The Ultimate Self-Guided Dublin Pub Crawl

There’s something distinctly unique about the people in Ireland. Amidst the constant cloud coverage and drizzle, the locals are kind-hearted, cheerful, and ever-so optimistic. Could it be that the aftermath of travesties such as Easter Rising and other IRA conflicts have left the Irish untroubled with peace finally restored? Maybe, but they’re probably just drunk.

things to do in Dublin Ireland

With beer and whiskey at the backbone of Irish culture, Dubliners love to drink; and with over 750 pubs, Dublin remains one of Ireland’s best drinking holes. So grab your passport and my hand a shot of Jameson and embark on your next international bar crawl.

Note: Depending on your mobility level after a pint of Guinness or two (or six) and your activity schedule, split this bar crawl up into multiple days.

Before you start…

  • The drinking age in The Republic of Ireland is 18.

  • Ireland has no open container laws, so feel free to enjoy a pint in public spaces!

  • Unlike Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland uses Euros. While most pubs accept card, make sure to carry cash on you.

  • Tipping in pubs is not customary or expected, however, it is always appreciated. If you choose to leave a tip, around 10% should be fine. Make sure to hand the tip directly to the bartender and not leave it on the table or else they may be confused. I often heard people say, “a pint for you” when tipping Irish bartenders.

  • If you're not a beer drinker (ME!), there are still a variety of different options for you to choose from at almost every bar crawl stop. I really enjoyed Magner's hard cider while I was there.

Start your Bar crawl by visiting the Dublin giants - Jameson and Guinness

Stop 1: Jameson Distillery

Begin at the Jameson Distillery with a morning whiskey tour (they start at 10am!). Although Jameson Whiskey is no longer distilled here today, the Bow St location offers a variety of different guided tours, tastings, and mixology classes. I did the Bow St. Experience Tour and found it really fun and informative. The best part about the tour? Jameson Whiskey tastings and cocktails are included.

Stop 2: The Brazen Head

Best bars in Dublin Ireland

A short walk from the Jameson Distillery is The Brazen Head. The Brazen Head is famous for being the oldest pub in Dublin, and it’s also my favorite. With outdoor seating, live music, and awesome food, this is a must for anyone traveling to Dublin. Make sure to go back at night to catch their live music shows that start at 9:30 pm. If you’re there on a Friday night, catch the Scotty Connor Duo performance. With a mix of locals and tourists, everyone in the pub sang and danced during their show - making this the best night I had in Dublin.

Stop 3: Guinness Storehouse

A fifteen minute walk will lead you from The Brazen Head to the Guinness Storehouse. Take yourself on a self-guided tour from the first floor up to the rooftop gravity bar, where you'll finish off with a pint of Guinness right from the source.

Stop 4: O’Donoghues Bar

Catch a cab over to O’Donoghues Bar to experience a truly traditional Irish pub. This pub is famous for their live music, bringing in some of the best musicians from around the area. Enjoy a Jameson, ginger, and lime or stout in their open-air area, or bump elbows with locals at their bar.

Stop 5: The Long Hall

Your next two stops are over on South Great George's Street, starting at The Long Hall. This bar oozes with Irish authenticity. With some decorations and interior originating from their inception in the 1860’s, this pub makes one feel as if they’re in the middle of a period drama.

Stop 6: Hogans

Across the street from The Long Hall is another must-stop on your bar crawl itinerary. With a younger crowd, this is a go-to spot for an after work pint or a fun hangout to sit outside on their barrel tables and grab a bite to eat.

Stop 7: The Stags Head

Being in The Stags Head made me feel like I was in an episode of Peaky Blinders. On my visit, this Victorian-era pub was filled to the brim with locals and tourists making a pit stop after shopping on Grafton Street, yet it still felt welcoming. Their long couch style seating gives you a great opportunity to chat with fellow patrons - and the Irish are chatty, so plan on staying awhile!

Next Stop: The Temple Bar District

Stop 8: Porterhouse Temple Bar

While the Porterhouse Brewing Company has been brewing beer outside of Dublin since 1989, in 1996 they opened Dublin’s first brewery pub and it was a hit. This multiple floor pub serves an array of beers including Porterhouse originals. Personally, I stuck with a porn star martini (porn star martinis are served everywhere in Dublin, which on second thought seems really counter-intuitive when considering their strong religious background) while enjoying their live music show on the second floor stage. They now have multiple locations around Dublin, London, and New York.

