This guide to the most iconic pubs in Dublin will run through a clutch of the very finest in the Irish capital. A fun-loving town of historic drinking holes and hidden Gaelic taverns warmed by open fires, it's got some seriously enticing places to glug a pint of Guinness and chat the night away.

    Standouts of Dublin’s longstanding pub culture include places that were once the haunt of poets and playwrights, rollicking traveller hangouts, and sports pubs that really get going when rugby matches are on. The city also has plenty of classic Irish music venues with folk dancers and fiddle bands that last until the early hours.


    The Temple Bar Pub

    Arguably Dublin's most famous pub

    The Temple Bar Pub is one of the most iconic pubs in the Irish capital. Scratch that – it's one of the most iconic drinking holes on the entire Emerald Isle. It sits in the beating heart of its namesake district, the lively Temple Bar area, which is Dublin’s nightlife hub.

    A charming exterior of red-painted signage picked out in gold lettering invites you in. It has a cosy interior with a bar positively brimming with whiskeys, ranging from Bourbon ryes to traditional Irish labels. There's a menu of Galway oysters and hearty pub dishes on offer, along with a regular array of live music. The Temple Bar Pub is not to be missed if you’re visiting Dublin.

    Location: 47-48 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 N725, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 10.30 am to 1.30 am, Thursday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 2.30 am, Sunday from 10.30 am to 1 am

    Phone: +353 (0)1 672 5286


    The Celt

    Dine and dance the night away in Dublin

    The Celt beckons patrons with a true hit of proper Irish hospitality on the northern side of the River Liffey. This Irish pub is wedged between the Georgian rowhouses of Talbot Street, but you should find it easy to spot thanks to its clover-green exterior and Gaelic-style frontage font.

    The inside is rustic, country stuff. You've got big flagstones on the floor and open fireplaces right next to a wood-carved bar. Night times see flute and Irish dance troupes take to the stage. You can also enjoy a pint with hearty dinners – think beef and Guinness stew, smoked haddock, and bangers and mash.

    Location: 81 Talbot St, North City, Dublin, D01 YK51, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 11.30 am to 11.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 12.30 am, Sunday from noon to 11.30 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 878 8655


    photo by Alberto Botton (CC BY 2.0) modified



    A long-running staple of Dublin’s pub scene

    Toners has been going since way back in 1734, making it one of Dublin’s most venerable pubs. It keeps stout-hungry pilgrims heading back to its location on Baggot Street in south Dublin throughout all seasons of the year.

    Toners is furnished with weathered pew seats that could easily have just been plucked from St Patrick's Cathedral. The doors creak and the stools are chipped and worn. That shabby-chic charm runs through into a huge outdoor space that gets positively raucous when Six Nations rugby games take place in the city.

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10.30 am to 11.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 12.30 am

    photo by Adam Bruderer (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Long Hall

    Pouring stouts since 1766

    The Long Hall will transport you back in time to the heyday of the Victorian era. The pub sits in the shadow of Dublin Castle on South Great George's Street, under the redbrick rises of historic rowhouses. Keep an eye out for its 2 big windows and red-and-white entranceways.

    Inside the joint is a kitschy mix of velveteen upholstery and scarlet walls. You'll notice many curious relics decorating the spaces – old blunderbuss rifles, relief murals that depict Russian wars from the 1800s, Art Nouveau friezes and glasswork. The Long Hall has been building a loyal following since 1766, so it gets quite busy in the evenings.  

    Location: 51 South Great George's Street, Dublin 2, D02 DV74, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from noon to 8 pm, Sunday from 12.30 pm to 8 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 475 1590


    photo by Adam Bruderer (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Palace Bar

    Get your Gaelic dancing up to scratch

    The Palace Bar is one of Dublin's legendary drinking holes. Tucked behind the pavements under an Art Nouveau lamplight on Fleet Street, it makes itself known with hardwood gateways plumed in plants and vines. Outside, a few casual stools dot the flagstones, offering no clue to the grandeur of the inside.

    That comes with a vaulted stained-glass dome that floods the entire place with shafts of dappled light. You'll drink under the gaze of portraits depicting Ireland's great poets and writers. If you drop by on the weekend, you get to enjoy some of the wildest Gaelic music presentations in the city.

