The 16 remaining original Victorian era pubs of Dublin

Millions of people flock to Dublin every year for a chance to see up close, just what makes a Dublin pub so special. For most, the older the better. There is no shortage of authentically traditional pubs in the city, but as the decades go by, the numbers drop. Some of the best pubs in Dublin were built in the Victorian era, which stretched from 1837 to 1901. Many of these remain to this day and retain the majority of their original fixtures and their Victorian characteristics.

In Kevin C. Kearns’ ‘Dublin pub life and lore’, he lists the remaining Victorian pubs still in operation today. Sincethe book was published, 2 have closed down, Conways on Parnell street and Regans on Tara street. Here we will go through the remaining pubs and just why they are worth preserving and why they are part of Dublin’s rich heritage and remain some of the best places to go for a pint.

Interesting to note is that most of these pubs have snugs, which are a rare sight in modern pubs.

The Palace bar, Fleet street


The Palace bar is still richly celebrated as one of the most traditional bars in the city, drawing in tourists from the Temple Bar area looking for a more authentic experience. A pub where writers, journalists, artists, and others have congregated for decades. They still have a great tradition of supporting the GAA and traditional music. They have a lovely traditional snug and have moved with the times by offering a good selection of Irish craft beer.

Toners, Baggot street


Toners has a reputation of having one of the best pints of Guinness in the city according to Rory Guinness, a descendant of Arthur. It still retains its character on the inside and they have tried to recreate it in their newer beer garden. The snug was in recent years voted best in the country.

Doheny and Nesbitt, Baggot street


A pub mostly associated with journalists and the local business crowd, Dohenys is still very much traditional. It’s a big rugby pub, and they also have traditional music from Sunday to Tuesday nights.


The Swan, Aungier street

One of our favourite pubs in the city. The fixtures remain the same, and they proudly boast of their status as a Victorian era heritage pub. You can still see signs behind the bar that advertise ‘Colour TV available here’ from when the bar started to modernise in terms of what they offer.


The Long Hall, Georges street

One of the quintessential Dublin pubs for those visiting and looking for a bit of tradition. Bruce Springsteen is known to drink here when he’s in town, and who could argue with his taste. The walls are decorated with muskets, antique clocks, and other period paraphernalia. A Dublin classic.


Slatterys, Capel street

Slatterys is listed in the book as being a Victorian era pub, but there have been some recent renovations. These were mostly of the upper floor, so it shouldn’t affect the pubs Victorian status. It is also one of the few remaining early houses in the city, opening early in the morning for those who work unsociable hours.


The Stag’s Head, Dame Lane


The jewel in the crown of the Louis Fitzgerald pub group, and one of the most recognisable pub names in the city. There’s a large snug room behind the bar that is extremely cosy and retains a stained glass ceiling. If you see footage of the pub from the 60s and 70s you could barely tell the difference to today, bar the increase in taps on the counter.


Ryans, Parkgate street


Also known as Bongo Ryans, it has one of the most sought after snugs in the city. Like all Victorian pubs, it features large ornately carved wooden dividers that break up the bar.


The International Bar, Exchequer street

Best known as the home of stand up comedy in the city. The main bar is quite a small space, but it’s one of the most homely in the city.

Gaffneys, Fairview

The Hut, Phibsboro

Bowes, Fleet street


Bowes recently reopened their new snug after a bit of a refurb. Plans were underway to expand the bar into the neighbouring Doyles and ladbrokes, but the planning permission was turned down. this may well be a good thing for admirers of Bowes, as it will retain all the makes it good.

Kehoes, South Anne street

Such is the popularity of Kehoes, it can be hard to get a seat in this well worn and well loved pub. When full, it can appear to be a bit of a mazey design, with creaking stairs taking you to areas you wouldn’t expect existed. The snug beside the bar to the left as you walk in is a fine place to meet with friends.

Finnegans, Dalkey


Cassidys, Camden street

Come in here on a Sunday after an All Ireland final and you’ll fear for the safety of the structure! It heaves with fans adoring both the victorious Dubs and this fine pub. Bill Clinton stopped in here for a pint in the 90s on a presidential visit.


