Edited by Holly Stark
Ancient Ireland and its capital is a vibrant place, especially at night. Dublin evening entertainment covers everything from live music, cozy pubs, eclectic bars, and world-class restaurants. So the Dublin nightlife scene is not to be missed when adventuring the old, cobbled streets of the city, and despite Dublin’s historic past, the city feels young and alive. Things to do in Dublin at night are endless and depending on your taste, there will always be something for you. From the famous Temple Bar Dublin to unconventional cafes to breweries, you’ll be sure to find good craic. Dublin nightlife for me means good people, good vibes, and good sounds.
From street performances and buskers to live sessions, to Dublin theatre and stand up comedy shows, the entertainment scene is on another level. I’d start my night with a lai back dinner at a restaurant, then head to a cosy pub for a music session and enjoy the sound of the city through Irish music - typically with traditional instruments such as violin and flute. Brimming with non touristy things to do in Dublin, away from stag and hen do’s in the well-known Temple Bar, this lively city can also be experienced through a quirkier, more intimate, arts lens. Here are my top tips for having good craic and getting the best out of Dublin evening entertainment.
Dublin Live Sessions
Dublin may be known for its literature and being home to many literary legends like James Joyce, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, but it really comes alive with music, especially the live kind. Whether current or innovative, classical or conventional, played in a grand concert hall or a dark dive bar, the live music scene is a distinguished one. Situated on Francis Street in the heart of Dublin's southern city centre, the Tivoli Theatre stands as an original replacement for an earlier Tivoli Theatre located on Burgh Quay, which closed in 1928. It served as a theatre and cinema in the 1930’s and was closed in 1964, but reopened in 1987 with live music and theatre. Now home to two flexible performance spaces: the Tivoli Theatre and the Tivoli Live, the unique and historic Tivoli Theatre is an iconic place at the heart of Dublin’s live music scene. Having hosted many highly revered and well loved actors, playwrights, comedians and musicians such as The Cranberries, Oasis, Blur, Suede, The Beastie Boys, the venue is home to current and upcoming bands and is an international DJ venue for cutting edge gigs. Whatever your musical flavour, this old Dublin theatre has it. Check the line up as it’s one of the best things to do in Dublin at night.
Temple Bar Quarter
The Temple Bar Quarter is often considered a tourist hub, especially at night, but for locals it’s something a little different. Located by the River Liffey, the Temple Bar Quarter is home to some of the best galleries, cafes, quirky shops, cultural and quieter spots aside from the general atmosphere of crazy drinking and revelry. Full of guaranteed laughs and high profile comedians, The Comedy Crunch takes place every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at The Stag's Head, located on Dame Lane in the city center. Showcasing the best in Irish and international stand up, The Comedy Crunch run run their shows year round only taking a break around Christmas. Doors open at 8:15pm but it’s best to get there around 8pm to ensure seats. There’s free ice cream provided during the break! If you’re wondering about Dublin nightlife on weekdays, you won't find a better night’s entertainment anywhere across the whole city on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. It's always packed with a buzzing atmosphere.
For the best of Dublin nightlife on Saturdays, try the Saturday Circus at the Academy. Check out a live band or concert first then stay out for an impressive and unique clubbing experience; featuring huge production pyro, confetti cannons, and spectacular circus performances such as aerial and onstage circus performances, fire dancers, and contortionists. There are three rooms with different music playing in each; the main room is home to hip hop, house, club bangers & future sounds, the green room has RnB, 90’s and disco at its heart, while the Academy 2 room is home to rock, indie, metal, and curveballs. The Academy is independent and fun non-touristy things to do in Dublin if you like staying out late and dancing the night away.
Serving as a relaxed and cozy cafe and bar during the day, Dublin’s Pygmalion morphs into an intimate nightclub and bar by night. With cosy brick walls and arched walkways, the Pygmalion hosts comedy performances, up-and-coming bands of local and international talent and DJ sets. Home to an eclectic mix of people on the dancefloor, everyone is welcome at the Pygmalion. They serve great pygtails (or cocktails) and have a multi-cultural array of affordable dishes, such as yummy tapas plates, in the elegant surroundings of the Powerscourt Townhouse. My other favourite spot for great cocktails are the Vintage Cocktail Club which has a refined, speakeasy-vibe bar and candle-lit cocktails. The 1920s-style clandestine bar serves up an extensive menu of spirits and specially crafted, award winning cocktails, as well as a menu of yummy bites.
Dublin is known for its old pubs and there are plenty to choose from! Head the Brazenhead, which is the oldest pub in the city, dating back to 1198. It could be fairly busy but the food is delicious and hearty and the atmosphere is of pure Irish charm, as each evening you can experience the storytelling of great Irish folklore. Alternatively, try traditional Irish food at The Hairy Lemon. Every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday from 8pm onwards, the pub hosts live music, known as The Hairy Lemon Trad Sessions. It has a long traditional menu and is considered one of the best pubs in Dublin for food and live music. The extensive menu features a famous beef and Guinness Pie, traditional Irish stew, and Dublin coddle, among other better-known dishes. To complete your unique pub experience, eat at The Church. Enjoy coffee, drinks, great Irish food, and traditional music beneath the beautiful stained glass window and the original Renatus Harris-built organ. Appreciate the art, history, architecture, and luxury of the old building and see for yourself why The Church has established itself as one of the best pubs in Dublin for live music.
Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with Our personalized, private tours, led by local hosts, make you feel like you’re exploring the city with a knowledgeable friend. We’ll take you to well-known sights and reveal Dublin’s hidden gems, unveiling stories typically missed by traditional tours. So unscript your journey, and see Dublin through the eyes of our local hosts!
Top private experiences in Dublin
We’ll pair you with the perfect host
There is no better way to see a city than with a friend who lives there. This is why we carefully match guests with their perfect host based on interested, personality and type of experience so they can discover a city beyond the tourist trail.
Make your inbox happy with our travel tips and inspiration as well as exclusive offers and first access to new services.