When you think about Dublin’s Temple Bar District, the area with the highest density of pubs in the city, record shopping might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But apart from pubs, the city’s cultural hotspot is home to galleries, museums, and a few record shops. With most other record shops within walking distance, it’s quite easy to visit all of them in a day or two. When I was there a few weeks back, I opened up the map of Dublin on VinylHub and went exploring Dublin record shops. Each shop has their own distinctive style but they all had a nice and relaxed vibe, and there’s something for everyone there. Enjoy digging in Dublin!
Tower Records O’Connell Street
Tower Records, 40 Lower O’Connell Street (Above Eason’s book shop), D1, Dublin.
Head to Tower Records if you’re looking for CDs, new vinyl records, accessories and gifts.
The first shop I wanted to get to was the hardest to find. I am glad I checked the VinylHub listing as it clarified Tower Records is based above Eason’s bookshop, on the second floor. There is a big sign on the window if you come from the Liffey side of O’Connell Street, but coming from the other way (Upper O’Connell Street) only some small stickers on the door of the bookshop reveal what is hidden inside. It wasn’t very busy (it was a Monday around noon) when I was there, but I was impressed by the vast size of what was on offer: Thousands of CDs and DVDs, but also a good selection of new vinyl records (no second hand) and box sets. And quite a few RSD releases still available here!
Mojo’s Records, 4 Merchant’s Arch, D2, Dublin.
Head to Mojo’s Records for a dig through unexpected CDs, DVDs, posters and, mostly second hand, vinyl records.
The entrance to Mojo’s Records is in a narrow alleyway, just across from Ha’Penny Bridge. The music playing outside sounded inviting, and after making my way upstairs I found myself in a squarish room, filled to the brim with books, CDs and records. I love these types of shops, as it’s always a surprise what you will find in there. A few people came in for posters, CDs or a chat while I was there. There wasn’t much for me in their small selection of vinyl records, but I did find a few interesting CD singles to add to my collection, and there were a lot of music related books and posters too.
Claddagh Records, 2 Cecilia Street, Temple Bar, D2, Dublin.
Head to Claddagh Records if you’re looking for a specific CD by an Irish artist, or if you’d like to learn more about traditional Irish music in general.
In the heart of Temple Bar, Claddagh Records is focused solely on Traditional Irish and Celtic music. They sell mainly CDs, some released on their own label Claddagh Records Ltd., some self released by new Irish artists and a lot of music by well known traditional musicians. With their own label dating back to 1959, there is a wealth of information to be found in this shop!
All City Records
All City Records, 4 Crow Street, Temple Bar, D2, Dublin.
Head to All City Records if you’re into house, techno, soul, and independent labels.
A short walk from Claddagh Records, All City Records is located on the edge of Temple Bar. A feast for the eye with a colourful wall of spray paint (they have a large stock of graffiti supplies) and a custom shelving system for records, with drawers underneath, saving your knees.
Their inventory is carefully categorised, and some of the records come with a short explanation of what to expect. They have a few labels themselves that they sell in the shop. “What kind of music do you like?” owner Olan asks me. When I say I’m in to New Wave, 80s music and Soul, he gives me one of the releases from their own label, New Jackson’s From Night To Night to check out. “You might like this”. While I am browsing, a record that’s playing grabs my attention. It’s Shadowfax by Shadowfax, and after hearing only one track I know it’s going home with me.
Spindizzy Records, 32 South Great George’s Street (George’s Street Arcade), D2, Dublin.
Head to Spindizzy if you’re looking for a broad selection of new and second hand vinyl and CDs.
George’s Street Arcade, one of Europe’s first purpose-built shopping centres, is only a few minutes away. This Victorian market full of small boutiques and stalls with art, jewellery, clothing and gifts is home to my next stop, Spindizzy Records. A Curtis Mayfield compilation is playing when I walk in and it’s a nice soundtrack for digging through their Soul & Funk section, new arrivals and ’80s singles. They also have a good selection of new and second hand vinyl records and CDs. It’s quite busy here, with a lot of people popping in for a browse.
