This guide was last updated: May 2013.
If you’re visiting Dublin here’s a handy guide to music venues, a map of the city, club nights and a few other things that might interest you. You can also check out my article from December 2012 for AerLingus’ inflight magazine on the very same subject.
Club Nights – Regular
If you want to submit a club listing you can email email@example.com.
- The Hep Cat Club - Swing, jazz, jump jive, blues, lounge music & dance classes @ Twisted Pepper (7pm €8/€5 after 9pm, weekly)
- Ruby Sessions - Long running folk and acoustic night @ Doyles (€6, 9pm, weekly)
- Kaleidoscope - A night of music curated by violinist Cliodhna Ryan and cellist Kate Ellis @ Odessa Club (€10 – monthly)
- King Kong Club – live band competition with clapometer @ The Mercantile ( Free – weekly)
- Somewhere? Club - Hip to House, bass to electro @ The Workman’s Club (Free before 11pm, €5 – weekly)
- The Bruce Willis - eclectic 3-room club @ Lost Society (€5-€7, 10:30pm, weekly)
- Junior Spesh - Bass dance music with regular international guests @ The Twisted Pepper (€Varies, 10.30pm, weekly)
- Connection - New Thursday series from Abstract “exhibiting fresh electronic music and artistic influences from across the globe”. (weekly)
- Tropicana - Bedlam and Home spin Disco house and party tunes @ The Lost Society (weekly, 11pm)
- Reputation - Local & International Indie, Electro & Rock @ The Grand Social (Free, First and third Thursday of every month)
- Thursdaze - 3 live local indie-leaning bands and DJ sets from members of Ham Sandwich (First Thursday of every month)
- Blanca - Some of the staff at Totally Dublin host their own night over two rooms (Monthly).
- Zebra – Bands in Whelan’s from Midnight (Weekly)
- Phantom Anthems – Claire Beck and other Phantom DJs @ The Workman’s downstairs bar (Free, weekly)
- Forward/Slash: Live and DJ guests with occasional international artists playing electronica, hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, soul, funk @ TBA (€various, weekly but currently on hold)
- Notorious: Hip-hop night with occasional international guests @ Button Factory (11pm, €8/€5 – weekly)
- Mud – D’n'B, dubstep, grime, dancehall @ Twisted Pepper (11pm, €10, most weeks)
- Trainwreck - House, techno and everything in between@ The Underground (11pm. €8/€6 -we weekly)
- Dive – Diverse gay-friendly night of good tunes, pool and beer pong @ The Lower Deck (Irregular Fridays, €5 before 10pm, €10 after – monthly)
- Scribble: All City Records @ The Bernard Shaw (Free, 7pm – weekly)
- Glider: - indie, shoegaze and alternative with Jim Carroll, Alison Curtis, Jonny Tiernan, Cillian McDonnell @ The Workman’s Club (10pm, Free, Once a month)
- Lockdown - Old & New school rock, Metal, Pop-punk, Ska, Punk. Has hosted parties for Kerrang! Tour after party (Bi-weekly)
- Sidetracked : Disco, house, garage, techno @ The Dark Horse Inn (Free, 9pm, monthly)
- No Static: back to back hip-hop, funk, house and disco @ The Sugar Club (11pm, Free, monthly)
- Nightflight : House Disco Boogie @ The Grand Social (1st Saturday every month, 11pm- 2:45am, Free)
- B-Music @ The Workman’s Club (10pm, Free)
- Toejam: DJs and occasional Car boot sales @ The Bernard Shaw (Free – weekly)
- Mother: Gay club with the best disco/dance music around. Recent guests include The Magician and Donal Dineen @ Copper Alley Nite Club (€10, weekly)
- Propaganda Indie-disco @ The Academy (10.30pm, €8-€10 – weekly)
- HU$$LE - Funky hip-hop and party tunes @ The Academy Green Room (10.30pm, €8/€6 – weekly)
- Alternative DJs upstairs, pop, dance and indie downstairs @ The Workman’s Club (10pm, Free)
- 12 Sundays – The Bernard Shaw (Sundays noon to 12am, FREE – weekly)
- Sunday Roast - live singer/songwriters/ folk and roast potatoes @ The Mercantile (9pm, Free – weekly)
Non regular club nights
Young Hearts Run Free - full lineups of always interesting all genres music in one-off locations with cake & poetry sometimes too.
