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Whether You Go For The Music, The Atmosphere Or The Black Stuff, Dublin Has Something For Everyone



While the recession has hit the Dublin nightlife hard -causing the closures of some of our best music venues- it has by no means quashed the creative and musical side of the city that has continued to flourish regardless. Whether you're looking to sample some live Irish music, Indie bands or spend the night dancing to some of Europe's finest DJs there is something for everyone in Dublin clubs. Venues such as The Twisted Pepper and Whelan's have kept up a consistent standard of showcasing great music sourced from both around the world and our own isle. Meanwhile, if you like to concentrate more on what you are imbibing than what you're listening to make a beeline for Against the Grain or The Porterhouse and fill your glass with delicious craft beers. If you're looking for a taste of the country without having to travel for hours then simply hop upon the shuttle bus to Johnny Fox's in the Dublin Mountains. You'll be taken to Ireland's highest pub and back after last orders without a care in the world and you can sample the fresh air and the traditional music and dance as if you're deep in Connemara. Dublin pubs are renowned for having some of the best ambiance in the world, whether it's the music, the locals, the beer or the location there is bound to be something that catches your eye.


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This brewing gem opened the doors of its first branch in 1989 and hasn't looked back since. Sourcing some of the best beers from the continent as well as brewing their own, The Porterhouse now boasts five premises in Dublin, London and New York and their Plain Porter won the gold medal at the world brewing industry's most prestigious award last year. They brew an excellent stout in house, but offer a wide range of ales, lagers and seasonal beers to whet your appetite as well.

Local Expert tip: Try one of their home-brewed delights over the regular fare - you won't regret it.

Read more about The Porterhouse Temple Bar →


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Airport - Dub
Café en Seine
Photo courtesy of Café En Seine


Situated on Dawson Street the outside of this famous building doesn't give away what's in store for you on the inside. Café En Seine is an institution of the Dublin pub scene and the interior is a feast for the eyes. A three-story atrium filled with Doric columns, glass lanterns and statues. Expect to see Dublin's professionals kicking back after a hard days work before the thoroughfare increases throughout the evenings, this café morphs into a nightclub come 10pm.

Local Expert tip: Be sure to take a full tour of the interior of this bar because it is really unique.

Read more about Café en Seine →


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Outside the city
Johnny Fox's
Photo courtesy of thecolourblue


If the hustle and bustle of Dublin's city centre is getting to you and you would prefer to take your Guinness with a scenic panorama then head up to Ireland's 'highest' pub, Johnny Fox's in the Dublin mountains. The drive is about half an hour but you can take the Express Bus from several central locations to arrive in time for service and leaving after last orders. The pub features live traditional music every evening and its famous 'Hooley Night' features a top dance act; a welcome alternative to the city's busy pubs.

Local Expert tip: Make this visit easy for yourself by availing of the shuttle bus, that way you get to enjoy Ireland's highest pub to its fullest.

Read more about Johnny Fox's →


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Whelan's is a sprawling pub and music venue that's but a hop, skip and a jump away from Anseo. The interior is real old school Irish pub fare with a carved wooden bar and the 'Stone Man' a life size, drinking statue propped up against the bar. While the site has been operating as a pub for more than 200 years don't be fooled by its quaint décor; the venue itself has played host to some unbelievable artists such as Jeff Buckley and Nick Cave. It is still at the forefront of live music in Dublin and you will often find the artists staying after the gigs for a drink themselves.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Combining both classic Irish pub with a thriving music venue this is a great weekend spot.

Local Expert tip: Be sure to hang around the bar after any gigs because you may just get to meet your idols as they pause for a pint.

Read more about Whelan's →




Anseo is one of those pubs that makes you feel at home. It's cosy, with shelves of books should you wish to spend an afternoon drinking Guinness and slowly becoming unable to read coherently. The upstairs also plays host to the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club and some of Dublin's best-loved comedians will sometimes put on impromptu shows upstairs. Good drink selection, great music and an excellent atmosphere, Anseo is definitely worth settling down in for a pint or two.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The atmosphere really makes Anseo stand out - the perfect spot for a relaxed pint.

Local Expert tip: Be sure to search Anseo on Twitter to see if any of Dublin's best comedians are showing up for a surprise show that evening.

Read more about Anseo →




But a stone's throw from The Workman's Club, over the other side of the Ha'penny Bridge is The Grand Social. This club has recently become a mecca for live music and heavy drinking and it boasts a very impressive size. Voted Dublin's Best Live Music venue last year, the popularity of The Grand Social has gone from strength to strength and features excellent gig and DJ set listings. The main stage has an amazing draped ceiling above it, almost as if you're dancing under a psychedelic marquee. The beer garden also provides some quick food vendors to give you some sustenance before you continue raving.

Local Expert tip: Make sure you keep a hole of whoever you go with because this club can become a little labyrinthine at times.

Read more about The Grand Social →




Situated on the quays and overlooking the Liffey, The Workman's Club operates as both a venue for live music and comedy as well as a rarely empty club space. It's at times a little labyrinthine as it occupies 3 floors and a roof garden, each with many different rooms and areas and sometimes resembling a townhouse sitting room that's been overrun with people. The music is great, the cocktails are lethal and it's definitely one of the more affordable nights out in Dublin. Be sure to check out the other events on offer throughout the week as they usually reflect Dublin's music and culture quite well.

Local Expert tip: Have one of their Red Room cocktails and then try to remember what happened the night before.

Read more about The Workman's Club →




If you're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere and you consider yourself somewhat of a beer and ale aficionado then look no further than Against the Grain. This bar serves a wide range of ales, lagers and whiskeys, showcasing an impressive selection from both Ireland and the rest of the world. Whether you prefer draught or bottle there will be something to cater for your needs as well as a lively buzz come Saturday night. If you care about what you imbibe then this is the place to do it in.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Pubs all around Dublin are upping their game to create a new 'Irish Pub' and Agains the Grain is leading the pack

Local Expert tip: Try the Galway Hooker Ale on tap, it's delicious.

Read more about Against the Grain →


The Bernard Shaw
Photo courtesy of Secret Wars


'The Shaw' as it's known to its young, trendy clientele is the Dublin equivalent of London's Shoreditch pubs. Seemingly compact and indistinguishable from other pubs from the outside it's the sprawling beer garden inside where all the excitement is contained. The Blue Bus contains a pizzeria, the walls are covered in colourful graffiti and the pool table is rarely left unattended. This is the usual haunt for people to get in their drinks in before heading off to sample the city's clubs. The drinks deals are impressive, including good quality spirits and craft beers and the atmosphere is always excellent.

Local Expert tip: Get a pizza and a beer from The Big Blue Bus for ten euro, the perfect start to an evening.

Read more about The Bernard Shaw →


The Twisted Pepper
Photo courtesy of photographerpandora


Dublin has suffered some unfortunate losses in the club department but The Twisted Pepper has remained at the top its game. Consistently booking the some of the best, most hyped acts on the electronic music scene as well as supporting Dublin's music scene and putting on events to suit almost everyone's musical persuasions. The venue itself is over 3 floors and often fills each of its stages with different acts every Friday and Saturday. Its newest addition, The Rum Bar, offers a variety of delicious cocktails and a wide range of specialist rums to get the evening off to a great start.

Local Expert tip: Avail of the great drinks deals here, they're some of the best cocktails in Dublin.

Read more about The Twisted Pepper →


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Meet Emily Carson

Emily grew up in Dublin, and studied French and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. During her university years, she lived in both Scotland and France, but traveled around Europe...  More About Emily

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