I’m excited to share my picks for the best pubs in Dublin.
When I lived in Ireland, visiting the local watering holes was the perfect way to wind down after a long day. The cozy atmosphere, friendly locals, lively music, and, of course, pints of “the black stuff” make visiting Dublin’s famous pubs one of the best things to do in Dublin!
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13 Best Pubs in Dublin
The Temple Bar Pub
One of Dublin’s most famous pubs sits smack in the middle of the Temple Bar neighborhood.
The Temple Bar Pub is a famous pub in the Dublin city centre district that shares the same name. The bright red exterior of this pub is one of the most photographed places in Dublin and, to many people, is the quintessential traditional Irish pub.
The Temple Bar Pub has a long, proud history of being one of the most popular places for great pints, food, and music in Dublin.
The Temple Bar Pub is a great place to get a first taste of pub culture in Ireland. Bartenders and local patrons are friendly, live music places every night, and the location is hard to beat for convenience. It does tend to be more crowded than other pubs, though, especially in the summer peak season.
The Palace Bar
One of the best places in the Temple Bar area for Victorian Era vibes and elegance.
The Palace Bar exudes class with its stained glass skylights and rich oak and mahogany interiors. It’s still a humble Dublin pub for anyone and everyone, though, regardless of the upscale appearance.
This pub is a great place to sample Irish whiskey and even bring home a bottle or two. The Palace Bar also features spirited Irish music sessions, like other Dublin pubs in the city centre. If you’re into Irish music, it can be fun to “crawl” from one pub to the next, comparing the tunes.
👉 Pro Tip: Ireland has its own set of slang that may be a bit baffling at first. For instance, the Irish word for fun, craic (pronounced “crack”), may have you wondering about locals’ conduct. If the craic is good somewhere, there’s nothing illegal going on, just good times.
This pub in North Dublin is the perfect place to spend an evening with hearty food and lively entertainment.
The Celt is one of the most popular pubs in Dublin. It’s a great place to get a full helping of Irish culture via dinner and a show. The kitchen at The Celt serves traditional favorites such as beef and Guinness stew. There’s also an extensive collection of drinks to accompany the meal.
Some of Ireland’s best musicians gather to play traditional Irish music every night. There may even be Celtic dance performances on some evenings. Be sure to add this pub to your Dublin itinerary because there’s always something fun going on at The Celt.
Discover why The Cobblestone is “A drinking pub with a music problem.”
Another local favorite, The Cobblestone stands as a little pocket of traditional Irish culture amidst the industrial, hipster vibes of the Smithfield neighborhood of Dublin. There’s live Irish music here every night, with an emphasis on genuine musicianship and not just putting on a show.
One of the best features of The Cobblestone is its backroom. The backroom gets rented out regularly to a wide variety of events. Here you could find anything from American bluegrass to various forms of folk dancing!
My favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon when I lived in Dublin was to join a local Balfolk club for hours of traditional European dances.
👉 Pro Tip: Ireland has a thriving craft beer scene! While the Emerald Isle is famous for its porter, you can find all kinds of craft beers on tap at most pubs in Dublin.
The Brazen Head
Ireland’s oldest pub stands on the western end of Temple Bar.
The Brazen Head is, by far, Dublin’s oldest pub, being founded in 1198! The current “new” building (built in 1754) has been a go-to for locals and visitors alike. The Brazen Head wins, hands-down, the competition for the best pub to learn about local history.
Some would say, though, it’s still up for debate as to who serves the perfect pint. You won’t be disappointed in the drinks here, but you can learn one aspect of local lore: the proper pouring of Guinness. It’s an art form to some, and a “bad” pour is frowned upon. It’s all in good fun, though, as the Irish don’t take themselves too seriously.
This pub near St. Stephen’s Green is a hidden gem for music lovers.
O’Donoghue’s is one of the best pubs in Dublin if you love traditional Irish music. Local musicians, as well as others from around Ireland, gather here every night and some have even gone on to win international fame. Most notably, The Dubliners had their beginning playing music at this pub.
O’Donoghue’s also features cozy accommodations in addition to its eats, drinks, and tunes. Consider booking a room here if you’re looking for a place to stay in Dublin with immediate access to one of the most traditional Irish pubs in the city!
The Stag’s Head
This Victorian pub off of Grafton Street is a great place for a tall drink and tall tales.
