Where to Stay While Backpacking in Dublin: Gardiner House Hostel Review

Where to Stay While Backpacking in Dublin: Gardiner House Hostel Review

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Dublin is a wonderful city, and unsurprisingly very popular with visitors from all over the world.  However, Dublin can also be very expensive, especially during the summer holidays and at weekends.  Finding a cheap hostel in Dublin isn’t easy, and finding a good cheap hostel if you’re backpacking in Dublin is even harder!  I was searching for where to stay in Dublin on a budget, somewhere clean, central and good value, and I found the Gardiner House hostel – read on for my full review!

Please note, my stay at Gardiner House Hostel Dublin was complimentary in exchange for this review and social media coverage, but rest assured that I maintain full editorial control, and all opinions are my own.

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Where to Stay if you’re Backpacking in Dublin on a Budget

Hostels in Dublin City Centre can be very expensive, especially if you want to enjoy a clean, comfy bed, free breakfast, and get a good night’s sleep.  I spent three nights and two days in Dublin, and I was pleased with my choice of hostel.  When I was searching for hostels in Dublin, I did the same thing I always do when travelling – I went straight to Hostelworld and sorted the hostels in order of rating, so I can easily see which places are rated the best hostels in Dublin.  Gardiner House Hostel was the second best-rated hostel in Dublin and was nearly $10 USD cheaper than the hostel in the top spot.  I knew I was on to a winner, so I contacted the hostel to arrange a stay.

Where to stay if you're Backpacking in Dublin - the Gardiner House Hostel
Where to stay if you’re Backpacking in Dublin – the Gardiner House Hostel

Gardiner House Hostel Location

Gardiner House Hostel is just outside of Dublin City Centre, about 15 minutes’ walk from the Busaras bus station, and about 25 minutes to Trinity College and the Temple Bar area.  I didn’t mind the walk into town, it is downhill and good to get some fresh air in the morning!  On the way back I was quite often tired after a day of sightseeing so just hopped in an Uber.

The hostel is in a big old building, and part of the hostel is inside an old chapel – you can actually sleep inside the chapel, but my room was in the main part of the house.

The hostel is around the corner from a Tesco shop and on the way back from town you can easily pick up food and drink to have at the hostel.  If you don’t fancy cooking, I also found a fab café which did killer brunch – you should check out Violet’s Restaurant for a good old Irish Fry!

Where to Stay while Backpacking in Dublin - Brunch at Violet's Restaurant near the Gardiner House Hostel
Where to Stay while Backpacking in Dublin – Brunch at Violet’s Restaurant near the Gardiner House Hostel

The Dorms at Gardiner House Hostel

I stayed in a 6-bed dorm on the ground floor.  The room was spotlessly clean, and my bed was comfortable with a decent pillow and duvet to snuggle up in.  The beds all had their own plug socket plus two USB charging sockets which were great for charging up my phone and portable charger.  Under the beds, there are lockers for valuables and space to store two hand luggage sized bags, as well as space in the room for larger luggage.  The dorm looked out onto the road so there was a bit of noise from traffic, and the pedestrian crossing right outside the window, but with my earplugs, it didn’t bother me.  The bathrooms were down the hall.

Where to Stay in Dublin on a Budget - My Bed at the Gardiner House Hostel
Where to Stay in Dublin on a Budget – My Bed at the Gardiner House Hostel

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The Bathrooms at Gardiner House Hostel

At the end of the corridor, there were two bathrooms each with a shower and a toilet inside.  There must have been other bathrooms elsewhere as I never had to wait to use the bathrooms.  They too were spotless, with soap and a hand towel which is always nice – I hate it when hostels don’t have soap and a towel!

Hostels in Dublin - Spotless bathrooms the Gardiner House Hostel
Hostels in Dublin – Spotless bathrooms the Gardiner House Hostel

Breakfast at the Gardiner House Hostel Dublin

Breakfast is included in the rate and is pretty standard hostel fare.  Cereals, milk, orange juice with bread, jams and chocolate spread for toast, and a bowl of fruit.  If you wanted something more substantial, you could cook something of your own as well.

