When the majority of people plan a trip to Ireland, they spend at least a few days in Dublin. This is arguably the most famous city in Ireland and has plenty of attractions people want to see, so it makes sense. There are also many places to drink in the area, so you’ll likely want to know what the best pubs in Dublin are as well to add to your itinerary.
I’ve been to the city multiple times and always try to visit a different Dublin pub each time I go. They all have their own ambiance, and you might want to go somewhere quiet for lunch and somewhere lively for after-dinner drinks.
That’s why I’ve slowly been compiling some of my favorite places to stop at for a drink in the area. While many people will debate what the best pub is, keep in mind these are my personal recommendations.
Here are some of my favorite pubs to visit and what makes each one of them unique so you can pick which ones you want to visit during your trip.
The History of Pubs in Dublin
Irish pubs are at the top of every traveler to Ireland’s itinerary, and there are a few good reasons why. The atmosphere in a traditional Irish pub is unmatched. The sociable environment of live music and people sipping pints is welcoming, even to first-time visitors.
A trip to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a glass of Ireland’s traditional dry stout – Guinness. A fun fact about Dublin is the brand dates way back to 1759 and is world known and loved. The Guinness brewery in Dublin gets hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly and is a tourist hot spot.
Dublin is well-known worldwide for its fantastic pubs. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional Guinness or a modern craft beer, the city has a pub for you. Whether you only have three days in Dublin or only one, you cannot miss these pubs. They are practically synonymous with the city.
Ireland has thousands upon thousands of pubs across the country, and Dublin alone has over 700. With a population of just over a million, there is one pub per 1,400 people in the city. Two things you’ll find in all these pubs are a good pint and a great atmosphere.
Good pubs in Dublin will give you a tasty pint of Guinness or a live show, and the best pubs in Dublin will provide you with both. The pubs mentioned below in the city of Emerald Isle will give you both and a little extra fun.
Try to see how many pubs in Ireland on this list you can visit.
15 Best Pubs in Dublin to Visit
Planning a trip to Dublin is on many people’s Ireland bucket lists. The city has so much to offer and many exciting things to see and do. Wandering down the cobbled streets of The Pale is a must-do.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Dublin, it’s never a bad idea to keep close to the city center. The city center also has the best pubs in Dublin that are all within walking distance of each other so you can get around without a car in Ireland. It is the perfect excuse to grab a few friends to go pub crawling.
Let’s check out the exact spots you’ll be heading to.
1. Gravediggers (John Kavanagh)
John Kavanagh pub, or as the locals refer to it, ‘Gravediggers,’ was first opened in 1833. The odd nickname is actually in reference to the cemetery wall the pub is built into. The gravediggers from next door would regularly drink a pint here after a long day.
The pub is a family business and has been in the Kavanagh family for eight generations. The pub is well-loved by locals and tourists alike, making it one of the best Irish pubs in Dublin. No singing, dancing, or TVs are allowed in the pub, and it’s an ideal thing to do in the winter in Dublin to stay cozy.
Instead, guests are encouraged to socialize and talk among themselves. This hard rule could not even be broken when U2, The Dubliners, and The Chieftains came to the pub for an impromptu drink.
This pub is also one of the more haunted pubs in Dublin, so it’s fun to check out.
Address: 1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin, D09 CF72, Ireland
2. Johnnie Fox’s
Johnnie Fox’s, estimated in 1798, is one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous pubs. The traditionally Irish exterior warmly welcomes you to its open arms. The pub is full of memorabilia from over the past 200 years. It is considered a living museum by its owners and locals.
The bar has live music seven days a week and the ever-popular Hooley Irish Dancing. You’ll enjoy the menu that has traditional Irish dishes as well as fresh seafood. There is also an onsite bakery that ensures fresh bread and desserts daily.
If you don’t feel like dining inside, the pub has three covered outdoor venues with heaters. Now, you can enjoy the Dublin air no matter the weather.
Entering this famous Dublin pub is like a step back in time. The Long Hall on George’s Street was licensed in 1766, with a Victorian interior dating back to the 1800s. Clocks, chandeliers, and iconic red walls adorn the place.
