Stephen's Green Shopping Centre

Who says mall architecture can't be exciting? The Stephen's Green Shopping Centre proves you wrong ...
••• Who says mall architecture can't be exciting? The Stephen's Green Shopping Centre proves you wrong ... © Bernd Biege

The Stephen's Green Shopping Centre at the top of Grafton Street (actually this is the southern end, so "the bottom" on maps) was the first really modern shopping mall constructed in Ireland. Named after the adjacent St. Stephen's Green, one of Dublin's most famous parks, it towers above the surrounding buildings.

But, due to its imaginative architecture evoking Victorian greenhouses, the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre does not create an unfavorable impression.

And the interior continues this theme - shops not on the ground floor are lining lofty galleries, with a wide open space in the middle. Plenty of dayling ... such as is available in the Irish weather.

The Stephen's Green Shopping Centre in a Nutshell

This shoppiing mall has a really convenient city centre location, at the top of Grafton Street, one of Ireland's most prominent shopping areas anyway. It also is just a stone's throw from the park, so easy to reach for a lunch break pit-stop by the office crowd. The exciting glass-and-iron architecture created not only a landmark building, that somehow fits in better than older buildings in the area, it also evokes Victorian times. The wide variety of shops provides everthing from the usual branded goods to mass-produced bargains, as well as art and antiques.

Having said that - the layout of the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre can be confusing, and the gallery system is impractical for shoppers in a hurry.

The Stephen's Green Shopping Centre is the largest shopping mall in central Dublin. It also has a decent foodcourt and restaurant area. Making in convenient for the tourist as a place to refuel, and relax for a while, preferably with a window seat overlooking "the Green".

What to Expect at the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre

The first thing that strikes every visitor about the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre is indeed the architecture - a modern mall, built in the 1980s, between the Gaiety Theatre, the Royal College of Surgeons and the actual St.

Stephen's Green could have easily become a nightmare. The planners and architects avoided this by more than a passing nod to Victorian extravaganzas, such as the Crystal Palace in London, or the People's Palace in Glasgow. Therewith creating an instant landmark, and altogether pleasing addition to Dublin's cityscape.

The main shopping areas of the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre are filled with all the usual brand names you might expect - from Benetton to Dunnes Stores. What makes the mall especially interesting, however, are several specialist shops and stalls. Tucked away in the upper levels, you will find art, antiques, quick-working portrait artists, jewelry ... and relaxed walks along the galleries. These galleries are the bane of hurried shoppers, though, as it can become frustrating to hop from shop to shop due to the wide (and long!) atrium area. And one word of advice to those suffering from vertigo ... some staircases are not really made for you!

The Stephen's Green Shopping Centre is definitely recommended due to variety of shopping, ambient atmosphere and a host of opportunities for coffee, tea or a full meal - the food court offers great views of St. Stephen's Green!

Essential Information on the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre

Opening Times: Monday to Wednesday 9 am to 7 pm, Thursday 9 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 9 am to 7 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm (note that these are general opening times, those of individual shops may vary).

Shops: There are more than 90 shops in the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, including Argos, Benetton, Best Menswear, Boots, Cactus, Carroll's, Claire's, Cogs, Donegal Shop, Dunnes Store, Early Learning Centre, Eason, Game Stop, Golden Discs, Hidden Treasure Comics, Holland & Barrett, Mothercare, Peter Mark, and Ticketmaster.
Food (a selection): Chief Chang's Buffet, El Gringo Burrito, Forte Ice-Cream, Gurman's, Insmonia, Johnnie Cupcakes, Le Centre-Ville, O'Briens, Rocket's, TGI Friday's, Tuk Tuk, and Wagamama.
Location: St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street.
Parking: 1,200 spaces in a multy-storey car park.
Website: Stephen's Green Shopping Centre