No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to one (or ten) of its many pubs (last count says there are over 600 pubs). Drink is relatively expensive: a pint of stout costs around €4.50 and up, while lager costs around €4.90 and up. However, the government gave a tax break to microbrewed beer in the December 2004 budget, this had a slight effect on prices in brewpubs. Pubs serve drinks until 11:30PM with some drinking-up time allowed. Many bars have late licenses allowing them to serve up to 2:30AM, although this usually means a cover charge or price increases after 11:30PM.
Smoking has been illegal in Irish pubs (as well as all indoor workplaces) since March 2004; this has had the positive side effect of increasing al fresco facilities. Beer tends to be more expensive around the Temple Bar area, due to the increased tourist flow, and will be cheaper in more traditional styled pubs.
There are pubs in Dublin offering cheaper drinks, if you are willing to go off the beaten trail or ask other patrons for suggestions. Fibber McGees just off Parnell square, in the City, has 3 euro per drink for any drink including shorts, every Thursday night. (There is a 5 euro door fee to enter after 9PM Thursday) please be aware Fibber McGees is a heavy metal bar, so if loud music is not your thing then best avoid. O'Reillys of Tara St charges €3.30 for all draught beers all week. In the suburbs bars such as the Cock Tavern in Swords village north county Dublin, have special offers such as Fosters Australian beer for €3.00 per pint.
The Temple Bar that people often speak of is an area that used to be a sand bar, not an actual bar. (Originally, anyway; there is a pub called "The Temple Bar" in Temple Bar.) The Temple Bar district has a mixture of food, drink, shopping and music. It appeals to all ages, but is a hot spot for tourists. The narrow, cobble stoned streets gives it an original feeling within the heart of the city. Its central location also makes it easy to walk to from Dublin's Centre. However, late night revellers tend to make it an unpleasant place to be after dark. It can be taken over by drunken stag and boisterous hen parties, many who travel cheaply from the United Kingdom to avail of Temple Bar's delights.
Traditional Irish Bars
Peadar Kearney's64 Dame StDublin 2. Named after the man who penned Amhrin na bhFiann, Ireland's National Anthem, A great spot for pre- and post- gig drinks next to the Olympia Theatre, Peadar's attracts a young & lively crowd, with Live music from up and coming Irish trad bands. Mostly tourists here but a nice spot to talk to other visitors.
The CobblestoneNorth King St, Dublin 7Easily Dublin's most famous Trad pub, situated in the North end of the famous Smithfield square this pub has had just about every single Irish Trad group play it. Trad sessions are nightly; expect a good mixed crowd.
Frank RyansQueen St, Dublin 7A favourite with students from Blackhall Place, this quaint pub keeps a traditional feel with a bit of a twist. Friendly bar staff and a highly mixed crowd of local students, law types, trendies and locals makes this a lively, fun spot for a few drinks. Expect weekly trad nights interspersed with Rockabilly, Country and Soul on the jukebox.
O'Donoghue'sMerrion Row, Dublin 2Famous for impromptu live music. Where folk group The Dubliners were formed.
The Barge42 Charlemont StExcellent pub food, great decor; a friendly traditional pub with very good food. Try the fish and chips, except get the wedges instead of the chips. Golden brown on the outside, crunchy, tender inside.
Hartigan's100 Lower Leeson StPopular student bar, as a result occasionally raucous. Good option after international rugby matches.
The Brazen HeadBridge St, Dublin 2Possibly the oldest pub in Dublin but not the oldest pub in Ireland. Approximately a thousand years old. Wonderful on warm, dry summer nights during the rare occasions when they happen. Live traditional music and very friendly atmosphere. One of the bars is covered in signed currency notes, usually dollars, from people who wanted to leave their mark on the place. There is a large, heated open-air section enclosed within the centre of the building which is perfect for smokers. One of very few places in Dublin which serves the lesser known but very tasty Macardles brand of ale.
O'Shea's, Bridge St, Dublin 2. - live traditional music and dancing.
Fallon's, The Coombe, Dublin 8 (near St. Patrick's Cathedral). small friendly local pub.
The Oval, Abbey St, Dublin 1. Good for drink and food, said to have the best Irish stew in Dublin. Attracts a mixed age group. Lots of pictures of old Irish celebrities with a tribute to the Quiet Man.
Kavanagh's, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 (near Glasnevin cemetery). This pub (popularly known as The Gravediggers because of its close proximity to the cemetery) has remained untouched for over 100 years with the only things altered being the beer taps and toilets. If you're looking for a real trad Irish pub, this is the place, really worth a visit. (about 10–15 minutes on bus from city centre, get the no 19/19A/13 from O'Connell St)
Bachelors InnBachelors Walk, Dublin 1Good pints of Guinness and a choice of batch or regular white bread on your toasted sandwich. Popular post GAA match pub with the Dublin crowd.
