Exploring Dublin’s Pub Culture: A Guide for Young Adults

Exploring Dublin’s Pub Culture: A Guide for Young Adults

Dublin is not just a city; it’s an immersive experience layered with history and a vibrant social life largely centered around its iconic pubs. For young adults venturing into the world, engaging with local cultures is a crucial part of ‘adulting.’ Whether you’re a social butterfly or a curious wanderer, the pubs of Dublin offer more than just drinks—they serve as gateways to Irish culture, music, and storied pasts.

Before diving into the heart of Dublin’s pub scene, consider utilizing Dublin luggage storage services. This way, you can explore freely without the burden of your bags, making your pub crawl through the city hassle-free and enjoyable.

Here’s why exploring Dublin’s pub scene is a must:

  • Cultural Hub: Irish pubs are more than just watering holes; they are vibrant cultural centers where music, storytelling, and friendships flourish.
  • Historic Sites: Many pubs in Dublin are steeped in history, some dating back to medieval times, offering a tangible connection to the past.
  • Inclusive Atmosphere: Whether you drink alcohol or not, the welcoming nature of Irish hospitality ensures there’s something for everyone.

Below are some of Dublin’s legendary pubs that promise an unforgettable experience:

The Brazen Head

Even in an ancient city like Dublin, pubs don’t come much more historic than this.

The Brazen Head claims to be Dublin’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198, making it almost as old as Dublin. There isn’t much evidence from this period to prove that unequivocally, and the pub you see today certainly isn’t that old. But local tradition insists that there has been a pub in this spot for 800 years, and who are we to argue?

The building that remains today isn’t exactly new; it dates back to 1754 as a coaching inn. The paint barely had time to dry on the building before it became involved in Ireland’s turbulent history. The pub was a meeting place for the Society of United Irishman, founded in the wake of the French Revolution to free Ireland from British occupation.

The Society launched failed revolutions in 1798 and 1803, with the latter revolution seeing leader Robert Emmett beheaded. Some say his ghost still haunts the pub today.

The Brazen Head was also a favorite pub of Michael Collins, one of the ringleaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. At this time, the pub was almost destroyed by British forces as they fought against the Irish.

Following the end of British rule, Ireland was plunged into a civil war, which saw the Brazen Head again narrowly avoid destruction. To this day, you’ll find some photographs on the wall of this fascinating time in history.

It’s not just war. The pub was also frequented by giants of Irish literature, including James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, and Patrick Kavanagh, making it a great place for a literary tour.

The Temple Bar


Don’t get confused; Temple Bar is a neighborhood of Dublin, but it is home to this pub, which shares its name with the area.

Confused? It won’t get any clearer after a few pints of Guinness.

This pub, dating back to 1840, is far from the oldest in Dublin. However, it is one of the most famous, and thanks to its striking red façade, it may be the most photographed pub in all of Ireland.

The pub has the largest selection of whiskey you’ll find anywhere in Ireland. It also claims to have the largest selection of pub sandwiches anywhere in the world, so it’s a great place to have a bite to eat. 

In 2011, it became the site of another world record when David Browne played an uninterrupted guitar set here for 114 hours.

The Horseshoe Bar at the Shelbourne Hotel

Located in one of Dublin’s most historic hotels, the Horseshoe Bar simply oozes atmosphere and old-world charm.

The bar is a relative newcomer, first opened in 1957. However, the list of famous figures in Irish history who lifted a pint here is impressive. Playwright Brendan Behan, poet Seamus Heaney, and novelist Patrick Kavanagh are some famous figures who have had a drink here.

Perhaps the main appeal of the Horseshoe is how it feels like it hasn’t changed even a little bit since the late 1950s. Stepping into this gloomy but luxurious space is like stepping back to a different area of Dublin’s history, making it a great place to get a drink in the city.

Davy Byrnes 

Truthfully, it’s harder to find a pub in Dublin that doesn’t claim to have a connection to James Joyce than one that does.

But the literary credibility of Davy Byrnes is unquestionable.

The pub was first opened in 1889, and it soon became one of the centers of the Irish literary revival that took place at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

James Joyce was a regular customer here, and the pub is mentioned in two of his books, Dubliners and Ulysses. One of the main characters of Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, eats a Gorgonzola sandwich here in the book, and you’ll find the same item on the menu today.

A historic pub crawl


The pub remains an indelible part of Irish culture and society to the present day. That makes visiting a pub in Dublin a great way to immerse yourself in the culture, experience the city’s history, and have fun.

Almost every pub in Dublin has a story or two attached to it, and if you can befriend a local, you’re likely to hear plenty of tales from the past that will have varying degrees of truth to them.

But at these and any of the pubs in the city, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome, a drink, and possibly a meal, so it’s hard to go wrong.