Live music in Dublin is a natural fit, offering everything from blues and soul to hip hop, rock and roll, classic jazz and of course traditional Irish pub songs. Dublin comes alive after dark and its music scene is astounding in just about every era, whether it's classical, traditional, contemporary or cutting edge experimental. From dive bars to elegant concert halls, a live music experience in Dublin is one you won't soon forget.

    Music is part and parcel of Dublin's heart and soul, and world-famous acts, as well as young upstarts, sweep through its clubs. Raise a pint, sing your lungs out, and check out some of the best clubs, bars and halls to see live music in Dublin.


    National Concert Hall

    See all forms of composed and classical music

    The National Concert Hall is in the heart of the old Georgian centre and offers a chance to see a classical music concert in one of the nation's premier venues. The main auditorium seats up to 1,200 people and features a gigantic organ behind the main stage. An adjoining theater, the John Field Room, hosts small recitals of around 250. Finally, the Carolan Room is sometimes used for small, intimate shows of just about 100 people. Every variety of composed music from classical to contemporary is held here.

    Legendary musicians and singers from all over the world have held court here. It's only about 15 minutes north of the city centre.

    Location: Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin's, Dublin, D02 N527, Ireland

    Phone: +353 1 417 0000


    photo by Joseph Mischyshyn (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified



    See a folk show at the Dublin CBGB

    Whelan's is hands-down Dublin's answer to CBGB in New York, but instead of hosting punk rock bands, it's famed for building the careers of folksy singer-songwriters. Ireland is well-known for this genre of music, and this small 450-seat club offers an intimate vibe that builds on the mystique of distinctly Irish singers where musician and audience feed off each other. If you're looking to catch your favourite up-and-coming YouTube artist here, get tickets in advance or arrive very early. Otherwise, you risk being one of the few hundred souls that couldn't get in.

    Whelan's is a fun, intimate, and genuine spot with a vibe that can't be beaten. It's only about 15 minutes south of the city centre.

    Location: 25 Wexford St, Portobello, Dublin 2, D02 H527, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 5 pm to 1.30 am, Friday–Saturday from 5 pm to 2.30 am, Sunday from 5 pm to 1 am

    Phone: +353 1 478 0766


    photo by Lynchboy (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    The Workman's Club

    Discover the spirit of indie

    The Workman's Club is a multipurpose venue in the heart of the Temple Bar neighbourhood in a Georgian building and offers a premier location for all genres. Here, you'll discover the best in local indie music, hard rock, spoken word artists, comedy shows and even EDM club shows. The main floor has a capacity of 300 and offers 2 bars plus a rooftop terrace bar that offers great views and better burgers. The bars and terrace double the capacity. If you're looking to check out the true spirit of indie, this is it.

    You never know what you'll get when you pop in here, so keep an open mind. It's also right in the heart of the South Side city centre.

    Location: 10 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 VX36, Ireland

    Open: Tuesday from 3 pm to 11 pm, Wednesday–Monday from 3 pm to 3 am

    Phone: +353 1 670 6692


    photo by N Chadwick (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    The Button Factory

    Discover Dublin's go-to rock and world venue

    The Button Factory in the heart of the Temple Bar neighbourhood is a state-of-the-art hub for live music and a go-to location for everything from rock to world music. The big stage and tons of floor space make for a venue that's both spacious and intimate at the same time. Big names hosted here include Ghostpoet, Nightmares on Wax and George Fitzgerald, among others. It doesn't restrict the space to big-name underground acts, however. It's also played host to many hot up-and-comers from the local scene.

    The Button Factory is the place to go if you want the iconic locale for great music. It's a 10-minute walk from downtown in the heart of the South Side city centre.

    Location: Curved St, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

    Phone: +353 1 670 9202


    photo by Number55 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    The Grand Social

    Grab a cocktail at a local landmark

    The Grand Social has long been praised as a spectacular music venue and is a local landmark for cracking club nights, live music and great beer and cocktails. This place has a huge main floor and boasts both a beer garden and a cocktail bar on the roof. For football matches, the club boasts dual screens to watch, so it has poised itself as more than just a music venue, but a hub for local entertainment. Other events held here include weekly Table Quiz matches, weekly Jazz Jams, regular DJs and other fun.

    Some of the names that have graced the stage here include Gruff Rhys and Primal Scream. You'll find it in the North Side City Centre.