Freebird Records, 15 Wicklow Street, D2, Dublin.
Head to Freebird Records for new and second hand CDs and vinyl records.
Freebird Records is located inside The Secret Book And Record Store in Wicklow Street. Even though I was walking around with Google Maps, I missed the entrance at first (and the sign on the street pointing me in the right direction), a narrow hallway next to l’Occitane En Provence. The first part of the space is taken up by a second hand book shop which flows into the record shop in the back of the space. There is quite a large selection of new vinyl and reissues, and (second hand) CDs and vinyl records at a good price. Freebird Records does not sell online, so if you’d like to find out what they have stock, just pay them a visit!
The Record Spot
The Record Spot, 16B Fade Street, D2, Dublin
Head to The Record Spot if you’re looking for Soul, Funk and Dance music on vinyl or cassette.
The Record Spot is located in the basement of The R.A.G.E Game Emporium, on Fade Street. On the ground floor, apart from new and second hand games and consoles, you’ll find a selection of (mainly new) vinyl records by popular artists. In the basement, you’ll find an extensive selection of new and second hand (and again, drawers for the lower crates, so handy!) in all styles of music. On the walls there are displays with cassettes and there’s also a selection of turntables and spare parts available.
Tower Records Dawson Street
Tower Records, 7 Dawson Street, D2, Dublin.
Head to Tower Records for new records, box sets, DVDs, CDs, Hi-Fi and merchandise.
On the ground floor of Tower Records in Dawson Street, you’ll find a large selection of merchandise and CDs. A maze of smaller rooms attached to the massive space has been dedicated to Classical music, DVDs, etc. Upstairs is home to Tower’s impressive vinyl record department. You won’t find any used records here, it’s all brand new and while it is well organised, it can be a bit overwhelming – where do you start? While you’re there don’t forget to check out their Hi-Fi department on the same floor.
Sound Cellar, 47 Nassau Street, D2, Dublin
Head to Sound Cellar for new and second hand Rock, Blues and Metal tapes, CD’s and vinyl records.
Sound Cellar, like the name suggests, is situated in a basement right across from the Trinity College buildings. I don’t remember exactly what record was playing when I wandered in from the busy street, but it had been a long time (too long) since I heard metal playing in a record shop! Rock, Blues and Metal fans will have a ball browsing through their large collection of CDs, Records and cassettes tapes.
What did I miss:
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to Superhero Records in Blackrock, which only opens on Saturdays and Sundays. I also didn’t have a change to visit Vinyl Dublin in Dún Laoghaire, Golden Discs St. Stephens’s Green and Golden Discs Dundrum. Hopefully next time!
Update March 2019:
A few more shops have opened up in the city, so I wanted to make sure to mention them here:
Blind Dog Vinyl
Blind Dog Vinyl, Anon, 72 Francis Street, D8, Dublin.
“The new dog on the block”. Situated in retro-vintage shop Anon, front of store is vintage, back of store is vinyl records. Blind Dog Vinyl (what an awesome logo) stocks a broad range of genres, almost all of it second-hand LPs and a small amount of new & mint records.
Optic Music, The Big Romance, 98 Parnell Street, D1, Dublin
Optic Music began last year as a pop-up & online shop – it has since found a permanent home at the Big Romance on Dublin’s Parnell Street. Their shared aim is to try and contribute, in their own way, to the city’s cultural vitality. Owner Cian, a huge fan of electronic music from the 70s & 80s as well as general musical oddities, started Optic Music because the records he was interested in collecting weren’t available in Dublin. With stock sourced mostly from mainland Europe, he hopes to provide something slightly different to what’s available in Irish record shops presently.
Blackwax Records Dublin
Blackwax Records Dublin, Windsor Arcade, 82 Meath Street, D8, Dublin
Blackwax Records, named after Gil Scott-Heron‘s 1983 movie/concert, opened in December 2017. It’s situated in the D8 Arcade on Meath Street, in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties. Head to their shop to dig through their selection of Disco, Jazz, Soul and Hip-Hop.
Do you miss any Dublin record shops on the map? Please add them to the VinylHub database!