Guides

Nightlife & Entertainment in Dublin

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Think of Dublin, and you’ll conjure images of cobbled streets, lit with the glow of pubs and ringing with Irish folk tunes. Dublin’s reputation is built upon its world-renowned nightlife, and the city after dark is an essential experience. Get ready to sink a pint of the black stuff and join in with a hearty singsong. Slainte!

 

Irish pubs

 

Arguably Ireland’s greatest export, you can find a pub adorned with shamrocks and serving pints of Guinness in almost any city on Earth. But in Dublin, it’s the real deal. Some of the pubs are going a bit hipster, but there’s still a wealth of old haunts, with creaky, beer-stained floors and few old guys propping up the bar.

 

Mulligan’s

 

A Dublin vintage, Mulligan’s has been pulling the pints for almost 300 years – so you’re guaranteed a perfect Guinness. This was once the haunt of James Joyce, Dublin’s greatest literary figure. Who knows - perhaps you’ll be struck with inspiration for the next Ulysses here.

 

8 Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 1 6775582

 

Mulligan’s website

 

Live Music

 

You just can’t have Dublin nightlife without live music. It’s the unplugged sets, the sound of fiddles, and the general improvised folk spirit which sets Dublin apart. You can choose from tourist-laden bars, dedicated gig venues, or tiny, hidden-away pubs, but anywhere you go, the city sings.

 

Whelan’s

 

In the heart of Dublin, Whelan’s is a live music institution. The walls of this bar are covered in photos of artists who have performed here, often at the start of their careers, including Jeff Buckley and Damian Rice. Head through to the gig room to see the next up-and-coming stars making their mark.

 

25 Wexford Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 1 478 0766

 

Whelan’s website

 

The Quays

 

In trendy Temple Bar, The Quays is a hit with passing tourists, so it does get busy. But with jaunty live music which you'll want to sing along as you imbibe the Guinness and make friends with other revellers, it’s one heck of a great craic.

 

10 – 12 Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 1 679 1923

 

The Quays website

 

Nightclubs

 

Dublin isn’t all about folksy music and rustic pubs. If you want to quaff Champagne to dance beats instead, then head to one of the city’s slick nightclubs, where you can party with the cool crowd until the wee hours. Top DJs are often on the bill, and there’s a variety of themed nights.

 

Krystle

 

One of the swankier nightclubs in Dublin, Krystle is a top choice for birthdays and celebrations. Booths and lounge areas decked out with comfy white chairs surround the dance floor, and it’s popular with local celebs who often take over the VIP sections. It’s a great excuse to get glammed up for the evening.

 

21-25 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 86 064 8701

 

Krystle website

 

Comedy

 

Irish pubs are versatile creatures, and if they’re not hosting live music sets, then they’re showing off local comedy acts instead. It adds to a delightful sense of improvisation and surprise on any night out. There are also one or two dedicated comedy venues as well.

 

Laughter Lounge

 

A stripped-back, basement club, the Laughter Lounge is Dublin’s top comedy venue. It attracts top comedians, who perform searingly good stand-up to an intimate audience. On Fridays and Saturdays, DJs take over after the comedy, so you can stay and dance.

 

6 Eden Quay, Dublin 1. Tel: +353 1 874 4611

 

Laughter Lounge website