The Norseman, East Essex street

When the book we are referencing from was published, this pub was known as The Norseman, it then became Farringtons, and it has now reverted back to The Norseman. A fine treat for visitors to Temple Bar to be able to have a pint in an original Victorian era pub.

There are a number of other pubs that have strong characteristics of the Victorian age, but are not clasically Victorian, including…

  • Mulligans Poolbeg street
  • Mulligans Stoneybatter
  • Hanlons North Circular road
  • Kavanaghs Aughrim street
  • The Gravediggers Glasnevin
  • McDaids Harry street
  • The Lord Edward Christchurch
  • The Portobello Rathmines
  • Slatterys Rathmines
  • The Brazen Head Bridge street
  • Searsons Baggot street
  • Sandyford House



Dublin named world’s third friendliest city (and No.6 isn’t bad either)

Dublin and Galway have been named among the world’s ten friendliest cities by readers of Condé Nast Traveler.

“The people make the place here,” said one reader of Dublin.

The city placed third on the list, behind Charleston in South Carolina and Sydney, Australia – and just ahead of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Dublin Hapenny bridge

“We had the best recommendations on where to go and what to see from the locals,” said another visitor. “Better than any guide book.”
“I’ve never been somewhere with friendlier drinkers,” added a third.

Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 10 friendliest cities:

  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Park City, Utah
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Nashville, Tennessee
    The list was complied based on Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Survey, taken by some 128,000 readers in 2015, according to the magazine.

“Just look at this city,” it says of Galway. “It’s hard not to be charmed.”
Live music, pubs and food “enchanted” its readers, the travel bible adds. “These are the friendliest people I have ever met,” commented one reader.

Galway was named the world’s friendliest city by readers of another US publication, Travel + Leisure, last year, with Dublin ranking third and Cork fourth.
“Again and again, our research shows us that the friendliness of our people is one of our unique selling points,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

“It is the warm welcome and the ‘craic’ here that resonates with our overseas visitors and makes our cities, and the island of Ireland, such a great choice for a short break or holiday.”
Meanwhile, Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the world’s unfriendliest cities was topped by Newark, followed by Tijuana, Mexico and Oakland in California.


Ireland named one of world’s Top 10 summer destinations, thanks to three ‘luxury’ counties.

Ballyfin House Co. Laois 5

$35 billion question

An analysis of $35 billion worth of travel transactions has seen Ireland named one of the world’s hottest destinations to visit this summer.

Luxury travel network Virtuoso, which last summer named Ashford Castle as the world’s best hotel, lists its 10 hottest destinations as follows:

  1. Italy
  2. UK
  3. France
  4. Spain
  5. Netherlands
  6. Ireland
  7. Germany
  8. South Africa
  9. Greece
  10. Israel

The list comes after an analysis of travel-related transactions in North America ahead of summer 2016, Virtuoso says, and shows a 58% increase in Irish bookings.

“Travellers visiting Ireland are flocking to Dublin and Galway in particular,” it says, “along with County Laois in the centre of the country.”
Laois is home to the 5-star Heritage Resort and Ballyfin, where Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are reported to have honeymooned in 2014.

“It’s another well-deserved accolade, which provides Tourism Ireland with a great hook to continue to promote the island of Ireland as a ‘must visit’ destination for American and Canadian travellers,” said Alison Metcalfe of Tourism Ireland.

2015 was Ireland’s busiest ever year for inbound tourism, with first quarter results for 2016 showing North American visits up 24.5pc.


EPIC Ireland: Inside Dublin’s epic new €15 million tourist attraction

A deep dive into Irish DNA

Epic-Logo-FingerprintEPIC Ireland is described as an interactive visitor experience celebrating the global journeys and influence of the Irish disapora.
Opening to the public on May 7 after an official launch by Mary Robinson, the attraction is set in the brick vaults of CHQ on Custom House Quay.

It is entirely privately funded, developed at a cost of €15 million by Neville Isdell, former Chairman and CEO of Coca Cola and member of the Irish diaspora.
On a preview tour, my experience was of a bold series of 20 galleries slickly fitted with at times breathtakingly immersive technology-driven displays.

