From stadium rock stars to soulful singer-songwriters, it’s fair to say Ireland has produced some of the world’s most talented and best-loved musicians. Music plays a huge role in Irish culture, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Dublin nightlife scene. Take your pick from cosy pubs and lively clubs and soak up Irish music and the atmosphere at the following Dublin hotspots:
As you wander between the high-end boutiques and department stores of Grafton Street, expect to be entertained by a plethora of buskers and street artists, and maybe you’ll even be blown away by the next big thing. Some of Ireland’s most famous musicians cut their teeth performing on this shopping street. When it comes to lively Dublin nightlife in the area, be sure to stop by for a pint at Bruxelles on nearby Harry Street, where a bronze statue commemorates Dubliner and Thin Lizzy frontman, Phil Lynott. There’s always friendly banter outside on the heated terrace area.
For a taste of an authentic Irish music session, head to The Cobblestone in Smithfield. This family-run venue is located in one of Dublin’s oldest neighbourhoods and has been hosting traditional Irish music nights for over five generations. The lighting is low and furnishings are basic, but the craic agus ceol (music and good times) is always mighty until the wee small hours.
On the south side of the city, O’Donoghues on Merrion Row is located within a couple of minutes’ walk from St Stephen’s Green Park. Beyond the black and white façade, the décor inside is something of a shrine to traditional Irish musicians such who performed here regularly during their heyday. These days, O’Donoghues is still an integral part of the Dublin nightlife scene. Both locals and tourists flock here for creamy pints and live music sessions seven nights a week.
Whelan’s has been playing host to some of Ireland’s smallest “big” gigs since 1989. To this day, its intimate spit-and-sawdust vibe continues to attract the world’s biggest acts who claim it’s one of their all-time favourite places to perform. With a weekly line-up of mostly home-grown talent, you can experience Irish music from just about every genre including folk, alternative rock, and traditional.
The Workman’s Club
Meanwhile, over on Wellington Quay, right next door to the U2-owned Clarence Hotel, you’ll find The Workman’s Club. This retro themed multilevel venue is home to some of Dublin’s best acoustic sessions as well as floor-shaking new band nights, so you’re always guaranteed a good time with your pint!