    Location: 35 Liffey St. Lower, North City, Dublin 1, D01 C3N0, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 9 am to 10.30 pm, Thursday from 9 am to 11 pm, Friday–Saturday from 9 am to 12.30 am, Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +353 1 677 1224


    Bad Bobs

    Catch a local DJ in a 5-storey Victorian house

    Bad Bobs in the Temple Bar neighbourhood is decked out in a Victorian house offering 5 floors of eating, drinking, partying, music and celebration of life. Whether you're coming here for a DJ spinning the latest hits, for live rock or acoustic folk bands or you just want to grab a build-your-own-burger and have a craft cocktail, Bad Bobs has you covered. The nightclub where you can catch the live music and DJs spans the first two floors of the venue. This is also where you'll find handcrafted speciality cocktails that are out of this world.

    For a quieter vibe, you can check out the posh VIP lounge or hit up the rooftop terrace. It's in the South Side city centre.

    Location: 35-37 Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 Y891, Ireland

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 5 pm to midnight, Friday from 4 pm to 3 am, Saturday from 3 pm to 3 am

    Phone: +353 1 677 8860


    3Olympia Theatre

    Take in a superstar show in elegant surroundings

    3Olympia Theatre is a stunning traditional theatre that has been here since 1879, offering a luxurious, upscale experience to catch some of the biggest legendary names in music. Just a few of the artists that have graced the stage here include people like Kris Kristofferson, REM, Billy Connolly and Adele, among others. The velvet-upholstered seats, gold-gilt décor and classically-appointed stage give the feel of seeing a pop concert in an opera house. This luxurious theatre in the city centre's Temple Bar district offers 1,200 seats and sees artists that could play much larger venues with not a bad seat in the house.

    Besides music, the theatre hosts children's shows, stand-up comedy and many other types of shows.

    Location: 3Olympia Theatre, 72 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 K135, Ireland

    Phone: +353 1 679 3323


    photo by Paradoctor (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    O'Donoghue's Pub

    See the spot where the Dubliners were founded

    O'Donoghue's Pub offers traditional Irish music with great beer, good spirits, a boisterous vibe and a location famed as the spot where The Dubliners were formed. If you're into classic Irish pub music, shanties or just a bit of good craic, you're sure to have a good time here. Even without an act scheduled, at some point, someone will call for silence and you'll hear a bow across a fiddle, then one after another, musicians will join the fray for an outstanding jam session of traditional Irish folk-rock music.

    Many folks come to Dublin looking for the "traditional" or "classic" Irish pub experience; O'Donoghue's is where they find it. It's along St. Stephen's Green in the South Side city centre.

    Location: 15 Merrion Row, Dublin, Ireland

    Open: Sunday from 11 am to midnight, Monday–Thursday from 10 am to midnight, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 1 am

    Phone: +353 1 660 7194


    photo by BKP (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    The Cobblestone

    Join in on a traditional seisiún

    The Cobblestone is in every way a classic, old-fashioned Irish Pub with a busy bar crammed with taps, dark wood panels and informal live jam sessions with great local artists. This is a venue where you come to hear traditional Irish folk music played off the cuff while generations of thirsty Dubliners raise a glass in toast. The music is often in the form of a classic seisiún, or jam session in which you can join to play along if you're a musician.

    If you're too shy, you can attend a special "Wednesday Balaclava" session where you'll get lessons on how to improvise with others. It's about an 8-minute drive from the city centre.

    Location: 77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin, D07 TP22, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 4 pm to 11.30 pm, Friday from 4 pm to 12.30 am, Saturday from 1.30 pm to 12.30 am, Sunday from 1.30 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +353 1 872 1799


    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    The Academy, Middle Abbey Street

    From punk and metal to EDM, jam at this thumping club

    The Academy on Middle Abbey Street is a full-on nightclub and live music venue hosting everything from international acts to local unsigned bands. The club is divided into 3 different areas and offers up an eclectic events schedule where most people can find something to suit their tastes. You can catch a top-notch roster of live musicians or head for a club night where outstanding DJs will spin hits of different eras in themed nights like Neon Fridays and Circus Saturdays.

    This is a spot where, whether you're looking for grunge, punk, hip hop, house music or EDM, you might well find it. It's dead in the heart of the Dublin city centre.

    Location: 57 Middle Abbey St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 W573, Ireland

    Phone: +353 1 877 9999


    photo by Mx. Granger (CC0 1.0) modified

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