The Best Bars and Pubs in Temple Bar, Dublin

Dublin pub
Dublin pub | © Cinzia A. Rizzo/Flickr
Ciaran Lawler

Most visitors to Dublin inevitably find their way to Temple Bar – the most popular area of the city, and filled with a wide array of bars and restaurants. Great places to soak up some local atmosphere and culture, don’t miss some live music, which is performed most evenings. Here’s a roundup of 10 of the best spots to try.

1. The Temple Bar

Bar, Pub, Irish

The Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
© Philip Moore / Alamy Stock Photo
The Temple Bar is one of the most popular pubs in the district, and with good reason. Choose from a fine selection of local craft beer, as well as the usual international fare, and relax in the company of high quality traditional Irish musicians who play popular staples like ‘The Fields of Athenry’ and ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’. They take care to choose the musicians carefully, so you know you’ll get the best. Established in 1840, this pub is among the most frequently visited and photographed in the country.

2. The Foggy Dew

Bar, Pub, Irish

The Foggy Dew © Dani Figueiredo/Flickr
© Dani Figueiredo/Flickr
The Foggy Dew offers up a traditional atmosphere of conversation and quality beer in a more modern setting. Live music of varying genres is performed throughout the week, but the highlight for many visitors are the Sunday folk sessions, which feature many fine Irish musicians, who play traditional melodies and encourage the audience to participate. It is here that the true charm of the pub takes off, and you are transported to a world of communal joy and friendship.

3. The Brazen Head

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Irish

The Brazen Head © Ryan/Flickr
© Ryan/Flickr

Officially the oldest pub in Ireland, The Brazen Head dates all the way back to 1198, and it has left a lasting impression on Irish popular culture. James Joyce made reference to it in Ulysses, as did the satirist Jonathan Swift. When you enter this pub you are truly stepping back in time, as you become engulfed in the smells and sounds that have echoed through the imposing walls for over eight centuries – an experience unmatched by any other pub in the land.

5. The Palace Bar

Bar, Pub, Irish

The Palace Bar, a traditional Victorian pub in the city centre, Fleet Street, Dublin City, Republic of Ireland
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Victorian-era décor dominates the interior of this traditional pub located on Fleet Street, just off the iconic Temple Bar. Established in 1823, The Palace has a long sporting history and is a perfect place to step into on the day of a big match, be it in football, rugby or Gaelic games. Great Guinness and meaningful conversation are guaranteed on any day of the week, and visitors will certainly not be disappointed by any of the regular traditional music sessions performed by expert local musicians.

6. The Stag's Head

Bar, Pub, Irish

The Stags Head
© Greg Balfour Evans / Alamy Stock Photo
Stumble across this intimate and traditional pub on the corner of the narrow Dame Lane. The Stag’s Head is especially notable because of its long association with films and television. Many classic movies such as Educating Rita and more modern shows like Penny Dreadful were filmed there, so you may already have seen this pub without realising it. As you might expect, there is indeed a stuffed stag’s head positioned above the bar.

7. The Long Hall

Pub, Irish

The Long Hall © Miroslv Culjat/Flickr
The Victorian age comes alive as you enter this pub filled with local charm and undiminished character. A quiet and peaceful spot that gives you a flavour of what life was like in the old days, the brightly lit walls are lined with memorabilia from the past. You’d struggle to find a better place in town for drinking a pint of the black stuff.

8. The Auld Dubliner

Bar, Pub, Irish

The Auld Dubliner, Dublin © Misty Poynter/Flickr
© Misty Poynter/Flickr
‘Auld’ is Hiberno-English for ‘old’, and this pub offers some of that old Dublin charm, which entices customers from all over the world. Great conversation, from a mix of local and international clientèle, is the order of the day at The Auld Dubliner, as is an assortment of excellent musical acts from both home and abroad. Hearty pub grub such as Irish stew and coddle, are always served with a smile in this quaint gem of a pub.

9. Buskers Bar

Bar, Irish

This contemporary bar offers a refreshing change from the more traditional establishments that dominate Temple Bar. At Buskers Bar, cocktails and vodka are the order of the day, instead of Guinness and whiskey, and the venue has proven to be very popular with stag and hen parties from near and far. There is also an extensive menu with many dishes to choose from, including baked Irish salmon fillet and fried buttermilk chicken. Live music is performed almost every night by a wide variety of local and international musicians and the atmosphere is overall one of immense energy and vitality.
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