Falon's is a stand out gem in a city overloaded with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to pubs. This tiny bar hunkered in the shadow of St Pat's Cathedral in the centre of the city is the true soul of Dublin. A single room, with too few seats and a plethora of characters is ably served by charismatic bar staff. No music plays to disturb your chat or your drinking and the only television is buried in the corner. If you want a genuine Dublin pub you will not find a better example than this. Rumour has it that it is Shane McGowan's favourite bar too, so you're in good company.
New Row South,Dublin 8,
Google map: bit.ly/SumxRk
Rocked up here after dinner and what a great night! It was like going into a slightly moth-eaten boozer populated by art students, fashionistas and Dublin's hipsters.
After some fast, efficient service from the front bar my friends and I wandered through dimly-lit rooms with chairs and tables into the huge beer garden at the back. Here you can have a fag, or wait for a pizza from the Big Blue Bus in the corner, while you admire the graffiti. Back inside the DJ was getting things moving with some house, electro, eighties soul and a whole host of excellent music (although the mixing was a bit plonky for my taste). We stayed all night and danced our socks off. The mojitos were two for a tenner (that's euros) but I've tasted better.
What a brilliant place. Next time I'm in Dublin I'll be back in a heartbeat.
11-12 Sth Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin
+353 (0)1 857128342
Google map: bit.ly/P6WKwC
Mon - Thu: 11:00 - 23:30
Fri: 11:00 - 0:00
Sat: 9:00 - 0:00
Sun: 9:00 - 23:30
From the sloping mountains to the curve of the bay, the whole patchwork of Dublin's roofs, towers and spires is spread before you as you sip your complimentary pint of the black stuff in the Gravity Bar on the 7th storey of the Guinness Storehouse. As you ascend the building, the tour introduces you to the four ingredients in Guinness - hops, water, barley, yeast - and to 250 years of brewing and cask making traditions. I loved the exhibition of 1930s paintings of the Guinness toucan, ostrich and carthorse used to spread the message that "Guinness is good for you", nursing mothers, tired travellers and all.
First built in 1904, this renovated pint-shaped factory building homes a showcase of the history behind the internationally renowned Guinness brand.
During the visit you will know more about the beer's ingredients, the brewery process, the Guinness family, the original site's lease document, the brand and advertising (Pelican, etc...), the Guinness book of records and other curious facts like the barrel-making process or ancient Guinness ships for transportation.
And at the end of the tour, there's nothing better than downing a good old pint at their Gravity Bar! Located at the top of the building, the nearly 360 degrees view from it is awesome and definitely a highlight of the tour.
As you can imagine, it's a really popular site for tourists and is now more branding-led now it's not owned by the Guinness family any more. A bit pricey, yes, but slightly cheaper if you book online, and definitely worth going if you also consider Guinness to be one of the biggest Irish icons to date.
Also, if you're in the area for a while, why not pop into the old prison? It's at a stone's throw from the factory and was a hidden gem of my Dublin visit.
Open 7 days a week from 9.30am – 5pm (last admission is at 5pm).
Late opening during July and August until 7pm (last admission is at 7pm).
You could easily get the wrong impression of Dublin by concentrating your drinking in the wrong places! Temple Bar in general is to be avoided for lots of reasons but there are fantastic bars and pubs in the city.
If you want the authentic pub experience in the city centre, check out Neary's in Chatham Street, McDaid's just off Grafton Street or John Mulligan's in Poolbeg Street. Proper pubs with good pints.
The Smithfield area is full of great pubs: for traditional Irish music (proper sessions) try the Cobblestone or Hughes's where there is trad every night. Also in that area, Walsh's in Stoneybatter is a great pub with a traditional bar and lounge and a great pint of Guinness. Smithfield is easily reached from the centre via the Luas or short taxi ride (€6 or so).
Staying in Smithfield, Ryan's in Queen Street is a strange little pub with an interesting and eclectic crowd on weekend evenings. Across the road is the Dice Bar, a cool spot which plays very very loud funky music if you're in the mood.
Another funky bar with great music and good-looking punters is the South William in South William St. Also along those lines is Solas or The Village in Wexford St. Across the road is more grungy Anseo, a great friendly little place with DJs every night. Check out also the George Bernard Shaw, just up the road in South Richmond Street.
For clubbing, the Pod in Harcourt Street is still going strong and you could also check out the Twisted Pepper down on Abbey Street.
Unless you want to drink an awful pint of Guinness for which you will pay through the nose while listening to a very contrived music session, don't go to the Oliver St. John Gogarty in Temple Bar. The fact that no Irish people do should tell you all you need to know. There's nothing traditional or authentic about most places in that area but that doesn't stop them being packed to the rafters so it all depends what you're after.
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