Where to Drink + Dance in Dublin, Ireland

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Brazen Head

Dublin, Ireland

The Brazen Head dates back to 1198, and is Ireland’s oldest pub. Past patrons include James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Robert Emmet, and more recent clientele include Van Morrison and Garth Brooks. The pub has several rooms to cosy up in, as well as an outdoor drinking area for smokers. Live music plays every night, and the Irish stew is excellent.

Address

20 Bridge Street Lower Dublin 8

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House

Dublin, Ireland

Two joined Georgian townhouses create one ‘home’ that becomes progressively more casual the further you move inside: starting with a formal living room and ending with a red-velvet disco in the basement. A massive plant-filled patio in the back with romantically strung light bulbs makes it the perfect place to drink when the weather is good. There is a blue room with velvet sofas in the front for reading, and a deep, dark red room with a fireplace that burns through the summer months as well as a great selection of wines that operate by a brilliant credit system. A place to spend a very long evening in.

Address

27 Lower Leeson Street Dublin 2

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VCC

Dublin, Ireland

Opened by the same owners as the Liquor Rooms, Vintage Cocktail Club was one of the first bars to dominate the resurgence of the cocktail scene in Dublin. VCC’s entrance is a rusty door on Crown Alley – knock and someone will come down and bring you upstairs. There are three very different floors to drink cocktails on, and they seem to get rowdier the higher you go. VCC starts to pick up at around 19:30, so make sure you get there early enough to grab an armchair, seat or sofa.

Address

15 Crown Alley Temple Bar Dublin 2

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The Liquor Rooms

Dublin, Ireland

The speakeasy trend that swept New York and London has reached Dublin, and Liquor Rooms and VCC (below) are proof of its popularity. Here you’ll find an adult playground decked out with four completely different rooms that evoke the decadence of the 1920s – start off in the Mayflower room, which looks like an outdoor terrace, and move into the Black Rabbit to dance under a circus tent. When you’re tired or want to do more than dance, head to the Blind Tiger, where there are plenty of dark corners to get lost in. They’re open until around 4:30AM on weekends, which gives you plenty of time to sample their drinks (they were recently nominated for an International Cocktail Award).

Address

5 Wellington Quay Dublin 2

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Whelans

Dublin, Ireland

Good music and perhaps even better beer are synonymous with this city, and Whelans offers both in spades. A live-music venice, knock back drinks playing “guess who” with the vintage gig photos on the walls – it’s hard to find a band that hasn’t played here.

Address

25 Wexford Street Dublin 2

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The Bernard Shaw

Dublin, Ireland

Named after one of the city’s greatest writers, The Bernard Shaw is people-watching paradise. From the street it looks like any of the other pubs dotted around Dublin, but step inside and you’ll find an edgy vibe reminiscent of East London. The beer garden is complete with a bus, naturally, so grab some pizza, a load of beers and set up shop inside.

Address

11-12 Richmond St South Saint Kevin's Dublin 2

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P.Macs

Dublin, Ireland

There’s not much not to like at P. Macs. Old friends gather around candlelit tables, drinks are poured with care and everything feels just a little slower than outside. Bag a booth and settle in for the night; it’s the kind of place you don’t want to leave – and we suggest you don’t. Just order a bottle of wine and wait for the enormous portions of comfort food to arrive.

Address

Dessie Ellis 30 Stephen Street Lower

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Grogan's

Dublin, Ireland

Not that it’s hard to spark up a conversation with Dubliners, but asking where to find the best Guinness is sure to get someone talking. Everyone has an opinion on where to get the best pint in town, but Grogan’s always seems to come out on top. It’s a classic; the Guinness is always creamy and their cheese toasties make for the only accompaniment you’ll ever want.

Address

15 William Street South Dublin 2

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The Chelsea Drugstore

Dublin, Ireland

Follow the bright lights to this bohemian cocktail bar in the town centre. Dark and brooding, order a round of whiskey cocktails and a side of their amazing cheese and potato cakes to help stave off a nasty hangover.

Address

South Great George's Street Dublin 2 D02 XY71

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Farrier and Draper

Dublin, Ireland

A little like something from the set of Peaky Blinders, Farrier and Draper is a 1920s dive. With antique artwork all the way up to the ceiling and an impressive double-height bar stocking every gin under the sun, endless cocktail opportunities await

Address

Powerscourt Townhouse 59 William Street South

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The Drury Buildings

Dublin, Ireland

With a graffitied facade The Drury Buildings hard to miss. A mishmash of Berlin, New York and Melbourne stylings align across this six story, old rag trade building. A great central spot for post-sightseeing tipple, The Drury Buildings serves up wines, cocktails and craft beer, in vibrant surroundings. It’s best to grab a seat right in the back in the walled heated garden and set yourself up for the night.

Address

52-55 Drury Street Dublin 2

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The Bar with No Name

Dublin, Ireland

Veer off Fade Street and make tracks up the rickety stairs to The Bar with No Name (really it has no name, so the locals have improvised). Rooms are interconnected and jammed full of mismatched furniture. After grabbing a cocktail or a pint of the black stuff at the bar, head to the always-full (and always cosy) outdoor terrace and set up for the night under the candy-cane striped canopy.

Address

3 Fade Street

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Whelan’s

Dublin, Ireland

Something of a Gemini, Whelan’s is a traditional pub on one side – complete with snugs and fireside seating – and a music venue on the other. A bastion of gig culture, it has had everyone from Damien Rice to Glen Hansard take to the stage. For those looking to break into the music scene, Whelan’s is a great platform for new talent. Scan for bookers in the audience and have a few verses ready to go.

