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5 Places to See Live Music In Dublin – Guest Blog

This blog was written by Ashley Smith, a guest at Ashfield Hostel in Nov ’14, avid writer and music fan.

Dublin is an amazing hub for live music in Europe.  The vibrant local scene is full of traditional music, and an array of touring bands make stops here on their European tours.  Any night of the week you’re bound to find a number of clubs with a live band playing, whether it’s a cover band, a local or a touring one.  You can easily take your chances and walk through Temple Bar and let your ears lead you in the direction of something to tap your toes to while you knock back a few pints, but here are some venues to check out if you’re hoping to catch an act while you’re in the city.

vicar street

Vicar Street

Located on Thomas Street, it is a concert hall and performing arts centre that has a 1500 standing capacity.  Take a look at their calender of events and you’ll see that they have something going on almost every single night.  Local acts such as The Hot Sprockets from Dublin, and international acts such as Sweden’s Milky Chance are slated to play within the next couple of months, but Vicar Street has housed acts like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and more recently Lana Del Rey.  Not just limited to live music, they also host comedy and drama shows.  Large enough to bring in big-name acts, but intimate enough to make you feel cozy with the band, Vicar Street is a great venue to get you your music fix.

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3Arena

Previously the O2, 3Arena is a large scale, state of the art music venue located in Dublin’s docklands.  3Arena brings out the biggest acts to tour Ireland, however that comes with a higher price tag.  But if you are looking to see James Blunt, Elton John, The Who or Neil Diamond in the near future, this is the place to be.  Fitted with a private members club as well as alcohol and food vendors, 3Arena is perfect for a big night out.

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The Workman’s Club

Nestled in Temple Bar district, beside the world famous Clarence Hotel, is The Workman’s Club. With its edgy and artsy cafe-meets-rock-and-roll-club feel, this venue is dripping with personality.  Priding itself as a space for “musicians and independent thinkers,” Workman’s hosts everything from rock and roll gigs to book readings.  The ultimate haven for the artist and the music lover to mingle and discover a new favourite act.

whelans

Whelan’s

The rich history and unique design of Whelan’s makes it a must-see for tourists and locals who want to see a great show.  Located in the city centre, Whelan’s has housed the likes of Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave and the Arctic Monkeys, as well as numerous local and Irish ensembles.  The design of the bar is quite interesting, as it has three different parts that allow for multiple shows to operate at the same time.  Any  P.S. I Love You Fans will recognize Whelan’s, as it was used for many scenes in the 2007 Gerard Butler flick.

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The Academy

Another unique design, The Academy, also located in the city centre, has four floors with varying set ups and sizes that has something for everyone! They house everything from small comedy acts and DJs, to bigger acts such as The Killers, Lily Allen and The Futureheads who have all graced their stages.   Just starting November 1st, they launched a circus happening every Saturday night with four DJs and circus performances, which is a must see if you happen to be in the city on the weekend!

The beautiful thing about this list is that this doesn’t even scratch the surface.  You won’t find a night where there isn’t music somewhere in Dublin.  So go! Wander and let your ears guide the way.

Top healthy places in Dublin – Guest blog

This blog was written by Natalie who was a guest at Ashfield Hostel. She asked us about places that she could get healthy food and do yoga in Dublin, as we had no personal experience of these places we asked her just to write a short blog on what she managed to find.

Govindas Vegetarian Restaurant
83 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1

govinda

The first place that I came across after a Google search was a vegetarian restaurant called Govindas. They have two locations in Dublin, the closest one to where I was staying at Ashfield Hostel was on Abbey Street. This place has such a lovely atmosphere, it’s located below the Hare Krishna temple and I was told by a customer there that some nights they do their music and have talks and events there too!

On the menu is a range of lovely healthy food – the menu changes daily and you can get a small plate, large plate or a take-away. The prices aren’t too bad… €7.50 for a takeout tray and €8.50 for a special or €11.95 for an extra large special. The staff are all really friendly, also if you are into Yoga the Hare Krishna temple above Govindas run donation yoga sessions most days of the week, for the timetable check the website or pop in. The recommended donation is €5.

