I know, we only spent a weekend in Dublin and I have so much to tell you! We hit some really fun watering holes, so get ready for some action!
The VAT House Bar
The VAT House is a hotel — the bar is connected to it but it doesn’t feel like a hotel bar. We visited our first night in Dublin when we were on the hunt for live music. It was perfect.
The bar itself wasn’t too full, but there were two musicians who played and sang Irish music (category 3 if you’re following my guide to live music in Dublin). The music was easy to hear, the musicians were really engaging, and we had a great time.
We went back again the next night after the music at O’Neill’s finished (see below). It’s not the “it” place that’s packed with people, but a great place to chill with a drink and listen to music. You can sit close to the musicians and have a more “engaged” (I know, sounds weird) time with them or sit further back, enjoy the music, and relax.
Grogan’s Castle Lounge
We stopped here for a break after we visited the Jameson Distillery and Trinity College. We were hoping for a bite to eat, but all they had were toasties (heated ham and cheese sandwiches) and I was hoping for something a bit more substantial.
This place is totally old school and definitely a locals hangout right in the middle of tourist central, which is pretty cool.
This was recommended by the host at a restaurant when we asked for a place to grab a drink before dinner. It’s a brewery with multiple floors to sit and hang out. The Porterhouse has a full food menu and has live music (of the category 2 variety). If we’d had more time, we definitely would have stopped back again.
O’Donoghue’s is another old school neighborhood pub. Near St. Stephen’s Green, we went to check it out because all the reviews I read said there was live Irish music nightly. When we got there, I realized the music is more of the category 2 variety — hard to hear.
This was another cool place where you can go and feel like a local — it was filled to the brim. However, we were looking for a different music experience so we stayed for one drink and moved on.
Yessss. Exactly what we were looking for with music and drinks! There are multiple rooms and multiple floors. Upstairs, there is a 3-person band with amplified sound. They play and sing Irish music and both nights we were there (yes we went back a second night), they had a couple of dancers.
It can get crowded in the area around the band and difficult to find a place to stand, let alone sit. The second night we were there, we made friends with some Germans and shared their table. I absolutely loved this place.
We went to Bruxelles to watch the Six Nations Rugby Tournament and it was perfect. The main bar area is traditional like other bars in the area and there are two rooms downstairs with extra seating. They have a full menu of traditional bar food — Mr. P and I split the fish and chips.
This was one of the coolest places we went to. The Church is a bar and restaurant inside what used to be a church (I know, catchy name). The inside is airy and gorgeous. We just went for drinks, but there is a restaurant upstairs and nightclub in the basement.
There are a ton of options in Dublin and we didn’t dislike anywhere we went! I can’t wait to go back and visit some of these again and see new places.
Mr. P and I traveled to Dublin for a long weekend in March. Learn how to plan a trip to Europe for the weekend (even coming all the way from California) here.