    Location: 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 H950, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10.30 am to 11.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 12.30 am, Sunday from 12.30 pm to 11.30 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 671 7388


    photo by Keith Cooper (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Gravediggers

    A Dublin classic that's still off the beaten track

    The Gravediggers – also known by its full name, John Kavanagh The Gravediggers – promises to take you off the beaten path in Dublin. You'll have to skip the Temple Bar district and make for the northern side of town, where this old-school pub sits on the cusp of Ireland's National Botanic Gardens.

    Named after the workers of the next-door Glasnevin Cemetery, who used to drop by for post-graveyard pints, The Gravediggers is a quirky spot. There's no dancing or singing at this pub. It's a straight-up local drinking hole, with newspaper-flicking regulars and a surprising mix of European tapas and Irish fusion food on the food board.

    Location: 1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin, D09 CF72, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 10.30 pm, Sunday from 12.30 am to 10.30 pm


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



    Drink your way into Dublin's literary canon

    McDaid's is just about as whacky as they come. Once a morgue, then a chapel, then a gathering spot for the city's Moravian Church, it's now famed as one of the drinking haunts of Dublin's writing greats. The joint welcomes patrons on Harry Street in the buzzing middle of the city – keep your eyes peeled for its dangling Guinness sign and unique blue-black frontage.

    Not a large pub, McDaid's is intimate and moody, giving bookworms the chance to sip frothy stouts and whiskeys in the very same spots where artists like Brendan Behan and Flann O'Brien sat long before. Weekends are raucous, though there is a chilled space upstairs if you want to escape the crowds.

    Location: 3 Harry St, Dublin, D02 NC42, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10.30 am to 11.30 am, Friday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 12.30 am, Sunday from 12.30 pm to 11 pm.

    Phone: +353 (0)1 679 4395


    photo by WordRidden (CC BY 2.0) modified


    L. Mulligan Grocer

    Dine and drink in Dublin's hipster hub

    L. Mulligan Grocer is one of the tried-and-tested haunts of the boho area of Stoneybatter. It actually sits smack dab in the heart of that upcoming area, about a 10-minute walk from the banks of the River Liffey or a 20-minute walk from Temple Bar.

    You won't regret straying to this corner of Dublin for a visit to L. Mulligan Grocer, though. It's a fusion of a vintage Irish workaday bar and a creative kitchen. There's Guinness, but there are also craft ales. Meanwhile, the menu lists off wild-garlic chicken Kiev and scotch eggs, along with tempting desserts and curated whiskey labels.

    Location: 18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, D07 KN77, Ireland

    Phone: +353 (0)1 670 9889


    photo by William Murphy (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Peadar Kearney's Pub

    Meet, dance, drink and be merry

    Peadar Kearney's is one of the mainstay pubs in the vibrant Temple Bar part of Dublin. It's a single block from the banks of the Liffey down Eustace Street, where it sits behind a bright green façade on Dame Street.

    Travellers tend to love Peadar Kearney's, since it's everything most guidebooks promise. Jigging dancers, fiddles and flutes are the name of the game well into the night, while backpackers mingle with the Dubliners who've just finished work on weekend evenings. You also get that trademark Emerald Isle style – vintage artwork, mahogany tables, dusty tomes stacked in the alcoves.

    Location: 64 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 RT72, Ireland

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

    Phone: +353 (0)1 707 1890


    Jonnie Fox's

    Home of the Hooley Show

    Jonnie Fox's is a chance to swap the buzz of the metropolis for a taste of the more rural Emerald Isle. It's a drive of about 40 minutes through the rustling trees of the Ticknock Forest into the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. You know, just the sort of place you'll find leprechauns, not to mention kitschy barns turned rollicking folk pubs.

    The star of the show at Jonnie Fox's has to be the famous Hooley Show. It's a full evening of dining and drinking, complete with a session of professional Gaelic dancing to finish things off. The pub is also known for its filling Emerald Isle cooking – expect dishes like Galway oysters and mutton shanks in gravy.

    Location: Glencullen, Co. Dublin, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm, Friday–Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 295 5647


    photo by Itsharrophotography (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Joseph Francis | Contributing Writer

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