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13 Of The Most Famous Pubs In Dublin City And Beyond

13 Of The Most Famous Pubs In Dublin City And Beyond

There’s an almost endless number of famous pubs in Dublin.

From the city’s oldest, The Brazen Head, to tourist haunts, like The Temple Bar, Ireland’s capital has no shortage of famous public houses.

And while some, like The Stag’s Head, are at the heart of the city, others, like The Merry Ploughboy, require a bit more effort to reach.

Right – I’m rambling. Below, you’ll find a mix of the most famous bars in Dublin. Dive on in!

The most famous pubs in Dublin


Photo left © Tourism Ireland. Others via Kehoe’s

We start all of our Irish pubs guides with a little disclaimer; firstly, the guide below is in no particular order.

Secondly, we will of course have missed some famous pubs in Dublin, as there’s so many to choose from. Have a suggestion? Comment below!

1. The Brazen Head

Brazen Head

Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re into your history, then there’s only one place to start! Very much the reigning champion of ancient pubs in Dublin, The Brazen Head boasts on a scroll of painted parchment on the pub’s whitewashed walls that it dates back to 1198. 

Dublin’s pubs are also famous for the literary and historical luminaries who once quenched their thirst, though few can claim Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift and legendary revolutionary Wolfe Tone as regulars.

This grand old Dublin institution is one that shouldn’t be missed and, while often busy with tourists, boasts a vibrant beer garden and cracking live music seven nights a week from 9pm.

Related read: Check out our guide to 24 of the Best Pubs in Dublin in 2024

2. The Long Hall

The Long Hall

Photos via The Long Hall on Twitter

From the Palace Bar to the Stag’s Head, Dublin’s home to several ornate Victorian pubs but few can match The Long Hall on South Great George’s Street!

The red and white striped awnings on the outside look a little twee at first glance, but on entering it’s like stepping back in time.

Virtually unchanged since 1881, its cosy lounge is blanketed by a glossy crimson ceiling, elaborate wooden partitions, antique clocks, globe lamps and red leather bar stools.

The service here is great too, so settle in, order a nice creamy pint and admire the splendour of one of the most famous pubs in Dublin (and reputedly Bruce Springsteen’s favourite!).

3. Johnnie Fox’s

Johnnie Fox's

Photos by andikdublin.com_Johnnie Fox’s pub and Restaurant,Dublin

One of the more famous pubs in Dublin when it comes to live music is Johnnie Fox’s, located in Glencullen in the Dublin Mountains.

Dating back to 1798, there’s some wonderfully preserved history here, from the old farming tools on display to the period clothing hanging on a line.

There’s plenty of great live music too, but especially famous is the Hooley Show, featuring a four-course meal followed by live music and Irish dancers providing a spectacular performance in person.

Shuttle buses leave from several city centre hotels every Friday and Saturday for €10. 

Related read: Check out our guide to 7 of the Oldest Pubs in Dublin

4. The Cobblestone

The Cobblestone has a tagline claiming that it’s, ‘A drinking pub with a music problem’, which gives you a sense of what’s to come!

And in a city with musicians proudly displaying their craft every night of the week, the short journey out of the city centre to the Cobblestone’s street corner home in the Smithfield area is well worth travelling for.

Owner Tom Mulligan’s family have been playing Irish music for five generations and the trad sessions in the bar are always played by superb musicians to a receptive and appreciative audience.

5. The Palace Bar

The Palace Bar

Photos via The Palace on FB

Famously described by novelist and poet Patrick Kavanagh as the “most wonderful temple of art”, The Palace Bar on Fleet Street is the perfect excuse to wade through the crowds of Temple Bar!

Your reward is one of the oldest pubs in Dublin and one that also houses one of the city’s finest whiskey bars – the ‘Whiskey Palace’ (check out the gaudy neon Vegas-esque sign upstairs!)

Dating back to 1823, its high walls are strewn with paintings of famous local figures and it’s also been a popular gossip and pints spot with journalists over the years as the offices of The Irish Times are located only a few minutes away.

Related read: Check out our guide to 13 Pubs Pouring the Best Guinness in Dublin

6. The Merry Ploughboy

Merry Ploughboy

Photos via Merry Ploughboy on FB

Another of the more famous bars in Dublin when it comes to live music is the brilliant Merry Ploughboy.

In fact, this place is owned and operated by musicians!  Situated on the outskirts of south Dublin, not far from Marlay Park, the Merry Ploughboy is a cracking gastro-pub serving up some great food, though an even better option is to enjoy a feed with their ‘traditional dinner/entertainment show’.

The lads have been performing together since 1989 and their award-winning show runs from 8.00pm to 10.00pm at €55 per head (prices may change).