Designed by Event Communications, the award-winning designers of Titanic Belfast, EPIC Ireland aspires to tell the story of “10 million journeys”, with galleries organised into themes of migration, motivation, influence and connection.

epic ireland

Why did people leave? What was their influence overseas? How has the emigrant experience changed over time? All are questions integral to the experience.

“The vision and objective of EPIC Ireland is to be the essential first port of call for visitors to Ireland,” said its Managing Director, Conal Harvey.
75pc of visitors are expected to come from overseas, with 25pc coming from the island of Ireland, according to Dervla O’Neill, its head of marketing.

She described the experience as “a real deep dive into the Irish DNA”.
Visitors receive a passport as they enter the attraction, stamping it at various points before using it to send a virtual postcard as their tour concludes.

Some 70 living characters are included among the galleries, ranging from Magdelene daughter Mari Steed to Graham Norton and President Barack Obama.

A rogues’ gallery evokes characters like Ned Kelly and Typhoid Mary, whilst others celebrate the achievements of scientists like Ernest Walton, musicians like Morrissey, and literary giants ranging from Bram Stoker to Edna O’Brien.


All told, however, this is a much-needed and extremely polished addition to Dublin’s deck of tourist attractions – at a time when the city is badly in need of new competitive edges to re-position a somewhat tiring image.

American College Football to bring much more than a game to Dublin in September

Boston College's game with Georgia Tech in the Aviva Stadium was announced last June, but on Thursday morning in Trinity College the full scale of what the game will bring to Dublin was finally revealed.


The two teams are to meet in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic on September 3rd in the opening game of the college football season. The game will have a 12:30pm kickoff, meaning an early morning start for fans of the colleges on America’s west coast.

20,000 tickets have already been sold for the game, almost all in America. Game organisers expect that at least 50% of those in attendance will be American who will travel to Dublin from the Boston and Atlanta areas.


ESPN will broadcast from Dublin during the game and organisers hope to the station’s flagship program SportsCenter will be based in Dublin in the lead-up to the event. The program is one of the most popular sports shows on American television.

Trinity College will also host three high school games in the build-up to the event with teams from Georgia, Florida and New Jersey. The University will act as a Welcome Village for fans from both colleges in the week building up to the game, including the colleges pep rallies ahead of the game.

Game Promoter Padraic O’Kane told Newstalk Sport that the event is a brilliant way to promote Dublin and it’s surrounds. “Compared to most major events that come in, sporting events that come into Dublin like a rugby international are gone again. These people will fly into Shannon and Belfast and will spend time in towns and cities around the country. This is not only a win for Dublin but it’s a huge win for Ireland.”

O’Kane claims the Dublin is now the “European Capital of College Football” as the city prepares to host the third college football game in the city in five years. “The great thing about college universities coming to Ireland is every aspect of the school wins.”

The game takes place on the same weekend as the All-Ireland Hurling Final, and O’Kane feels that a lack of beds wont be an issue in Dublin at the start of September.

The American Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley was also in attendance, at the St. Louis native is delighted to attend the event in Dublin.

“It will be the first football game of the year, it will get a lot of coverage” in America according to Ambassador O’Malley. “It’s a big thing. ESPN is coming over to cover it. They are going to do a number of hours of pre-game. The will show the spectacle of what an American College Football pre-game is.”

Ambassador O’Malley doesn’t have an affiliation with either team and he hopes to see “an American spectacle” in Dublin. At the moment, the ambassador does not have an official role in the game but jokingly added he could play for either team if they needed “a very old corner back”.Tickets for the game go on sale to Irish fans on April 6th at 9am on


15 sci-tech hotspots you have to visit in Dublin

100,000 tourists were expected to visit Ireland last week as St Patrick’s Day looms into view. While many of these holidaymakers travel right throughout the country, the vast majority base themselves in Dublin.

The landmark day alone is expected to bring €70m to the capital city but, rather than go down the paddywhackery route, we’re here with 15 places to visit that showcase Ireland’s science and technology achievements, past and present.


