There are heaps of pubs in Dublin, but if you’re only in the city for a night or two it can be tricky to know which ones to head to.
So, we’ve knocked up a Dublin pub crawl guide that’ll 1, take you to only historic pubs and 2, only take you to pubs that do a decent pint of Guinness.
Oh, and the beauty of our Dublin pub crawl is that each of the pubs are a short ramble from each other, so you won’t have far to go.
Below, you’ll get an overview of each pub and there’s also a section on organised tours, like the popular Dublin Literary Pub Crawl.
Some quick need-to-knows about this Dublin pub crawl
Although our Dublin pub crawl is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your night (or day!) out that bit more enjoyable.
1. Historic pubs close to each other
Our Dublin pub crawl only contains traditional bars, several of which are some of the oldest pubs in Dublin. We’ve also picked pubs that are reasonably close together, so the max you’ll need to walk from one pub to the next is around 10 minutes.
2. Drink at your own pace
This is more of a journey than a crawl. You don’t HAVE to get drunk. You can drink at your own pace, take in your surroundings, and soak up the history of the pub you’re in. Some of these old-school pubs have serving Dubliners for hundreds of years.
3. Feel free to set up camp
The best part of this pub crawl is that you’re your own boss. You can move along from pub to pub having the craic in each one, or you can find one you don’t want to leave and spend the rest of the night there.
An overview of our Dublin pub crawl
So, the map above will give you an idea of the route this Dublin pub crawl follows. Do you have to start in any particular pub?
No! However, if you start in either the Long Hall or the Palace the route will flow a little bit better. Right, here’s what to expect.
Pub 1: The Long Hall
The long and narrow hallway snug gives this 250-year-old pub its name. There’s been a license on the site since 1776, but the earliest known owners, the Maileys, had a tavern from 1830 to 1885.
It was a meeting place for The Fenians, and they planned their failed rising of 1867 here. In 1881 Patrick Dolan completed the present Victorian style renovation, and very little has changed since then.
If you want to savour the essence of The Long Hall, come on a weekday afternoon when it’s quieter (the seats at the front window are great for people watching).
Pub 2: Neary’s (5-minute walk from the Long Hall)
Neary’s Pub can be traced back to 1853 when it was a house and shop owned by the Casserly family, who then turned it into a tavern in 1887.
Thomas Neary became the owner then, and the name has remained with the pub since. Almost all the original features are still here, including the two lamp brackets decorating the pub’s frontage, some of the last of their type in the city.
There’s also a dumbwaiter that’s been running up and down the building since 1957. Always busy, the atmosphere is full of warmth and fun.
Pub 3: McDaid’s (1-minute walk from Neary’s)
It’s said the ceilings are so high in McDaid’s because corpses were placed upright during its time as the City Morgue. McDaid’s is one of the more ‘literary pubs’ in Dublin, mainly due to it being frequented by Brendan Behan.
However, it seems that it was due to the editor of the Envoy magazine, John Ryan, using the pub as a venue to meet with journalists and other writers that cemented McDaid’s reputation as the literary pub in Dublin.
The pub still attracts characters and, if you arrive on a fine day, the outdoor seating area is a great spot for a bit of people watching.
Pub 4: Kehoe’s (3-minute walk from McDaid’s)
You’ll find the famous Kehoe’s Pub Just off Grafton Street. Licensed since 1803, this is widely regarded as one of the best pubs in Dublin for good reason.
Downstairs has a cosy vibe and you’ll almost feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you walk through it’s doors. The décor is Victorian in style with the odd modern twist, like the neon sign outside.
Upstairs has a living room vibe, with thick carpets, old furnishings and a clatter of tables where you can perch yourself for an hour or three.
Related read: Check out our guide to 13 pubs pouring up some of the best Guinness in Dublin (from Bowes and the Gravediggers to plenty more)
Pub 5: The Stag’s Head (7-minute walk from Kehoe’s)
If you notice the name Tyson on the wrought iron outside The Stag’s Head, it refers to the man who built this pub in 1770. It was rebuilt in 1895 and is thought to be the city’s best-preserved Victorian pub.
In the 1830s, the pub was sought after because of its proximity to the Gaiety and Olympia theaters. Take your time to look around and relish the mosaic-tiled floors, the lavish carvings, and stained-glass windows.
If you can get a seat on the sofa by the window, you can people-watch as well. Of course, they serve a great pint too!
Pub 6: The Palace Bar (6-minute walk from The Stag’s Head)
My favourite Dublin pub. I’ve been coming to The Palace since the early 80s anytime I visit Dublin. It’s never changed, and thank God for that!
The pub was built in 1823 and it has had a couple of owners before being bought in 1946 by Bill Aherne. Around this time, Bertie Smyllie, editor of the Irish Times newspaper (whose office was nearby), began visiting the pub.
His patronage led to all of Dublin’s journalists and newspaper folk frequenting The Palace, and it has kept a lively vibe since. If you want to feel you’re in a 1930s movie, this is the pub to head to.
Great organised Dublin pub crawl tours
So, there are several organised pub tours that you can head off on, the most popular of which is the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl.
Note: if you book a tour through one of the links below we may make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.
1. Dublin Literary Pub Crawl
In Dublin, pubs and writers seem intertwined. Maybe it was because the writers were eavesdropping or simply watching the locals to gather material for their writings. In any case, the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl will take you to those pubs most associated with the great writers of our country. Actors quote from their work, sing their songs, and there’s a quiz, so if you think your brain might be befuddled after two hours, take notes!
2. Dublin Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl
There’s no rush with the popular Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. Accompanied by two musicians, you will enjoy an evening of music, song, and stories, with time for a couple of drinks and a chat, in each pub. The venues are traditional Irish pubs, off the main tourist route, and you’ll be treated to the history of Irish music as well as the performance of it.
3. Whiskey Tasting Tour of Dublin
This whiskey tasting tour is led by an expert in Irish whiskeys, and the two-hour excursion ends at the bar that was once the home of Dublin’s original Whiskey Society. Locals and tourists alike love the tour, and I’ve heard from Irish people that they learned lots of information, not only about the whiskey but about Dublin and Ireland itself. It’s a great way to be educated while becoming inebriated!
FAQs about our Dublin pub crawl
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What pubs in Dublin should I visit if I’m only here for 24 hours?’ to ‘Is the Dublin literary pub crawl as good as people say?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What pubs should I visit on a Dublin pub crawl?
Well, if you follow our guide about, you’ll only visit old-school, historic Dublin pubs that boast history, a great pint and a unique or beautiful interior.
Is the Dublin literary pub crawl worth doing?
We’ve heard nothing but great things about the Dublin literary pub crawl from both visiting tourists and those from Dublin.