The booming economy and young population has led to an explosion of trendy new bars, cafes and clubs. The restaurant industry is also thriving and visitors will probably be bewildered by the choices available. There are also other entertainment options on offer including theater, cinema, comedy and many festivals that are organized regularly.
Pubs have long been an integral part of Irish hospitality and Dublin certainly won’t disappoint on this front. The city has over 800 drinking establishments and you will find a good selection of traditional Irish pubs, which are an essential part of any visit. The charm of many of these watering-holes is that they are welcoming for friends and strangers alike. They are always very simple and have remained unchanged for years.
Meanwhile, the last few years have seen many new trendy and sophisticated bars opening up, with some arguing that the city is losing its authenticity and character. The best nightlife experience can be had in the Temple Bar area, where the pubs and clubs are constantly packed with visitors.
The club scene has really taken off in recent years, so you will be sure to find something that you like; check local listings for details. A lot of the popular places are very expensive and difficult to get into. There are also a number of lower-end clubs in and around Leeson Street that cater to those who are desperate to carry on drinking even when everything else has closed.
Dublin’s licensing laws are somewhat primitive compared to many other European cities. Pubs usually close at 23:30 (00:30 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays), with the exception of some of the larger pubs that have special late licenses. Nightclubs stay open later, until around 02:00 or 03:00. Local listings for bars, restaurants and clubs can be found in the free events guide, Totally Dublin. Live music can be found all over Ireland and you’ll find a range of styles to choose from including traditional, rock, pop, jazz, blues and folk.