Ireland goes with beer (especially Guinness) like fish goes with chips and salt goes with pepper, so to be able to enjoy any trip to Dublin you need to find the right place to enjoy a few pints!
Any bar you walk into in Ireland will have a continuous flow of Guinness and after spending over five years living near Dublin I am still amazed at the speed of getting served in a packed bar in Ireland.
When it comes to choosing where to drink it’s important to find the right place – there are many bars to choose from but you want to choose one of the best bars in Dublin!
You might be looking for a drink in a traditional Irish bar, maybe you are in the Irish capital for a special occasion or alternatively to watch a live sports event.
It is very easy to follow the crowds and head to Temple Bar, probably Ireland’s most famous place to drink. Whilst you are going to have a fun night in the likes of Oliver St John Gogarty’s or The Auld Dubliner but you could find yourself being disappointed at the price of beers and lack of locals.
My pick of top ten bars has something for everyone and makes for an interesting bar crawl!
****** QUIRKY AND COOL ******
The Brazen Head, 20 Bridge St. Lower, Dublin 2
This pub is as traditional as they come, it is believed to be Ireland’s oldest pub and is guaranteed to be full of Guinness drinkers. This place has some incredible history, Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift and musician Van Morrison drank there as did James Joyce who even mentioned it in Ulysees. This is an excellent stop for any visitor, you should enjoy one of their traditional Irish candlelit dinners where Irish storyteller John Daly relays tales from Irish folklore plus there is ‘Traditional Music’ every evening.
The Dawson Lounge, 25 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
This underground bar can be found at the top of Dawson Street, it was previously known as Ron Blacks. I have included this bar as it is said to be Dublin’s smallest, but beware you have to keep your eyes open or you will miss the entrance. This a lovely quaint pub where you can have a quiet drink after a long day of sight seeing or shopping, in the evenings it does tend to get quite busy, especially around 6pm when the workers stop off for a cheeky after-work pint.
Central Hotel Library Bar, 1-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
A wonderful bar that has been kept a secret from the masses, this is a perfect place where you can enjoy a relaxing pint amongst the regulars. There are bookshelves full of dog-eared old books, which gives the bar a lovely feel to it. Sit back, enjoy the table service and lounge on the comfortable couches, or on the beautiful armchairs with friends, alternatively on your own with a newspaper or a book.
****** DRINK LIKE A LOCAL ******
O’Donoghue’s, 15 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
An incredibly popular pub, which is famous for its musical history. Two of the most famous names in Irish music circles, The Dubliners and Christy Moore, have spent many a night drinking and entertaining locals. The walls are full of drawings and photos of Irish musicians who have stopped off for the odd pint. When Ireland play rugby or Dublin are involved in a GAA (Gaelic games) match you will struggle to get in due to the crowds, but it is worth giving it a go.
4 Dame Lane, 4 Dame Lane, Dublin 2
If you are looking for a night out, then Dame Lane is a very cool location with the recently opened House of Peroni and some fun traditional pubs but our favourite place is the very cool ‘4 Dame Lane’ – whilst it isn’t not cheap, it’s full of locals enjoying themselves.
The Market Bar, 16 Fade Street, Dublin 2
An excellent bar for a night out, one that is always very busy with young Dubliners. On arrival you walk through an open-air heated courtyard into a huge redecorated warehouse, that is now an incredible bar that still boasts its’ original red-brick walls.
The Market Bar makes for an excellent night, there are a wide range of Spanish tapas including fantastic chicken chorizo skewers available for those who want to eat before a night of drinking and socialising.
****** WANT TO WATCH THE EUROS? ******
Fitzsimons, 21-22 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
As we already mentioned most bars in Temple Bar are full of tourists, which is fine but when you come to Dublin you want to mix with Irish people. During your trip you may feel the urge to watch sport, if that is the case, then this is the place to be. They show all big sporting events on their numerous screens which includes rugby and the English Premier League. If you are lucky enough to be in the city when Ireland play England then head to Fitzsimons as the atmosphere is electric.
In the evening the there is a different type of music on each of five floors, and if you want a break from dancing why not head up to the the roof terrace for a relaxing drink.
****** THERE FOR THE VIEW! ******
Gravity Bar, St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8
This bar provides the best views in the city centre and you will be able to enjoy an excellent pint of Guinness, mainly because it is above the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’ Gate Brewery. The bar is always full of tourists who have traipsed around the museum, and are enjoying a hard earned pint. The spectacular 360 degree views of Dublin, make fighting the crowds worthwhile. The tour of the brewery is a little expensive, but when you buy your ticket you are rewarded with a complimentary pint in the Gravity Bar at the end.
****** OUT OF TOWN! ******
Gibney’s of Malahide, New Street, Malahide, Co. Dublin
A famous pub in the beautiful seaside village of Malahide, which can be found in North Dublin. The Gibney family first opened in 1937, and it is full of locals seven days-a -week, many of whom will be enjoying many pints of the black stuff. As well as being near the sea, Gibney’s is a location that is well worth visting for its’ authenticity and local charm, especially on a Friday night when it is full of people celebrating the end of the working week.
Johnnie Fox’s, Ballybetagh Road, Dublin 18
An incredibly popular pub with both locals and tourists, it can be found in Glencullen on top of the Dublin mountains and is the city’s highest pub. It provides beautiful scenery, what better than spending an afternoon drinking Guinness and enjoying the amazing views, and if you want to have something to eat why not sample the chef’s incredible Seafood Chowder.
This is a perfect place to enjoy some ‘Traditional Irish music’ as it is on offer every night, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons. If you want to try something different, then book a place at their ‘Hooley Night’ where you can enjoy have dinner, watch a show which includes some excellent dancing performances – An experience that you will not forget!
We are sure that if you find some of the best bars in Dublin you will certainly have an enjoyable time – sadly we could only include ten on this list but there are plenty more places to try including the very impressive ‘The Bank’, ‘The Foggy Dew’ or ‘The Front Lounge’.