The red and white candy cane striped exterior isn’t the only thing drawing customers. Locals claim the atmosphere is the best in town and enjoy a Guinness or two here often.
The establishment estimates that since some 250 odd years ago, they have sold about 22 million pints of Guinness. It’s also a great place to come after going on a hike near Dublin.
Address: Glencullen, Dublin Mountains, Co. Dublin, D18 X635, Ireland
3. Brazen Head
The Brazen Head is Dublin’s oldest pub and is just a 10-minute walk from Temple Bar. It first opened its doors in 1198 as a hostelry but was officially known as Brazen Head since 1653. The walls are decorated in traditional Irish decor and memorabilia.
The pub is spacious and has five rooms guests can choose from. There are three rooms which are pubs, one lounge, and a courtyard. Live music is played there often, but their Sunday Jam Sessions are their biggest draw. This pub is ideal for a cold day during winter in Ireland.
Address: 20 Lower Bridge St, Usher’s Quay, Dublin, D08 WC64, Ireland
4. The Stag’s Head
Built in 1770, this modest establishment is quite popular among locals and tourists alike. Victorian sculptures and stained glass adorn the walls. The atmosphere in the pub is upbeat, with live music weekly and a big crowd on weekends.
The pub is notable for its hospitality and its famous pint of Guinness. Of course, a visit to the pub isn’t complete without some pub grub. Irish favorites like fish and chips are served here every day from 1 pm to 7 pm, so it’s an ideal place to come after going on a day tour from Dublin.
Address: 1 Dame Ct, Dublin, D02 TW84, Ireland
5. The Oval Bar
The Oval bar is one of the conveniently placed pubs in the Dublin city center. Established in 1820, this old pub was part of some notable Irish history. During the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, the Oval Bar’s interior was completely destroyed. Fortunately, it was restored in 1917 and could retain its old Victorian frontage.
The bar has three floors of seating and an extensive function area to accommodate the big crowds it attracts daily. It also has outdoor seating that visitors can use on warm days.
Just a few miles away from O’Connell Street, Oval bar is close to the parade route for St. Patrick’s Day. Pop into this lively pub if you’re around the area on March 17.
Address: 78 Middle Abbey St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 RW24, Ireland
6. The Long Hall
Address: 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, D02 DV74, Ireland
Just a stone’s throw away from Trinity College, you’ll find this half-pint Dublin pub. Neary’s bar on Chatham Street was opened in 1887, so it’s been serving locals for a while. This brick exterior pub was named after the owner and Honorary Consul of Guatemala, Leo Neary.
The bar is named the UNESCO City of Literature Bar because of its back entrance opening opposite the Gaiety Theater stage doors. Many local performers and literary giants would sit down in this notable bar for a drink. One customer, Irish poet Brendan Behan, would come here often.
Take this Dublin Literary Pub Crawl to find more pubs that influenced Dublin’s poets and novelists.
Address: 1 Chatham St, Dublin, D02 EW93, Ireland
8. Temple Bar
Transport back in time to the most popular bar in Dublin – Temple Bar. This bright red building is definitely one of the pubs in Ireland you can’t miss.
However, I’ll be honest – if you only have one day in Dublin, skip this bar. This place is very touristy (you’ll want to read the rules of being a tourist in Ireland first) and I’d rather you visit one of the more authentic pubs on this list, but if you have multiple days it can be fun to say you’ve been here.
The pub offers Ireland’s most extensive whiskey collection, with up to 450 types served here. Some of them are pretty rare finds, so you’ll want to stop here one night if you love whisky.
Take this Guinness and Whiskey Tasting Tour to see how your favorite beers and whiskeys are made. That’ll ensure you order the correct drink for you when you visit Temple Bar.
Note – because this is such a popular Dublin pub, you’ll need to come here early if you want a spot on the weekends or during tourist season such as summer.
Address: 47-48, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 N725, Ireland
9. The Confession Box
The Confession Box is a peculiar name for a place to bend the elbow, but the site’s history explains it well. This building played an integral part during the Irish War of Independence between 1919-1921.
It served as a postage spot for rebels to send communion and confessions to priests at the nearby Pro-Cathedral.
