When visiting Dublin, if you have a few days to spend in the fair city, you may be wondering how best to soak up some of its distinctive charm and character. Or perhaps you’re a Dubliner looking to explore further afield than the commute to and from work. Whatever your motivation, take a wander through the heart of Dublin along this route, a walking trail showcasing some of the historic buildings housing some of Dublin's most famous pubs.
Begin at The Brazen Head where you’ll see a plaque outside proudly denoting its status as Dublin’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198. Located on Bridge Street, this is the very area from which the original settlement of Dublin got its name. After soaking up a true taste of Dublin’s past, continue for about fifteen minutes along the famous River Liffey until you reach Temple Bar. This area is a tourist hotspot for a reason, but a must-see not to mention a great place to meet people from all over the world. It’s home to The Temple Bar, one of the most iconic and pictured pubs in Dublin.
From Temple Bar, walk for about ten minutes along Dame Street. Along the way, take a turn into Trinity Street until you happen upon one of Dublin’s most famous residents. This statue of Molly Malone was originally unveiled in 1988 at the end of Grafton Street before being relocated to its current home. Afterwards, continue towards The Stag’s Head, a stunning Victorian pub that has been serving pints since 1770. Admire the interiors adorned with ornate mahogany, the stained-glass windows and, of course, the eponymous stag’s head hanging over the bar. Frequented by James Joyce and Arthur Griffith among other Dublin literary greats, it’s still a popular haunt among Dubliners.
From The Stag’s Head, walk for about five minutes along South Great George’s Street making sure to stop into George’s Street Arcade along the way. This covered market plaza dating from 1881 offers everything from boutique clothing to books and jewelry, meaning you’re sure to find something unique. Continue until you reach Kehoe’s, a cosy pub dating back to 1803. This pub has a charming wooden interior, completely authentic to the 19th century. Take the time to grab a seat in the snug by the fireplace and soak up the history emanating from these walls including the old Guinness advertising.
From Kehoe’s, make your way down Grafton Street, the city’s beloved major shopping street. Built during the 1700s, its well known today for its talented buskers, boasting the likes of Dermot Kennedy among its performers. From here, continue until you reach Dawson street. Nestled here is The Dawson Lounge, the smallest pub in Ireland with a cosy underground setting.
Your last stop is allegedly the preferred hangout of ‘The Boss’ when he plays in Dublin. Indeed, The Long Hall is one of the most famous pubs in Dublin, known for its gorgeous Victorian interior and its historical connection to Irish revolutionary activity.
Dublin is a city steeped in history, and nowhere is this more evident than in its iconic pubs. From the ancient walls of The Brazen Head to the snug corners of Kehoe’s, each pub tells its own unique story, making a walking tour through these establishments not just a journey of pints but a journey through time. As you wander from one pub to the next, you are not just tracing the footsteps of countless Dubliners before you, but also immersing yourself in tales of revolution, literature, music, and more. Whether a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, this Dublin tour offers a refreshing glimpse into Dublin's rich tapestry of life, ensuring that by the end, you'll carry with you memories and stories that will last a lifetime. So, here's to Dublin – a city of stories, history, and perhaps most importantly, great pubs. Cheers!