Sseduced Raw Food Restaurant
20 Cecilia Street, off Temple Lane South, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

sseduced

This place is great as all food is wheat/gluten/dairy/sugar/soya/yeast free, organic and never heated above 42 degrees so it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Among the treats on the menu is raw pizza, wild rice risotto and carrot goji cake – yum! Prices aren’t too bad, between €8 – €15 for a main.

Blazing Salads
42 Drury St, Dublin 2

blazing

Blazing Salads is a perfect lunchtime healthy option. They have a large self service salad bar and hot food counter with tons of super healthy take away options and snacks. The food is priced by weight and then you can take it away or eat at the counter at the window and watch Dublin go by!

Places to do Yoga
As I mentioned before Govindas holds regular yoga sessions on most days, whilst I was here I went on a Wednesday, the woman was lovely and it was great for beginners, at the end you have a meditation – it was lovely – and great value for €5.

Also if you would like your own yoga mat or want to buy some incense you can buy these from a shop called Pagoda and another shop called Dervish. Pagoda is located in the Ilac centre and Dervish is on South George Street.

Other places that you can go to yoga in Dublin are:

http://www.lotusyoga.ie/
http://www.openmindyoga.ie/
http://www.yogadublin.com/pages/classes

(I haven’t personally tried these but the website links are there to look at)

Fresh fruit and veg markets
I found this great link on the Dublin.ie website which shows where you can buy healthy and organic food from.

The Temple Bar market takes place every Saturday from 10am – 4.30pm at Meeting House Square under the new retractable canopy. There is a good selection of foods here especially cheeses. I bought some things here and then went back and cooked them at the hostel. There is also a regular fruit and veg market on Moore street every day.

Free things to do in Dublin

Even if you are travelling to Dublin on a budget there is still lots to do around the city for free. Check out our list below of some of the best things you can do around the city that won’t make your purse strings any tighter!

1. Out and About
To really appreciate the city of Dublin the best place to be is out on the streets exploring the selection of historical buildings, outside spaces and things to do.

Free Walking Tour
There is a fantastic free walking tour that starts at 11am and 1pm everyday from City Hall (Dame Street). Pick-ups can be arranged from your A Star Hostel. The Walking Tour is a great activity to discover Dublin and its rich history, with a fun, informative guide and best of all its absolutely free! Speak to the guys on reception to find out more.

Dublin Castle
While it does cost money to visit the interior of Dublin Castle, you can check out the building’s impressive exterior completely free of charge. The Castle, which began its life back in the 13th century, acted as the seat of the English administration in Ireland for around 700 years. Today it is used for State functions and it’s also where the President of Ireland is usually inaugurated.

Website: http://www.dublincastle.ie/
Location: Palace Street, off Dame Street.

Phoenix Park
Covering almost 710 hectares, Phoenix Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin city. Phoenix Park is one of the largest city centre parks in the World and is also home to Dublin Zoo (Which you do have to pay for). Why not take a stroll around and look at the impressive monuments, flower beds and beautiful green areas that the park has to offer.

Website: http://www.phoenixpark.ie/
Location: Main entrances at Parkgate Street & Castleknock Gate.Opening hours: Main gates are open 24 hours.

Discover Dublin Centre
A visitor attraction in its own right, the Discover Dublin Centre is located in the former St. Andrew’s Church and both the building and the site have a rich history. Come visit the building and also get some ideas and suggestions for your time in Dublin from their travel advisors in English, French, Irish, Italian and Spanish.

Website: www.visitdublin.com
Location: Suffolk Street, Dublin 2

Trinity College Dublin

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Founded in 1952 as Dublin’s answer to Oxford or Cambridge, it is fascinating to walk around the spectacular buildings and cobbled grounds of Trinity College.

