The Best Pubs in Dublin – According to Locals!

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Ireland is my home away from home and holds a special place in my heart and while Galway, which is where I lived, will always be my number 1 I do have a soft spot for Dublin as well. Yes it’s busier and more expensive but its a really great city to explore and has some fantastic pubs to grab a pint, a meal, or just to hang out and escape the rain. In this post, I’m going to share some of the best pubs in Dublin. 

Chances are if you have been to Ireland before or are familiar with Dublin you no doubt know of Temple Bar which is, without a doubt, the most famous of Dublin’s pubs. While it’s great for a photo or two, a poke around, and maybe a cheeky mid-day pint, it’s not my top pick or night out. While I do think it is a must-visit, Temple Bar is very expensive and usually just full of tourists. 

For those looking for a more authentic night out in Dublin, here’s my list of Dublin’s best pubs according to me (who’s been several times) and some local friends. 

Temple Bar, Dublin

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The Bleeding Horse

24-25 Camden Street Upper

Dating back to the 1970s, The Bleeding Horse is a historical Dublin Pub with lots to offer. From music to food to drink it’s a good place to stop at any time of day. Thursdays and Sundays are live music nights while Friday and Saturday nights are covered by a DJ. 

O’Donoghues

15 Merrion Row

Not a place to go if you don’t like crowds because this pub gets packed. As one of Dublin’s oldest pubs it does attract some tourists, but the live Irish music every night also makes it a favourite haunt for many locals. O’Donoghue’s is known to have hosted some of Ireland’s most famous musical acts including The Dubliners and Christy Moore. Great music, good pints, and a rich history makes O’Donoghues one of Dublin’s best pubs.

O'Donoghues Pub, Dublin

Toners Pub

139 Baggot Street

Toners is a popular historic pub in lower Dublin. Opened in 1818 it’s best known for it’s cozy snug which one snug of the year award in 2010. The pub also opened a heated beer garden yard in 2012 which has become a popular place for both locals and tourists to sit and enjoy a pint. This pub was a favourite of YB Yeats plus, according to Rory Guinness (a member of the Guinness family), Toners Pub pours the best pint of Guinness which definitely means it deserves a spot on the list of Dublin’s best pubs.

The Palace Bar

21 Fleet Street

One of my personal favourites is the Palace Bar. In fact, I think it was the first Dublin pub I ever visited way back in 2011. This Victorian pub is beautiful both inside and outside with stained glass windows and the very photographic lamppost. Inside is cozy and a great place to grad a quick meal, a pint of Guinness or try some Irish whiskey. 

The Long Hall

51 S Great Georges Street

Another historic Dublin Pub, the Long Hall is a beautiful old Victorian style pub. It’s been licensed since 1766 and the interior dates back to 1881. Beveled glass, ornate wood carvings, and gold leaf make it one of the most beautiful pubs in the city. It’s a quiet spot with friendly staff, making it an easy favourite for many when it comes to the best pubs in Dublin. 

Whelan’s

25 Wexford Street

A great live-music pub, Whelan’s is the perfect first stop for a pub crawl. Famous acts seen on Whelan’s stage include Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, and Owl City. It’s definitely a local hangout, but has become more popular over the past few years as the pub featured in P.S. I Love You starring Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank. Don’t let the movie fame fool you though, its still one of the best pubs in Dublin. 

Whelan's Pub, Dublin

Against the Grain

11 Wexford Street

Against the Grain is different than everything else on the list. It’s not historic and it’s not known for it’s Guinness. This pub is owned by the Galway Bay Brewing Company and specializes in craft beers. You won’t find live music here, but there are board games to play with your best mates and great food served from noon til 10pm.

Oh, and if you happen to be in town for the holiday season, check out this 12 Pubs at Christmas Challenge!

Want to stay within walking distance of some of Dublin’s best pubs? Check out The Westbury Hotel, or for something a little cheaper the Staycity Aparthotels

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Dublin's Best Pubs

27 Comments

  1. Natasha on March 20, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Great lists! I think Temple Bar is cool, but agree there are much better for a night out. I loved hearing all the Irish music everywhere.