Tour of Dublin: Broombridge (D7)

Quaternion mutterings don’t usually make headlines, or indeed get inscribed in stone. Yet, at Broombridge along the Royal Canal, William Rowan Hamilton’s ‘eureka’ moment is captured in all its tangible glory.
It was here that Hamilton came up with the idea for a revolutionary new form of algebra.

Trinity College (D2)

Sticking to the tangible theme, Trinity College is full of hits. For example, the iron railings along Nassau Street sport the inscription R&J Mallet, which, as all you eagle-eyed engineering historians out there already know, relates to Robert Mallet.He was dubbed the ‘father of seismology’, with his iron foundry business obviously well enough respected for Trinity architects.
Elsewhere there’s the painstakingly boring pitch drop experiment, and plenty more besides when you get indoors.


Science Gallery (Pearse Street, D2)

We love the Science Gallery here at Silicon Republic and, after the wonderful Trauma: Built to break exhibit finished up last month, the team are back in force in March with a new farming show. Check the video!

Makeshop (Nassau Street D2)

Created by Science Gallery, Makeshop is for everyone from novices to advanced makers, young to old. The aim of Makeshop is to provide people with the tools, materials and guidance they need to get making, in a place where creativity is encouraged and everyone is welcome.

Silicon Docks (Grand Canal Dock, D2)

If it’s more of a modern schtick you’re into then check out Dublin’s very own Silicon Valley: Silicon Docks. Home to plenty of software companies you rely on for much of your social media-ing, you could gaze at Facebook’s European HQ, or even watch Google staff out in the wild, getting a coffee at 3fE.

If you want, you can struggle to understand why the red pipes outside the Grand Canal Theatre are supposed to represent trees – come back in the summer to check out Inspirefest these, too. Also, if you’re flush with money and want to invest in start-ups, let out a yell and someone there will be happy to talk to you.

Merrion Square (Merrion Square, D2)

Do you like moderate mistreatment of cats? Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger sure did, at least intellectually speaking. He also took a shine to Dublin many moons ago.
Landing here from England at the outbreak of the World War II in 1939, Schrödinger’s self-described ‘long exile’ was 16 years, during which he became the first professor of physics at the newly-established Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
He also penned What Is Life? during this time, one of the most significant scientific contributions ever made in Ireland. His name adorns a plaque around Merrion Square.

The Little Museum of Dublin (St Stephen’s Green, D2)

The Little Museum of Dublin is, well, little. It’s also a treasure trove of trivial historical artefacts related to the city. Situated on St Stephen’s Green, it’s an easy find. The Irish Times voted it “Dublin’s best museum experience”, with the tours there very enjoyable.

Natural History Museum (Merrion Square, D2)

One of the better cabinet-museums around, Dublin’s Natural History Museum is great and well worth a trip. It holds millions of specimens, with just a fraction on display at any one time. If you can’t make it down there’s always this 3D virtual tour, should you like that kind of thing.

The Zoo (Phoenix Park, D8)

Of course, not everybody likes hanging out with dead specimens, so, if you prefer the real thing, then Dublin Zoo in Phoenix Park should sate your appetite. Highlights here include the new gorilla enclosure and the excellent zebra, giraffe, ostrich and rhino enclosures.

Wi-Fi murals (Throughout Dublin city)

Okay, this is a bit of a weird one but, if you occasionally look up from your phone when you’re walking around the city you may succeed in (a) not walking into traffic, bikes or other people and (b) see some of the really cool tiled murals signifying Dublin’s free Wi-Fi.

Croke Park (Jones’s Road, D3)

Right now, Croke Park is home to a whole host of cool pieces of technology. A test bed for internet of things developments, Croke Park is testing everything from micro weather patterns to crowd control.
For example, on the roof, at this very minute, Intel has a tiny little weather centre. In the stands, cameras are monitoring shade levels in minute detail to improve grass growth. The future of stadia, and perhaps cities, is all here.

Botanic Gardens (Glasnevin, D9)

An animal-free alternative for nature fans would be the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. Billed as “an oasis of calm and beauty”, not even dogs are allowed here, so any cynophobia sufferers out there rejoice.
A premier scientific institution, the gardens also contain the National Herbarium and several historic wrought-iron glasshouses.

