Go Native in Dublin
if most of the people there are crowds of hen/stag parties or people wearing
shamrock hats then you are probably not in a bar that attracts many Irish
Dublin tourism enjoys herds of visitors every year, hoping to enjoy Dublin
for its famous social scene and hospitality. Unfortunately many who visit
never leave the main tourist areas and therefore never experience the
real nightlife as it is known by the locals themselves.
The main culprit is called Temple Bar, located in the south of the city.
This area used to house the most destitute of Inner-city Dubliners, but
when a government scheme turned the poor out of the city and disposed
of them in nasty housing estates in the outskirts, a competition took
place to redecorate Temple bar and give it a boho, arty feel. It is a
prime spot for visitors as it boasts excellent bars, nightclubs, restaurants
and hotels (including the U2 owned Clarence Hotel), however many people
have exploited the American plastic paddy syndrome and sold
their soul to leprechauns, twee fiddly-dee bands and shamrocks.
Many tourists that leave Dublin thinking that the Irish live in a psychological
haze of make-believe really only have themselves to blame, as Temple Bar
is difficult, but not impossible, to escape. Try to stick with the local
rule find places that are popular with the Dubliners themselves.
A good litmus test is to have a good lookaround the bar, if most of the
people there are crowds of hen/stag parties or people wearing shamrock
hats then you are probably not in a bar that attracts many Irish people,
therefore you might as well go back home and go to one of the millions
of Oirish bars located around the globe.
If you would like to break out of the tourist straitjacket and experience
Dublin as it really is, read on!
Even on the edge of
Temple Bar lie non-touristy pubs. An example being the Porterhouse, situated
on the edge of the area on Parliament Street. It boasts four floors and
a massive stock of beers from all over the world. As it is a microbrewery
so dont be surprised if you order your favourite lager and they
give you their equivalent. It often has bands playing traditional Irish
music, but in the style Irish people love.
But if you are looking for a proper Dublin night out, you could do worse
than to shun the Temple Bar merchandise and try out the quays or further
into the south side of the city.
(At this point you may be objecting to this article due to frequent mentions
of bars and pubs. Surely there is more to Dublin than alcohol?
you may cry. You are absolutely right, but as the Irish love to party,
you may as well do as the Romans do, so to speak)
:Both streets on each
side of the Liffey boast an excellent range of bars and nightclubs, where
you can really get a feel for Dublin as a young cosmopolitan city. Sirens,
on bachelors walk, is a low-key bar during the day but transforms into
a loud raucous music bar at night. It carries some history too
Leopold Bloom drinks there in Joyces Ulysees (Sirens is the name
of the chapter)
: If the cheesy, loud
bar scene is for you, Zanzibar on Bachelors walk is an excellent
choice. Imagine hundreds of people in a huge bar with two floors, the
highest ceilings you have ever seen, and to top it all off, impressive
African décor. (Not forgetting the dance floor.)
: Find your way to
St Georges street, and go to the Globe. The Globe hosts a lively
clientele who enjoy eclectic music and an emotive lighting scheme.
: RiRas can
be found around the corner, The Globes sister club; different music
nights on every day of the week with a great atmosphere. The Globe often
has live bands.
Traditional Pubs Great Guinness!
If older bars and/or a decent pint of Guinness is what you are looking
for, try one of the hundreds of old bars in the city, and by the way the
saying is true it does taste better in Ireland, and it does depend
on how its poured, so dont knock it until youve tried
it in a few places.
Traditional bars even the ones that market for a young clientele
really are the gems of Dublin and makes any chain bar look laughable.
Their unique atmosphere is enhanced by their history and craftsmanship,
and it is very satisfying to drink in a one hundred year old bar that
hasnt sold out to the twee Irish market while remaining as popular
as it ever was.
Look out for ONeills
around the corner from Grafton Street and Molly Malones statue,
with many ancient dark mahogany staircases and a no-music policy (the
roar of the crowds are enough!). The Ting Moat on the same street, sit
on the huge balcony and look down at the bar below all bars in
Dublin seem to have impressively high ceilings. Discover Toners on Baggot
Street, a very small bar with arguably the best Guinness in Dublin.
The gay bars are great too, the two leaders being The George on St Georges
street (you cant miss it its purple) both bar and nightclub,
plus bingo on a Sunday with Shirley Templebar and friends; and The Front
Lounge, an ultra modern pub with great décor.
Nightclubs in Dublin are almost always attached to hotels, exploiting
a loophole in previous Irish licensing laws. Now all clubs can stay open
until 2 am and many bars too. The best ones are The Kitchen (at the Clarence
Hotel) The Pod or the Red Box, situated at the top of Hartcourt street,
and of course RiRas. Chosen due to their refusal to be middle of
the road, and good atmosphere. Check the Hot Press for listings. In fact,
buy it as soon as you get there, or check it out online at www.hotpress.ie
as it is an excellent weekly event listing for Dublin.
Some handy websites are www.ireland.com
both excellent general websites; www.yahoo.ie;
great flight deals; http://clubndublin.cjb.net,
a great Dublin pub guide; and www.2irish.com for a laugh. And remember
anyone can do Dublin, but only the brave go off the beaten track
and do it properly!
© Hope Collins 2002
< Reply to this Article