“A good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub,” mused Leopold Bloom in Irish literary classic, Ulysses. He’s right. Any Dubliner could tell you that crossing the city without passing one of Ireland’s great drinking establishments would be “nearly” impossible. Irish pubs are a cornerstone of Irish society, and Irish people are among the greatest drinkers in the world – whether they’d like to admit it or not.
Thanks to the ubiquitous nature of Irish pubs, Dublin is a beer lover’s heaven, and you’re guaranteed to have some of the best nights of your life while here.
If this is your first time coming to Dublin’s fair city, fear not, we’ve got you covered on how to drink like a king – or even a local – for your stay in the Emerald Isle. Fill your BUCKiTDREAM planner with some of the following bucket list ideas and you’ll be lovin’ Dublin in no time!
Avoid the Crowded Streets of Temple Bar Drinking well in Dublin is all about choosing the best spots. Making a beeline straight for Temple Bar is a fatal mistake that most tourists commit when they first arrive. Sure, it may be picturesque and terribly “Oirish”, but all you’ll get here is a substandard pint and a hefty bill, so avoid it at all costs.
Choose Your Watering Hole Wisely Thankfully, Dublin isn’t short of great alternatives to Temple Bar where you’ll get a more authentic Irish experience – without the price tag. If we were to tell you all the pubs that are worth going to in Dublin, we’d be here all night. Instead, we’ll take a deep breath and suggest you try the following: P Macs, Whelan’s, the Long Hall, the Bar with No Name, Izakaya, the Vintage Cocktail Club, Idlewild, the Library Bar, Grogans, the Drury Buildings, Kehoe’s, Cassidy’s, The Cobblestone and Frank Ryan’s.
There you have about a tenth of the best pubs in Dublin. If you drink at any of these pubs, you’re guaranteed 100% authentic Irish craic.
Seek Out the City’s Best Stout If you’re on a quest to find the best pint of Guinness in Dublin, you should know there is some contention as to where you’ll find it. The main contenders are: Stag’s Head, Mulligans, Neary’s, Toners and John Kavanagh’s “Gravediggers Pub”. Failing these, you could always pour your own pint of the black stuff high above the city in the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s busiest tourist attraction.
Know That the Perfect Guinness is Worth the Wait A good pint of Guinness, a.k.a the Nectar of the Gods, takes some time to prepare. You’ll have the first long pour – filling about ¾ of the glass – then it’ll be left to settle for a few minutes until you get it topped off. You need to have this waiting period or else your pint will be ruined, so don’t rush the bar staff.
If your bartender hands you a pint of Guinness that’s been poured in one go, put it down, walk out and never darken his or her doorstep again.
Chase Your Guinness with a Whiskey If it’s whiskey you’re after, the finest place to get it would have to be the Palace Bar, owned by famous whiskey family, the Ahernes. The walls of the Palace are stacked with every type of Irish whiskey in existence, but it’s their own single malt, the Fourth Estate, that gives this place its excellent reputation.
Address: 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
Don’t Tip! When you’re at a bar in Dublin, don’t tip the bartender. This isn’t common practice here, and you’ll only be looked at like you have a thousand heads. Instead of a tip, simply treat your bartender with respect – no shouting, no clicking and certainly no helping yourself.
Go For Al Fresco Pints (If the Weather Permits) Drinking well in Dublin isn’t just restricted to the confines of the hundreds of pubs dotted around this tiny city. If a sunny day rears its head, you’ll see Dubliners making the most of the weather with an al fresco pint or can in the sun.
The Barge pub in Portobello allows its patrons to wander along the leafy banks of the canal, and it’s where you’ll find hundreds of Dubliners when the weather is nice. Younger locals opt instead to grab a few cans of Dutch Gold or Kopparberg and drink them in The Pav, a green area inside the walls of Dublin’s famous Trinity College.
Steer Clear of St. Patrick A word to the wise – if you want an authentic Dublin drinking experience, don’t come for St. Patrick’s Day. Your average Dubliner doesn’t partake in the Paddy’s Day celebrations, as it’s now become something that’s nearly exclusively for tourists. The city is cramped, destroyed and filthy on March 17th, so do yourself a favor and avoid it.
Have the Best Hangover Feast in Dublin Now that you’ve drank like a king, you’re going to want to eat like a king to stave of the monstrous hangover that will be splitting your head the following morning. Gerry’s on Montague Street has the best full Irish breakfast in all of Ireland, and it will leave you primed to start the madness all over again the next night.
Address: 6 Montague St, Dublin 2, D02 XE65, Ireland
Now that you’ve had your fill of Guinness, whiskey and every other drink that this crazy city has thrown at you, make sure you upload your pictures to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to inspire other Dublin-bound BUCKiTDREAMERs. Then, have a few more drinks and cross a few more things off your Irish bucket list by heading over to The Five Best Music Venues in Dublin or The 5 Most Haunted Spots in Dublin.