Home – vinyl records only. A mix of disco, old school house, funky house, and funky breakbeat. Various times during the year, in different venues. Set design from Caroline Byrne, visuals by Niall Farrell, and a piece by Dublin street artist Phats.
View Dublin Venues in a larger map
Clubs & late night hangout spots
If you’re looking for a place with consistent club nights or a place to hang late:
The Twisted Pepper (54 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1) – Dublin’s only real clubbing venue. Also houses an amazing coffee shop called 3FE, a record shop called Elastic Witch, a barber’s and a bookshop during the day. Live music at night and more. Run By Bodytonic.
The Workman’s Club (10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2) – First floor always has decent DJs. There’s a venue downstairs with DJs playing til late and a bar adjacent. Best smoking garden in Dublin at the moment.
Check the Gig Guide for what’s on that week.
Pubs & Bars etc
The Long Hall (51 North Great George’s Street, Dublin) – Mmmmmmm. Carpets and Guinness. During the week, the perfect place for sneaky pints. It’s an old school pub with no music. manky toilets, but the atmosphere is all good. You can’t miss the red and white exterior.
The Bernard Shaw (11 – 12 South Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin 2) – Also by Bodytonic, a great pub, bar and hangout spot. DJs most nights with some live music, exhibitions, a big smoking area out the back with a big bus serving pizza.
Anseo – Camden St, Dublin 2 – Dark yet socialable place for a drink. Perfect place for a scoop before (and after a gig in nearby Whelan’s, Crawdaddy or Tripod). Gigs take place regularly upstairs at a small fee. DJs play a good mix of electic tunes from dance to funk to whatever beside the bar.
Grogans – 15 South William Street, Dublin 2 – Best place in the City Centre for Guinness and on-street bums on seats. Always full of weirdos, artists and bums. Try the ham and cheese toasties with a pint.
Dice Bar (79 Queen St, Dublin 7) - About a kilometer away from the city centre, this place has an NYC feel. It’s most recent claim to fame occurred when a Luas (tram) hit a truck, damaging the exterior wall and shattering the window at 7pm while people were present.
Stag’s Head (1 Dame Court, Dublin 2) – The best place to sit is the lounge around the back of the bar through the door.
The Oval (78 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1) – City centre but old-school.
U Bar (13 High Street, Dublin 7) – Student and dance music friendly new bar open on the way to Thomas Street and Vicar Street.
The Cobblestone (77 King Street North, Smithfield, Dublin 7) - Old-time boozer with live Irish music a little bit outside the main city on the Northside. Worth a trek.
Ukiyo (7-9 Exchequer St, Dublin 2) – Japanese Karaoke bar with restaurant.
Neary’s (1 Chatham Street, Dublin 2) - old-fashioned Edwardian pub off Grafton Street.
Whelan’s (25 Wexford Street, Dublin 2) – As well as a live venue, also works as a pub and a club with a packed indie-centric smoking area.
Sin é (14 15 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7) – On quays, nice selection of beers. Recently closed down and re-opened under new management. Haven’t been in since.
The International (Wicklow Street, Dublin 2) – Comedy upstairs and open mics downstairs. Regular pub in the middle.
The Market Bar (16 Fade Street, Dublin 2) – Big airy room with a wall of clogs and a restaurant in one corner. Bustling.
The Bar With No Name or the Secret Bar (Fade Street, Dublin 2) – Not so secret anymore. Above L’Geueleton. Look for the wooden snail sign hanging over the door. Good but expensive cocktails.
Pantibar – Capel Street – Best gay bar in Dublin. Friendly, always lots of cool things happening regularly.
Central Hotel Library Bar (1 – 5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2) – Head up the stairs from the lobby for a relaxed and quiet carpeted floor vibe.
The Exchequer (3-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2) – Great custom cocktails. Really good food.
L. Mulligan Grocer (Stoneybatter, Dublin 7) -
Other cool resources
Le Cool mag – A free weekly alternative city newsletter guide detailing gigs, DJ sets, art, comedy, theatre, culture and whatnot happening in the city over the week.