If there is one thing that most people expect when visiting Dublin, it is enjoying a pint at one of the many, MANY pubs around town. At Dublin’s heart lies its diverse array of pubs and bars, each with its own unique atmosphere and story to tell. Picture yourself sipping a creamy Guinness at a centuries-old pub, surrounded by the warmth of wooden interiors and the sound of traditional Irish music. Dublin can certainly promise a rowdy and fun experience to visitors!

In this pub guide, I take you on a tour of Dublin's top bars, highlighting what makes each one special and why they deserve a spot on your must-visit list. 

From historic establishments that have stood the test of time to trendy spots that cater to a contemporary crowd, the pub scene in Ireland's capital city offers something for everyone. Exploring Dublin's best pubs and bars is not just about the drinks; it's about the experience! The city's pubs are the perfect place to enjoy a pint, listen to live music, and soak in the friendly, welcoming spirit that Dublin is famous for. Whether you're seeking a lively night out, a quiet corner to chat with friends, or a deep dive into Ireland's storied brewing history, you'll find it in Dublin's eclectic and enchanting pub scene.

Ultimate Guide to the Best Pubs and Bars in Dublin

Temple Bar Neighborhood

The Palace Bar

There are a seemingly endless assortment of pubs in the Temple Bar neighborhood, most of which are touristy, loud, sticky and smelly. Not my vibe. If you walk slightly further down Fleet Street, you’ll find the Palace Bar. I found out about this place on a whisky walking tour of Dublin. The bar has been owned and managed by the same family for nearly a century, which is evident in the lovingly cared for Victorian interior. There is a beautiful stained glass skylight, shelves lined with old books, and a timeless ambiance in wallpaper-clad whiskey palace upstairs. The knowledgeable staff can offer suggestions on Irish whiskey, if you aren’t sure what to order.

Ha’penny Bridge Inn

When you just want a pint of Guinness in a locally loved pub, take a seat at the bar inside the Ha’Penny Bridge Inn. Similar to the Palace above, this pub has an authentic feel in the Temple Bar neighborhood that isn’t overly crowded with bachelorette parties or rowdy drunk hoards. Located along the river, there is a small patio out front if you’re able to snag a table.

The Temple Bar Pub

By far the most famous bar in the neighborhood is Temple Bar. The iconic red exterior covered in twinkle lights is instantly recognizable. Yes, it might be the most touristy of Dublin’s famous pubs, but the Temple Bar pub is worth a visit just for the experience. This eponymous pub is famous for its lively ambiance and vibrant crowd. Expect to pay around double the normal beer prices here, clocking in at the most expensive pint of Guinness you'll find in Dublin.

Around George’s Street Arcade

Banker’s Bar

If you’re looking for a calmer vibe than the Temple Bar Pub, check out Banker’s Bar just a few blocks away. It has the same iconic red exterior with twinkle lights, but about half the crowds and WAY less rowdy. Plus, you'll save yourself several Euros on a pint here. Known for its warm hospitality, classic pub fare, and regular live music sessions, it's a popular spot for both locals and tourists looking to enjoy a pint and some good craic (the Irish word for fun!).

O’Neils Pub

Spread across three stories, O'Neills is a historic pub that exudes old-world charm and a friendly vibe. I always get the feeling that this is a locally loved spot, and I hear far more Irish accents here than I do at many of the bars in Temple Bar. I like to come to O'Neils for live music! Famous for its extensive selection of beers and hearty Irish dishes, this bustling pub is a great place to experience traditional Irish culture in a cozy, welcoming ambiance.

Stags Head

Nestled in the vibrant area of Dame Court, the Stags Head is renowned for its Victorian-era décor, including stained glass windows and a beautifully carved mahogany bar. And you’ll see the massive Stag mounted above the bar, dedicated to the name of the bar. This iconic pub is known for its rich history, lively atmosphere, and excellent pints of Guinness, making it a favorite among both locals and visitors.

Outside Dublin City Center

Brazen Head

Although slightly outside the normal Dublin bar crawl scene, the Brazen Head claims to be the oldest pub in Dublin. Though the current building was built in 1754 as a coaching inn, you’ll notice a grand painted parchment on the Brazen Head’s entrance on Lower Bridge Street declaring that it dates back to 1198. It is a Dublin institution! While often busy with tourists, I especially like the beer garden here. Plus, there is live music seven nights a week from 9pm.

Guinness Storehouse & Gravity Bar

Rated the top tourist experience in the WORLD in 2023, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse is Dublin's premier attraction for beer lovers. You’ll need to reserve tickets several days in advance, and be prepared for crowds, especially if you’re going on the weekend. Famous for its interactive exhibits, you’ll wander your way through the Guinness Brewery until the highlight – the Gravity Bar. Offering panoramic city views, the Gravity Bar is a stunning spot to sip on a perfectly poured pint of Guinness. The Storehouse provides a fascinating journey through the history and brewing process of Ireland's most famous stout.

Devitt’s Pub

For a true neighborhood vibe, I recommend Devitt's Pub in the Camden Street neighborhood. I think it offers a quintessential Irish pub experience with a welcoming atmosphere, great pub food and a classic pint of Guinness. Their Guinness stew is excellent! This pub also features live traditional music sessions most nights of the week.

Whiskey Bars

Roe and Co Distillery

Ireland has a proud history of whiskey distilling, and nowhere is that more true than Roe and Co. This was the first distillery in Ireland to begin distilling, although the Bushmills Distillery had its license earlier. The late 1800s was the heyday for Irish distilling, far exceeding production over nearby Scotland. Roe and Co was known around the world, and the family was exceptionally wealthy at the time.

That changed in 1922 with the combined impact of Irish independence and American prohibition. It was a one-two gut punch to the Irish whiskey industry, which to this day has not fully recovered, especially when compared to Scottish whiskey production. However, the Roe and Co distillery has recently reopened in a gorgeous space directly across from the Guinness factory. They have absolutely nailed the aesthetic, with mint green and gold accents throughout the distillery. You can take a tour, do a tasting, or simply drink at the art deco industrial bar. 

Jameson Distillery

By far the most famous name in Irish whiskey is Jameson. In Dublin, you can visit the original distillery! Situated in Smithfield, the Jameson Distillery offers a polished and educational experience focused on Ireland's famous whiskey. There are lots of different tour options, which you'll need to book in advance. Or, you can just opt for a drink at their beautifully styled bar. Known for its informative tours, interactive exhibits, and whiskey tastings, this iconic distillery is a must-visit for whiskey enthusiasts eager to learn about the rich heritage of Jameson.

Wine Bars

Allta

If beer isn’t quite your thing, grab a glass of wine (and maybe some dinner too) at the lovely Allta. They offer tasting menus with pairings, or you can simply grab a glass while enjoying their patio and terrace. There is a cocktail menu as well, and you shouldn’t overlook it. There are some creative seasonally inspired cocktails to enjoy, like a rhubarb margarita or the bold betty’s sidecar.

  • Address: 1 Three Locks Square, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, D02 A5W7, Ireland
  • Website: https://www.allta.ie/

Loose Cannon

Loose Cannon is a tiny wine bar known for its curated selection of natural wines and artisanal cheese. There is always a crowd hanging around in front of the shop on lively Drury Street. The relaxed vibe and knowledgeable staff make it a perfect spot for wine enthusiasts to unwind and savor unique pairings. Their cheese plates are epic or you can grab one of the grilled cheese (or toastie) sandwiches to go.

  • Address: 1 Three Locks Square, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, D02 A5W7, Ireland
  • Website: https://www.allta.ie/

Have thoughts or questions about Dublin’s bar scene? Tell me in the comments!

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