When you Google search “Saturday night Dublin”, the first result pages emanate lists of bars and nightclubs. We all fancy a memorable party, yet the metropolis has much more to offer.
When most of the attractions close before 6:00PM, the capital still hides heaps of after-dark secrets that are worth the discovery. Steeped in centuries of culture, memoirs, traditions and ‘craic,’ the biggest city in the Ireland surely is an expert in the art of life.
Whether you’re on a romantic mood, a wild spirit, on a quirky state of mind, focused on your kids or full-on Irish vacations; this list presents you the best of Dublin on a Saturday night.
19 Ideas for a Romantic Saturday Night
– Love lane
Surrounded by hearts and sloppy messages, Love lane is “the most” romantic spot per se. Start your evening by strolling hand in hand through the colourful artistic alleys. Don’t forget to immortalise this moment with your better half by leaving a written print on the walls.
Address: Love Lane Street, Crampton Court, Dublin.
– Saint Valentine Shrine
If you are on a religious or spiritual ethos, you should pay a visit to St Valentine shrine. Indeed, many couples come to pray or to ask benediction to the patron saint of love.
Address: The Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, 56 Aungier St, Dublin 2
– Sunset at Poolbeg Lighthouse
If you are looking for a secluded spot, then this is the place to pick. The Poolbeg Lighthouse, built in 1768, is stationed at the end of the Great South Wall. From there, the sunsets and the views over the city’s skyline are just stunning. This hidden gem is the guarantee to a picturesque evening!
Address: South Wall, Poolbeg, Dublin
– Rooftop bar at The Marker Hotel
This 360-degree bar is a trendy Dubliner scene. The vistas over the Irish Sea and Dublin Mountains makes it an ideal choice for both candlelit rendezvous and laid-back gathering. Sit comfortably, order one of the signature cocktails and enjoy the sun setting.
Address: Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2
– Chapter one
This unostentatious Michelin starred restaurant offers exquisite Irish fine dining. Greeted at the door, the staff will escort you to your table.
The head chef (also co-owner), an art lover, decided to launch a project to support local artists. On the walls are displayed the pieces chosen. Sit comfortably and admire the paintings. Order a flute of champagne and drink to love.
Choose between the 4-course and the tasting menu. Before leaving, treat yourself with a remembrance, and purchase a limited-edition print.
For foody couples on a restricted budget, the pre-theatre dinner menu is reasonable. Vegetarian options are also available.
Address: 18-19 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1
Delahunt offers both a contemporary and a traditional feel. If you want to spend your evening in one place but still want multiple experiences, then that’s where you should go. Indeed, the space hides three different concepts:
- The retro-style “Sitting Room”, completely isolated from the food area, is ideal for a signature cocktail before dinner. Some of the spirits, such as vodka, whiskey and gin, are locally made.
- The restaurant, awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand 4 years in a row provides seasonal dishes with regional products. From curing to preserves, everything is house-made.
- The “Café” is a great after-dinner spot. Dublin brewed coffee and full-fat organic milk from Dairy (County Carlow) are à la carte.
Address: 39 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2
– The Woollen Mills Eating House
This historical place used to host special guests such as James Joyce. This true Irish restaurant is proud of its inheritance and reveals it through its menu. From upstairs, the views of the Liffey River and the Ha’Penny Bridge have set the mood for over a hundred years. With an in-house bakery, nearby-sourced products and regional recipes, The Woollen Mills Eating House is a romantic scene with subtle customary cuisine.
Address: 42 Ormond Quay Lower, North City, Dublin
– The Green Hen
Looking for a picturesque French bistro with an authentic romantic flair? Then, the Green Hen is the wonder you were seeking for. The extravagant and singular décor will set you on a Franco-Irish vibe. Jazz and Soul orchestrate the atmosphere. Vintage posters and old pictures cover the walls. The dishes are a fine combination of Gaelic and Gallic gastronomy.
Early bird and Vegan menus are available.
Address: 33 Exchequer St, Dublin 2
Awarded over 10 times, Etto draws its flavours and inspirations from Italian cookery. The minimalist decoration and intimate ambience is a reflection of quality. Start your dinner by sharing some creamy Burrata with levain bread and, toast over a glass of selected European or Pacific wine. The seasonal courses happen to change daily as the chef only cooks with fresh ingredients.
Address: 18 Merrion Row, Dublin
– Sunset picnic at Saint Stephen Green
Romance does not have to go hand in hand with expense. Pack a picnic, a bottle of something and head to Saint Stephen Green. Start your evening by strolling through the park arm in arm. Unpack your dinner under a tree with a sunset view. If the sun is shy and the clouds loaded with rain, the gazebos are the perfect escape.
Address: St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
– Vintage Cocktail Club, Temple Bar
If you are under 23, then this cocktail bar will not let you in. Chime the bell and enter the establishment through the black door. The VCC, as locals name it, is a prohibition style institution with a Victorian sense. Each of the concoctions belongs to a specific era and are created with first-class components.
Learn some cocktail recipes by taking one of the cocktail masterclasses.
