20 Things To Do In Dublin At Night

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Dublin, the capital and the largest city in Ireland, has become a very popular city year-round. The infrastructure is all you would expect from a popular city and the rural nature of the country means there are also plenty of day trips, especially from spring onwards. If you want winter sun, Dublin is not for you. However, there is so much to see and do even in the winter that Dublin is guaranteed to remain popular. Dublin’s nightlife offers plenty of pubs with live music.  

It is an easy city to navigate with the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), meaning that your choice of hotel can include places that are out of the city. Many of Dublin’s nighttime activities are centrally located but not exclusively so. While Dublin’s city centre is busy by night, it retains an atmosphere of a friendly village with all the mod cons of a modern city. Here are some ideas of what to do in Dublin at night. 

Dublin At Night

Top 3 Tours

20 Things To Do In Dublin At Night

1- Enjoy A Pub Crawl

Dublin night pub
Going on a pub crawl in Dublin at night is fun!

One of the main reasons why visitors head to Dublin is for its famous nightlife and lively pub scene.

What better way than to find some of Dublin’s best pubs on a guided pub crawl with a local?

This tour introduces you to four different pubs, both traditional and contemporary.

As well as discovering the pubs, it is a chance to make new friends, probably like-minded, given they have chosen this pub crawl.

The “crawl” lasts around three hours, offering a range of beers, food and music.

2- Get An Introduction To Irish Music

dublin at night guinness
Tasting Irish beer is one of the fun things to do in Dublin at night.

Many of Dublin’s pubs have live music every night.

If you join a guide who is also a musician, you will enjoy a special night, including heading to the famous district of Temple Bar.

The district takes the name of Sir William Temple, a statesman and diplomat from the second half of the 17th century.

Listen to traditional music at every turn while sampling the beer and learning more about the history of this district which predates Sir William Temple by many centuries.

Over the years, several events have been here, some of which have made it to the Guinness Book of Records. This guided Irish music tour will introduce you to Irish music.

3- Drink The Best Irish Whiskey

things to do in dublin at night
Old wooden Irish whiskey barrel.

Irish whiskey (note the spelling that differs from Scottish whisky with the addition of the “e”) has established an important sector in the spirits market and you can enjoy a tasting with an expert.

Expect five different whiskeys with an expert selecting those to taste.

Traditional Irish soda bread and farmhouse cheeses are there for sampling at the same time.

Your starting point is a famous pub for its whiskeys, The Lincolns Inn, with the Palace in Temple Bar another on the itinerary.

That is where such famous Irishmen, Brendan Behan and Flann O’Brien, were regulars.

You will learn more about the history of the whiskeys along the way.

4- Eat Dinner With A Traditional Dance Show

Few dance shows made such an immediate and ongoing impact as “Riverdance, ” first performed in 1995 during the interval in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Irish tradition of dancing goes back many years, and the opportunity to dine and then watch some dancing is too good to miss.

The venue is an 18th-century townhouse that retains an intimacy that only adds to the experience.

The music comes from traditional instruments such as Harp, Uilleann Pipes, and Bodhran.

You will hear more about music and dance and several stories relating to these important activities over the years.

5- Try Irish Traditional Dancing

north dublin at night Irish Dance Troupe Jumping Together in Traditional Dresses and Ghillies.
One of the top things to do in Dublin at night is to watch an Irish dancing show.

It is possible to go beyond just sitting back and enjoying being entertained.

Why not learn some of the steps involved in Irish dancing?

There is an authentic Irish pub, O’Shea’s, on Talbot Street, where an instructor will guide you through the basic steps.

You may think the dancing looks complicated, yet everything can be broken down into simple movements, albeit they speed up when performed by experts.

If you need to build the courage, have a Guinness or two from the bar. The Irish are a hospitable, welcoming race, so there is no reason for inhibitions.

Looking for more to do in Ireland? Check these out:

6- Experience Dublin’s Supernatural

dublin at night customs house
Customs House in Dublin at night.

On a two-hour haunted history walk, you can hear about Dublin’s past and some of the characters who seemingly have not gone to the “afterlife.”

Ireland is regarded as a country with plenty of ghosts throughout the centuries.

