Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Dublin Airport

sleeping in dublin airportWhether your situation calls for a short nap or an overnight slumber, this sleep guide will give you the essential information needed to prepare you for sleeping in Dublin Airport.

Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Dublin Airport. If you have a tip to share, write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!

This guide was last updated: 25 June 2018. Read the latest traveller reviews.

Sleeping inside Dublin Airport

Locations & Seating
Dublin Airport sleepers
(Photo courtesy of Tiago / 27Jul2009)

Many travellers say that sleeping is better in the pre-Security, public areas of the airport because there are more seating options without armrests. Most good sleeping spots are in or near cafes and restaurants that close for the night – you can push together chairs to get comfortable. Inside Security, gate seating is mostly equipped with armrests.

Here are a few sleep spots that travellers have reported:

  • The food court in the pre-Security area has comfortable chairs and couches, and you can probably get away with moving them into makeshift beds.
  • The 24-hour McDonald’s in Terminal 1 has comfy chairs and benches, though these fill up quickly, so get there stat.
  • Oak Cafe in Terminal 2’s Arrivals area closes for the evening and you may be able to snag a comfy armchair for resting.
  • Inside Security in Terminal 1, you may find some couches around Gates 301-307, Gates 333-335, and at the end of the Duty Free area.
  • Inside Security in Terminal 2, look for the “PRM Room” near the water fountain and escalator at Gates 407-408. There are a few couches in here, and airport staff may already be inside snoozing on their breaks.
Rest Zones

Airside: Dublin Airport offers a designated rest zone equipped with soft chairs and sleep pods, perfect for tired travellers to relax and enjoy some stress-free time. Find the rest zone in Terminal 1 by passing through Security, the immediate Duty Free area, and a restaurant on your left. There’s a Starbucks and a nearby escalator leading to more restaurants – the rest zone is just to the right of this.  Important: The rest zone is inaccessible overnight.  Security opens at 3:30AM.

Temperature

Expect the airport to cool down at night, as air conditioning continues to run and fewer people are inside.  Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.

Lighting

At the time of this update, we have not received reports from travellers related to terminal brightness.  Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.

Noise

During the day, you can expect frequent announcements and ambient noise from other travellers. At night, the airport mostly quiets down, whether you’re inside Security or in a restaurant that’s closed for the night. Cleaning crews may wake you as they move through your area, but they seem to move out just as quickly. As a precaution, come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.

Pro-tip: If you chose a spot near any eateries, keep in mind that the staff arrive early and they can get pretty loud in the kitchen.

Showers

Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Locations: inside the pay-to-enter Executive Lounge and 51st & Green Lounge, both in Terminal 2. See our Dublin Airport Guide for details.

Food & Drink

When you get the midnight munchies or give up trying to sleep and need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available, though they are located in pre-Secure areas, so you’ll have to re-enter Security. Check out these vendors: AMT Coffee (Arrivals), McDonald’s (Mezzanine Food Court), and Wrights of Howth (Carpark Atrium). In Terminal 2’s Arrivals area, a Spar supermarket is open 24-hours between Monday and Friday.

Security & Safety

Security staff will likely ignore overnight sleepers, so you can get some rest. But they may wake up or question travellers who are particularly loud or disruptive, asking for travel plans and booting out anyone who isn’t travelling that day. Around 3:30AM – 4:00AM, Security checkpoints begin to open, so guards may wake you if the increasing terminal buzz hasn’t already.

Some travellers who tried sleeping in the Multi-Faith Prayer Room, at the direction of airport security, were later kicked out by other security guards, so head here at your own risk.

Homeless people and other vagrants may come into the pre-Secure areas at night, seeking shelter. Staff may take note and get them to leave, but if you’re feeling uncomfortable, do notify the overnight security staff.

As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:

  • Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers. If you are sleeping in the public zone, make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!

Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.

Lounges

Dublin Airport has a few lounges, but none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable seat, check out this list of lounges in our Dublin Airport Guide that you can pay to access.

Hotels

Prefer some privacy and comfort? Several hotels are located within a few minutes’ drive of the airport, and most run free shuttles to and from. See our Dublin Airport Guide for information on nearby hotels.

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Airport Sleep Guide