In the 21st century, the pub is best known for its drinks and lively atmosphere. It was voted ‘best pint in Dublin’ two years in a row by Dublin’s 98FM listeners.
You can find this award-winning pub on Marlborough Street at the bottom of an old Gregorian building. The black exterior contrasts with the light structure above.
Address: 88 Marlborough St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 X267, Ireland
10. The Old Storehouse
The Old Storehouse is one of the best Dublin pubs to visit while in town, especially during a rainy day during Dublin in the spring. Located in the Temple Bar area, it is in the heart of the Cultural Quarter. The pub is modern with a classic Irish twist to it.
The bar is lively with entertainment offering live music performances seven days a week. The snug bar is excellent for intimate meetings, while the primary and venue bar showcases musical talents. The three-bar options mean you’ll (almost) never run out of a place to sit.
Address: 3 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 CX67, Ireland
First opened in 1803, this established pub has won many awards, such as “Best of the Best Pubs in Dublin.” Many people love the decor, such as the heavy Mahogany doors that open to traditional decor from the Victorian era. As you see it today, the decorations are from a renovation toward the end of the 19th century.
This pub was a well-known favorite of literary giants like Patrick Kavanagh, James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, and Brendan Behan. Sit and enjoy a beer where the Ulysses author knocked a few back and be transversed back to the early 1900s of Irish yesteryear.
Address: 9 Anne St S, Dublin, D02 NY88, Ireland
O’Donoghue’s Bar has a soft place in many Dubliner’s hearts. The place first opened in 1789 as a grocery store. Then, in 1934 opened its doors as a pub. The wood-paneled tavern was the birthplace of many Irish musicians and bands.
The Dubliners’ band visited the pub often and even played there in the 1960s, just before stardom. Even now, live music is often heard blasting from the watering hole. A collection of traditional Irish musicians gather at the pub and sing and play on their bodhrans and tin whistles.
If you are at the bar, you might bump into Bruce Springsteen. The “Dancing in the Dark” singer frequently pops in here when he’s in town.
Address: 15 Merrion Row, Dublin, Ireland
13. Palace Bar
The Palace Bar on 21 Fleet Street is a familiar bar amongst the locals. Established in 1823, much of the original Victorian decor still prevails. The deep mahogany, oak, and mirrored walls will have you nostalgic for the time.
Patrick Kavanaugh, a famous Irish poet, and novelist used to frequent this bar. He described it as the “most wonderful temple of art.”
The ‘Irish Times’ newspaper offices are only a three-minute walk away from the pub. The 1940s to 1950s saw the pub become a sort of second home and office to R.M Smyllie.
Smyllie was the editor of the Irish Times at the time, and soon, many journalists and correspondents of Dublin’s newspapers started visiting too. To this day, the Palace Bar remains a journalist hot spot.
Address: 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 H950, Ireland
14. The Lotts Cafe Bar
The Lotts Cafe Bar is a favorite bar among regulars and holidaymakers alike. This cafe bar has an open lounge and also what is known as a snug. A snug is a small, private room where patrons can sit in to avoid big crowds or noise.
The Lotts snug is currently the smallest bar in Dublin. It regularly has sports specials so patrons can enjoy a game of rugby or football.
The lounge area of the pub is very modern looking with mosaic tiles and a chandelier. The contemporary lounge is trendy for diners, so an advanced booking is recommended. The bar is open Monday to Sunday with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Address: 9 Liffey St. Lower, North City, Dublin, D01 E3F9, Ireland
15. Davy Byrne’s
Davy Byrne’s is possibly Dublin’s most famous pub, as it was immortalized in chapter eight of James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses. Since then, the pub has had a steady flow of customers and James Joyce fans every year.
Over the last century, the pub has gone through many changes. This building was first a hostelry in the late 18th century before it was the pub we know today. Davy Byrne’s was established back in 1889 by the owner, Davy Byrne, himself.
It has stood the test of time through wars, economic and political change, and revolutionaries, further cementing its worthy spot on this list.
Address: 21 Duke St, Dublin, D02 K380, Ireland
Now it’s time to get on to one of these best pubs in Dublin and order yourself a pint of Guinness!