Dublin is a very good city for shopping. More and more shopping areas are being developed, with numerous and often interesting shops springing up everywhere. Like anywhere else, there are expensive shops and there are cheap shops. Grafton Street and the surrounding area is generally the former, while across the river, Jervis Street, Henry Street and Mary Street are generally the latter.
IS services have advice and links to buying computer hardware and software. Students can buy special student versions of most software and some computer companies offer discount rates when buying in bulk.
The Library Shop, part of the Book of Kells exhibition in the Old Library, stocks a wide range of books, postcards and other items. Although mainly targeted at visitors, there are attractive seasonal selections, particularly at Christmas.
The Students' Union Shops are located at House 6, in Front Sqaure, and in the Hamilton Building. They stock a wide range of goods including stationery, confectionery, tobaccos, food, beverages and cards. Newspapers and magazines are also available.
The opening hours for House 6 are:
- Monday – Friday 8am-9pm
- Saturday 9am-5pm
- Sunday 10am-4pm
And for the Hamilton Shop:
- Monday – Friday 8am-9pm (September – June only)
There are several supermarket chains in Ireland, Dunnes Stores, Superquinn, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi being the main ones. Each has numerous large stores in and around Dublin. Prices vary between the chains. The out-of-town stores generally have bigger ranges, though the City Centre branches will have everything you need. The closest supermarkets to Trinity College are Dunnes Stores in the St Stephen Green Shopping Centre at the top of Grafton Street, Dunnes Stores on Georges Street, Marks & Spencers on Grafton Street, Tesco on Upper Baggot Street or Aldi on Parnell Street.
As Ireland becomes more cosmopolitan, so peoples' tastes grow steadily more discerning. The result is that there are many ethnic shops throughout the city.
Epicurean Food Hall (Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 1) is a gourmet shopping mall, with a number of shops and stalls selling everything from bagels and smoothies to cheeses and pastries.
The Temple Bar Food Market (Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2) happens every Saturday. With a diverse range of traders selling cheeses, vegetables, meats, bread and cakes, the market makes for a lively and - frankly - delicious visit.
The Dublin Food Co-operative (St Andrew's Resource Centre, 114-116 Pearse Street) opens every Saturday, specialising in organic vegetables and fruit, as well as vegetarian ingredients and eco-friendly domestic products. By joining the co-op and dedicating a few hours a week, you can save substantially on your shopping.
For fruit, vegetables and meat, the Henry Street market is cheap, cheerful and a Dublin institution. Go early for the fresher produce.
Dunnes Stores and Penny's, both department stores with branches in the City Centre, offer unbeatable value on basic clothing. Marks and Spencers (Grafton Street and Jervis Centre) is also a good destination for quality at good value prices.
If you're looking for something a bit pricier, there is a good choice of clothes shops on Grafton Street and the surrounding area. High-street fashion retailers such as Oasis, Warehouse and Next are all to be found around Grafton Street and Henry Street.
The smaller streets west of Grafton Street feature numerous interesting clothes shops.
Temple Bar has a number of small clothes shops, including some good second hand and vintage shops.
For those with deep pockets, Brown Thomas and BT2, both on Grafton Street, are Dublin's premier designer retailers. Brown Thomas stocks dressier ranges from all the international designers, while BT2 carries sport and casual designer labels. Both are worth a look, even if they are off your price scale.
Dublin has a feast of music shops for every enthusiast. There are the large stores, HMV (Grafton Street and Henry Street) and Tower Records (Wicklow Street), which have regular sales and promotions. For dance vinyl, Big Brother Records on Fade Street, Dublin 2 is top notch, with a wide and constantly changing range of styles and labels. Claddagh Records in Temple Bar is a delight for all traditional and folk music enthusiasts.
Books, Magazines and Newspapers
Easons on O'Connell Street has a huge range of newspapers and magazines, and stocks a number of foreign titles. Reads on Nassau Street has a similar range of newspapers, magazines and school supplies but is usually cheaper than its counterparts.
Tower Records (see Music above) also has a particularly good magazine section, with many international and American publications.
Waterstones and Hodges Figgis, both on Dawson Street, are favourites with Trinity Students, partly because of proximity and partly because of their impressive stocks. In fact, many departments in Trinity College send reading lists to the two bookshops, so you will often find the more elusive titles.
Books can be very expensive in Dublin, especially large volumes or obscure titles. Luckily, there are a number of second-hand bookshops with bargains galore. Your first stop should be the Students' Union bookshop in House 6 (above the Students' Union shop). As many students sell their used books to the bookshop, you can find books relevant to specific Trinity courses. You just have to be quick. Chapters on Middle Abbey Street is another good second hand bookstore as is the Annual Booksale in TCD which is held in April every year.