Just because you’re done with the day’s sightseeing, don’t think your Dublin adventure has to end! After hours, the city comes alive in a whole new way, and while pubs are busy and restaurants bustling, there’s plenty of quirky alternatives waiting for you too.
You’ll find that Dubliners generally aren’t big on staying in for the night, and when you discover the eclectic mix of events on offer, we reckon you won't be either…
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Dublin’s historic architecture positively twinkles by starlight, and the River Liffey lulls quietly beneath the night’s action. Capture this beauty on a Dawn 2 Dusk photography tour that will show you the city’s most photogenic spots. Dublin’s iconic bridges are particularly interesting as seen from the water: with City Kayaking, paddle your way underneath them on a night tour.
Fancy a more atmospheric experience? The folks at Hidden Dublin Walks run a series of spooky walking tours in and around the city. The ‘Northside Ghost Walk’ takes punters to Oxmantown; the former Viking enclave that’s positively steeped in history, while you’re in for a real scare on the Hellfire Club tour - a three-hour excursion to a part of the Dublin Mountains associated with the occult.
Not feeling quite brave enough?! No problem! Explore the city in style by booking dinner on the lovely floating restaurant La Peniche – where you’ll travel by barge down Dublin’s Grand Canal, while enjoying some very fine dining!
Dubliners are famous for their gift of the gab, so it should come as no surprise that the city hosts some impressive poetry and spoken-word events. In the central cultural quarter of Dame District, poets and punters compete against each other at ‘Write & Recite’; a slam poetry night in Brogan’s Bar every Tuesday. Down the road in the Stag’s Head, Brown Bread Mixtape, a monthly pop-up night of poetry, music and comedy, with admission costing a mere €5. In a similar (but more cosy!) vein, the Milk & Cookies collective regularly transform a different Dublin space into a giant living-room. Under twinkly fairy-lights and wrapped in warm duvets, punters are invited to share stories, while enjoying a selection of tasty cookies!
Of course, you can converse with some of Dublin’s many characters in the traditional pubs dotted around the city; check out O’Donoghue’s on Baggot Street (a favourite haunt of legendary act The Dubliners), Mulligan’s on Poolbeg Street (a charming and cosy bar established way back in 1782, and renowned for its great pint of Guinness) and Fallon’s in the Coombe – one of Shane MacGowan’s favourite Dublin spots!
Dubliners love to dance: and yes, we’re known for our prowess at jigs, but we’re well able to shake a leg to other styles too! For an authentic but fun Irish dancing experience, be sure to book a space at The Irish House Party. Taking place in a beautiful 18th century townhouse in the city-centre, the organisers aim is to “revolt against the cheesy and the twee”. Hear hear!
Over on Exchequer Street, you’ll find achingly cool Japanese restaurant Ukiyo, who serve funky beats and tasty treats. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, head downstairs and sing your heart out in one of their karaoke booths! Fan of electro beats? Check out the Twisted Pepper and Bernard Shaw, both run by esteemed dance collective Bodytonic. Regularly welcoming international DJs through their doors, you’ll also catch some of the finest homegrown talent.
If indie-rock is more your thing, you’ll love Whelan’s, where regular guest DJs like Stuart Clark of iconic Irish music mag Hot Press play alternative tunes into the wee hours. If you fancy shaking those hips Spanish-style, Salsa Dublin dance nights take place every weekend at The Bass Ass Cafe in Temple Bar.
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For a simple outing, many Dubliners take a stroll on Grafton Street, the city’s bustling shopping street, and devour Irish homemade cake at Dublin’s oldest café, Bewley’s – an Irish institution and great for watching the world go by. At St. Stephen’s Green, kids will love the horse drawn carts that tour Georgian Dublin, a beautiful area where the Happenings pop-up cinema event regularly takes place: picnic blankets and popcorn at the ready!
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