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



High-tech interactive tourist office in Dublin

Fáilte Ireland has officially opened a new tourism information office in Dublin which it says is state-of-the-art, combining high-tech digital delivery with personal interaction.

Located at 25 Suffolk Street, the new ‘Visit Dublin’ outlet aims to provide visitors with up-to-date and relevant information “in a way that is easy to follow, intuitive and accessible to all”.

Features in the new office include ‘The Inspiration Wall’, a large-scale video wall presenting specially commissioned photographs; interactive pods to help visitors access relevant information quickly; and ‘The Social Media Wall’, another large digital display showing all the social media posts and tweets tagged with #lovedublin and filling the wall with the visitor’s own images and experiences of Dublin on an almost live basis.

There’s also a ‘What’s On’ area presenting events, concerts and special exhibitions and updated on a daily basis and ‘The App Wall’, where key smartphone apps are promoted.

Orla Carroll, Fáilte Ireland’s head of Dublin, said: “This new ‘Visit Dublin’ office has been purposely designed to exploit the latest in technology to ensure that visitors here are both informed and inspired.

“We want visitors to Dublin to actively engage and explore their surroundings and we have a variety of easy to use and attractive tools for them to do so in this office. With its focus on the needs of the modern traveller and the provision of the most up to date information, we believe we now have a tourism office in Dublin that sets a benchmark nationally and, indeed, globally”.



Ireland’s top 10 tourist attractions revealed…


The Guinness Storehouse once more tops the bill, welcoming 1,157,000 visitors in 2013 – an increase of 70,000 visitors on its 2012 performance.

The iconic Dublin attraction was followed closely by Dublin Zoo, with just over a million visitors, and the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience – which saw a 10% boost over last year thanks to 960,000 paying visitors passing through.

Top 10 Fee-Charging Attractions 2013

1) Guinness Storehouse, Dublin: 1,157,090

2) Dublin Zoo: 1,026,611

3) Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Co. Clare: 960,134

4) National Aquatic Centre, Dublin: 858,031

5) Book of Kells, Dublin: 588, 723

6) Tayto Park, Co. Meath: 435,000

7) St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin: 410.000

8) Fota Wildlife Park, Cork: 365,396

9) Blarney Castle, Cork: 365,000

10) Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin: 326,207


The ‘free attractions’ listing was topped by the National Gallery, as per last year, but there was a significant new entry – with the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons entering the top ten at No.5 with 350,000 visitors during 2013.

Top 10 Free Attractions 2013

1) National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin: 641,572

2) National Botanic Gardens, Dublin: 550,000

3) Farmleigh, Dublin: 435,476

4) National Museum, Archaeology, Dublin: 404,230

5) Newbridge Silverware, Kildare: 350,000

6) Science Gallery, Dublin: 339,264

7) National Museum, Natural History, Dublin: 284,323

8) National Library of Ireland, Dublin: 260,323

9) National Museum, Collins Barracks, Dublin: 251,226

10) Chester Beatty Library: 250,659

Overall, the combined top ten fee-paying attractions in 2013 recorded a 5% increase in visitors. The combined top ten free attractions rose 7& over 2012.

Speaking today, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar said:

“It’s good to see visitor numbers growing at so many of our key attractions, and it’s further proof that Irish tourism is going from strength to strength.”

The list will be seen as further good news for Irish tourism, after recent CSO figures revealed overseas visitors were up 9% from January to May of this year.

Both lists also confirm the dominance of Dublin in Irish tourism… with six of the 10 top paid-for attractions and a whopping nine of the top 10 free attractions all located within the capital.
– See more at:

Recovery Continues

Latest Visitor Attitudes Survey results shows recovery continues

07 April 2014

Overseas holidaymakers continue to rate Ireland as value for money and our people, scenery and culture remain our strongest assets – this is according to top line figures from the latest Visitor Attitudes Survey.

The views of more than 1,500 overseas visitors to Ireland throughout 2013 were surveyed as part of the research. Minister for Transport and Tourism Leo Varadkar TD has said the findings will inform tourism development for the next few years.

According to the survey’s top line results:

Ireland exceeds visitor’s expectations

Almost four out of ten (39%) overseas visitors reported that their experience in Ireland exceeded their expectations while a further six out of ten (60%) said that Ireland met their expectations.

