Beans & Books – The Best Bookshops/Cafes in Dublin City Centre

The Best Bookshops in Dublin City Centre
The Best Bookshops in Dublin City Centre

The Winding Stair

The Winding Stair is a renowned bookshop and restaurant located on Ormond Quay Lower. Named after the Yeats poem as well as its winding staircase, the building dates back to the 18th century and overlooks the river Liffey. The bookshop offers a wide range of new and secondhand books, including rare and collectible titles. It has a particular focus on Irish literature, history, and culture, and is a popular destination for book lovers from all over the world. A popular meeting point for artists of all disciplines, many poems and novels have been written and films shot inside its walls. Its closure was announced in 2005 to much disappointment, but in 2006 it was bought by a new owner and was brought back to life as a restaurant. The bookshop was retained on the ground floor, along with many of the old bookshelves, photos and memories. The stripped wooden floors and tables give the room a timeless charm.

The restaurant, located on the first floor, serves modern Irish cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes regularly to reflect the seasons. The beer and wine list is extensive and focuses on local and international microbreweries as well as stellar boutique wine makers from all over the world.

The Best Bookshops in Dublin City Centre

Books Upstairs

Books Upstairs originally opened in 1978 above an old hairdressers on Dublin’s South King Street. The shop boasts an impressive collection of books spanning a wide range of genres and topics, with a particular emphasis on Irish literature, history, and culture. The shop has moved locations around Dublin several times in its long history and now currently resides in a beautifully preserved Georgian building at 17 D’Olier Street. This newest location has allowed Books Upstairs to realise a vision of the independent bookshop as a cultural space where a person can spend time over a coffee or at a literary event.

Visitors to the bookstore are immediately struck by its cozy and intimate atmosphere, with wooden bookshelves lining the walls and an abundance of natural light streaming in from large windows. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, always ready to offer recommendations and advice on what to read next.

One of the most appealing aspects of Upstairs Bookshop is its commitment to supporting local writers and independent publishers. The store regularly hosts author events and book launches, giving readers the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the most exciting voices in contemporary Irish literature.

The Best Bookshops in Dublin City Centre

The Last Bookshop

The Last Bookshop in Dublin is a unique and quirky bookshop located on Camden Street. Its conspicuously red coloured facade imediately grabs your attention. The Last Bookshop is a beloved and cherished destination for bibliophiles and book lovers alike.

It specialises in second-hand and rare books. Visitors can spend hours browsing the shop’s shelves, discovering hidden gems and treasures they never knew existed. The bookstore’s cozy and intimate atmosphere is further enhanced by the fact that it’s housed in a beautiful old building, complete with creaky wooden floors and vintage furnishings. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a bygone era when bookstores were the heart and soul of any community.

Nestled at the back of The Last Bookshop is The Cake Cafe. Its stunning outdoor terrace is perfect for sunny days. The cafe is known for its incredible afternoon tea. It includes tea, coffee and a glass of bubbles as well as both sweet and savoury bites for €30 per person. Afternoon tea is available from Tuesday to Saturday between 12pm and 3:30pm. If you find yourself in The Last Bookshop, make sure to head through the back door to check out this fantastic gem of a cafe.


Beans and Books???? What a beautiful day to stop off at these bookshops/cafes to have a read and cup of your favourite coffee ☕️ #travel2ireland #ireland #irishtravel #travelireland #irish_daily #bestbutchersinireland #irelandlandscape #tourismireland #thingstodoindublin

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim


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