Oh and there’s also a handy round-trip shuttle transfer from Dublin City centre!

Related read: Check out our guide to 10 of the Best Live Music Pubs in Dublin

7. O’Donoghues


Photos via O’Donoghues on FB

Another famous music pub in Dublin is O’Donoghues’s and the fact that it’s hosted the likes of Christy Moore and the Dubliners is a testament to that impressive heritage (check out the great black and white etchings on the wall of Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew). 

Built in 1789 as a grocery store on Merrion Row, it began operating full-time as a bar in 1934 and has been going strong ever since.

The live music is regular here, so pull up a chair, order a creamy pint and soak up the history and atmosphere of O’Donoghues!

8. Kehoe’s


Photo left © Tourism Ireland. Others via Kehoe’s

Brightly decked out with its distinct red and green facade, Kehoe’s on Anne Street isn’t hard to miss and has been a Dublin institution for over 200 years!

First licensed in the bloody rebellion year of 1803, some 100 years later or so it had become a favourite of the likes of Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavangh.

With its walkable central location, lovely snug just inside the doors and stunning mahogany carved bar, you can see why it had been a favourite of Dublin’s gregarious literary set.

Grab yourself a pint, sit out under the flowers above the sign and watch the world go by. 

9. The Gravediggers

The Gravediggers

Photos left + bottom right: The Irish Road Trip. Other via Google Maps

The Gravediggers is another of the more famous pubs in Dublin for a few reasons, not least its curious name!

Located next door to Glasnevin Cemetary, John Kavanagh’s (aka ‘The Gravediggers’) dates back to 1833 and serves one of the finest pints of Guinness in the land.

With its unfussy old-world interior, historic wooden bar and lack of music and television, this is a great old spot for a peaceful pint by yourself or to settle in for a few with friends.

Related read: Check out our Self-Guided Historic Dublin Pub Crawl

10. The Stag’s Head

The Stag’s Head

© Tourism Ireland

Amid the bright lights and colourful crisscrossed bunting of Dame Lane lies The Stag’s Head, an ornate old pub dating back to around 1770.

Handsome from the outside, it’s the beautiful Victorian interior that sets this spot apart from its competition. 

The gorgeous mahogany interior, stained glass windows and actual stag’s head gives this place a real old-world feel and feels almost like a museum.

11. Mulligan’s


© Tourism Ireland

Mulligan’s is another pub that has often been venerated as the city’s ultimate purveyor of the black stuff, but you’ll have to visit and see for yourself! 

Sat quietly on Poolbeg St, a couple of minutes’ walk from busy O’Connell Street, this place was originally a shebeen (unlicensed drinking venue) though it finally became ‘legal’ in 1782 and has been pouring pints for a merry crowd ever since. 

One customer, Billy Brookes Carter, apparently loved this spot so much that he requested some of his ashes be kept in Muillgan’s grandfather clock and every eight days, the staff ‘wind up Billy’.

12. The Temple Bar

Yes, Temple Bar is the tourist pub and yes, the prices here can be absurd, but there’s no denying that this is one of the most famous pubs in Dublin City.

Despite its popularity with tourists, the Temple Bar actually dates all the way back to 1840 and you can’t knock anywhere that offers over 450 different types of rare whiskey (the largest collection in Ireland!).

Step through the famous red doors, order a drink and soak up what is likely to be a very lively atmosphere.

13. McDaid’s


© Tourism Ireland

McDaid’s fame comes from its popularity with poet, novelist and playwright Brendan Behan. But while that legendary raconteur’s affection for the pub is an interesting characteristic (many other literary luminaries visited too), there are plenty of other reasons to visit. 

Situated just a stone’s throw from the busy shops of Grafton Street, McDaid’s is a perfect oasis away from all that commercialism (though it gets crowded inside at weekends).

With its handsome navy blue façade trimmed in deep red, it’s an unashamed old-school Dublin boozer and an ideal spot for settling in with a creamy pint. 

What famous bars in Dublin have we missed?

Brazen Head

Photos via Shutterstock

Right – we’ve unintentionally missed a clatter of famous pubs in Dublin from the guide above.

Some that have just come to me are Grogan’s, Neary’s and Harry Byrne’s. Let me know what else we’ve missed below!

FAQs about notable pubs in Dublin

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What famous bar in Dublin takes stags?’ to ‘Which is the oldest?’.

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 are the most famous pubs in Dublin?

Johnnie Fox’s, The Brazen Head, The Temple Bar and the Stag’s Head are four of the most famous bars in Dublin.

What famous bars in Dublin are good for first timers?

If you’re visiting Dublin for the first time, it’s no harm dipping into some of the ‘old reliables’. The likes of Kehoe’s, Mulligan’s and The Long Hall are three to start with.

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