We have spent two nights in Dublin and have loved every second of it. We have stayed at DCA All Hallows, an ex missionary training school a short taxi ride from the centre of Dublin. First of all, if you fancy a fairly cheap stay in an atmospheric, historical spot then this is the place to stay!!
What I am going to blog about today is the nightlife in Dublin. Be warned – Dublin is very, very expensive, much more expensive than we anticipated. However it is a stunning city with something going off on every corner and history oozing from every street and alleyway.
I’m going to review my favourite hotspots in the Temple Bar district of Dublin, the most famous spot for drinking and socialising in Dublin. Naively, when I first heard the name Temple Bar I assumed it was one place, but it’s a whole area of Dublin filled with an array of of bars and pubs. I selected a few of my favourite places to tell you about which to me gave a taste of the different parts of Dublin nightlife.
1. The Cool Spot – The Turks Head
2. The Traditional Irish Pub – Quays Bar
3. The Best Unique Secret – Vintage Cocktail Bar
The Turks Head is a beautiful decorated, dark, intimate venue. That’s not to say that the place is small, just that it is so cleverly done out that everything feels a bit romantic and intimate. There are booths and little sofas for two, as well as larger booths and tables for groups. Outside seating is available, however it was raining when we ventured here.
Cocktails are €10, a price I found to be common around Temple Bar, and they sell a wide selection of spirits and beers. The atmosphere was chilled and welcoming but importantly staff left you to just enjoy your time there. A totally unique spot and one definitely worth a visit.
We couldn’t go to Temple Bar without going to an Irish pub, and they didn’t come more Irish than this. Gaelic football was on the television, and Irish singer was in the other room and Guinness was flowing. The bar was split in two, with one half being more chilled and the other half being a LOT rowdier. We chose the more chilled side as it was a Gaelic football final, however the side with the musician on looked fun too – just prepare for a few drinks spilt on you with all of the dancing from in there!
This pub was everything I imagined it would be – loud, full of laughter and fun and very, very Irish. The drinks choices were very traditional – no fancy cocktails here. There wasn’t a vast selection of wine but most people were drinking pints there. It was a great experience to drink there and was the best traditional Irish pub we went to in Temple Bar.
Now for the best kept secret in Temple Bar – The Vintage Cocktail Club. You would not know this place existed if you didn’t know about it and half of the fun is finding the place so I won’t spoil it for you, however of you get to this hotel then you have gone too far.
We booked a table in advance, knowing how hard it is to get in. There are no signs to say where the bar is aside from the door that says VCC on it. To get in, you must ring a doorbell. Entering this place is like stepping back in time – you half expect to see WW1 soldiers or spies sat in the corner. The entire venue is mostly lit by candlelit, providing a romantic feel and only serving to enhance the secretive feel about the place. The decor is beautiful and very vintage – I didn’t take too many photos as I don’t want to spoil the surprise/secret for anyone!
The cocktails were out of this world – my recommendation for any gin lover is the Trouble and Strife. At €11.95 they aren’t the cheapest but they were by far the best. The drinks menu is essentially a book and tells stories of the history of cocktails, so I would have a look online before going because the choice is vast and very, very tempting.
This was by far my favourite bar in Dublin. It was so unique and so cleverly thought out. Visiting here was as much a part of a night out as an experience and I would highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for a unique experience in Dublin.
There you have it – my Dublin nightlife guide! There are by far many, many other bars and places to visit in Temple Bar and I didn’t manage to visit them all, but the three I have chosen were the best in my opinion and gave a wide range of nightlife experiences.