As you walk along cobblestoned streets, you will hear of such as the 18th century Darkey “The Witch” Kelly, a brothel-keeper and supposed serial killer who was burnt at the stake in the 18th century.

There is also the sad story of The Green Lady of St. Audoen’s and the reason behind Dublin’s “Hell.”

Stories of the 18th Century Hellfire Club and the time when The Dolocher, Dublin’s “Jack the Ripper”, wandered these streets.

Sites included on your walk include Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Jail.

7- Tour Dublin Centre By Bus

things to do in dublin at night boat
Going on a cruise is one of the relaxing things to od in Dublin at night.

A night bus tour of Dublin is another interesting option for good weather. Buses can take you around Dublin to see its highlights, day and night.

You can hear all about its history, real and legendary while admiring its architecture.

The route includes Temple Bar and Docklands, as well as landmarks such as Christ Church Cathedral (the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity) and Trinity College, which look most impressive when lit up after dark.

The Cathedral was built in the 11th century, with revisions and additions in the following two centuries.

8- Go To An Outdoor Cinema

If you have ever wondered about what it is like to watch a film in the open air, Merrion Square is a place where you can do that outside the winter months.

It was designed in the middle of the 18th century and was largely complete by the end of that century.

The setting is impressive, a Georgian square south of the city centre, and the programme includes classics and current blockbusters.

Bring a blanket and picnic to make a real night of it. Alternatively, there are local vendors selling food and drink.

9- Watch A Theatre Performance

Samuel beckett bridge dublin at night
Exploring the waterfront is one of the things to do in Dublin at night.

Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett were all Dubliners so it should be no surprise that theatre is an integral part of Dublin life.

Shaw, for example, was a major player in the arts from the 1880s until the middle of the 20th century.

Oscar Wilde likewise began to make an impact in the 1880s though he subsequently left for London.

Check what performances are taking place during your visit and book accordingly.

The Abbey Theatre is one of the most famous in the country, opened in 1904 by W.B. Yeats.

10- Listen To Music At The National Concert Hall

dublin skyline at night
The Dublin skyline at night.

The National Concert Hall dates back to 1865 and has earned its reputation as the home of music in Ireland.

It is the home of the National Symphony Orchestra and has a capacity of 1,550.

It was initially an exhibition hall before becoming part of the University College.

In the 1970s, it became the concert hall it is today.

There are more than 1,000 events held at the concert hall annually, something for every taste.

The building itself is worth a tour, with refreshments available while you are there. 

dublin castle at night
Dublin spire at sunset.

On Thursday evenings, you are welcome to explore the National Gallery after normal opening hours.

It closes on Thursdays at 8.30 pm so that you can see its Irish and international art between your daytime activities and dinner.

There may well be a musician who entertains visitors on these evenings.

One of its entrances is off Merrion Square and it opened in 1864.

The Dutch masters are well-represented, as is the Italian Baroque School.

It began with just 112 paintings but the collection is now extensive.

Over the years, many bequests have been left to the National Gallery, one of significance being from George Bernard Shaw.

The National Gallery is at Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, D02 K303.

12- Dance The Night Away

After a busy day, dinner and a few drinks, you may not want the night to end.

Dublin offers plenty of opportunities to take to the dance floor, with most of the popular ones in the city’s heart.

In general, clubs close at 2.30 am, although one of the most popular ones, Tramlines, closes a little later.

There are different themes and musical styles with something for every taste.

They vary from Xico with sombreros, margaritas and live music to Pygmalion with its house music.

Opium on three floors has different styles on its floors.

13- Take In The Views From A Rooftop Bar

is it safe to walk around dublin at night Two glasses of champagne at rooftop restaurant with view
Wining and dining in a rooftop bar is one of the most romantic things to do in Dublin at night.

If you want to relax with a panoramic view over the city, there are several bars and restaurants that give you exactly that.

At ground level, many city centre bars are usually very busy so a rooftop location is a quieter alternative.

Docklands is an increasingly popular neighbourhood in Dublin, redeveloped from being very much a working district.

The rooftop lounge in the Marker in Docklands is a top spot to sip a cocktail and look out at the view.

Similarly, Ryleigh’s, also in the Docklands, is a fine restaurant.