Location: College Green, Dublin 2

St Stephens Green
St Stephens Green can be a lovely escape from the city. Located right in the city centre, at the top of Grafton Street, you can find beautiful flower beds, large lawns and central lakes with ducks. It’s perfect for a lazy stroll or for a quick retreat.

Website: http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/dublin/ststephensgreen/
Location: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Dublin Statues
Take a walk and view the many statues that Dublin has to offer

For more info on Dublin’s statues and their stories check out our blog post here. 

Dublin Bikes

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Why not go for a cycle around the city centre, with 44 Dublin bike points around the city, its free for the first 30 minutes, after that a service charge applies, but there is nothing to stop you using your free 30 minutes, replacing the bike and renting another one to get another 30 minutes. The bikes are available to rent from 5.00 am until 00.30am and are returnable 24 hours. You will need to find a Dublin bike station that accepts credit cards to rent a bike. Most visitors use the 3 day ticket which costs 2 Euros. A list and map of the stations can be found here

Website: http://www.dublinbikes.ie/

2. Museums and Galleries
Investigate some of Dublin’s rich history and culture without spending a penny by visiting Dublin’s impressive selection of free museums and galleries. It’s a sure way to keep you entertained during your stay in Dublin, especially if you are on a budget. All of the museums and galleries listed below are located within the central districts of the city which make them very accessible from your A Star Hostel in Dublin.

National Museum of Ireland – Archeology

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At the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare Street, you’ll find artefacts dating from 7000BC to the 20th Century exhibited in seven galleries including one of the largest and most important gold collections in Europe and anexhibition which includes recently found bog bodies.

Website: http://www.museum.ie/
Location:
Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Opening Hours: Tues- Sat 10.00-17.00 Sun 14.00-17.00

Decorative Arts & History Museum
The Decorative Arts & History Museum is really easy to get to as it is right beside the Museum stop on the Red Line of the LUAS. It’s definitely worth a visit as the collection includes a wide range of objects, which include weaponry, furniture, silver, ceramics, glassware and examples of Folklife and costume; alongside a number of displays covering The Easter Rising. It has recently reopened after extensive renovations.

Website: http://www.museum.ie/en/intro/arts-and-history.aspx
Location: Collins Barracks, Benburb Street
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat 10.00-17.00 Sun 14.00-17.00

Natural History Museum
The Natural History museum features an extensive collection of animals from both Ireland and abroad including mammals, birds and plenty more.

Website: http://www.museum.ie/en/intro/natural-history.aspx
Location: Natural History – Merrion Street.
Opening hours: All branches share same opening hours – Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2pm-5pm, closed Mondays.

Cheater Beatty Musuem
With free admission and described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library is a must-see on any Dublin visitor’s itinerary. As the only museum in Ireland to win ‘European Museum of the Year’, the library’s rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.

Website: http://www.cbl.ie/
Location: Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
Opening Hours: 1 May – 30 Sept Mon-Fri 10.00-17.00 / 1 Oct-30 Apr

Science Gallery

science

Described as a place where science and art collide, Science Gallery is a world first. A new type of venue where today’s white-hot scientific issues are thrashed out and you can have your say. A place where ideas meet and opinions collide. Since opening in 2008, over one million of you have visited the Science Gallery in Dublin – ranking it amongst the top ten free cultural attractions in Ireland. The Gallery however is closed in between exhibitions so be sure to check the dates on their site below for current exhibitions.

Website: https://dublin.sciencegallery.com/
Location: The Naughton Institute, Trinity College, Pearse St, Dublin 2
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 12.00-20.00, Sat-Sun 12.00-18.00, Closed Mondays

Makeshop by Science Gallery
The Makeshop is a new collaborative workshop space where you can learn everything from DIY robotics to 3D printing. Created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, this pop-up experiment in making is for everyone from novices to advanced makers, young to old.