Those whose holiday exceeded their expectations cited a number of reasons for this, including:

  • Irish people – 68%
  • Scenery – 54%
  • Irish history and culture – 31%
  • Weather better than expected – 30%
  • Food quality and variety – 21%

Visitors will recommend and return

Over half (56%) said they would definitely return in the next few years while a further four out of ten hoped to return at some time in the future.

Two thirds (66%) of visitors said they would definitely be encouraging friends and family to come here. In the long haul market, eight out of ten (79%) of North Americans said they would definitely be endorsing Ireland.

Value for money remains

Over half of overseas visitors (51%) of overseas visitors found Ireland to be good or very good value while a further four in ten (39%) found the value for money levels here to be fair.

Top five experiences

What exactly did our overseas visitors get up to in Ireland in 2013? When surveyed, the top five experiences mentioned by overseas visitors were:

  • “Listened to live music in a pub” – 83%
  • “Visited a coastal town” – 82%
  • “Tasted a Guinness” – 79%
  • “Visited a food or craft market” – 49%
  • “Took part in a city tour” – 41%

Word of mouth got them here

Finally, there was an interesting spike in the proportion of overseas holidaymakers who mentioned word of mouth as an influence to choose Ireland to visit last year (from 28% in 2012 to 36% in 2013). 

Discussing the results, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised –

“A recovery in both profitability and employment in the tourism sector is now quite evident and the prospects for the year ahead are really strong. The tourism industry has played, over the last year, a significant role in Ireland’s economic recovery. As the sector continues to shift from the domestic market to a greater focus on more lucrative high value overseas visitors, it will bolster its contribution to the country’s overall recovery.”

– See more at:

Shortlist for Ireland’s ‘Tourism Town’ 2013 announced

Tourism-Towns Logo

Fáilte Ireland today confirmed the shortlist of ten top towns from across the country selected for their 2013 Tourism Towns Award. The shortlist was announced at the National Tidy Towns Awards in The Helix, Dublin. Ireland’s Top Tourism Town in 2013 will now be selected from this shortlist and announced this November.

The shortlisted towns are:

• Cobh, Co. Cork

• Drogheda, Co. Louth

• Ennis, Co. Clare

• Kenmare, Co. Kerry

• Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

• Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

• Mulranny, Co. Mayo

• Murrisk, Co. Mayo

• Tralee, Co. Kerry

• Westport, Co. Mayo

The ten commended towns will now be visited in the autumn by external assessors who will meet with town representatives to further explore and evaluate the town’s commitment to tourism.

Welcoming the shortlist, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring emphasised the important premise behind the award scheme –

“This award is all about recognising Irish towns and villages which are working hard to make Ireland even more attractive for tourists. This important work brings benefits to local communities and local economies across Ireland. The scheme is now in its second year and is going from strength to strength.

“I hope that the towns and villages selected today will inspire other communities around Ireland to take similar steps. Last year Portmagee in Co. Kerry won the first ever award, and I’m looking forward to finding out who the 2013 overall winner is later in the year.”

The Tourism Towns Award has been designed to promote those Irish towns and villages which are working hard to enhance their appeal to tourists visiting their local area. In an addition to last year’s format, the 2013 competition will award a Best Small Town and Best Large Town, each receiving €5,000. Then the Best Overall Town will be crowned receiving an additional €5,000 prize. The ten Highly Commended Towns will each receive €1,000.

Speaking today Beverley Sherwood from Fáilte Ireland, highlighted the characteristics of a tourism town and looked forward to an eventual winner being announced later this year –

“While first impressions do count, a good ‘Tourism Town’ is not only a tidy town but also goes that extra mile. The difference lies in the role that communities play in preserving their authenticity while welcoming their visitors and telling the story of the local area.”

“An ultimate winner will be announced in November but, in the meantime, we will be scrutinising all ten shortlisted finalists to see what they have to offer and to discover which one of them has what it takes to become Ireland’s 2013 Tourism Town winner.”

The Tourism Town award focuses on how participating towns have developed their local area in the following key tourism areas:

• Sense of place – How the town tells its own unique story to visitors, what’s special about it, and what distinguishes it from other towns.

• Tourism experiences – What the town has to offer visitors.

• Local involvement in developing tourism- How the local community works together to provide an authentic visitor experience.

• Development and promotion of the town – How the town takes a unified approach to marketing and developing the town into a “tourism town”.


2012 was the first year of the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Town Award and saw Portmagee in County Kerry crowned the inaugural winner.

– See more at:’s-Overall-‘Tourism-Town’-201.aspx