If you’re visiting Dublin, you must fit a few great bars and pubs into your itinerary. Dublin is well-known for its fantastic pubs, whether you’re stopping in for lunch (try a pub classic like shepherd’s pie or beef stew) or are spending a night out on the town with friends. You’ll pass plenty of great pubs as you walk around, but we’ve found 3 of the best Dublin bars. You’ll enjoy these places whether you want to drink in Irish history and culture or just drink a great pint of Guinness.
The Brazen Head is famous for being Ireland’s oldest pub. It dates all the way back to 1198, when it was originally a coach house. The pub isn’t sure how much of the original coach house is still intact, but the pub remains on the same site. Visiting this pub feels like stepping back into the past, from the stone exterior to the pictures and posters covering the pub’s walls. Inside, you’ll find old photographs, advertisements, articles, and more, providing an overview of the history this pub has lived through.
Many of these items refer to some of the pub’s famous patrons, such as writers James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, and Brendan Behan. The Brazen Head also played host to Irish revolutionaries Robert Emmet, Daniel O’Connell, Wolfe Tone, and Michael Collins. Sitting down in this pub feels like connecting with centuries of Ireland’s past. The Brazen Head also regularly puts on live music and Irish storytelling events, so there’s always a great atmosphere.
The Stag’s Head
If you’re looking for an Irish pub with a beautiful, old-fashioned look, try the Stag’s Head on the corner of Dame Court and Dame Lane. This pub as preserved an impressive Victorian interior, with a long wooden bar, ornate wooden ceiling, and stained glass windows. Overlooking the pub, you’ll find the eponymous stag’s head at the center of the bar.
The atmosphere of this pub is fantastic to sit and have a pint or two. Be warned, though, that the space is relatively small, and it can get a bit crowded over the weekend. If you want to get a seat at the bar, it’s best to arrive early.
If you’re looking to catch some traditional Irish music, O’Donoghue’s is the place to go. This pub is famous for its musical history; in fact, the famous Irish band The Dubliners started out playing at O’Donoghue’s. Now, the pub hosts live Irish music every night. You can expect to hear fiddles, banjoes, tin whistles, and bodhrans (a traditional Irish drum).
The pub is often crowded and always has a lively atmosphere, so get ready to tap your feet or clap along. Because O’Donoghue’s is popular with both Dublin natives and tourists, it can fill up quickly, and it’s not unusual to see a crowd around the front door on weekends. Plan to show up early if you want to get a decent seat.