How to party in Dublin like a boss
Even though it falls on the expensive side of the European backpacker trail, Dublin has been always a great party spot full of international people enjoying the tremendous amount of pubs and, as locals say, having the craic! It was (and still is) one of the favourite destinations for stag and hen parties, and even though partying in Dublin is always attached to pubs, the nightclub scene rivals other European capitals. It is a bit more difficult to find though, but that makes it even more special.
Here are some of our recommendations to party the sh*t out of Dublin:
1. Pub crawling Temple Bar
Yes, going to Temple Bar might be one of those typical and touristy things to do in Dublin, but you have to do it. No matter what day of the week it is, you will find Temple bar crowded with people having a good time (yes, even on Monday nights). We would suggest to visit a few of the bars in the area, having a few pints of Guinness (or your poison of choice) here and there. A very good option is to book one of the famous pub crawls , where a friendly tour guide will take you and a bunch of other party goers from all over the world all around the bars and pubs in the area. We recommend this Pub , as it has the best drink special offers and it finishes the night with a free entry to a club (which would already cost you 10€ if you were to go on your own).
In case you want to do it yourself, here are some recommendations of pubs worth a visit in Temple Bar (apart from the actual Temple Bar Pub):
- The Auld Dubliner: an authentic Irish pub, with a beautiful façade, old school interiors and live traditional music. It is always filled with locals and tourists alike watering their mouths while having a good craic.
- The Porterhouse: a four stories brewery pub, with their own craft beer and live music. Can’t get any better than that, right? Well it can! It is also cheap for Temple Bar’s standards and even a “beer of the day” for 4€.
- Fitzsimons Temple Bar: another multi-level pub where you can find different music and a different atmosphere in each floor. Although the real gem of this bar is their rooftop terrace. You haven’t been in Dublin if you haven’t had a drink there!
2. Drink some local juices ;)
So, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Ireland? (apart from rain :D) Exactly! Guinness and Whiskey! You can’t leave Dublin without having tried at least one pint of Guinness and one shot of Jameson . You can find both all over the place and in literally any bar you go, so do try them. But just so you know, you can also try them directly where they are made. You can visit the Guinness brewery (which comes with a pint on their Gravity Bar) and also visit the Jameson Distillery , where you can have a comparative whiskey tasting. And if you are really into whiskey, there is a Whiskey Museum you can visit , which also has whiskey tasting included in the ticket (who said museums are boring?).
3. Visit the less touristy party areas
Even though a lot of Irish and Dubliners go to Temple Bar from time to time, there are other hot spots for partying that are more frequented by the locals (or by foreigners living in Dublin). Not far from Temple bar, we have the areas around South Great George’s Street and South William Street , with plenty of pubs to choose from. The most famous ones are:
- The Globe: casual and concurred pub that after midnight becomes part of the famous Ri Ra nightclub (pronounced Ree Raw). Careful, it can get seriously busy on weekends.
- Hogans: really trendy pub, with a laid back atmosphere, serenaded by quality DJs providing great music seven nights a week. A classic in Dublin.
- Bar with No Name: yes, the name of this pub is that it has no name. With a great beer garden and two rooms in what looks and feels more like a loft house party. It is definitely something different and unique in Dublin’s nightlife. You have to visit this place!
For those looking at clubbing, you should look at the Harcourt St. area . There you can find some of the famous nightclubs that stay open till 3:30 am, just a bit more than the pubs. And if you want to have a few pints in a pub before hitting the nightclub, check the neighbouring area of Wexford Street and Candem Street. The Bleeding Horse or Flannery’s should do the trick. As per nightclubs:
- Coppers Face Jack: or simply Coppers. It is without a doubt the most famous club in Dublin, almost an institution, and you better get there early if you don’t want to be queueing for a good while outside. Young and old alike get together in this club every weekend to dance, drink and “hunt” the hell out of the night.
- DTWO: it’s a nightclub for masses, with all your top chart hits and R&B, a heated Beer Garden, and a mixed crowd just having fun and dancing until they can’t move anymore. Definitely a fun place to be.
For those Techno lovers out there , I must warn you: Dublin might not be your city. You can find some techno gigs at The Button Factory from time to time, and Index ,… but you’ll need to check their programme for the night.
PRO TIP: Techno and House in Dublin are very underground , with illegal raves popping every weekend around the city in empty warehouses or at house parties. If you look for it hard enough through the night, you might be able to meet someone that invites you to join one of those parties, but it is a hit or miss. Your guide on the Pub Crawl might know about it ;)
4. Go to a Live Music venue/concert
The Cranberries, U2, Thin Lizzi, Rory Gallagher, Van Morrison, Sinéad O'Connor , and many other famous musicians are from Ireland. The Irish culture is heavily influenced and surrounded by music, and it is not unusual to find that the friendly Irish person you have just met in the pub knows how to play an instrument, sing or riverdance. The music scene in Dublin is huge. From buskers playing in every corner of the city centre (try Grafton street or Temple Bar), to concerts, live music or open mics every night in pubs across the city. There are also plenty of music venues with live shows and concerts, even during the week. You should definitely consider going to one. Here are the most famous music venues in Dublin:
- Whelan’s: An iconic venue in Dublin with a wide variety of Irish and international musicians concerts on offer and with a bustling pub both before and after the gigs, which helps to enhance the friendly and cosy experience.
- The Button Factory: right in Temple Bar, The Button Factory offers a very different selection of acts and genres, going from indie rock to house. A mid-size venue, there is always a lot of hype about the place no matter who’s performing that particular night.
- Vicar Street: with its seating capacity of 1,050 and a standing capacity of 1,500, the venue is quite spacious, all without losing the cozy atmosphere and feeling of closeness of each gig. And in addition to music, the venue is also famous for hosting famous stand-up comedians and comedy gigs.
5. Eat chips, pizza or kebab after the party
No, when the pubs close at 2:30am and kick everyone out, the party is not over yet. When the bouncers empty the crowded pubs, the fast food places around are the next target for those hungry people looking for comfort food before getting into a taxi to go home. Most bizarre and funny things you’ll see in a Dublin night will be at 3:00am in any “chipper” or pizzeria around Temple Bar, South Great George Street or Wexford Street. Make sure you try the chips with vinegar and salt (no need for the fish if you don’t want to).
PRO Tips for going out in Dublin
- If you want very cheap drinks (except for Saturdays), make sure you go around 18:00 to Dicey’s Garden (there is a cover fee after 19:00). With a juicy BBQ and all drinks - pints, bottles, jbombs and mixers - at 1.50€ on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 2€ on all pints and bottles on Thursdays, Fridays (till 10pm) and Sundays, the place is raving with students and Erasmus having fun.
- Start early! As pubs close between midnight and 2:30am, and clubs only letting you party till 3:30am, people in Dublin start their parties early, and most places start getting busy at around 20:00/21:00.
- There is a few specific pubs that at 2:30am close their doors but let the people inside party longer, even up to 5:00am in some cases . It’s only on weekends and not always, but you might try your luck . Check the Black Door Piano bar and the Liquor Room.