Dublin nightlife has a rich history in Europe. As the birthplace of Guinness and the finest whiskey known to man (or woman, in this case) – it’s to be expected. Whilst the cobbled streets may be famed for buskers and ale, this cosmopolitan party city – and our number two hen party destination of 2016 – has a wealth of chic cocktail bars, nestled alongside the notorious pubs.
The first mention can only go to The Temple Bar. This notorious, traditional and lively drinking district is Dublin’s most famous son. Ladies, this is not where you will find a cocktail bar, but you’ll stumble (literally) across live music bars, old-school pubs and the city’s biggest institutions. This area is heaving with tourists, but you can experience life as a true Dubliner just North of the Liffey and enjoy sweeping views of the river in The Quartier Bloom and Jervis Street. Grafton Street to George Street is Dublin’s most affluent drinking district – encompassing boutiques, high-end restaurants and Footballers Wives-style bars. The former is also famous as one of the busiest and best shopping thoroughfares in the capital. As you walk up the winding and exciting streets of Grafton, you’ll bump into the alternative district of Camden/Wexford and Harcourt Street. There are live music venues on every corner to keep everyone entertained – one was even used as a set location for PS I Love You.
Dublin hen party activities are as exciting and glamorous as they come (and we’re not biased… maybe a little). There are so many exclusive to Ireland’s capital – including the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Whiskey tour – as well as the ghoulish ghost bus tour, taking you all the way back to Count Dracula’s origins and through the terrifying history of the College of Surgeons. But, it’s not just spooky tales – you can have your very own private cinema experience – popcorn is, of course, included – and shake ‘em up with expert mixologists in our cocktail classes in Dublin’s most famous bars. The list just goes on.
It’s, practically, a crime to travel all the way to Dublin, without sampling Guinness in the world-famous Guinness Storehouse and enjoying the spectacular view at the sky-high Gravity Bar. Or take a tour of the Jameson Distillery for that matter. Booze runs in the blood of the capital, but it’s not just beer and ale that is the order of the day. Dublin is in the midst of a cocktail revolution. This city has a stream of speak-easy and stylish bars in the beating heart of Dublin, all boasting an essence of luxury and exclusivity. The Chelsea Drugstore is one such example, with a touch of illegality and science for an extra kick. This bar is set in an old pharmacy and the cocktails pay homage to the history of the building, serving The Penicillin and The Truth to name but a few.
Grafton Street is the epicentre of all things retail therapy. Starting at the very top at St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, boasting an eclectic mix of stores, this street is interspersed with high-end boutiques, regular old stores and buskers vying for your attention. The iconic statue of Molly Malone, Dublin’s very own fishmonger and prostitute from the 17th century, marks the end of Grafton. If you pass this, you won’t collect £200… However, we can’t forget Henry Street, the North of the Liffey shopping hub, housing Arnotts – Ireland’s oldest shopping complex.
St Paddy's Day
Ireland and St Paddy’s Day go hand in hand… because it’s the birthplace of Dublin’s favourite holiday. If you so happen to book your hen weekend for March 17th – you are in for an emerald treat. The streets are strewn with leprechauns, Guinness hats, shamrocks and ginger beards. The pubs open their doors to anyone and everyone and the Irish really let off steam - we've even got the best places to celebrate St Paddy's Day on your hen party. Here’s to drinking your body weight in Guinness…
As we all know, Dublin’s all about the craic, sure. It’s absolutely grand. Dublin has, in fact, been voted the third friendliest city in the world by Conde Nast. A direct quote from one of the many surveyed, stated that: “They had never met such friendly drinkers.” You heard it here first…
Music is as big of a part of Dublin as Guinness is. It’s an integral way of life, and it’s your job to experience it on your hen weekend. Whelan’s is a landmark on Wexford Street and it is this bar that provided one of the many backdrops to PS I Love You, as well as a tour venue to everyone’s favourite red-head, Ed Sheeran. Vicar Street and the Button Factory are two more that are firmly imprinted onto the heart of every Dubliner, and tourists that travel to The Fair City.
We’ve got to give a special shout-out to our backbone of Dublin – accommodation. We have over 20 options for your hen do; ranging from 4-star apartments, swanky hotels (one is even home to Dtwo, Dublin’s best late-night bar), cheap-as-chips hostels and even uni halls… They are all in spectacular locations, right in the centre of the city to the heart of The Temple Bar, and they all have our (highly regarded) seal of approval.
The essentials are what make your hen party world go round. Dublin may be renowned as a pricier hen do destination (we’re looking at you, The Temple Bar), but it is possible to find reasonable cocktails in and around the centre. The average price of a glass of wine is €5, so it won’t break the hen weekend kitty. Dublin is also well-connected, with over 900 low-cost airlines flying to the capital from all over the world. And, getting around Dublin is even easier… The areas you will, most likely, spend your hen do hours are within walking distance, but there’s the DART and rail system to travel around the city and further afield, as well as the extensive bus network.
We know you’re interested in Dublin, but we’ve got an extensive nightlife guide to the best areas in the capital. Or, you can go straight to our Dublin Hen Weekends page – it’s your call.