With St. Patrick’s day just around the corner I’m daydreaming of Ireland. While Galway was my home, I have a definite affinity with Dublin. Sure, it’s more touristy, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. From pouring your own pint in the Guinness Storehouse, to walking down Grafton Street and Stephen’s Green, there’s plenty to see and do. Not to mention all the pubs. Dublin’s pubs are some of the best in the country.
Temple Bar is without a doubt the most famous of Dublin’s pubs. And while it’s great for a photo or two, a poke around, and maybe a cheeky mid-day pint, it’s not the place to go for a night out. Unless your just looking for more tourists and to burn a hole in your wallet, then by all means this is the place for you.
But for those visitors who are looking to party with the real Irish, and not just those wearing the “kiss me” t-shirts, I’ve got you covered. From me, and the numerous Dubliners I’ve questioned and hung out with over the past few of years, here’s a list of some of Dublin’s best pubs.
The Bleeding Horse
24-25 Camden Street Upper
Dating back to the 1970s, The Bleeding Horse is a historical Dublin Pub with lots to offer. From music to food to drink it’s a good place to stop at any time of day. Thursdays and Sundays are live music nights while Friday and Saturday nights are covered by a DJ.
**It’s my personal favourite 🙂
The Bernard Shaw
11-12 South Richmond Street
Two words my friends: Pizza and Beer. Does it get much better? Best known for the big blue bus in the back that serves up a variety of pizzas, The Bernard Shaw is a laid back place perfect for meeting up with friends for a pint. Or 10. It’s also a great spot to watch a rugby or soccer…err football… match.
32 Dame Street
Sweeney’s refers to itself as “ a drinking pub with a music problem”. Three floors featuring more than 50 bands and musicians every week makes this multi-level pub a popular place to party, especially Thursdays-Saturdays.
15 Merrion Row
Not a place to go if you don’t like crowds because this pub gets packed. As one of Dublin’s oldest pubs it does attract some tourists, but the live Irish music every night also makes it a favourite haunt for many locals. O’Donoghue’s is known to have hosted some of Ireland’s most famous musical acts including The Dubliners and Christy Moore. Great music, good pints, and a rich history makes O’Donoghues one of Dublin’s best pubs.
30 Stephen Street
A more low-key place featuring a large selection of craft beer. Cozy vibe and a great place to go with friends for a chill night. The highlight here is the free board games available to play.
10 Wellington Quay
More club than traditional pub, Workman’s is perfect for a fun (and possibly wild) night out. Head’s up- my sources tell me that people come here to pick up. So if you want to go home with an Irish lad or lass… here’s your best chance.
139 Baggot Street
Toners is a popular historic pub in lower Dublin. Opened in 1818 it’s best known for it’s cozy snug which one snug of the year award in 2010. The pub also opened a heated beer garden yard in 2012 which has become a popular place for both locals and tourists to sit and enjoy a pint. This pub was a favourite of YB Yeats plus, according to Rory Guinness (a member of the Guinness family), Toners Pub pours the best pint of Guinness which definitely means it deserves a spot on the list of Dublin’s best pubs.
The Long Hall
51 S Great Georges Street
Another historic Dublin Pub, the Long Hall is a beautiful old Victorian style pub. It’s been licensed since 1766 and the interior dates back to 1881. Beveled glass, ornate wood carvings, and gold leaf make it one of the most beautiful pubs in the city. It’s a quiet spot with friendly staff, making it an easy favourite.
25 Wexford Street
A great live-music pub, Whelan’s is the perfect first stop for a pub crawl. Famous acts seen on Whelan’s stage include Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, and Owl City. It’s definitely a local hangout, but has become more popular over the past few years as the pub featured in P.S. I Love You starring Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank.
Against the Grain
11 Wexford Street
Against the Grain is different than everything else on the list. It’s not historic and it’s not known for it’s Guinness. This pub is owned by the Galway Bay Brewing Company and specializes in craft beers. You won’t find live music here, but there are board games to play with your best mates and great food served from noon til 10pm.
Want to stay within walking distance of some of Dublin’s best pubs? Check out The Westbury Hotel, or for something a little cheaper the Staycity Aparthotels. On a budget? Try Dublin’s Barnacle Hostel (yes, it’s in Temple bar but still close to the others!) Be sure to also check the local Airbnbs!
For More Ireland Inspiration
- Solo Travel in Ireland
- Affordable Castle Hotels in Ireland
- Galway’s Best Pubs
- Why Ireland Will Steal Your Heart
- Learning to Surf in Ireland
PS: I also have an Ireland only travel blog filled with planning tips and advice! Check it out here.