Guinness Storehouse (St James’ Gate, D8)

What is a widget? It’s a Guinness creation that floats about in some cans of beer and stout, keeping the drink’s make-up relatively natural. If you take a tour of the Storehouse – Ireland’s most popular paid tourist attraction – you’ll hear all about it.
There’s far more cool stuff inside the building, too, like the pint-glass-shaped interior and some of the biggest steel beams you’ll see in the country.

Teelings Whiskey Distillery (Newmarket, D8)

We could recommend the Jameson tour in Smithfield but, given it doesn’t actually produce any whiskey, we’ll plump for Teelings. Take a tour, learn about whiskey and enjoy your samples. Simples.

The Digital Hub (Thomas Street, D8)

Right beside the Guinness Storehouse sits a hive of start-up activity, with the Digital Hub and the Digital Exchange home to businesses like Slack, Emaint, Tibco and even, eh, Silicon Republic.



“I heart my city:…”

As part of its March cover story, National Geographic asked a selection of writers from around the globe which cities have stolen their hearts.
By Pól Ó Conghaile.



1. It does the small things well. Dublin is home to over a million souls, but you’ll always bump into someone you know. It does streets, strips and scenes well, but don’t expect full- on neighbourhoods — this ain’t Berlin. At its best, the blend of big-city buzz and small-town bonhomie can be electric, as with the Little Museum of Dublin or those unforgettable nights out. At its worst, it can make us flaky and parochial.

2. It’s a city by the sea. Few people think of Dublin as a city bordered by mountains and ocean. But that’s exactly what it is. Just half an hour from O’Connell Street, you could be mountain biking the gnarly hump of Ticknock or salivating over the seafood restaurants on Howth’s West Pier. The scenery along stretches of the DART Suburban Rail line, particularly the sweep along Killiney Bay, is sublime — and, luckily for me, it’s my commute to the office.

3. Baking is back. After years of bland paninis and chewy baguettes, a new wave of bakers and pastry chefs has rebooted one of life’s simple pleasures. Try Camerino for challah bread and chocolate raspberry cheesecake brownies, or Antoinette’s for gluten-free goodies. Some might say baking never went away, of course — at Bretzel in Portobello, they’ve been baking kosher bread in brick-lined ovens since 1870.

4. Croke Park. I love that Europe’s third-biggest stadium is used not for soccer but for the gladiatorial games of Gaelic football and hurling. The annual All-Ireland Championship sparks an amazing atmosphere, with supporters streaming up O’Connell Street like wildebeest in county colours. It’s our thing.

5. Temple Bar has a secret doorbell. You’ll find it on the black building between Eager Beaver and Skate City on Crown Alley. Look for the initials ‘VCC’ on a steel door, and ring. Temple Bar has a reputation for piss-ups and paddywhackery, but this portal leads to plush lounges, candlelit nooks and bartenders who can tell you all there is to know about craft gin. Welcome to the Vintage Cocktail Club.

6. Everyone has a book in them… if only they’d write it. Literature’s loss is conversation’s gain, however — hours whiled away in circular arguments, surreal flights of fancy and creative slagging are part of the city’s fabric. Key words? ‘Grand’ is the standard response to ‘How’ya?’ It can mean a) amazing, b) ok or c) I’m dying. ‘What’s the story?’ is the quintessential Dublin greeting. After hearing it once, you’ll never settle for a simple ‘hello’ again.

7. Food, glorious food. Ireland’s food scene has burst through a brick wall in recent years, and Dublin is at the vanguard. I’ll go out of my way for the simple and elegant presentations of Irish riffs at The Pig’s Ear, the spiced beef blaas (soft white rolls from Waterford) with Coolea cheese at Hatch and Sons or the pulled pork tacos from K Chido Mexico’s cute food truck on Chancery Street. Yum.

