Top 10 traditional pubs in Dublin
Dublin is famous for many things, and especially for its pubs.
If you are visiting Dublin, an English student studying in Dublin or just looking for some inspiration for somewhere new to visit, I recommend paying a visit to Dublin’s traditional pubs, not the tourist traps in Temple bar but rather an establishment where you will enjoy a genuine Irish experience and have some fun. There is no science to the list below, it’s simply our favourite Dublin pubs with a good atmosphere where you can try and enjoy a nice pint of Guinness.
15 South William Street, Dublin 2
Grogans is a Dublin institution and boasts one of Dublin’s best pints of Guinness. The bar is always busy but you may be lucky to find a free seat or hang out beside the bar area until one becomes available. Outside is a great place to meet people and watch the world go by on one of Dublin’s busy streets. The pub is decorated with paintings and other art, creating a quaint atmosphere with a mix of new and old. An eclectic mix of locals, artists, tourists and everyone else frequents the bar. I recommend the ham and cheese sandwiches with mustard, a great compliment to the Guinness.
The Long Hall
51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
You will enjoy a great pint of Guinness at the Long Hall, different to that of Grogans – if you have developed an acquired taste you will notice. The pub decor, an old oriental style, is very interesting and quite quirky. One of Dublin’s busiest pubs, you can expect to find a good mix of people here with the after work crowd, locals and tourists visiting Dublin. If you are lucky enough to get a seat, enjoy and savor the moment while you chat and have a beer. The pub is situated in Dublin city centre, and is a good place to meet before or after dinner with many restaurants close-by.
Glencullen, Co. Dublin
Johnny Foxes is a must visit if you are spending more than a few days in Dublin. It is located in the Dublin mountains. It is comparable to a museum, once you visit you will understand what I mean. The food is fantastic in Johnny Foxes with a mix of traditional Irish cooking and sea food. There is also a spectacle with Irish dancing and music along with a set menu. You need to pre book the event. If you are looking to experience Irish culture you may enjoy the spectacle, I have not been so I can not advise whether it is good or not. Live music every evening. If you decide to visit Johnny Foxes, why not make a day of it and go for a walk in the Dublin mountains or along the Wicklow way. You can arrive by public bus (44b) and there is a private shuttle bus for patrons returning back into the city centre in the evening time.
Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Another Dublin Institution, if you are visiting Glasnevin cemetery you should certainly call into the Gravediggers for a beverage. The Guinness is very good here. If it’s a nice day you can relax outside on the green (grass area). The bar is typical old style with dark wood, I doubt the design has changed since the first day the pub opened. Nice Spanish tapas style food available in the lounge area. No singing allowed unless the rule has changed recently! Along with Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin’s botanic gardens are closeby, you could combine your visit to the bar with both attractions. To arrive to the Gravediggers, you can get a Dublin bus (no. 4, 13, 40, 83), the journey should take no longer than 20 – 25 mins.
The Brazen Head
20 Lower Bridge St, Dublin 8
Despite being a tourist hotspot, the Brazen Head remains an authentic Dublin pub and still manages to stick to its roots. Delicious traditional Irish cuisine, the Irish stew is recommended, especially with a pint of Guinness. There are multiple rooms and an enclosed outdoor space. Clientele are a mix of tourists and locals. There is live music every evening and storytelling. Within walking distance of Dublin city centre.
77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin 7
The Cobblestone, situated in Dublin’s Smithfield area, regularly hosts Ireland’s top traditional musicians. Always a good atmosphere I’d recommend visiting here after dinner in Mulligans of Stoneybatter, Dublin 8. You can expect to enter into a lively bar with a mix of Irish traditional music enthusiasts, tourists and locals enjoying the atmosphere. The pub is easily reached by the Luas or is a nice walk along the Liffey.
The Lotts Snug Bar
9 Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 1
Situated in Dublin city centre, The Lotts Snug Bar is the perfect stop off while shopping or before an evening out in Dublin. The bar is bright thanks to the large windows, and the seating is comfortable. Food is top notch, in particular the steaks. Staff are friendly for a city centre bar leading to a good atmosphere in the bar, the clientele are mostly locals. Considering the size of the Snug bar I recommend the Café Bar if you are with a large group.
John Fallon’s “The Capstan Bar”
129 The Coombe, Dublin 8
Beside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Liberties of Dublin, it seems like the pub has not been changed since the first day it opened, leading to a very very authentic and traditional atmosphere. It’s said to be steeped in history reputed to have hosted a number of meetings in preparation of the 1916 Easter Rising. Mainly locals frequent here, however, given its proximity to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Teeling Whiskey Distillery, tourists often drop in for a visit.
The Stags Head
1 Dame Court, Dublin 2
Great atmosphere in this bar. Building exterior is beautiful with stain glass windows and the interior is very traditional. It is a very lively pub with a mix of locals and tourists. It is situated in Dublin city centre near Grafton Street and Dame Street. I would recommend coming here for an authentic experience rather than going into Dublin’s Temple bar which is a 2 minute walk away.
Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2
Lively, authentic Irish pub which is busy throughout the week with people working close by. Friendly staff leads to a good atmosphere, the pub is known to have one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin. The pub is centrally located and well worth a visit.