Where to stay in Dublin on a budget - Breakfast at the Gardiner House Hostel Dublin
Where to stay in Dublin on a budget – Breakfast at the Gardiner House Hostel Dublin

Other Facilities at the Hostel

There was a large kitchen area downstairs, which a huge gas stove hob, several microwaves and ovens, and two large fridges.  The kitchen was kept clean, everywhere in the hostel was clean!  The hostel provided boxes and labels for any food you wanted to put in the fridge, and there were shelves to store any dry food which didn’t need refrigerating.  The kitchen was well stocked with pans and utensils too.

Where to Stay in Dublin on a Budget - the kitchen at the Gardiner House Hostel
Where to Stay in Dublin on a Budget – the kitchen at the Gardiner House Hostel

On the lower ground floor, there was a small dining room, and a larger dining and social room next door, which had a pool table and a couple of vending machines.  There was also a laundry where you could wash and dry clothes for a small charge.  Outside there was a large terrace which would be great for summer, and a smoking area covered with colourful umbrellas.  On the ground floor, there was a TV room with a couple of sofas and three computers for guests to use.  The Wi-Fi worked well all around the hostel, including in the rooms.

What I Loved about Gardiner House Hostel in Dublin

This hostel was so clean!  Everywhere was spotless, and the cleaning team did a great job of keeping everything as it should be.

There was plenty of space to hang out and to work during the day.  The large dining room also had plugs around the walls for working and was a good place to meet people.

Hostels in Dublin - The colourful smoking area at the Gardiner House Hostel Dublin
Hostels in Dublin – The colourful smoking area at the Gardiner House Hostel Dublin

Anything I Didn’t Like?

It was a bit of a walk from the city centre, but I think for the price and all the facilities this more than made up for it.

The girl who checked in me in was friendly and welcoming, but didn’t explain all the facilities in the hostel so I only found the large dining room on my second night at the hostel, when I wandered in there by accident – it would be good to explain all of the facilities at check-in.

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A Good Hostel in Dublin for Solo Travellers?

Yes and no.  As a solo female traveller, I appreciated the good security at Gardiner House.  Every time you come into the hostel, you have to show your key card to get inside – the reception is 24 hours, and someone is always there to check people coming in and out.  Each of the guests had a key card for the bedroom too, and there are lockers provided under the bed for valuables.  However, the atmosphere in the hostel wasn’t that friendly – there seems to be a lot of people staying long term and most guests seemed to keep themselves to themselves.  That said, I did get chatting to a couple of people, and it depends on how friendly and open you are to making friends.  Admittedly I was pretty tired after my 5-day tour of Ireland, so I wasn’t feeling my most sociable!

Where to stay in Dublin - Reception at the Gardiner House Hostel Dublin
Where to stay in Dublin – Reception at the Gardiner House Hostel Dublin

Final Thoughts on Gardiner House Hostel Dublin

I was very happy with my stay at Gardiner House, everything was spotless, and I thought the hostel was good value compared to similar hostels in Dublin.  The location was handy for the morning when I took the bus to Belfast, and although it is a bit of a walk to the main attractions, I think the other benefits more than make up for it.  Overall, I would say Gardiner House Hostel is a great place to stay in Dublin on a budget, or if you are backpacking in Dublin!

If you’d like to book the Gardiner House Hostel, check availability and prices here.

Have you been to Dublin?  How does this compare to other hostels in Dublin?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Last updated: October 15, 2018
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4 thoughts on “Where to Stay While Backpacking in Dublin: Gardiner House Hostel Review

  1. I’m usually not a hostel person since I’m a bit too concerned with cleanliness. But this one looks gorgeous. Love that it was spotless and of course plug points never hurt! Interesting that part of the hostel is inside an old chapel!

  2. This is a very honest review Gardiner. A nice balance between what you enjoyed and didn’t. I’m quite impressed at the cleanliness of the place and the private lockers and personal outlets. The wi-fi working in the room is also a huge plus.

  3. I’m delighted you had a great stay in my home town of Dublin. Gardiner street dosn’t have the best reputation as a part of Dublin but it does actually have a lot to offer and you are right beside lots of galleries & museums. I’m really impressed by the hostel I had a totally different image of what it was like there. Thank you for your post, it was an excellent review and I’m glad I read it so I can recommend this hostel now to friends who come to visit.

  4. Gardiner looks like a great choice for hostel, though good to be aware of the distance/ time it takes to get into the city centre. I like the provision of the electrical outlets for each bed and the lockers being in the same place as the beds too.

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