Once upon a time, Dublin nightlife meant an evening at the pub, but the city’s surge of wealth in the nineties changed all that.
The elite traveler can now find gracefully restored members’ clubs and chic new bars, while many traditional watering holes have upped their game to keep up. Wherever you find yourself, the famous Irish craic (Gaelic for ‘fun’) still lives strong and an early night is not in a Dubliner’s vocabulary.
Any celebrity worth their column inches spends their Dublin evenings in this spangly new nightclub in La Stampa Hotel.
The brainchild of renowned nightlife impresario Robbie Fox, The Pink has fast become the glitziest club in town and counts Bono, The Corrs and Joe Elliott among its regulars. Elite Travelers will want to make a beeline for the fi rst fl oor Members’ Bar, accessed by a private lift and restricted to the very select few. Here you can expect fi rst class service and a wine and champagne list that will make connoisseurs go weak at the knees. Contact Karen Houlihan to arrange a private area, complete with your own hostess and a selection of excellent sushi. On other fl oors you’ll fi nd a fabulous Asian fusion restaurant and the ‘Club Downstairs’ with its coveted VIP booths, über-cool dance fl oor and champagne tables offering bar and bottle service way into the small hours. All in all, a thoroughly classy affair.
Dublin’s most prestigious private members’ club, Residence will offer a warm welcome to the Elite Traveler.
In a grand Georgian townhouse on St. Stephen’s Green, the understated entrance leads into MEMBERS’ CLUB the award-winning Restaurant Forty One, two peaceful private terraces and drawing rooms with crackling open fires. Head to the Piano Bar on the third floor and cradle a brandy to live jazz or Spanish guitar, or for more colorful libation take a pew in the smart Cocktail Bar and put the inventive mixologists to the test. More energetic guests can wander down to the Beckett Bar where discerning DJs bring the boutique nightclub to life. A Residence membership is no small honor in Dublin and with such unequalled luxury, regulars happily make a second home here.
For a city that produced Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett, it’s no surprise that theater is a huge source of pride in Dublin.
Theater holds a much-loved place in Dublin culture and the Abbey Theatre has been a place for literary greats since W. B. Yeats first opened its doors in 1904. As the national theater of Ireland, it promotes a bevy of homegrown writing talent, both past and present, and tours nationally and internationally to universal acclaim. Book a premium seat in the stalls to make the most of the powerful performance space, and enjoy some of the best drama in the English-speaking world.
A heady mix of 18th century decadence and modern chic, Lost Society is a favorite among Dublin’s elite.
Originally the city home of Lord Powerscourt, the building is made from granite mined at the Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow and remains one of the largest stone mansions in Dublin. What was once Lady Powerscourt’s dressing room is now the White Room lounge bar, adorned with the original French-inspired plasterwork and chandeliers, and overlooking the grand townhouse piazza. The Library bar features plush leather sofas and floor to ceiling bookshelves complete with classic tomes, while the stylish modern club room hosts international DJs to keep the party going well into the night.
In the dramatic heights of the Dublin Mountains you’ll find the legendary Johnnie Fox’s, apparently the highest pub in Ireland and certainly one of its most loved.
The big draw is the traditional music and dancing, performed every night as well as weekend afternoons, pulling in eager crowds from near and far. Irish dancing is a mainstay of Irish culture and you can see some of the nation’s finest dancers at one of Johnnie Fox’s regular ‘Hooley Nights’. A spectacular Dublin experience, a Hooley Night begins with a four-course feast—the seafood is excellent— followed by live Irish music and a performance by the pub’s celebrated dance troupe. Scores of famous figures have flocked to Johnnie Fox’s over the years, from Hollywood stars to royalty, and when you’re whisked up by the magic of it you’ll understand why. This humble pub is a place of pilgrimage for good reason. Manager Tony McMahon will happily arrange a Hooley Night to coincide with your visit, and for swift access from Dublin city center, helicopters can land on the adjacent field.
DOHENY & NESBITT
No trip to Dublin would be complete without a pint of Guinness in a good old Irish pub, and Doheny & Nesbitt is an excellent place to start.
Located on the historic Baggot Street, this protected building is a charming example of Victorian pub architecture and has benefited no end from a thorough wash and brush-up. Gleaming brass signs, polished mahogany, a convivial barman—this is fairytale Ireland at its best and will reward whiskey lovers with a superb selection of Irish whiskies. With its proximity to the Dáil (Irish Parliament), Doheny & Nesbitt has long been the pub of choice for Dublin’s political elite and the heated debates within these walls are the stuff of legend. Add a gaggle of lawyers and journalists to the mix and you have a hotbed of banter and scandal. Find a spot in one of the partitioned ‘snugs’ and enjoy the show.