Top 10 best bookshops in Ireland you need to visit

Are you an avid reader with a passion for travelling in Ireland? Look no further than our list of the top ten best bookshops in Ireland you need to visit.

Ireland is abundant in cute and cosy bookshops, but where to start? Let’s not forget Kenny’s Bookshop in County Galway, the winner of An Post’s Bookshop of the year award for 2021.

Following that, we’ve compiled a list of some one-of-a-kind indie bookstores for you to explore on your next trip to the Emerald Isle.

Presenting the top ten best bookshops in Ireland you need to visit before you die.

10. Woodbine Books, Co. Kildare – come for the books and stay for the coffee corner

Woodbine Books is one of the best bookshops in Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / @WoodbineBooksIreland

Aside from the wide range of books here, Woodbine Books also sells greeting cards, wrapping paper, pens, and gifts.

Coffee drinkers, why not sample a beverage from the shop’s coffee corner? The coffee here is supplied by Bell Lane Coffee, an award-winning Irish coffee roaster whose coffee tastes as good as it sounds.

Address: Lower Main Street, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare

9. No Alibis, Co. Antrim – come and experience the arts

No trip to Belfast is complete without visiting No Alibis.

This bookshop is a must-see while staying in Belfast. Its quirky logo and eye-catching window display will draw you in immediately.

The shop is also a creative hub for concerts, book launches, poetry readings, and lectures. Moreover, the store’s friendly team are always happy to accommodate your bookish needs.

Address: Botanic Avenue, Belfast, Co. Antrim

8. Prim’s Bookshop, Co. Cork – the heart of Kinsale

Prim's Bookshop is one of the best bookshops in Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / Prim’s Bookshop: Bibliotherapy

Prim’s Bookshop is a unique pick on our list of Ireland’s top ten best bookshops.

If you’re looking for a spot that has great second-hand books, rich coffee, a piano, some live music, and a dog, then you’ve come to the right place. It is the best place to relax and chat with the locals after a day of sightseeing in Kinsale.

Address: 43 Main Street, Town-Plots, Kinsale, Co. Cork

7. Halfway Up the Stairs, Co. Wicklow – where children are the future

Children will love a trip to Halfway Up the Stairs.
Credit: Facebook / @halfwayupthestairschildrensbookshop

Halfway Up the Stairs is the only bookshop that’s just for children on our list of top ten best bookshops in Ireland you need to visit.

Nominated for Children’s Bookseller of the Year 2021, this shop has gained many admirers thanks to its emphasis on inclusion and diversity. The store’s ethos maintains that every child should see themselves reflected in a book, an idea that we can all get behind.

Address: Malvern, Unit 1, La Touche Pl, Greystones, Co. Wicklow

6. Charlie Byrne’s, Co. Galway – one of the top ten best bookshops in Ireland

Charlie Byrne's is one of the best bookshops in Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / @CharlieByrnesBookshop

Tucked away at just a stone’s throw away from the busy shop street lives Galway’s quaint and independent bookshop, Charlie Byrne’s.

Its labyrinthine maze offers new, second-hand, bargain, and antiquarian books. It is a sanctuary for book lovers and an ideal place to escape from the rain.

Address: The Cornstore, Middlestreet, Galway

5. Foyle Books, Co. Derry – a haven for pre-loved books

Foyle Books is a haven for pre-loved books.
Credit: Facebook / @FoyleBooks

This second-hand bookstore is an interesting find, and with books as old as 300 years here, who knows what you might discover?

Foyle Books is perfect for those who are interested in local and Irish history, literature, and poetry. Stroll in and see if you can find an ancient encyclopaedia or a first edition by Mark Twain.

Address: 12 Magazine Street, Derry

4. The Book Centre, Co. Waterford – where you can read and unwind

The Book Centre is one of the best bookshops in Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / @thebookcentre

This family-run bookshop in Waterford has a fine selection of books along with a coffee shop so that you can enjoy a hot drink while reading.

It is a gorgeous building with plenty of space for you to browse through the books. We suggest checking out their monthly newsletter for gift guides and book recommendations.

Address: Barronstrand Street, Waterford

3. Tertulia, Co. Mayo – one of the top ten best bookshops in Ireland you need to visit

Make sure to stop off at Tertulia in County Mayo.
Credit: Facebook / @TertuliaBooksWestport

Located in the charming town of Westport, County Mayo, Tertulia bookshop radiates happiness with its bright yellow exterior. Step inside and enjoy a cup of coffee, some book talk, and a browse through the vinyl collection.

Tertulia even has a ‘cupboard under the stairs’ to entertain the Harry Potter fans. The shop has established a wonderful reading community with book clubs and visits from featured authors.

Address: The Quay, Cloonmonad, Westport, Co. Mayo

2. O’ Mahony’s, Co. Limerick – where you will lose track of time

O' Mahoneys is one of the best bookshops in Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / @OMahonysBooks

O’ Mahony’s of Limerick has been a bookseller since 1902. It is a huge shop with an impressive window display and books on just about every topic imaginable.

The warm and welcoming staff at O’ Mahony’s are very supportive towards local authors and are always on hand to give recommendations. What’s not to like?

Address: 120 O’ Connell Street, Limerick

1. Hodges Figgis, Co. Dublin – for books about Ireland

Hodges Figgis is a must-visit.
Credit: Facebook / @hodges.figgis

Known as Ireland’s oldest bookstore, Hodges Figgis was established in 1768. Famous authors often pop into Hodges Figgis to sign new releases, so you’d never know who you might bump into!

If you want to do some serious book shopping while in Dublin, you won’t be disappointed by the huge selection of genres here. In fact, the shop’s Irish department boasts the world’s largest supply of books relating to Ireland.

Address: Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Honourable mentions – a few incredible Irish bookshops you can’t miss

The Winding Stair is one of the best bookshops in Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / Winding Stair Bookshop

As the Land of Saints and Scholars, Ireland is home to a vast array of incredible bookshops that there just wasn’t room to mention in our top ten.

Some honourable mentions worth checking out include The Winding Stair Bookshop, located on the River Liffey, and the Gutter Bookshop in Dublin. Vibes and Scribes in Cork City and the Bantry Bookshop in Bantry.

Antonia’s Bookstore in Trim County Meath is also worth visiting, as is John’s Bookshop in Athlone, County Meath.

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