The magic of old Ireland writhes through the streets of Dublin, pulsing through its pubs, where folks swinging dark stouts dance like leprechauns under a rainbow, and beating through its central streets between Viking museums and the haunts of legendary writers. One way to get up close and personal to all that on your trip to the Emerald Isle is by settling in a traditional bed and breakfast in Dublin. This guide can help you book…

The range of bed and breakfasts in Dublin, Ireland

To get a feel for the sort of out-of-the-ordinary accommodation that awaits those who book guest houses, inns, or B&Bs in the Irish capital, the pointers below reveal just a few of the most enticing features they often bring to the table.

A tug at the heart strings in Dublin B&Bs

The bed and breakfasts of Dublin are masters of the quaint and the cozy. They could be crooked little taverns with roaring log fires and nooks and crannies filled with dusty books to read. They could be elegant lodges in the surrounding hills, putting sleepy grounds and romantic walking trails on the doorstep. Talk about somewhere to kick-start the honeymoon.

Splashing waves and cold waters outside of Dublin

It's worth remembering that you're never too far from the rugged coast of Ireland in Dublin. A mere 30 minutes in the car from the rocking Temple Bar and you could be gazing out at the Irish Sea – a great sweep of cobalt blue that's ringed by cliffs and wild rhododendron meadows. Staying in those parts is also possible, with Dublin B&Bs available in little Howth and Sutton.

Centuries of history spills from Dublin's old inns

Don't be surprised to learn that your chosen B&B in Dublin has a story that goes back 100s of years. Many of the most venerable lodges in the town center have looked over the gurgling River Liffey since anyone can remember, which lends them that authentic Gaelic atmosphere and feel – think exposed-beam ceilings, the smell of charcoal in the hearths, wood floors, stone walls.

It's also possible to be pampered

If you're after a real bout of pampering to cure you after a long-haul hop over the Atlantic, there are a select few of Dublin's B&Bs that can oblige. In fact, there's even a chance you could steal a stay in an Irish castle and be treated like the kings and queens of old, with sumptuous suites of four-poster beds and manicured golf courses rolling past your window.

An area guide to Dublin

Knowing your way around Dublin can really help with the search for bed and breakfasts. Why? Well, because the rollicking Temple Bar is a whole other world to the salt-washed terraces of Howth, and you've got to pinpoint the area that gets your wanderlust going the most.

Practice the stepdance and drinking in Temple Bar

The hurly-burly of Temple Bar is legendary around the globe. This is the epicenter of Dublin's live music scene, so you're never short of beer-sloshing pubs or whiskey holes to dive into. Cobbled lanes and small squares knit the whole district together, many hosting hearty inns with rooms to rent.

Howth, for something quieter

If you're not one for dancing wild Irish jigs each night, then perhaps the seaside town of Howth is what you've been looking for. Straddling a craggy headland that juts out of the wild east coast of the island past the outer suburbs, it's the place to go for days filled with blustery cliff walks and trips to ancient tombs carved into the hills. The B&Bs in the area tend to be small, family-owned, and charming to a fault.

The Dublin Northside for major sights

Unravel the history of Ireland's iconic Guinness stout, tread in the footsteps of famous poets under the gaze of Georgian crescents on Mountjoy Square, sample blended whiskeys and drink where James Joyce once drank – these are the bucket-list draws of the Dublin Northside. You should also get lots of luxurious guest houses in this area, on account of the handsome 19th-century architecture that abounds.

Getting great deals on Dublin bed and breakfasts

With the expense of long-haul flights to factor in, trips to Ireland across the Atlantic can see prices stack up. To ensure you don't add to that by overpaying on accommodation, the handy hints below can help.

Getting out of Temple Bar

There's loads to be said for swapping a bed and breakfast in the Dublin city center for somewhere more remote. For starters, you can explore some seriously stunning corners of the Emerald Isle, whether it's the wave-lashed rocks of Howth or the mist-gathering peaks of the Wicklow Mountains – folklores speak of fairies there. And rooms in those places tend to cost less overall.

Winter is filled with magic in Dublin

Summer might be the most popular – and the most expensive – time to visit the Emerald Isle, but it's not the only season with real charms. Take the winter. Ice cakes the cobbled streets and the pubs come into their own, with cozy nooks warmed by fireplaces. And it's when the Six Nations rugby starts – the Irish team compete at the Aviva Stadium in north Dublin.