The Party Destination of the Emerald Isle!
If you’re seeking a weekend away without the hassle of a long journey, with top class experiences and an atmosphere to rival any other, then look no further than Dublin! Boasting a range of cultural gems, awe-inspiring attractions and thrilling outdoor activities, the Irish capital is well worth a visit! Whilst there is no wrong time to visit the city, there are certainly times that can be recommended to maximise any potential good time. The peak time comes in the summer months (between May and August), when the weather is pleasantly warm and sunny more often than not. It’s in these months however that the city becomes more expensive, so budget-travellers should consider coming outside of this slot. There are also numerous festivals that take place throughout the year, with subjects ranging from music to beer, so get your research in and find one that suits you.
Dublin has a well-earned reputation as a party city, with some, particularly the party animals out there, seeing the nightlife to be its greatest attraction. Whether you’re looking for a weekend of relaxation, where you can sit and chill as the drinks flow, or a raucous weekend full of singing, dancing and cheering in the typical Irish manner, you’ll find it all here. Bars, pubs and clubs are spread across different areas of the city, including the Grafton Street Area, Temple Bar and The Docklands, so be sure to explore when you arrive. Just follow your feet; you can’t go wrong.
Grafton Street Area
One of the two principle shopping streets in the Dublin city centre, the pedestrian friendly Grafton Street provides the perfect day time activity for all of the shopaholics out there (though be prepared to spend, as it can get pricey!). Once the night draws in, it is then time to dump the shopping bags and get yourself dolled up (or whatever it is that the gents call it) in preparation for the nights events. There are loads of hotels in the vicinity that will serve to suit such a need, from the luxurious modernity of ‘The Westbury’, home of the New York and Parisian fusion that is Balfes Bar and the elegant cocktail bar ‘Marble’, to The Mercantile, a ‘no frills’, affordable hotel with a bar area that will allow you to catch the live sport during the day and listen to some fantastic live music at night.
Once you’ve gotten yourself ready (and perhaps wet your whistle in one of the hotel bars), it’s time to get yourself out there and there are a number of bars that will provide you with the perfect excuse to continue into the night, whether you’re looking to rest those weary shoppers feet in a relaxing environment, or looking to dance the night away. For those seeking a traditional Irish experience, Sinnotts Bar is as good a place as any, with a good number of beers, ales, and of course Guinness available. For the cocktail fan, head to Dakota, an oasis of calm that is a popular destination for drinks and rendezvouses, as well as a great place to party at the weekend. Make your way over to Bruxelles and enjoy three great bars under one roof, with heavy metal, alternative rock and live sport as the primary entertainment. Or relax in the vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere of La Cave, the oldest wine bar in the city, housing over 350 wines from House to Krug and an amazing 40 wines by the glass! Alternatively, Lillies Bordello is a must-go for those who love great music, dancing and a high quality experience, offering a multitude of indulgent entertainment experiences in one of the city’s most opulent yet energetic settings.
Dublin’s cultural quarter, the Temple Bar area can be found at the south bank of the River Liffey and is one of the most popular hotspots in the capital, holding a number of cultural institutions, from the Irish Photography Centre to the Irish Film Institute, in addition to a number of dedicated Saturday markets that offer everything from diverse foods to a wide range of literature. As the sun goes down, the place heats up as people clamber to the many tourist-centred venues that make this area a major centre for nightlife! Get to Dublin’s first pub brewery, The Porterhouse, and enjoy some great, traditionally Irish live music, whilst sipping from a selection of stouts, ales and lagers. Or make your way to ‘Bad Bobs’ and witness five distinct floors that include an exquisite cocktail bar with a wide and interesting selection, a thriving nightclub that is complete with a live band and DJ’s every Friday night, and a cosy snug bar with daily acoustic sessions, as well as one of the most comfortable smoking areas in the city! Alchemy Nightclub & Venue offers a luxurious glamour vibe with the best Dance, Chart and R’n’B and a number of VIP packages, whilst in ‘Café on Seine’ you have the most popular Café Bar in Dublin, offering an extensive range of cocktails and beers.
The Clarence Hotel complex is one that adds a great deal to the nightlife of Temple Bar, and indeed Dublin. With four different venues available, whether you’re staying in one of their fifty rooms and suites, or coming in from the outside (though it would be more convenient to stay, right?). Indulge in the finest in Irish and European cuisine alongside classic cocktails, affordable wines and international craft beers; or enjoy Texan BBQ and Whiskey Bar ‘Bison’ where you can choose from a 14 hour slow roast meats menu and 150 whiskeys, as well as 50 types of tequila, liquors, spirits and more craft beers and cocktails. Seen to offer the best cocktail experience in Dublin, The Liquor Rooms is a subterranean den of delight with four rooms of very distinctive personality, from the burlesque circus that is the Black Rabbit to the dance ‘til you drop attitude of The Boom Room. Additionally, the Octagon Bar offers an elegant setting that is perfect for a glamorous gathering with friends, with Art Deco floor and windows, an original hotel clock and an open fireplace, this bar provides the perfect retreat on a cold day.
Found on both sides of the River Liffey, the Dublin Docklands area is seen as a unique and modern area in which to do business. A heady mix of the past, present and future, it has become a popular area to stay in the city, hosting the unconventional yet luxurious hotel ‘The Marker’, a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ consortium, amongst others, and a hotspot for drinking and dining, with a bustling crowd being treated to a variety of bars, pubs and clubs, catering for all eventualities. Take, for instance, The Green Room, a modern wine and piano bar that is complete with a poker room and pool table. Come on a Friday night and be treated to subtle tunes and stunning vocals from a wealth of Irish talent! Alternatively, in ‘Grand Central’ Dublin has a thriving live music venue that is generally regarded as one of the best sounding venues in town, and with a marvelous mixture of music styles played by musicians, performers and DJ’s from all strands of the cultural spectrum, it’s not hard to see why it has been nominated for ‘National Venue of the Year’ four years running. Escape the madness of the city at the Hemisemidemiquaver Bar on the third floor of the Gibson Hotel, with a buzzing atmosphere and fantastic views working alongside a courtyard that has fused Contemporary Asian with Neon; or enjoy the traditional Dublin Pub atmosphere of The Ferryman Hotel (alongside some great value rooms), where the Guinness doesn’t stop flowing and their is an extensive whiskey menu from which to choose the poison that will have you singing like a true Irishman!
By Calum Dewsbury