is home to the official residence of the lord mayor - the 'mansion house' as well as several upmarket clothes shops, restaurants and well stocked large bookshops including Hodges Figgis.
Harvey Nichols,an upmarket British department store chain housing some of the world's most exclusive designer names in fashion, accessories, beauty and food and is located in Dundrum Town Centre,just take the green luas line from St.Stephen's green, in the Pembroke district.
The best concentration of shoe shops is found on Grafton Street and the adjoining Wicklow Street.
The Powerscourt Centre, just off Grafton Street, is one of Dublin's most attractive shopping centres, set in a beautifully restored 18th-century townhouse. Here, you will find clothes, cafes, galleries and Irish designer jewelers. You must check out the The Loft Market - it is a haven for Dublin Fashion. There is lots of up and coming young fashion designers and vintage clothing sellers such as Perk Up! Vintage, Lisa Shawgi Knitwear and MO MUSE to shop around. Beware the overpriced antique dealers, some of whom will drop a price by 50% after only the merest suggestion that you are willing to haggle (and it still may not be a bargain). For gifts, there is an engraving business based in the centre next to Bonsai Shop.
Leaving Powerscourt via the ornate steps on to South William Street, you will find yourself facing a small street called Castle Market, which leads to a covered red-brick shopping arcade known alternatively as the Market Arcade or the Georges Street Arcade. This area is worth a visit for vintage clothing, fabrics, unusual accessories, vinyl and club wear. It also features some small cafes.
Casa Rebelde is a new and unique football supporters shop located on Crow Street in the heart of Temple Bar that stocks clothing from around the world for the fashion conscious football fan.
All of the above are in Dublin 2.
There is also an extensive shopping area on the north side of the river, in Dublin 1, centred on O'Connell Street and Henry Street (Ireland's busiest shopping street). Clery's (18 O'Connell St) and Arnott's (12 Henry St) are large department stores each with a long history. Two large shopping centres, the Jervis Shopping Centre (Jervis St), and the Ilac Centre (Henry St) are nearby. The latter also houses Dublin's Central Public Library.
Just off Henry Street is Moore Street, which has a fruit, vegetable and fish market. It's worth a stroll if you want to get a slice of life from the less genteel side of Dublin. For a more traditional Dublin shopping experience go to the Liberties area around Thomas street and check out the stalls on Meath street and the liberty market (off Meath Street) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
At the top of Henry Street on Parnell Street is Chapters, which has a massive selection of books at generally cheaper prices than other high street stores, as well as a large secondhand section. It is especially great for 'coffee table' style art books.
For those for whom it just would not be a holiday without hanging out at the mall, there are various shopping centres located around Dublin, including Blanchardstown Centre (Dublin 15) (39 and 70 bus routes), Liffey Valley (Dublin 22) (bus routes 25, 25A, 66, 66A, 67A,78, 78A, 210 and 239), and The Square, Tallaght, (Dublin 24, last stop on the red Luas). The largest shopping centre in Europe is the Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin 14, which is served by the green Luas tramline from St. Stephen's Green.
Dublin is not cheap for general shopping, although visitors from outside the European Union can obtain a refund of VAT (sales tax: 23%) on many of their purchases. Just look for the refund sign and ask in the shop for details. Keep in mind that most stores will issue VAT refund vouchers only on the same day of purchase. More on VAT refund can be found on Irish eGovernment website.
Also, if you want to find thrifty nicknack shops, then Talbot street is a good start. Like any city, if you look hard enough and don't get caught up in the glitz and glam when shopping, there are great bargains to be found.
Be sure to visit Temple Bar's Temple Bar Square and Meetinghouse Square on a Saturday morning or afternoon for the markets (Dublin 2), which sells all types of foods, from traditional fare to delicious baked goods. Both squares are also home to several very good restaurants. Meetinghouse Square, which lies only about 150 ft (50 m) west of Temple Bar Square, sells much finer fare and more exotic foods than Meetinghouse Square.
The Temple Bar area offers some alternative to shopping at the larger chain-stores. Small clothing boutiques, including the city centre's only swap shop, are popping up all around the area (Temple Lane, Crow Street and Fownes Street) with an emphasis on vintage and unique original independent designer pieces. If you can't make it to any of the markets at the weekend, the best can be found here during the week.
Also, in Dublin 8, Cows Lane Fashion and Design Market, which is the largest designer market in Dublin, offers handmade one-off original designs. The market is open evey Saturday from 10.00AM-5.30PM. Found outdoors on Cows Lane and indoors in the old Dublin's Viking Adventure, this market is not to be missed.
There is fairly extensive duty-free shopping at Dublin Airport, at prices sometimes cheaper than the rest of the city.
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