Website: https://dublin.sciencegallery.com/makeshop
To find out the latest workshops that are running check out the Makeshop’s Facebook page
Location: Makeshop,Lincoln Place,Dublin 2,Ireland
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 11:00-18:00 / Sat 10:00-18:00

Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane

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Located in Dublin’s city centre, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, originally called The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, houses one of Ireland’s foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. The Hugh Lane offers weekly tours and public lectures.

Website: http://www.hughlane.ie/
Location: Hugh Lane Gallery, Charelmont House, Parnell Square N, Dublin 1
Opening hours: Tues-Thurs 10.00-18.00 Fri-Sat 10.00-17.00 Sun 11.00-17.00

Irish Museum of Modern Art
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is Ireland’s leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. The Museum presents a wide variety of art in a dynamic programme of exhibitions, which regularly includes bodies of work from its own collection and its award-winning Education and Community Department. It also creates more widespread access to art and artists through its Studio and National programmes. The Irish Museum of Modern Art is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. The Royal Hospital was founded in 1684 by James Butler, Duke of Ormonde and Viceroy to Charles II, as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for almost 250 years.

Website: http://www.imma.ie
Location: Royal Hospital, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00am – 5.30pm except Wednesday: 10.30am – 5.30pm Sunday and Bank Holidays: 12noon – 5.30pm Monday, Good Friday and 24 – 26 December: Closed

10 nightclubs in Dublin

Dublin has a reputation of being one of the most lively cities in Europe and has a very vibrant nightlife. To help you find your way around the best night spots Dublin has to offer we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most popular clubs so you can find exactly what you are looking for!

 1. The Workmans (Trendy)
10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2

workmans

The Workmans is a bar, a nightclub as well as a music venue. The weekends are most busy here and you will see live bands as well as a DJ upstairs. The building has existed on this site for over 160 years and from 1888 to 2003 was the home of the original Workingmen’s Club. Its personality has been lovingly preserved and complimented with its original features being the focal point on each floor. The upstairs section is free entry and you may have to pay on the door to enter downstairs if there’s a gig on. The Workmans is located at 10 Wellington Quay, on the Temple Bar side of the Liffey, just walk up along to river and you will reach the Workmans.

 2. Club M (Temple Bar Area)
2 Cope St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Located in Temple Bar and with its doors being open to party goers for over a decade now, Club M offers the perfect place to dance the night away. It has 2 dance floors with balcony galleries overlooking the main areas.

3. Bad Bob’s (Temple Bar Area)
37 Essex street East, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

bad-bobs

Located in Temple Bar Bad Bob’s club has 5 Floors, 6 Bars, 3 Dancefloors & an Open Rooftop Terrace. Live Music 7 nights a week & THE BIG GIG every Friday night. Popular with locals and tourists alike there is something for everyone.

4. The Button Factory (Music Venue)
Curved St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

One of the musical centres of Dublin, you can always expect to see great live bands or DJ’s here. Open since 2007 in the heart of Dublin’s temple bar and open Thursdays through until Sundays. The Button Factory is one of the most popular clubs in town and hosts international acts and a superb light and sound system.

 5. Dtwo Nightclub (Harcourt Street Area)
60 Harcourt St, Dublin 2

d2

Dtwo’s nightclub is open from Wednesday to Saturday night, 11pm till late, it’s an extremely popular choice for any event or party. Musically, D|two offers what appeals to the masses, from R&B to chart topping hits and also has an outdoor heated garden section. Put the fun element back into clubbing!

6. Krystal (Harcourt Street Area)
Russell Court Hotel, 21-25 Harcourt St, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin

Located in the Harcourt street area Krystal nightclub has won the best nightclub in Ireland in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Krystle combines hip-hop, house, funk and rock fused with the live rhythms of some of London’s coolest percussionists. There are two large bars and a fully heated smoking area. This club is famous for its impressive cocktail menu.

