Until I visited Ireland, I had assumed that the stereotype of Irish people drinking Guinness and singing Molly Malone was one that was a terrible generalisation. I'm going to be honest, Dublin didn't do a lot to discourage this.
I joke, I joke.
Seriously though, the Guinness craze is real and if you're looking for somewhere with a fantastic atmosphere and plenty of friendly faces? Dublin is the place to be.
So this is the place you've probably heard all about from people who have visited Dublin. Temple Bar is an area of Dublin full to the brim with drinking holes, from a trendy bar to the rustic, sing-song Irish pubs. The only thing I will say though, drinks in this part of town are - like they are in most touristic cities in the world - ridiculously overpriced.
It's a fab, colourful area to explore however and you're definitely likely to bump into fellow tourists on the way. Not only is a great place to enjoy live Irish music with a pint of Guinness but there are lots of great restaurants to choose from too.
Note: Check out The Jazz Cafe just round the corner from Ha'penny Bridge.
This is somewhere we stumbled upon and just really liked the look of. It's four floors of bars, a restaurant and a world of craft beer. With a drinks menu featuring beer from around the world and a for me, great pint of Erdinger - it's really difficult not to enjoy The Porterhouse pub brewery.
Drinks are reasonably priced in comparison to some other places in the Temple Bar area but I'd say it's worth a visit for it's unique beers and instagram-worthy set up.
John Kavanagh 'Gravediggers' pub
Quick note: always listen to what your local taxi driver has to say. On our drive from the airport, ours insisted we avoid Temple Bar and head further out of the town to a place nicknamed 'the gravediggers' - not creepy at all - for a 'proper' Irish pub experience.
It's in Glasnevin, just a bus ride away from the city centre next door to the cemetery (of course.) It was a pretty quiet night when we visited but it's a vision very different to the typical Irish pub experience you'd expect . With no music at all let alone a live band, it's a pub true to it's Irish core and relies solely on the hum of friendly conversation.
One part of the place hasn't changed much at all since it's opening in - wait for it - 1833. Definitely somewhere to add to your list for a bit of real history and great atmosphere.
Great food, great atmosphere. Simple as that.
This was another gem from our wise taxi driver and was one of our favourite places throughout our trip. We had amazing food, lots to drink (no surprises there) for a really great price and with fantastically jolly service. It's the kind of place you'll make friends in quickly, or at least become involved in a bolshy Ireland/Wales/England debate whilst everyone drinks their Sunday afternoon away. True story.
Note: Not to be confused with 'The Bank' around the corner: a place which resembled a Wetherspoons downstairs and the snobbiest of restaurants upstairs with not the greatest welcome. Don't go in there.
Yes, this is a tourist's dream but really, if you're visiting Dublin for the first time it's well worth the visit. Probably at the beginning of your trip because then you may find yourself drinking Guinness for the rest of your stay.
You learn about the history of the drink, how it's made, blah blah blah but then YOU CAN DRINK IT. You have a choice of pouring your own or visiting the sky lounge bar at the top (opt to pour your own because A. It's fun and B. You can take it upstairs anyway afterwards). The 'Gravity' bar sits atop of the seven storey building with a super 360 degrees view of the city.
Guaranteed you'll want to stay here for a while!
Hope this helps if you're planning a visit to Dublin in the future, remember to pack your trousers with the elasticated waistband and leave your dignity at home.