The Irish have a reputation for partying hardy, so it would seem Dublin nightlife would be a natural part of the city attractions. Maybe because it’s world-famous brew is just too tempting, but Dublin actually has a strict curfew on the length of time alcohol can be sold. Generally, bars are required to stop serving alcohol by 23:30, except on weekends when they close an hour later. The alcohol regulations have put a bit of a damper on the all-night party atmosphere, but there are still some lively spots for nighttime entertainment.
What to Expect at the Pub
When you want to drink in Dublin, you are usually expected to order your drinks from the bar. There are pubs that allow you to order from the table, but if you do, you should leave a tip for the waiter. Do not leave a tip if you are ordering straight from the bar.
The legal drinking age is eighteen. If you are young or have a young-looking face, you will probably be asked for ID. While most pubs stop serving by twenty four hundred hour, if your hotel has a bar, you can drink all night; as long as you don’t get too rowdy or rambunctious.
There are many clubs in Dublin, offering a variety of music, but there is usually a cover charge, especially on the weekends, when it can cost between Ï15‑20 for the entrance fee. Clubs generally stay open until 2:30 AM. Because the Dublin centre is pretty small, and this is where most of the night life makes its appearance, it can seem like those critical hours before midnight are a major block party. Dublin is a very safe city, but sometimes the party gets out of hand. If the mood begins to turn ugly, walk away. There will be plenty of opportunities for a lively nightlife scene by staying on the lighter side of entertainment.
If you want dark, murky and simplicity in its layout, you will find Anseo just to your tastes. The music ranges from retro rock, to soul, to alternative, which means there’s a whole lot of bump and grind going on. It’s very busy on the weekends, so if you want to find a table, be sure to arrive before 22:00 and settle back for a night of live entertainment.
The Indie music scene in Dublin seems to prefer quiet under-statements. Another popular venue is Whelans, which is like a keystone corner for musicians on their way to the top of the scene. The warm, wooden interior and laid-back atmosphere makes it a comfortable place to stop in for a pint of ale, as well as the perfect place to spend the evening circulating among the locals and promising musical talent.
George Street has a number of lively pubs, with friendly, dance oriented clubs springing up like weeds. These include The Globe, Georges and Sosumi, which gained their reputation as being trendy and fun loving. It all began when Hogan’s Bar first set out to be the official place for showing off your new threads, back in the 1990's. It was the first super-bar in the city. Originally, it was designed to be a place where you could enjoy a heady mixture of funk and jazz while warming up your dancing feet. When its competition began stealing the show, turning the entire street into the place to go, it lost its sophistication a bit as a jazz bar and gained another; as the main, late-night drinking bar. Quality background music is produced by DJ’s every night of the week.
There’s only one place to go if you want to get into the heart of Irish music. Winner of “Music Pub of the Year in Ireland”, the Merry Ploughboy is the first and only music venue in Ireland that is actually owned and run by the musicians themselves. With twenty-five years of experience, it’s no wonder it’s the most popular designation for tourists and locals alike. The pub features nightly live shows and fine Irish dining. Seep yourself in the traditional Irish experience in a setting that’s distinctly Irish in its appeal. Clap your hands and tap your feet to classic Irish ballads such as “Finnegan’s Wake”, “Irish Rover” and “Whiskey in the Jar”. It’s twenty minutes from the city centre, but you won’t have to drive. Shuttles are available for whisking you away into a realm where magic is believable and entertainment is as spontaneous as the twinkle in your eye.
If you don’t want to leave the centre but still want the traditional Irish experience, than gravitate to Temple Bar. Located on the south bank of the River Liffey, the neighbourhood is a feast of Georgian architecture, cobblestone streets and cultural enticements. It’s the location for the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, the Irish Film Institute and the Temple Bar Music Centre. The quaint, old city location has an outdoor food market, a book market and a designer market.
After dark, it’s a major centre for Irish nightlife, with a number of restaurants, bars and clubs. Evening revelry spills out into the streets as the music gets louder and the crowds more boisterous. Popular venues are the Temple Bar Pub, the Porterhouse, the Quay’s Bar, the Oliver St. John Gogarty and the Purty Kitchen. Stag parties and hen nights were once the popular attraction, but over recent years, these activities have been discouraged and are fading into the past. Partying can sometimes get rough, so winding up the evening at Temple Bar is often considered only for the brave.
The world-renowned national theatre was founded by WB Yeats. Although the theatre appears quite plain, it’s performances are unforgettable. Using only the effects of an acoustic makeover, the programme is a mix of Irish classics, established international names, and up and coming talent on the stage. Monday performances are the cheapest, but it’s a place to invest in any night of the week. Adjoining it is the Peacock Theatre, where promising writers and more experimental theatrical performances are staged.
Additional resources we recommend