Bowe's Lounge, Fleet St, Dublin 2. Old Victorian pub, around for over 140 years.
MulligansPoolbeg St, Dublin 2. Busy pub with great Guinness with plenty of history having been frequented by James Joyce among others. Nancy HandsParkgate St, Dublin 8Phone: +353 1 677-0149Classic bar & restaurant situated close to Phoenix Park, the National Museum at Collins Barracks, and a short stroll from Heuston train station.
Ryan'sParkgate St, Dublin 8Beautiful Victorian pub. A good place to have a pint before getting a train out of Dublin.
The Palace Bar, Fleet St, Dublin 2. Located at the edge of Temple Bar, this traditional bar has interesting decor complete with "snug" (small private booth). Live music upstairs Wednesday and Saturday.
The Long Hall31 south Great Georges St, Dublin 2Atmospheric bar with interesting wooden decor, nice window to sit at to people watch. One of the last "long hall" bars in Ireland.
Kehoe'sSouth Anne StLocated just off Grafton St, this is an excellent spot for a pint after a hectic days shopping. Several snugs downstairs.
Kennedy's30/32 Westland Row, Dublin 2Located to the rear of Trinity college, this traditional style pub serves good quality food and drink with plenty of friendly atmosphere. Also home to The Underground one of Dublins newest and most intimate venues.
O'Neills, Suffolk St (near Grafton St). Excellent atmosphere in a Victorian style design.
The Stag's Head, Dame Lane (off Great Georges St). Just great Guinness and great conversation.
The Dawson Lounge, top of Dawson St. Dublin's (or Ireland's) smallest pub. You have to go to see what is meant. Twenty people and it is packed.
McDaidsWas a regular place for Oscar Wilde to ponder life.
Grogans (Castle Lounge)South William St, Dublin 2Wonderful traditional pub, no music or TV. Great Guinness and a mixture of tourists and locals, with interesting art on the walls.
The Dice Bar, Benburb St/Queen St, Dublin 7. One of the coolest bars in the city, mixing old school charm with cool sensibilities. If you're thinking of heading in on the weekend, get there early because this place is absolutely crammed. An eclectic mix of people and music, expect anything from ska, to reggae, to rockabilly. Sundays are especially cool with a biker/greaser crowd enjoying the 50's music on offer.
The Bailey, Duke St, Dublin 2. Located just off Grafton St, this swish bar tends to attract the sophisticated side of Dublin's society, popular among celebrities as well. Very busy during the summer afternoons and evenings with a nice outdoor seating area.
Lotts, 60-62 The Lotts, 9 Liffey St, Dublin 1. Recent addition to Dublins burgeoning pub scene, fantastic new bar and lounge. Very well decorated interior with chandeliers, a marble bar and comfortable leather seating. Live music many nights. Small outside seating area as well.
The Market BarFade St, Dublin 2. Opened in 2005, large spacious bar, with murmur of conversation in the background, nice tapas restaurant with a good value menu.
The Odeon, Harcourt St, Dublin 2. This attractive bar at the top of Harcourt St is housed in a converted railway station; the new tram system has a stop directly outside.
Pygmalion, South William St, Dublin 2. Directly opposite Grogan's, in the Powerscourt Townhouse shopping centre; quite a contrast.
Café en Seine, Dawson St, Dublin 2. Typical, and not entirely unpleasant, example of a Dublin 'megapub'; recently extended to include tropical trees at the back—very expensive.
The Globe11 South Great Georges StDublin 2. One of the original trendy bars to hit Dublin in the mid 90's. Still as cool as ever with one of Dublin's longest running clubs Ri-Ra in the basement. It is worth noting that there is no cover charge for the night club.
Lost Society, South William St, Dublin 2. Just next to the Powerscourt shopping centre, this uber trendy venue is cool and sophisticated.
Against the Grain, Wexford St, Dublin 2. Owned by a Galway-based brewery, offers a wide variety of Irish micro-brews and world beers. Does not serve generic commercial beers on tap. A vibrant pub with an eclectic clientele. No TV (a blessing or a curse depending on your point of view), soft music, boardgames, great beer, great food.
The Bull and Castle5-7 Lord Edward StDublin 2. Very interesting gastropub which offers a beer hall a large selection of microbrewed and international beers. The range of beers available is not quite as extensive as The Porterhouse but it does give the option of 0.3, 0.5 and 1-litre beers. Make sure to try a Galway Hooker (a pale ale) and the Edinburgh-style deep fried Mars bar.
Sweetman & WolfeBurgh Quay, Dublin 2. Spread over two stories on two buildings very near to O'Connell Bridge, they produce a very good stout quite different to Guinness, fresher and more complex, plus their own ale and lager. Also has good cafeteria-style lunch sets for around 10.
The Porterhouse, Parliament St, Dublin 2. As well as good indigenous brews including a non-vegetarian oyster stout, there is an extensive Belgian and international beer list. Also does good reasonably priced food. Has sister pubs in Bray and Phibsboro and on Grafton St.
