You simply can’t go to Dublin without checking out some of the great pubs. It is an essential Dublin experience. I am particularly interested in those with ‘traditional’ Irish atmosphere and while some of these are somewhat touristy, they are still frequented by the locals as well. The following are a few definitely worth trying.
O’Neills is a traditional bar which has existed as a licensed premises for over 300 years. It is a traditional pub located on Suffolk Street just around the corner from Grafton Street and Dame Street. A classic Dublin pub it has an old time feel with a number of interweaving rooms and snugs built around a large bar downstairs and another big bar with comfortable seating on a number of different floor levels upstairs. A very popular joint with Dubliners, its close proximity to the heart of the city centre sees the bar take a lot of trade from shoppers browsing around the city, office people drinking after work and students on a night out from Trinity College.
O’Neills is famous for its pub grub with a large carvery menu and a sandwich bar serving an excellent selection of sandwiches and salads. Following most traditional pubs, O’Neills does not have a loud music sound system pumping out all the recent hits and is the ideally place to go for some relaxing pints in the company of some good friends. It does host a live traditional music session every Sunday night starting at 8.30pm.
Patrons have flocked to The Temple Bar for more than 160 years. We found the staff to be a valuable mine of information on Dublin’s history and sights and they can recommend others places to visit to make your stay a memorable one. The pub has been the winner of the Irish Music Pub of the Year from 2002 to 2012, and the traditional Irish Music sessions daily are something not to miss. There is no cover charge!
The large pub is totally charming with nooks and crannies and a popular garden for smokers. The drinks are a little expensive and the place gets very busy but the atmosphere is excellent. While it is quite touristy the place also has many locals that know and enjoy their Irish songs and know how to make you feel welcome.
The Brazen Head is Dublin’s oldest pub with a history going back eight centuries. It is a traditional pub located on Bridge Street by the River Liffey on the Southside of the city. There has been a bar on this site since the 12th century when it was located in the medieval city with the original tavern being replaced by a coaching inn in the late 17th century.
As you enter The Brazen Head the first thing you meet is the old courtyard, which turns into a beer garden in the summer. The Brazen Head has two bars that are strewn with old memorabilia reflecting the bar’s long history in the city. The Brazen Head has played a central role in the Dublin’s history with famous patrons such as Irish nationalists like Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet and Daniel O’Connell drinking there and Irish writers like James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan frequenting this old haunt.
The Stags Head is a traditional pub situated on Dame Court in the city centre. The easiest way to find the bar is to walk down Dame Street till you find a footpath sign pointing down a dark alley. The Stags Head dates back a few centuries but was rebuilt in 1895 by the architect, A.J. McLoughlin. A veritable shrine to the art of drink, McLoughlin designed the bar with stag-themed stained glass windows, mirrors, wood panelling and of course a large stag’s head over the bar. This lavishly redesigned Victorian bar was an instant success with Dublin punters in the 1890s and was even frequented by a young James Joyce.
The Stag’s Head ambience of elegant, old Dublin has seen the bar used in movies such as Educating Rita and The Treaty. The Stags Head today has bars on three floors and is still a very popular meeting point for Dubliners.
For more information on Dublin see Experience Ireland an ebook available at www.amazon.com/kindle then search Len Rutledge.