7. ‘No name bar’ (Trendy)
3 Fade Street, Dublin 2

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‘No name bar’ is so named, as the bar was never really given a name when it first opened. It’s also known by a few other names ‘The Secret Bar’, ’3 Fade Street’ and ‘The Snail Bar’ (because of the mysterious snail sign outside the front door). Suffice to say, since opening a couple of years ago, ‘The Secret Bar’ is anything but a secret. At weekends the bar is particularly busy, with its house party feel, serving artists, rock n rollas…and plethora of others besides. No name bar is famous for its mojitos, and at weekends serves up a mean brunch menu.

8. Lost Society (Trendy)
Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street, Dublin 2

Lost Society is situated in the heart of Dublin’s Creative Quarter in Dublin’s most vibrant area South William Street. Lost Society is situated in one of the finest 18th century town mansions in Dublin, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, the venue encapsulates the original grandeur of the bygone Georgian era with a modern twist while honoring the heritage of the building. In 2011 Lost Society won the award for the most Stylish Bar in Ireland with Licensing World.

9. Everleigh Garden (Harcourt Street Area)
33 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2

everleigh

Winner of the 2013 nightclub of the year at the National Hospitality Awards and centrally located on Harcourt Street, Everleigh Garden is a unique nightclub experience. It’s an electric atmosphere where the garden comes to life. This is a club for everyone. Music policy caters for everyone, from chart hits to electro-house and from RnB to all the old favourites. Combined with an almost-outdoor Mediterranean atmosphere, you’ll feel a world away from the city.

10. The Twisted Pepper (Electronic Music)
54 Middle Abbey St, Dublin 1

If you like your club nights with a little more of a rave feeling, then the Twisted Pepper is for you. There is a resident underground music night called MUD, and also regular house, drum and bass and dubstep nights. The Venue itself is multi functional as there are 4 main areas including a smoking area, basement and stage area and they also serve food during the day. Here you can get great deals on drinks and cocktails and expect to see international DJs and music acts.

Our staff’s top picks of places to go in Dublin

We asked a couple of our staff what their favourite places to go out and socialise in Dublin are, see their responses and links to the places below.

Conor

dubliner

If you are staying in Ashfield Hostel in Dublin, you will be likely to meet Conor; he’s the cool guy with the beard that manages the reception in the evenings (and is known to sometimes play the harmonica at the desk), here is his top picks for places to go and have a drink in Dublin!

“I would recommend Sin-é on Ormund Quay for a chilled place to go, also The Porterhouse  in Temple Bar is a great micro brewery. The Mezz in Temple Bar is great for live music, the Palace Bar on Fleet Street is a nice quiet spot and The Auld Dubliner is a great one too. Also for any heavy metal and Phil Lynott fans Bruxulles Bar just off of Grafton Street.”

Sorcha

sweetman

Sorcha is everybody’s favourite receptionist at Abigails; saying she’s the friendliest person you’ll ever meet sounds exaggerated, but anyone who’s stayed at Abigails will tell you it’s true!

“My favourite cafe in Dublin is the Metro Cafe on South William Street, it has a really old school feel to it and it is really cheap with great coffee and an extensive menu. Pygmalian and the Port House on that street also do great Tapas.”

“Bar wise I’d go for the normal Porterhouse, they have different drink deals everyday and platters of food for like 5EUR a head. Samsara on Dawson Street is great on Thursdays with 4EUR drinks and free popcorn (I know it’s to keep you drinking but it’s soooo tasty). I’ve heard really good things about JW Sweetmans – formally Messers on the quays but haven’t been there myself.”

“Highly recommend O’Sheas. Great staff, great food and a classic Irish feel to the place with an open lit fire in the winter. The food is big in portions and relatively cheap with a large menu. Drinks promos include 3 bottles for 10EUR or 5 for 15EUR and that is any beer of your choice (Heineken, Coors, Bud, Miller etc.) Live traditional Irish music 7 days a week, also it is located on Lower Gardiner Street off the corner of Talbot Street so nice and near to Abrahams Hostel.”