Hey all! I recently visited Dublin for a weekend hen-do and let me tell you, Dublin NAILED it as a hen-do location! People there were so friendly and you could come away from a night out with a ton of stories and new friends… With or without the hangover!
If you want to experience the ‘pub scene’, there are a bunch to choose from. Do you like watching some local bands in an intimate and rustic pub setting? Or maybe you wanna spend your night drinking, dancing and chatting to as many Dubliners as possible!
I made it my mission to find the cool spots where the locals hang out in the evenings and experience the authentic Dublin nightlife. Here’s what I found and my top recommendations:
The Brazen Head
Head to The Brazen Head pub to immerse yourself in some Dublin history. This is Ireland’s oldest pub and hosts live music every night. It feels a little like stepping back in time. When you walk in through the entrance you’ll find a pebbled courtyard if you want to sit outside. Surrounding the courtyard are a few different bars and seating area to explore. This is a great place to start your evening by grabbing some gorgeous traditional Irish food. If you plan on eating there, I recommend sending them an email and reserving a table. It gets busy… and I mean REALLLLY busy (which is usually a good sign of how good a place is)! You might get away with getting a seat if there’s a couple of you, but larger groups than this will struggle. There’s lots of standing room though but even that is busy. FYI if you want to try another pub close by, everyone I spoke to recommended the pub directly opposite The Brazen Head and described how a lot of locals use this pub for some good food.
The Bleeding Horse
The Bleeding Horse is centrally located in the hub of the nightlife scene (Lower Camden Street). This makes it a great place to stop and grab a drink or snack on your night out. The décor is pretty jazzy – it reminded me of being in a (albeit tiny!) medieval castle with lots of different stairways, twists and turns and subtle lighting. Even on an early Saturday night there was plenty of seating. Random side note – I’m not sure the pubs and bars know how to ‘not drink’… I tried to encourage barman to make me an inspiring non-alcoholic cocktail. They just stared at me blankly until they just walked off or I couldn’t bear the awkwardness and ordered a Guinness or Coke!
Copper Face Jacks
Copper Face Jacks – known as Coppers is a great all-rounder club and the most well-known and frequented in Dublin. They provide pretty awesome dance tunes and it has multiple bar areas and dancing rooms to choose from. I can’t get over how friendly everyone here was, I had multiple girl chats in the bathroom with strangers. It does however charge an entrance fee (roughly 10 euros) and drinks were a tad expensive. Even so, it was still cheaper than buying in the Temple bar area. Toilets were tidy and clean for nightclub standards. I don’t know why this fact impressed me enough to write about it but there you go. A dingy and gross toilet is a bit of a deal breaker for me.
Another place recommended for a bit of dancing is Flannery’s. This is a very short walking distance from Coppers and The Bleeding Horse. Flannery’s is a much smaller and intimate venue than Coppers which means it gets busy! And from what I saw attracts quite a young crowd. You’ll especially love this place if you’re a smoker as it has a massive outdoor beer and smoking garden. I still enjoyed this without being a smoker. If you want to get chatting to some locals – this is a great place to do so.
Some other places worth a visit in this area include Camden Exchange and Cassidy’s Bar.
Tip for the Temple Bar area
Cobbled streets and charming buildings surround the Temple Bar area of Dublin. This is a lovely area to visit and have a quick drink and bite to eat. If you do end up spending a significant amount of time there, be prepared to part with quite a bit of cash.
My first trip to Dublin involved a night out in the temple bar area. Let’s just say it was a very short night because of how expensive it was, plus it felt like a bit of a let-down if I’m honest. Did you know they increase the price of drinks throughout the night? This means you could start the night paying one price for your drinks. But if later in the night you order the exact same drinks, expect to spend a lot more (for the exact same round!). Bit of a con if you ask me.
Anyway, stay here if you don’t mind paying more for food and drink and want to stay in a very central city area.
Whatever floats your boat (or what makes good craic – craic = fun in Ireland), there are a ton of options in Dublin. Whether that’s finding some snug and cosy old-fashioned pub to chat in, or a bit more drinking and dancing to your night, Dublin’s sure got you covered.