The Foggy Dew, Temple Bar next to the Central Bank. Very popular bar with all kinds of people.
Bruxelles, off Grafton St next to Westbury Hotel. A very lively bar and popular with 20 and 30 year olds. Spread over 3 bars the music is loud and the atmosphere is excellent.a statue of the legend Phil Lynott (from Irish rock band Thin Lizzy)is outside. if you like metal, rock and idie music go downstairs.
The Duke, Duke St (off Grafton St). Great after-work bar and Fri is packed to the door.
The Bernard Shaw, Portobello (near Harcourt St). One of the best indie bars in Dublin, very popular with 18-25 Dubliners and always welcoming to visitors.
The Button FactoryCurved St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2One of Dublin's top clubs, the Button Factory is 700+ capacity venue hosting regular international acts. Formally known as The Temple Bar Music Centre, in recent years the venue has been renovated to give it some of the best acoustics in the capital, facilitating its hosting of left field live acts as well as its regular club nights. This is one of Dublin's top clubs which caters mainly for students but delivers on big names regularly such as The Bloody Beetroots, Digitalism, Erol Alkan and bands such as Shellac etc. Check their website for listings.
The AcademyMiddle Abbey St, Dublin 1This venue has changed its tune from Hot Press Hall Of Fame to Spirit nightclub. Now renamed The Academy it now doubles as both a live venue and a dance club. These guys go for the big obvious names such as David Morales and Jose Gonzalez. Their dot matrix sign outside the venue usually advertises upcoming events.
Twisted Pepper54 Middle Abbey St, Dublin 1Located just two doors away from The Academy, Twisted Pepper is both a swish bar and underground club. The club, which was formerly known as 'Traffic', was taken over by well known and highly regarded Dublin promoters Bodytonic last year and has since gone through an extensive facelift. Open Wednesday through Sunday the club caters for students during the week and dedicated electronic music lovers on weekends, mixing house, techno, disco, funk, soul & reggae. 'Mud' is the name of Friday nights, and 'POGO' is Saturday nights, both mixing local acts with international guests.
KrystleHarcourt St, Dublin 2This club is a new haven for the nouveau riche and wannabe celebrities of Ireland. If you want to go C list celebrity spotting and doing some over the top posing with the D4 set, you'll be at home, for the regular visitor to Dublin, avoid, much better places on the list.
Copper Face JacksHarcourt St, Dublin 2This is a bizarre venue but what sets it aside from most other Dublin nights out is that if you want to hook up with singles desperate for a bit of "how's your father", this the place for you. Known in the fine Dublin phrase as a Meat Market this night out is crammed with people desperate to score and getting more and more willing as they consume more booze. A popular place with country people as opposed to Dubliners, this venue is dark and seedy and a perfect place to get up to shenanigans. However, bear in mind because of its reputation there is often up to three boys there for every girl at weekends. This venue is owned by a retired Garda and is frequented by serving members of the force so an altercation in the men's room is not advised as you may be in more trouble than you think; also consider this if you are liable to seduce someone's new friend. A night's decent accommodation and entry into the club start at about 5-10 per person depending on the day, also free before midnight weekdays and 11PM at the weekend: even with these prices, the club still made over 16m in 2008.
The PalaceCamden St, Dublin 2Popular over 20's club, recently renovated to the tune of 1m. The place is full to the brim every Friday and Saturday, attracting students, professionals and everyone else in between. Get there early if you want to queue for less than an hour.
The Dragon64 South Georges StDublin 2. A gay superpub, beside the renowed "George Bar". Previously called sosumee, newly decorated in Moulin Rouge style interior, the crowd is mostly gay with late nights on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Superb cocktails are served by beautiful bartenders. Monday is Dolly does the Dragon, a fun and party atmosphere late night with Gay and straight mingling with Dolly as she performs famous hits. Full of bubbly people and the best night in Dublin on Mondays. The weekend nights are full of people dancing away as if they were in Ibiza. Door policy is relaxed as is the atmosphere in the club.
Outside The City Centre
Wrights Venue, Swords is the premier nightclub in North County Dublin if you are staying North of the canals a taxi ride will typically cost around €20 for up to 4 people (a bus sometimes also runs). It is best to find out if there is anything on before traveling as it is some distance from the city (about 10 km), but by far, Wrights is the preferred venue of many Dublin clubbers, and has the largest capacity of any nightclub in Ireland.
Club 92, Leopardstown is the leading out of city Nightclub on the southside of Dublin. Been in business for over 15 years, Club 92 is where many of the young elite of South Dublin can be found socialising, although dress-code is strict and it is advised to call ahead to ensure entry is guaranteed. The easiest access is by taxi, but taking a Green Line Luas to Sandyford and walking for ten minutes can save a few Euro - return journeys are typically only by taxi and work out at around €25 to the city centre for up to 4 people.