Dublin in detail

Drinking & Nightlife

If there's one constant about life in Dublin, it's that Dubliners will always take a drink. Come hell or high water, the city's pubs will never be short of customers, and we suspect that exploring a variety of Dublin's legendary pubs and bars ranks pretty high on the list of reasons you're here.

Pubs

The pub – or indeed anywhere people gather to have a drink and a chat – remains the heart of the city's social existence and the broadest window through which you can experience the essence of the city's culture, in all its myriad forms. There are pubs for every taste and sensibility, although the traditional haunts populated by flat-capped pensioners bursting with insightful anecdotes are about as rare as hen's teeth and most Dubliners opt for their favourite among a wide selection of trendy bars, designer boozers and hipster locales. But despair not, for it is not the spit or sawdust that makes a great Dublin pub but the patrons themselves, who provide a reassuring guarantee that Dublin's reputation as the pub capital of the world remains in perfectly safe (if occasionally unsteady!) hands.

Bars & Clubs

Dubliners like to throw down some dance-floor moves, but for the most part they do it in bars equipped with a late licence, a decent sound system and a space on the floor. It's all changed from even a decade ago, when clubbing was all the rage: these days fewer people pay to simply go dancing, preferring instead the option of dancing in a bar they've been in most of the evening. DJs are an increasingly rare breed, but the ones that thrive usually play it pretty safe; the handful of more creative DJs (including occasional international guests) play in an increasingly restricted number of venues.

The busiest nights are Thursday to Saturday, and most clubs are free if you arrive before 11pm. After that, you'll pay between €5 and €10.

Cafes

Dublin's coffee junkies are everywhere, looking for that perfect barista fix that will kill the cravings until the next one. You can top-up at any of the chains – including that one from Seattle (with multiple branches throughout the city centre) – but we reckon you'll get the best fix at places such as Clement & Pekoe, Brother Hubbard, Wall and Keogh and Kaph.

Best Lists

Drinking & Nightlife

  • Grogan's Castle Lounge Favourite haunt of Dublin's writers and painters.
  • Toner's Closest thing you’ll get to a country pub in the heart of the city.
  • Kehoe's Atmospheric pub in the city centre.
  • Long Hall One of the city's most beautiful and best-loved pubs.
  • No Name Bar Great bar in a restored Victorian townhouse.
  • John Mulligan's Established in 1782, this old boozer is still going strong.

Pint of Guinness

Choice of Beer

Musical Pubs

Local Haunts

New Bars

Club Nights

  • Grand Social Open, free jazz jam session on Monday.
  • Workman's Club Indie, house and disco in different rooms on Friday.
  • Mother Disco, electro and pop on Saturday…not for the faint-hearted.
  • Whelan's Electric acts on Thursday.

DJ Bars

  • Whelan's Classic and contemporary rock.
  • Dice Bar Dive bar with an eclectic range, from rock to lounge and dance.
  • Bernard Shaw Great DJs playing a mix of tunes.
  • Workman's Club Regular line-up of excellent DJs.
  • Wigwam Basement bar with rockin' DJs.

Traditional Pubs

Terraces

Hotel Bars

By Neighbourhood

Need to Know

Opening Hours

Last orders are at 11.30pm from Monday to Thursday, 12.30am on Friday and Saturday and 11pm on Sunday, with 30 minutes' drinking-up time each night. However, many central pubs have secured late licences to serve until 1.30am or even 2.30am (usually pubs that double as dance clubs).

Made to Measure

  • When drinking beer the usual measure is a 'pint' (568mL).
  • Half a pint is called a 'glass'.
  • If you come to Ireland via Britain and drink spirits, watch out: the English measure is a measly 25mL, while in Dublin you get a whopping 35mL, nearly 50% more.

Tipping

The American-style gratuity is not customary in bars. If there's table service, it's polite to give your server the coins in your change (up to €1).