    • Hannah Logan on March 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      The Irish Music is great isn’t it 🙂 although the best trad music I heard was in a pub in Doolin

      • Debbie on March 10, 2019 at 11:53 pm

        What was the name of the pub in Doolin?

        • Hannah Logan on March 11, 2019 at 3:20 pm

          There are several pubs in Doolin. My personal favourite is Gus O’Conners

  2. Stephanie on April 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    You did this really well. Hope you won’t mind me linking it as an alternative to finding watering holes if Temple Bar isn’t the scene someone is seeking. 😉

  3. Dublin in a Day! * Ginger on the Go on April 13, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    […] If you don’t have the time or interest in a distillery/brewery tour, head over to the Temple Bar area. Any bar with live music will provide the perfect setting to enjoy your Irish drinks of choice. Many will write Temple Bar off as the Times Square of Dublin. I’ve been to Times Square as a tourist and as  New Yorker trying to simply get from point A to point B. They don’t compare. If you want to share a few drinks with locals and tourists over live music, it’s a fine way to end your day. If it isn’t your cup of tea (or whiskey), there are plenty of quieter pubs around to meet your needs. Fellow blogger Hannah Logan reviews some options here. […]

  4. Sandi O'Regan on November 20, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Yes! Please add Cobblestone Pub in Smithfield, Dublin, to your list. The best place to meet the lads for a pint and a session.

    • Hannah Logan on November 21, 2016 at 12:39 am

      Oh thanks for the recommendation!

  5. […] started, but the Emerald Isle will always be one of my top recommendations for all solo travellers. The pub life, which is accessible to everyone- including solo females, makes it one of the easiest places to fit […]

  6. Ashley - Adventure To Anywhere on December 29, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Thank you for this! I am so excited to check out Dublin’s pub scene but I loathe the touristy spots. Whelan’s is definitely on my list!

    • Hannah Logan on December 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      You are welcome! You will love Dublin- and its pubs 😉

  7. […] honest, the first thing that probably comes to mind when you think of Ireland is along the lines of pubs, beer, and St. Patrick’s Day. You wouldn’t be wrong, all three are amazing Irish experiences […]

  8. […] For some of the best pubs in Dublin check out this post. […]

  9. […] who’s been to Ireland knows that as amazing as Dublin’s pubs may be, the real craic is in Galway. Sure, I may be biased as Galway was once a place that I called home, […]

  10. […] past. The property opened to the public in 1997 as a luxury castle hotel only 15 minutes from Dublin. Book a stay at Clontarf […]

  11. TJ ONeill on November 29, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Sorry girl, not to sure on this list of yours .There’s a few missing. Trust me

    • Hannah Logan on November 29, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Haha I’m sure there’s lots missing! But these are some of my and my friends favs 🙂

  12. Kate Korte on February 17, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    I wish I read this before I visited Dublin!! Such a good post, thanks for sharing. I loved Dublins pub culture.

    • Hannah Logan on February 17, 2018 at 10:42 pm

      Time for a visit back maybe? 😉

  13. tashasoyster on February 18, 2018 at 8:46 am

    My friends in Dublin now so sending this his way! I love the look of Pmacks with the free board games! My kind of place.

    • Hannah Logan on February 18, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      haha yeah I love the board game bars!

  14. […] having just spent three days exploring the cobblestoned alleys, restaurants, pubs, galleries, and boutiques of this part of the city, I realized I was wrong. Yes, Temple Bar is […]

  15. […] best way to end a busy day in Dublin is to have a pint or two in one of Dublin’s best pubs. While a drink at a pub may not, at first, seem like one of the most romantic things to do in […]

  16. Laura Martinez on February 3, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Great list but I can’t find my favourite: The Porterhouse!

    • Hannah Logan on February 4, 2020 at 8:24 am

      I haven’t been to that one! Will need to check it out next time.

  17. […] way to get a quick taste of the culture. While you’re here, be sure to head to one of the best pubs according to locals or stay in a […]

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