Stop 9: The Temple Bar

The Temple Bar is probably the most famous pub in all of Dublin, so of course it had to be on our list. However, beware. This is a great place to grab a photo op and maybe a pint, but do not get suckered into buying more than one drink here. Not only is it a battle to pass by hundreds of tourists to get to the bar, their prices are outrageous in comparison to the other pubs in Dublin. That being said, The Temple Bar and the bars surrounding have a lively, upbeat, paint the town red kind of vibe. People from all over the world come to this bar, so strike up a conversation with a visiting Australian or an intoxicated bachelorette.

Stop 10: The Quays

Across the street from The Temple Bar is The Quays, a pub with the same type of crowd as The Temple Bar. When I stopped in, the packed bar erupted upon the band playing “Galway Girl”. If you want to fit in at Irish bars, brush up on your Irish drinking songs. In addition to Glaway Girl”, some of Ireland’s favorites include “Seven Drunken Nights”, “Whiskey in a Jar”, and for some reason covers of John Denver’s “Country Roads”.

Stop 11: Mulligan’s

For your last stop in Dublin’s City Center before heading to Howth, walk over to Mulligan’s to enjoy a drink at the birthplace of James Joyce’s Ulysses. This bar has a history of welcoming celebrities, having been visited by the likes of John F. Kennedy, Judy Garland, and Irish poet, Seamus Heaney.

From Mulligan’s, head to the Tara St. Station to take the train to Howth (30 minute ride). Depending on your time, you may want to split up your visit to Howth into a second day. You can spend the whole day in Howth taking in the views from the sea-side cliff trail, eating seafood tapas on their west pier, and of course, drinking in their pubs.

Next Stop: Howth

Stop 12: The Abbey Tavern

Howth is one of my favorite spots in Dublin, and hiking the Howth cliff path is the best way to see the essence of Ireland’s landscape while staying within Dublin's city lines. Before you begin the ninety-minute journey to the summit, stop at the Abbey Tavern for a refreshing pick-me-up. Afterwards, make your way to Balscadden Road to begin your cliff walk and continue on your Dublin bar crawl, Howth-style.

Stop 13: The Summit Inn

Once you’ve reached the summit of the hike, stop into The Summit Inn. This is the perfect place to end your walk with a pint of Guinness or if you’re me, a glass of Prosecco. They have great outdoor seating where you catch the ocean breeze on a nice day.

Not interested in the cliff walk? You can take the 31 bus from the Abbey Street bus stop to make your way up to The Summit Inn.

Stop 14: The Bloody Stream

Your last stop on your in Howth is The Bloody Stream, a pub built right into the train station that will bring you back to Dublin’s city center. Get in your final shot of Jameson in Howth or a goodbye lager in their heated outdoor beer garden.

Stop 15: Whelan’s

Have extra time back in Dublin? Catch a late night concert at the bar from P.S. I Love You as your last stop on your Dublin pub crawl adventure.

(Warning: Gerard Butler will probably not be there playing his guitar waiting to fall in love with you. Trust me, I checked.)

Need a bite to eat between drinks? Here are my favorite restaurants in Dublin...

  • Yamamori Sushi On the same street as Hogans and The Long hall is Yamamori Sushi. This is a great place to stop if you’re looking for something other than meat pies and potatoes. Their seafood ramen was some of the best I’ve ever had.

  • Gallagher Boxty House I did not eat here on my visit to Dublin, however, Rick Steves claims this is one of the best places to get Irish food in Dublin and I pretty much trust everything he says.

  • The Brazen head Although this is a stop on your bar crawl list, this is also a great place to grab dinner or lunch, which is served at all their bars. I recommend their deep fried brie and beef & Guinness stew.

  • Quays In the Temple bar district and looking for a traditional Irish meal? Quays is located right above The Quays Bar, making this a convenient place to stop for lunch on your bar crawl.

  • Fonté Café Bar This little cafe was right under the Airbnb we stayed at while in Dublin. It's the perfect place to sober up with some coffee and avocado toast. The staff is also super friendly and gave us tons of recommendations on things to do in Dublin (other than drinking, of course).

  • DiFontaines Pizza While answering that “You up” text at 2am was definitely a drunk mistake, grabbing a slice at Difontaines after a night out at the Brazen Head was most certainly not. Although I stumbled into this New York style pizza parlor on a whim, I came to find out Difontaines has an almost cult following. See, not all drunk decisions are bad ones!

  • Octopussy’s (Howth) This is one of my favorite places to grab seafood in Dublin. Right alongside fishing boats on the west pier in Howth is Octopussy's, a tapas style restaurant with an array of seafood options. Try their mixed seafood platter - the brown bread in it is to die for.

Have you been to Dublin recently and have pub or drink recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!


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