14- Tour A Recording Studio

The Windmill Lane Recording Studio offers nighttime tours for anyone interested in music.

You will learn about the process of recording a song that the studio has been doing for over 40 years.

Among the stars who have used the studio in the past is U2, the Irish rock band, who did much of its album “Joshua Tree” here.

Van Morrison and Sinead O’Connor were other Irish artists who subsequently recorded here.

Lady Gaga and the iconic veteran band, the Rolling Stones. Windmill Lane Studios moved from its original premises in the Docklands to today’s site, a larger facility in Dublin 4.

15- Savour Pub Grub

dublin at night food
A hearty Irish stew.

You must try some of Ireland’s favourites in a pub in Dublin.

While a pub may not be open to enjoy a typical full Irish breakfast, you will always find things like Guinness pie and Irish stew on a pub menu at lunchtime but also for dinner.

There are plenty of pubs to eat and enjoy the atmosphere.

Take a look at Sheehan’s, The Winding Stair, and why not the oldest pub in Dublin, The Brazen Head?

There should be no need to book in advance like in many of Dublin’s top restaurants.

As you walk in, you will soon see whether there is a free table. Also, check out this pub experience.

16- Book A Health Treatment

Health centres in Dublin offer the chance for pampering and relaxation.

If you look at the Shelbourne Hotel or the Marker, among others, you will see the treatments available to book, even for non-residents.

The Shelbourne is a five-star luxury in the centre of Dublin with its health facilities including an indoor pool, fitness gym and dance studio.

Trained therapists are on hand to provide a relaxing experience, including the usual beauty treatments, manicuring, hair styling and facials.

17- Sing And Enjoy Fun And Games

To enjoy its facilities, you do not have to be a guest at the Generator, a city centre boutique hostel within a 10-minute walk from Temple Bar and a really fun place.

If you fancy singing, try karaoke or if you enjoy quizzes, there are regular ones here.

Fun competitions held regularly include pool as well as drinking games.

A cinema plays films while the DJ plays popular music and theme parties are a feature on its schedules.

18- Head To A Gym

If you have any energy left after a busy day, you can enjoy an Indoor trampoline gym suitable for people of all ages.

Jump Zone not only has trampolines but also climbing frames and foam pits.

This recreation centre is in Sandyford, which is easy to access from all parts of Dublin.

This is an early evening option, with the centre staying open until 8 pm on Saturdays and 7.30 pm on Fridays and Sundays.

Check it out because there is plenty to do, and if you are in Dublin as a family, it is a great environment for parents and their kids.

There is supervision if you are concerned that the kids are playing away from your sight.

19- Play Mini-Golf

Ireland has had a number of outstanding golfers over the years.

Floodlit golf isn’t available in Ireland but there is a facility to play indoor mini-golf, which is a fun activity.

Check on Rainforest Adventure Golf, where there a two indoor courses outside the city in Dundrum.

All the equipment you will need is there; each course will take around 45 minutes to play.

You walk through an artificial jungle environment; Aztec and Mayan are the names of the courses, giving a clue to the setting and sound effects as you play match those settings.

It is a great, fun evening with food and drinks available on-site.

20- Watch Gaelic Football

dublin ireland rugby stadium at night Silhouettes of football supporters against rugby pitch
Going to a football game is one of the fun things to do in Dublin at night.

Ireland is a sporting nation.

The performance of its national teams is outstanding, given Ireland’s relatively small population.

Ireland makes an impact on the international stage in rugby union, soccer and cricket.

However, there are other games that capture the public’s imagination, although they are not played at the international level.

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is the biggest sporting organization in the country.

The Association runs two major sports, Gaelic football and hurling.

Check on the fixture lists because you may get the opportunity to watch a GAA, a game you may never have seen before.

Expect enthusiastic crowds and a great night’s entertainment. 

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Steve Smith is a widely travelled man who has lived on the South West Coast of Turkey since 2008. He hails from North East England where he lived most of his life but has been to every continent of the world, with a particular love for Southern Africa and its wildlife. He lists Argentina, India, and Vietnam as other favourite places that he enjoyed greatly while sport is also a passion, cricket and golf as a participant, rugby union and soccer as a spectator.