Address

25 Wexford Street Portobello D02 H527

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Mary’s Bar and Hardware Store

Dublin, Ireland

Just off Grafton Street, you’ll find Mary’s Bar and Hardware Store. Located on the same patch as the former Wicklow Hotel, this was once the watering hole Irish revolutionary leader Micheal Collins and members of the IRA during the Irish War of Independence. Today, the bar comes well stocked offering a wide range of beverages from ales to vodka and even poitin and a wide range of perishables from Flahavan’s porridge to Jacob’s cream crackers. Sink your teeth into some of our signature toasties partnered with a pint of Guinness or a cup of tea. For a something sweet, choose from a selection of 90s confectionery classics including Refreshers, Stingers, Mint Crisp, sherbet lemons and clove rocks. For a more substantial feed, pop to to the Wow burger franchise in the basement for some of the best fast-food in town.

Address

8 Wicklow Street Dublin 2

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Mulligan’s

Dublin, Ireland

A two-minute walk from the main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street Mulligans is a prime location for a quick pint. Originally a shebeen (unlicensed drinking venue) Mulligan’s has been a “legal” watering hole since 1782, making it one of the oldest premises in town. Bygone days saw dockers rubbing shoulders with the celebrities from the Theatre Royal across the street. Host to Judy Garland, Seamus Heaney, Con Houlihan, James Joyce and John F. Kennedy among its punters. As the story goes that John F. Kennedy visited the pub in the mid-1950s (when working a journalist with the Hearst Newspapers) to see Joyce’s favourite perch at the bar.

Address

8 Poolbeg Street Dublin 2

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The Gravediggers

Dublin, Ireland

Since this Dublin pub opened in 1833, no singing or dancing has been allowed, and there’s never been a telephone or a TV installed. Nestled in a quiet square near the north city centre, its name derives from its proximity to Glasnevin Cemetery. A drop-in spot for funeral-goers and gravediggers, the local pub has hosted some notorious clientele during its 185 year history.

Address

1 Prospect Square Glasnevin

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Kennedy's

Dublin, Ireland

Established in 1850, Kennedy’s pub is steeped in literary tradition. Located on the doorstep of Trinity College, today’s customers stand where Wilde, Joyce, Beckett and Behan once stood. Formerly a grocers, a young Oscar Wilde earned his first shilling stacking shelves here on Saturday afternoon. Renowned for its hearty stews and an extensive menu of wines, whiskeys, craft stouts and ale, Kennedys is a great spot for a pint and a chat. Pop in at lunchtime for, when the atmosphere is lively but getting a seat is still a possibility.

Address

31 Westland Row Dublin 2

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The Lincoln's Inn

Dublin, Ireland

James Joyce met his wife and muse Nora Barnacle here in 1904, while she was working as a chambermaid in what was Finn’s Hotel and he was a guest. As Victorian meet cutes go, this one’s a pretty special, proving to be a landmark moment in both Irish literary history and erotic correspondence alike. With good food and a central location, stop by for a romantic, sentimentalised take on Dublin of yesteryear.

Address

19 Lincoln Place Dublin

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Grogan’s

Dublin, Ireland

A pub geared towards locals, Grogan’s is a great place to nurse a pint and take in Dublin city. Near Grafton Street, Dublin’s main shopping area, Grogan’s sits at the crossroads between George’s Street Arcade and the Powerscourt Centre. Outside seating is available and on a sunny day, crowds spill over into the streets. A very sociable pub with a cross-generational crowd, punters will chat across a broad array of topics from sport to art and, of course, Grogan’s renowned ham and cheese toasties.

Address

15 South William Street Dublin 2

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The Temple Bar

Dublin, Ireland

Not to be confused with the wider Temple Bar Area, The Temple Bar is a must visit for those seeking out high-quality traditional music in the capital. Here you’ll find classic staples like “The Fields of Athenry” and “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” on repeat, with a carefully selected gig list that ensures you get the primevplayers in town. Established in 1840, this busy bar is great craic; it’s jam-packed, making it figuratively and literally hard to leave.

Address

47-48 Temple Bar Dublin 2

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The Long Hall

Dublin, Ireland

Brimming with memorabilia and Victorian antiquities, The Long Hall is a snug pub filled with charm and character. Licensed since 1766, this is one of Dublin’s oldest and best-loved pubs. The interior, which comprises of polished dark wood, beveled glass and traditional snugs, dates from 1881. Over decades, politicians and playwrights have frequented The Long Hall; in 1982 Irish rock legend Phil Lynott recorded the video for his hit-song “Old Town” here. Attentive bartenders add to the atmosphere, but there’s no food menu – this is solely a place for drinking.

Address

51 South Great George’s Street Dublin

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The Stag’s Head

Dublin, Ireland

Located on the corner of the narrow Dame Lane, The Stag’s Head is quintessentially charming. Close to the Grafton street shopping district, the museum district, Dublin City Hall and Trinity College, The Stag’s Head has long associations with film and television. Educating Rita was taped here and more recently Penny Dreadful. Stag-themed stained-glass windows adorn the peripheries, and authentic Victorian finishings run through the pub. From the mahogany panelling to the mosaic marble tiles and of course a large stag’s head over the bar, this is probably Dublin’s best-preserved Victorian pub.

Address

1 Dame Court Dublin 2

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P. Macs

Dublin, Ireland

A craft-beer pub located on the corner of Digges Lane and Stephen Street Lower in Dublin 2, P Macs is always good fun. Play Cluedo or Connect Four as you snack on complimentary retro crisps like Wheelies and Snax. Pub grub comes in huge portions and Guinness is available on tap. The interior has a decidedly Brooklynite vibe, kitted with mismatched vintage furniture and a mid-90s indie playlist.

Address

30 Stephen Street Lower Dublin