I lived in Dublin for just under a year and its not exaggerating to say I spent at least 50% of my time there in a pub. Some of my best memories of the city are of nights out with friends or a conversation with a stranger over a pint.Ireland is pub culture and so a visit to this amazing country isn’t complete without a trip to a local pub. Whether you want to grab a casual pint after work with some friends or are looking to go on a tear until last call, I’ve put together a few of my personal favourites. This list doesn’t have any bars from the Temple Bar area (or Temple Bar itself). I’m a little biased because I had a bad experience the first time I went out there but I found this area expensive and lacking that authentic Irish pub feel.
Mulligans is hands down my favourite place to go for a pint. I was brought to this pub on my second day in Dublin for a mid-afternoon pint of Guinness – my first in Ireland. My host dad told me it served the best in Dublin, and I have to say, after taste-testing my way through many Dublin pubs, I have to agree. The pub is just beside the Liffey and the definition of a traditional Irish pub. Mulligan’s is more of an after-work drink kind of place and is filled with regulars that are more than happy to have a chat over a pint. I don’t think I have ever left this pub without having at least one fellow patron ask me where I’m from or tell me their niece/son/cousin moved out to Canada a few years back. It’s a great place for a quiet pint after a long day or to start your big night out. No trip to Dublin is complete without a pint of Guinness at Mulligans – trust me, you won’t regret it.
A little bit out from the city center, Whelan’s is probably the bar I spent the most time in while I was in Dublin. It’s a live music venue that hosts both ticketed and free events. The live music scene in Dublin (in all of Ireland, really) is incredible so even if it’s not Ed Sheeran doing a special performance, the musicians that perform are always so good! If you’re not up for buying a ticket to that night’s show, the front bar is always filled with a really fun crowd. I always loved going to Whelan’s because you never knew what the night would bring. When a friend from home came to visit, we went there her first night and ended up seeing an incredible 9-piece brass brand called Stomptown Brass that completely blew us away. Another night a friend and I somehow talked our way into the VIP section that was hosting a birthday and got some very delicious cake and champagne. For any fans of the book and movie PS I Love You, Whelan’s is also the bar used for the scene where the Gerard Butler sings to Hilary Swank. Whelan’s has the perfect environment to listen to music, dance, and chat up some strangers.
Oh Diceys. What can I say about the bar that has seen me at my best and worst moments? If you’re looking to meet a whole lot of internationals, this is the place to go. If you’re looking to get your dating game going, this is place to go. If you’re looking to get as drunk as possible for as little as possible, this is the place to go. I can safely say about 80% of the guys I dated in Dublin, I met in Dicey’s. It’s a really fun place but not exactly an authentic Irish pub. I put it on the list because it’s a major hang out for young people in Dublin and really great if you’re on a budget. Also because I spent a lot of time there. A lot. If you’re living in Dublin and not just visiting, I’d suggest making this one of your weekly hangouts. The drink deals are awesome.
The Ginger Man
I was brought to this pub on a date and I have to say, it was an awesome choice. Even though the guy didn’t make it past the first date, the bar definitely did so a big thank you to the Irish man whose name I cannot seem to remember (Sorry!). This place is great any night of the week but it’s great craic on a Friday or Saturday night. Located behind Trinity College, the crowd is a great mix of students, workers, and tourists. The prices are good and it’s got a solid selection of good beers and great food. It has three floors with lots of seating although it gets crowded enough on the weekends that seats are hard to come by. If you can snag some seats, it’s a great place to sit with friends and have a laugh. If you can’t, it’s a great time to take advantage of this bar’s incredibly social atmosphere and meet some people.
The Long Stone
2 words. Pool tables. My friend Silvia and I would stop here for a pint and a couple rounds of pool pretty much weekly. We used it more as a first stop on a night out while it wasn’t particularly busy. I don’t know too much about the atmosphere as the evening progresses but it seemed like it would be fun!
Although not a traditional Irish pub, this bar is where the Dublin Pub Crawl started every night. If you’re staying in Dublin for longer, I would completely recommend getting yourself this Pub Crawl wristband. You pay once (I think its 10 euro) and as long as you keep the wristband, you can join the crawl as many times as you want. You get one free pint at Workman’s with the crawl so it ends up paying for itself if you join more than twice. I would usually head to Workman’s to get my free pint and just stay once the rest of the crawl left. The bar itself is a lot of fun and gets really busy as the night goes on. It’s a maze of different levels and rooms but it tends to be busiest in the outdoor area, even in the colder months.
I would also suggest The Long Hall, Flannery’s, and O’Donaghues. I didn’t go to these as much but the few times I did were great and I could definitely see myself going back when I’m in Dublin again. There are so many pubs in Dublin and the best part is going on a bit of a crawl through the city to find your favorites. Let me know if there are any I’ve missed! I’d love to check out some new ones next time I visit.