The Stag’s Head sits right off Grafton Street, making it a great place to pop in for a drink during or after a day of shopping. There are 3 separate bars in the building and elegant Victorian-style decor throughout.
Like the other establishments in this article, The Stag’s Head features regular performances of Irish music. One distinctive feature, though, is Irish storytelling sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
The Irish have a way with words, and everything from traditional fairy tales to amusing everyday anecdotes takes on new life when a skilled storyteller spins the yarn.
The bright interiors of this Grafton Street pub chase away any gloomy weather (or moods)!
This pub just off Grafton Street is another great place to catch some craic. Like many older pubs in Dublin, Kehoes features Victorian-era interiors.
Here, though, the darker tones give way to lighter hues. Kehoes Pub is one of the best pubs in Dublin to visit in the often gloomy winters (and occasionally gloomy summers; weather in Ireland is unpredictable!).
📚 Related Reading: Dublin attracts tons of summertime visitors, but not as many during winter. This doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting the city then, though! Check out my article on the best time to visit Dublin to find out more!
Cafe en Seine
Grafton Street also serves as home to one of the classiest of Dublin pubs.
The Irish have a keen sense of humor, and it shows in the clever naming of this Dublin Pub. With stunning art deco interiors, delicious food, and some of the best cocktails in Dublin, it’d be insane to not pay it a visit.
While it may be more of a cocktail bar than a traditional Irish pub per se, it’s still got the same charm and friendly atmosphere that make Dublin’s pubs unforgettable.
The Long Hall
One of the best pubs in the city centre transports you back in time to the Victorian Era.
📍 Google Maps | 🍽️ Food Not Served | 📞 +353 1 475 1590
The Long Hall on South Great George’s Street is another of the older Dublin pubs, being founded in 1766. It’s easy to get to, and right next door to major attractions such as Dublin Castle. The Long Hall has some of the best Victorian vibes, featuring dark wood interiors and red walls, as well as red leather stools.
Just a little further north on South Great George’s Street, the George’s Street Arcade offers a wide variety of goods both vintage and modern. The Long Hall makes for a great place to unwind a little after perusing the wares at the arcade.
This Temple Bar pub has had many names but has remained a great place for pints and craic.
The pub now known as the Norseman has gone through a few name changes in its history. Originally founded as The Wooden Man Tavern, the pub was marked by a carved figure of a Viking standing outside on the street corner. Later on, the pub changed its name to Farrigans, after a character from The Dubliners by James Joyce.
The Norseman offers accommodations as well as delicious food and drinks and spirited live music. Its central location in Temple Bar also makes it a great place to use as a home base when exploring Dublin.
👉 Pro Tip: With so many pubs, the question of safety naturally arises. The Dublin city centre has the highest concentration of pubs and may get a bit dicey towards closing time (2:30 am). For more on this subject (and others), see my guide “Is Dublin Safe for Travel?”
This pub near St. Stephen’s Green is one of the best pubs in Dublin for a pint and a pizza!
Toner’s is another great place to get that unique Irish pub experience. The interiors are dark and cozy, live music often plays, and there’s always something good on tap. Toner’s does have a few things that set it apart from other pubs in Dublin, though.
For one, there is an airy beer garden out back for a little fresh air and a peaceful pint on a long summer day. Toner’s also has a different menu than the typical Irish pub, serving pizza from the pizzeria next door.
Standing a stone’s throw off O’Connell Street, this newer pub specializes in the Irish “bagpipes.”
This was one of my favorite pubs in Dublin to pass the time in, along with O’Donoghue’s. The location is great, right around the corner from the bustling O’Connell Street.
The atmosphere is also as lively and as friendly as any long-established pub. There’s also great music here. So, what sets it apart?
The sessions here regularly feature the uilleann pipes. The uilleann pipes have a quieter, lighter tone than the Highland pipes most people are familiar with, so they’re perfectly suited for snug indoor settings. Many of the staff speak Irish Gaelic, and the use of the language is encouraged here, so it’s a great place to practice or pick up a few new phrases!
FAQs About Dublin Pubs
What is the most well-known pub in Dublin?
The Temple Bar Pub is the most well-known pub in Dublin.
Thanks a million for reading my guide to the best pubs in Dublin! For some great advice on getting around Dublin, check out my article on renting a car in Dublin!
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