For such a small island, Ireland has produced our fair share of world-famous bands such as U2, Thin Lizzy, The Cranberries, The Dubliners and many, many others. The country is oozing with talent and most of these acts started their careers performing at local pubs and busking on Dublin’s streets.
Seeing a gig in one of Dublin’s pubs is the perfect way to soak up a bit of traditional Irish culture. The city is packed with pubs and live music – here’s a list of some of the best bars for live music in Dublin!
1. The Old Storehouse
Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Showcasing live Irish music seven nights a week, The Old Storehouse is favourite among tourists and Dubs alike. Set in the centre of Temple Bar, its location is hard to beat!
Both food and drink are served each day from 12pm till late at The Old Storehouse and the music sessions begin at 3pm on Sundays – Thursdays and at 2pm on Fridays and Saturdays Performing at The Old Storehouse is a big deal for singer songwriters – Gavin James was made famous while performing here!
2. Johnny Fox’s
Glencullen, Dublin Mountains, Co. Dublin
Johnny Fox’s is famously known as “Ireland’s Highest Pub” due to its mountainous location and is a must visit for fans of live Irish music.
There’s live music and entertainment seven days a week at Johnny Fox’s and you can leave the car at home – they operate a shuttle bus service! Attending a trad session in Johnny Fox’s will have you feeling like you’re at a good old-fashioned Irish house party.
3. The Cobblestone
77 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7
A family owned pub run on family traditions and values, The Cobblestone pub has been passed down through generations with Irish music always remaining its main focus.
You’re in for a treat whichever night you visit the pub – some of Ireland’s finest musicians, including the owner’s brother – the renowned uilleann piper Néillidh – lead traditional Irish music sessions in the bar seven days a week.
Wexford Street, Dublin 2
One of the country’s most famous and best-loved live music venues, Whelan’s main performance space has a capacity for 450 people with two levels and an overlooking balcony.
Operating for 27 years and counting, Whelan’s has hosted gigs for some household names prior to their big breaks – both Nick Cave and Jeff Buckley have played the venue. Ed Sheeran has played an impromptu surprise gig there too. Who knows who you’ll see next at Whelan’s!
5. The Brazen Head
20 Bridge Street Lower, Dublin 8
Established in 1198, The Brazen Head is Ireland’s oldest pub. The historic pub is also a haven for musicians – The Dubliners, Van Morrison and Tom Jones have all played at The Brazen Head over the years.
On Sunday afternoons they have a session with ballads and traditional Irish music. Together with this, you will find an array of guest musicians and singers from far and near who join with the group for the session and the craic.
6. The Porterhouse Temple Bar
16-18 Parliament Street, Dublin 2
The Porterhouse pubs are an international franchise with bars operating in Dublin, New York and London. It all started in 1996 with the Temple Bar Porterhouse – Ireland’s first brewery bar. Their Plain Porter beer has won gold twice at the international brewery industry awards – but that’s not the only reason people visit…
The Porterhouse Temple Bar is also one of the city’s best venues for seeing live music almost every night. You can expect to hear trad ballads, chart toppers and everything in between.
7. The Old Punchbowl
116 Rock Road, Booterstown, Co Dublin
The Old Punch Bowl is a family run pub that will remind you of days gone by. Once an old coach house, its interiors pay homage to the architectural style of the 1800’s.
Known for their good food and their live music, The Punch Bowl serve food every day and host trad music sessions on Tuesday and Saturday nights.
We’ve got lots more recommendations for things to do in Dublin City. Use our online Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane Concierge to see Dublin like a true Dub.