Dublin: Your ultimate nightlife guide

by Christine Orford

Nights out in Dublin are something special. When dusk descends, Dubliners know how to have fun. Join them to hear the uilleann pipes for the first time, dance ‘til the wee hours, sample delicious microbrews and much more.

Craic agus ceol

A seisún in the CobblestoneOne of the most unique experiences you can have is to enjoy craic agus ceol (fun and music) in a traditional Dublin pub.

Every single night, The Cobblestone comes alive with live music. On a typical visit, you might hear sean-nós singing, uilleann pipes and lots more besides.

On the other side of the Liffey, The Liberty Belle is a tiny pub in the shadow of the Guinness Storehouse. If you’re there on a Friday night, squash in with the locals and listen to artists perform old Irish songs. You might even be invited behind the bar to learn how to pour a pint of Guinness.

Perfect pints

A proper pint in Mulligan’sMany Dubliners consider themselves beer connoisseurs. As well as the ubiquitous Guinness, lots of pubs now boast lots of craft beers, too.

Some are more authentic than others, but you can always trust gastropub L. Mulligan Grocer to stock the good stuff. They even suggest beer pairings with every starter or main (and whiskey pairings with every dessert) on their delicious menu.

Near St Stephen’s Green, Against the Grain has dozens of local and international options to choose from and if you can’t make up your mind, you can sample four different beers on a tasting bat. This popular bar is packed Thursday through Sunday, but if you happen to catch it quiet, choose a board game to play while you enjoy your tipple.

Dance to the beat

Dancin’ at the disco, bumper to bumperWith a thriving electronic music scene, Dublin’s a great place to go dancing.

Already attracting brilliant local and international electronic acts, Wah Wah Club has been making waves since opening in September 2016. But if you go on a Friday or Saturday night, be prepared to queue.

Every Sunday, the basement of The Chelsea Drugstore is taken over by Dublin’s handsome Discotekken DJs. With no cover charge, a wonderful cocktail selection and an eclectic mix of music, drop by to discover what the locals are dancing to.

Lights, camera, action

Comfy seats in the Light House CinemaIf you’re in the mood for a flick, why not watch a blockbuster in the oldest cinema in Dublin? The Savoy, which was built way back in 1929, is decked out with red velvet curtains and feels like a treat anytime you go. It’s on iconic O’Connell Street and classic ‘old man’ pub Madigan’s is next door so you can grab a Guinness before the show.

For something a little different, check out Light House Cinema. The offering here includes hip new films, cult classics, live screenings from New York’s Metropolitan Opera and much more.

The Rocker

Close to the band at Whelan’sU2, Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher… This city has produced some of the world’s biggest rock stars, so it’s no wonder that it’s also got a rocking nightlife.

Whelan’s is an intimate live music venue where lots of acts play just before hitting the big time. Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave and Bloc Party have all graced the stage. Maybe you’ll see the next big thing on your visit.

If you like your music heavier, get your fill of goth rock, heavy metal and more in Fibber Magees. With frequent drinks specials, it’s also a good spot for a headbanger on a budget.

Where to stay?

Generator Hostel DublinDublin is packed with excellent hostels, so you know you’ll get a comfy sleep after your night out. Barnacles Temple Bar House is right beside the Liffey, in the heart of one of the busiest nightlife areas in the City Centre.

Only steps away from O’Connell Street, Jacob’s Inn is modern hostel with free Wi-Fi, breakfast and walking tours. Elsewhere, Generator Hostel Dublin is about 10 minutes from town and whips up tasty food, attracting guests and locals alike.


Thanks to Jeremy Keith and Seamus Walsh for use of their great images under the Creative Commons license, as well as Discotekken, Light House Cinema and L. Mulligan. Grocer..

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