Dublin is good fun in the day, but it really comes alive when the sun goes down. The music-mad city is crammed full of pubs, bars and clubs offering everything from EDM nights to traditional folk sessions. But where to begin? From old-school boozers to multi-floor microbreweries, here are seven of the best places for nightlife in Dublin.
The Workman’s Club needs no introduction, but we’ll give it a go. Since opening its doors in 2010, it’s been the site of many a raucous night, from a Villagers live album recording to Royal Blood’s barnstorming first Irish gig. It’s also Dublin’s leading nightlife venue and home to the city’s longest-running club night. Big names like Maverick Sabre, Fontaines, Imelda May and Father John Misty have all played at the multi-floor venue, which is conveniently located at the edge of Temple Bar. Downstairs, the new Workman’s Club Cellar offers a more intimate live music setting for up to 170 people.
Possibly Ireland’s most famous club, Copper Face Jacks draws an eclectic crowd. It’s a huge space with multiple bars and dance floors. The main floor is the venue’s most iconic space and many a memorable night has been made here, from European trophies to international sporting events. Even Elon Musk has dusted off his dancing shoes for a quick boogie. Upstairs, there’s a more intimate cocktail bar, as well as one of the best-looking female toilets in the city.
This multi-room venue is a popular haunt for music-mad Dubliners and easily one of Temple Bar’s coolest hangouts. Live gigs span everything from EDM to up-and-coming Indie bands. The main venue can host up to 550 people, while the Crowbar Terrace is the perfect setting for more intimate gigs, parties, after-parties and album launches.
Many a musical mastermind began their careers on Whelan’s stage, including Hozier, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice and Damien Dempsey. It’s also the place to catch that up-and-coming singer-songwriter who’s on the cusp of a big breakthrough. Located on Wexford Street, it’s a popular spot with both locals and tourists who come for the jubilant atmosphere and Indie programme. There aren’t many seats – unless you’re upstairs on the balcony and manage to snag a bar stall – and the pit isn’t for the faint-hearted, though you will be within spitting distance of your favourite artist.
Mother was born in 2010 as an old-school club night for disco-loving LGBTQ+ family and friends to raise funds for Ireland’s Gay Community News (GCN). In little more than two decades, it’s become one of Ireland’s most beloved nightclubs. Mother describes its music as “a retro and modern synth-pop dance-floor fusion” and has hosted the likes of Shit Robot and America’s LCD Soundsystem. If you’re in town at the right time of year, don’t miss the festival’s own club night at the Electric Picnic Festival.
This old-school boozer is about as traditional as they come. Best known for its live music and decently-priced Guinness, the pub is much the same as it was when it first opened its doors five generations ago. Music varies, and on any night you might year country, folk or traditional sean-nos. The Balaclavas session on a Wednesday is a must-visit.
This four-floor microbrewery on the western fringes of Temple Bar has been going strong for more than two decades. There’s an excellent range of beers on tap – including half a dozen in-house Irish brews – as well as an extensive wine and spirits list. Given its location, you’ll need to make use of your elbows to snag a seat, but it’s well worth a visit. Plus, there’s live music from local bands churning out everything from trad to chart toppers on most nights.