Ah Dublin, the land of Guinness and good (but messy) times. This is a city that promises a fantastic night out; after all, what happens in Dublin stays in Dublin. Whether you’re a fan of the brown stuff (Guinness) or prefer to sip on stylish cocktails in secret bunkers, the bars and pubs in Dublin are guaranteed to test your tap out limit. So, buckle up and give the best bars and pubs in Dublin a go.
Best bars and pubs in Dublin
Start at The Palace Bar
Kick your night off at The Palace Bar, a quaint Victorian pub that will ease you into the carnage ahead. Known as the literary hangout for famous writers, its walls celebrate the famous faces that have enjoyed a tipple there. Located in the heart of Temple Bar, the cosy pub is cleverly laid out so that you and your mates can huddle together in a mirrored alcove. Whilst the night is still young, it’s the perfect place to put the world to rights and fill your boots with delicious homemade food. And Guinness, of course.
Next it’s The Temple Bar
Not to be confused with the area Temple Bar, The Temple Bar Pub is one of the most famous pubs in Dublin and is only a couple of minutes’ walk away from The Palace Bar, next to the River Liffey. Although it’s widely known as a tourist hotspot, lots of locals go here too. Like most pubs in Ireland, it’s been pulling pints for decades and has seen the likes of Biffy Clyro play on its stage. Enjoy a pint on the cobbled streets outside or in the quirky interior, stuffed full of local memorabilia. Its outdoor area is a fantastic spot where tourists and locals get pally. Look out for the bright red building on the corner, which is illuminated with hundreds of twinkling fairy-lights once night falls.
Time for something sophisticated at the Vintage Cocktail Club
If there are those amongst you who can’t stomach a Guinness, walk about half a minute from The Temple Bar to the Vintage Cocktail Club. Although a more expensive venture, these people really know their stuff and have cocktails that date back to the 1800s! If you’re on a romantic getaway or have met someone ‘special’ on your travels in Dublin, this is the place to serenade them.
I’m with the band! Catch a live music gig at Whelan’s
Film fanatics might notice that Whelan’s feels slightly familiar having once starred in the emotionally-charged chick flick Ps I Love You. Soppiness aside, Whelan’s is somewhat of an institution in Dublin. Some of Ireland’s most famous artists have graced the stage ensuring that from the moment you enter, you feel wrapped in Ireland’s vast musical history. Catch an intimate gig here before letting yourself lose on the streets of Dublin.
Try the cocktails at The Blind Pig
Walk 5 minutes from the Vintage Cocktail Club and you arrive at The Blind Pig, a relaxed, speakeasy. Make sure you do this crawl on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday where the intoxicating tipples are accompanied by live music. The whole venue is intriguing with its concealed entrance and hidden doorway. Once you’ve found it, reward yourself with a Stone Fence cocktail. Whisky, maple syrup, plum bitters and ciders make up this modern twist on an 18th century classic.
Take a pizza pit stop at Bernard Shaw
Undoubtedly one of the coolest bars in Dublin, we’d happily dedicate a whole Sunday session to the Bernard Shaw. Widening the definition of bar to include a revolving street art gallery, pop-up street food trucks and a twice-monthly flea market, it’s the chosen hangout of the cool kids of Dublin. Grab a slice of wood-fired pizza from the Big Blue Bus and wash it back with a perfectly-pulled pint. Hosting an array of live music events and pounding DJ session, be sure to check out their revolving events calendar.
Still with us? Head to Long Hall
At about this point, you’re going to be feeling pretty merry! Maybe you’ve mustered up enough confidence to strike up conversation with some locals? There’s no better place to do this than Long Hall, a favourite amongst both residents and travellers. Don’t be fooled by its greengrocer appearance, once you grow accustomed to the garish red interior you’ll soon develop a fondness for one of Dublin’s most popular watering holes. The antique chandeliers, grandfather clocks and lack of 21st century frivolities pay homage to its 250-year-old legacy.
Time to squeeze in a pint at Dawson’s – the smallest pub in Dublin!
Okay, so it hasn’t won a Guinness World Record yet but us and a whole host of other Dubliners agree that it deserves the title. Fairly bigger than a kitchen, the cute and cosy pub offers one of the cheapest Guinness pints in town and is usually pretty packed. What it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in experience! Head down with a few (not too many, because, well, size) pals and join chatty locals swapping stories at the bar.
Keep going to Dicey’s Garden (Dicey Reilly to locals)
After a brisk, 10-minute walk downtown you’ll arrive at Dicey’s, famous for its huge selection of beers and affordable prices. The rumours you’ve heard about their €2 pints is true; an absolute steal by Dublin standards. Other drinks are priced at as little as €1.50! Armed with huge screens, you won’t miss a sporting second whether you’re inside or outside. A quick heads up, Dicey’s has a popular carvery every day from 12pm-2pm that is just 5 euros for students. A perfect way to cure that impending sore head of yours.
Finish off in Camden Street
Round your crawl off at Camden Street and dance on the tables until 3am. Camden Street is Dublin’s main strip of bars and clubs. With bars, pubs and clubs to suit every music taste, stick to the jewel in Camden Street’s crown that is, without a doubt, Flannery’s. With live music, a spacious outdoor area and an impressive selection of whiskeys and beers, its raucous atmosphere is infectious. It’s often packed, so don’t be surprised to find yourself on a stranger’s shoulder, screaming at the telly because Ireland just won something. You didn’t really go to Dublin if you don’t end up in Flannery’s!
Don’t expect all the partying to remain indoors either; often the party ends up spilling onto the street, transforming it into what can only be described as a mosh pit. Get involved and spin your t-shirt around your head like everyone else – we call Dublin the coolest city for a reason. In between your best air guitar impression, take a nose at the striking street art that makes this the funkiest street in town.
Where to go if you get the Munchies?
Bar crawls are hard work. It’s inevitable that you’ll be craving some greasy grub by the end of the night. Fortunately for you, you’re in the perfect position on Camden Street with an array of takeaway shops for you to choose from. Grab and go at Shay’s Burger Van or if you fancy a sit down, slap up meal head to Zaytoon and Babylon. Don’t be surprised if the takeaway shops are as lively as the pubs.
For professionals: the Green Line Luas Crawl
This is completely separate from the suggested route above, but if there are some shopaholics amongst you, head to Dundrum which houses the largest shopping centre in Ireland. Pair pints with new shoes and start out on the Green Line Luas Crawl. Go to The Eagle Pub in Dundrum for some starting block refreshments, then catch the Green line back to Stephen’s Green. From there, you can complete the Green Line Luas Crawl. It’s simple enough; get off at each stop and head to the nearest pub. There are 8 stops in total; plenty of opportunity to broaden your Irish pub horizons (yes, that’s a thing).
If there’s one departing nugget of wisdom I can leave you with it’s this: in Dublin one can always rely on a pub being within 100 feet of oneself.
Profound, I know.
Sleep off your hangover in one of these fantastic Dublin hostels.