Thinking about Ireland, it’s not just the gorgeous, idyllic landscapes and magnificent, historic buildings that spring to mind, but also the vibrant Irish pub culture. After all, it’s not without reason that a pub is regarded as the second living room of the Irish – and there are almost 800 pubs in Dublin alone. It’s for that exact reason that I’ve decided to ask my Irish friend to share with me the top 5 pubs in the Irish capital. One thing is clear: If you like to sip a pint of Guinness from time to time, I can guarantee you’ll be planning a trip to Ireland by the end of this article!
Sweeney’s Bar – live music and a great atmosphere in the heart of Dublin
Martin, our Irish expert, assures me that Sweeney’s Bar on Dame Street is the absolute best pub in Dublin. It’s situated directly behind the famous Olympia Theatre in the heart of Dublin and it’s very popular due to its ideal location. “You can take a little detour into Sweeney’s after a concert or a play at the theatre”, says Martin. In addition, regular live music sessions performances by bands and DJs and the exclusive furnishings of the 3-storey pub provide a truly unique atmosphere. The best days to visit Sweeney’s are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The Mercantile Bar – a popular pub inside a Dublin hotel
Don’t automatically ignore the hotels when looking for a good pub. That’s the exact setting of one of the most popular pubs in Dublin. I’m talking about the Mercantile Hotel, which can be found on Dame Street, almost directly next to Sweeney’s Bar. According to Martin, “every night there is something happening!” From Guinness all the way to delicious cocktails, there are drinks to suit every taste in this cosy pub connected directly to the hotel and delicious food and live music performances in the evening are also served up here. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to visit the pub – all visitors are welcome!
The Living Room beckons with the largest beer garden in Dublin
Perched on O’Connel Street on the other side of the river Liffey, some 15 minutes away from the Mercantile Hotel, is The Living Room sports bar, where you can cheer on your favourite teams surrounded by large TV screens as well as enjoy some delicious food and celebrate in style. Martin is particularly impressed by the pubs pretty beer garden, shared among three pubs and at the same time the largest beer garden in Dublin. “This beer garden is an absolute must, especially when the sun’s out”, says Martin. “Day or night, there’s always something going on”.
According to Martin, Bruxelles is the most cosmopolitan pub in all of Dublin and it’s made up of three bars on top of that: the Saloon Bar, Flanders Bar and Zodiac Bar. This pub is only a short way away from Grafton Street, one of the most popular shopping streets in Dublin. Whether it’s for a breakfast, lunch or a nice dinner, a visit here is always great. But the pub is best suited for the night owls, especially because guest performances by bands and DJs are held here, including famous bands such as Snow Patrol, Iron Maiden and Depeche Mode, which provide a great atmosphere for every crowd. You can also follow the important sports events here, which makes this pub very popular not only among music fans but also sports enthusiasts. Bruxelles – one of the largest and at the same time most legendary pubs in Dublin, is definitely worth a visit!
The Globe – a small pub filled to the brim with great atmosphere
Live music, freshly tapped Irish beer as well as a whole load of fun can all be found at The Globe, which you’ll find on one of the prettiest little streets in the heart of Dublin, more precisely the South Great George’s Street, near Dame Street. Martin tells me, that “many Dubliners are familiar with this pub due to its delicious cocktails, some of which belong to the best in the whole city.” The pub is opened Monday to Sunday and there is no entrance fee. Many bands perform here as well, especially during the weekends, and lend the pub an amazing atmosphere.
By the way: When it comes to the Temple Bar, one of the most famous pubs in Dublin, Martin recommends visiting the pub even if it’s to only see it once. His expert opinion is that the drinks are much overpriced and you can get the same drinks in smaller pubs nearby for half the price. A huge thank you to Martin for these great tips!
Fancy a trip to one of Dublin’s best pubs? Check out my Flight Fare Finder for cheap flights to Dublin. If you’re planning an overnight trip check Trivago for hotels in Dublin.
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