The 10 Best Bars In Old City, Dublin

Photo of Jillian Ellis
9 February 2017

Dublin City has of a mix of modern European class and traditional Irish charm. The Old City part of Dublin is packed with fantastic traditional pubs, often with live Irish music. Here are 10 of its very best bars.

The Temple Bar | © BKP/ wikicommons

The Temple Bar

Bar, Pub, Irish, $$$
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The Temple Bar © William Murphy/Flickr
The Temple Bar | © William Murphy/Flickr
Winner of the Irish Music Pub of the Year in 2012, The Temple Bar is one of most popular in Dublin. The bar hosts daily live music sessions of traditional Irish music to which there is no entrance fee. There is a smoking area called The Beer Garden which is surrounded by hanging plants. Additionally, there is a sheltered area for you to stay out of the rain. The bar has a collection of more than 450 whiskey varieties as well as international craft beers.

The Baggot Inn

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub
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The Brazen Head
The Brazen Head | © Jennifer Boyer/ flickr
The Baggot Inn is a snazzy pub where visitors can buy cocktails, making it the perfect place for a night out with the girls. The inn is a trendy, chic bar with designer lighting and gorgeous leather seating. The staff are very friendly and go out of their way to help customers, for example by reserving tables for large groups. They are also very efficient, and attend the table so that drinks orders can be made without even getting up out of your seat!

The Brazen Head

Pub, Bar, Restaurant, Irish, $$$
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Set in a coach house built in 1198, The Brazen Head is officially Ireland’s oldest pub. Its time-worn grey stone walls have a lot of charm and character. Literary figures such as James Joyce and Jonathan Swift, as well as well-known revolutionaries like Robert Emmet and Daniel O’Connell have been patrons of the bar in the past. To this day, famous faces can be seen in the bar such as Van Morrison and Garth Brooks.

The Palace Bar

Bar, Pub, Irish, $$$
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The Palace Bar | The Palace Bar © Juan Salmoral/Flickr
A beautiful Victorian bar with stained glass skylights and a timeless ambience, The Palace was built in 1823. The internal decor is still the same as it would have been 189 years ago. The stained glass windows form shafts of light across the dark mahogany walls on sunny days, making it one of the most magical bars to visit on sunny days. There are Romanesque arches and a small snug at the front of the bar where Michael Collins is said to have held meetings during the War of Independence.

The International Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
© Dave Walsh / VWPics / Alamy Stock Photo
This traditional Victorian bar has a theater upstairs where visitors can attend plays and comedy events (check their website for current events). The bar has retained its Victorian decor and charm, including an ornate, hand-carved reredos (a type of altarpiece) depicting Irish river gods. The bar was mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses and is the original meeting place of the Irish band, The Dubliners. Numerous comedians have performed at The International Bar, including Tommy Tiernan, Dara O’Briain and Neil Delamere.

McGrattans Café Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, Irish, $$$
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The Stag's Head
The Stag's Head | © William Murphy/ flickr
Celebrity photographs adorn the walls of McGrattans Café Bar. The bar is located in the heart of Dublin’s central retail area, and has events on Saturday nights which change from week to week. On Thursdays there is a cocktail night and on Fridays there is a late bar and after-work party. McGrattans’ interior decor is classy and rich with red walls, wooden walls and leather furniture.

The Stag's Head

Bar, Pub, Irish, $$$
Map View
Concealed through a passageway off Dame Street, The Stag’s Head feels like something of a hidden treasure. The wrought-iron chandeliers, polished granite and old barrels create a great atmosphere – perfect to impress on a first date. The restaurant is warm, cozy and comfortable and there is a good mix of visitors and locals at the bar. The bar scenes in the 1983 British film Educating Rita, starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters, were filmed at The Stag’s Head.

The Bank on College Green

The Bank on College Green’s brilliant and detailed decor consists of marble columns and detailed, colorful floors and an ornate cream ceiling. The furniture is made of polished wood and green leather and there is live piano music most nights. The exterior is FrancoScottish inspired and is one of Dublin’s rare examples of Scottish sandstone. The interior is an incredible symbol of merchant power, as it used to be the main banking area when the building was a bank.

20 College Green, Dublin +353 16770677


Bar, Pub, Snacks, Beer, $$$
Map View

The interior decor of Grogans pub is eclectic and thought-provoking. Artwork by local artists lines the walls and twice a year the walls are cleared to be replaced with new pieces. The pub hosts book events for those who are interested in book readings or recitals. Grogans pub has been on the go since 1899, but is still a popular and fun destination. This is quite a relaxed and quiet bar, and is the place to go if you want a calm drink.

Market Bar

Bar, Irish, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
A Spanish tapas bar in Dublin, The Market Bar has a no-music policy to create a really laid-back and chilled atmosphere. It is perfect for silly chats or serious catch ups. Skylights cover the ceiling of the restaurant and the original red brick walls display a lot of character. Visitors sit at rustic wooden tables adorned with flowers. Tapas treats such as baby potatoes and chorizo or goat cheese crostini can be bought while you have a pint or a glass of wine.

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