8. It’s going beyond the black stuff. Sure, the Guinness Storehouse remains Dublin’s top tourist attraction and huge amounts of the creamy libation are gulped downed every day, but the capital has embraced Ireland’s booming craft beer scene with gusto. Pubs like L. Mulligan Grocer and The Black Sheep don’t even serve Guinness. Years ago, this would have been heresy — now it’s hip.

9. It wears its scars on its sleeve. Look closely at the Daniel O’Connell monument on O’Connell Street. See the bulletholes? They survive from the Easter Rising of 1916 and the turbulence that followed, including the War of Independence and Civil War. As the centenary approaches, expect to hear of others — pockmarking books at Marsh’s Library, for example. The legacy of 1916 is debated, but the marks remain stubbornly in place.


The one place that epitomises everything I love about my city is: Capel Street. Once one of the finest Georgian streets in Dublin, it’s now a tumbledown mix of all you could ever want — pawnbrokers and craft beer bars, sushi joints and tatty furniture shops, hip cafes like Brother Hubbard and vendors selling fruit from prams. It’s electric, shambolic, indefinable and always on the cusp of becoming the next big thing. I hope it never does.



A Literary Guide to Dublin, Ireland

In a country with a rich literary history, it’s no surprise that travelers journey to Dublin to find those inspiring places made infamous by the writings of Joyce, Wilde, Beckett and Doyle.

From historic buildings to the pubs of Temple Bar, the capital of the Emerald Isle offers an endless array of must-see places to find the lasting mark of Irish writers past and present. Discover and learn about Irish literature’s best-known scribes (and a healthy dose of Irish history) through these well-known neighborhoods and places.



Journalist and novelist Maeve Binchy grew up in the pretty seaside suburb of Dublin that is now home to Irish A-listers. Starting her career at The Irish Times, Binchy soon turned to writing novels and short story collections like Circle of Friends and Tara Road, which can be easily found in Dalkey’s The Gutter Bookshop, a popular local independent bookseller.


Abbey Theatre:

Opening its doors in December of 1904, this theatre (also known as the National Theatre of Ireland) was founded by poet W.B. Yeats and dramatist Lady Augusta Gregory. The first state-subsidized theatre in the English-speaking world, the Abbey Theatre is also noted for staging the first (and highly controversial) production of The Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge.


The James Joyce Centre:

The avant-garde poet and novelist has left a lasting mark on his hometown. Local revelers dress up as Leopold Bloom for the annual celebration of Bloomsday on June 16, the date on which Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place. If you can’t visit on that day, the James Joyce Centre (hosts of Bloomsday) has permanent and rotating exhibits that give you an intimate look into Joyce’s life. Learn about Joyce’s legacy, and then toast his life at Davy Burn’s Pub, a 100-year-old gastropub well known for its amenable atmosphere, tasty cuisine and mention in Ulysses.


Saint Patrick’s Cathedral:

Also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, this is where St. Patrick baptized converts in Dublin. Its best-known literary connection is cleric and writer Jonathan Swift, who wrote Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal. Swift was dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745, and is buried in the church’s graveyard.


Merrion Square:

Make the pilgrimage to this pretty Georgian park to gaze at Danny Osborne’s colorful sculpture of poet, essayist, novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde. But what’s more important is across the street at One Merrion Square; the author’s childhood home is now restored and part of the American College of Dublin.



Although his stories showcase fictional Barrytown, readers of novelist Roddy Doyle can visit the real life inspiration. One of the oldest neighborhoods of Dublin, Kilbarrack is where Doyle grew up and worked as a teacher. The suburb also became a star in the filming of his book The Van, as local pub The Foxhound Inn was included as a movie location.


Trinity College:

The oldest university in the city has many literary alumni, including Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker. Trinity College is also home to the largest library of Ireland. Featuring The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament dating to 800 AD, the library also includes The Long Room, containing 200,000 of the library’s oldest books and one of the remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.


National Library of Ireland:

With over eight million items, this reference library focuses on preserving Irish cultural identity through its collection of personal papers, letters and writings of many Irish writers. Fans of writer Colm Tóibín can learn about his early years as a journalist and burgeoning novelist/playwright at the library, where his literary papers, as well as works from his teacher/father Michael Tóibín, are accessible.