Address: 15 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin
– Peruke & Periwig
This old wig shop has an eclectic decoration that will make you travel through time. Peruke & Periwig opens seven nights a week and proposes a music-themed menu with essential cocktails. From “Smells Like Teen Spirits” to “Pass The Dutchie”, all the classics are restyled for a perfect balance and with the freshest aroma. This is a dreamlike venue to experience the art of mixology.
Address: 31 Dawson St, Dublin 2
– Tea Garden
A great evening (romantic or not) does not compulsorily imply alcohol. Embrace the contemporary and oriental vibe. Remove your shoes and step on the wooden floor of your private and candlelit space. Sit on the cushions and order a delicious and healthy warm tea. Shisha lovers can also order their favourite smoke. Indeed, the Tea Garden was the first place in Ireland to introduce the water pipe.
Address: 7 Ormond Quay Lower, North City, Dublin 1
– Denzille or Lighthouse Cinema
Have you ever dreamt of hiring an entire cinema for you and your better half? Denzille Cinema makes it possible at a fair and accessible price! Choose the movie, sit back and relax for 2 hours. Nothing and no one will disturb you. If you want to keep it simpler and still add an edgy touch, the Lighthouse is an art cinema with intimate and colourful rooms.
Address: Denzille Cinema: 13 Denzille Lane, Merrion Square North, Dublin 2
Lighthouse Cinema: Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7
– Chaplin’s Comedy Club
“Make her laugh, and she’s yours”. Humour by proxy might perform just as good! The Comedy Club is where the magic happens. Stand-up comedians act every Saturday.
Address: 2a Hawkins St, Dublin 2
– Bord Gais Energy Theatre
From “Grease” to “Swan Lake”, “Love Actually” to “Mamma Mia” shows change regularly in the theatre. Check out what’s on before your date night.
Address: Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin
– Abbey Theatre
This great art-performing scene focuses on Irish new genre theatre. From the hilarious “Two Pints” to the once-banned “The Country Girls”, bring on culture to the romance!
Address: 26/27 Abbey Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1
– Liffey River Kayak Tour
If sports are the roots of your love affair, you will adore a kayaking night tour. Some Dubliner companies run evening city tours all year long (It might be slightly chill in winter though). The kayaks are secure and well balanced. The tour lasts 90 minutes and the route changes according to the tide.
City Kayaking is the most popular one. It is located in Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin
– Racing at the Dogs at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium
The first race starts at 7:45. A free shuttle will bring you from Dublin centre to the racecourse. This same transport will also bring you back to the city after the last race. You can bet on your favourite or simply enjoy the frantic show. Emotion guaranteed!
Address: S Lotts Rd, Dublin 4
Note to Parents: If your hotel does not offer a babysitting service, here is a list of trustworthy online companies:
15 Ideas for a Wild Saturday Night
– Dublin Ghost Bus Tour
If you’re looking for one of the gloomiest nights of your life, then this the activity to opt for. Hear dark stories and visit dismal sites. Hop on the Gravedigger Bus and walk the Haunted History tour.
– Local Pub-Crawl at Temple Bar
“Him who is without sin cast the first stone”. With over 23 bars, you can either organise a self-guided pub-crawl or join a group of fellow travellers. The pubs also offer food.
This Indonesian restaurant is the perfect place for a group of friends. You’ll sit on a carved wooden booth or directly on the floor. A peaceful and informal vibe emphasised by Buddha statues and eastern lights. You can either start by sharing Asian Tapas or order a bunch of dishes for your group and split them all. This last option is an excellent way to taste many mains and entrees at once and, it will avoid the billing hassle at the end.
Address: 1 Fownes Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin
– Bow Lane
If you are searching for a place where you can have dinner, drinks and party; then Bow Lane is for you. The constant attention to detail brings elegance to the establishment. The staff is sharply dressed. The straws are paper-made. The food and the cocktails are to die for. For the wildest ones, a bottomless menu is available under “The Free Flow Supper Club”. DJ’s play funk, house, disco and electronic music until 2AM.
Address: 17 Aungier St, Dublin
Teppanyaki tables are made for socialising. Not only the food is prepared before your eyes but also the chef will put on a show while cooking your meal. Prepare for large flames, food thrown in the air and singing culinary artists. Choose from the daily market seafood and meat. Don’t expect a quiet evening as their cooking style is all about entertainment.
Address: 39-40 Castlewood Avenue Rathmines, Dublin
– Cleaver East
Meat lovers are you ready for pornburger, porncarpaccio and pornsteaks? Cleaver knives, used as ornaments, set the tone. The restaurant, run by a Michelin Star chef, serves only top choice aliments. The beef is Irish and 100% grass-fed.
If you are on a strict budget, the early/late bird menus are terrific economic alternatives.
Address: 6 Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
This Moroccan eatery made sure that vegan or vegetarian don’t feel left out. From vegetable tajines to Harira soup, it is a party for your taste buds. The dishes are energised by the spellbinding scents of Andalusian and North African cuisine. A Moorish décor and Moroccan lanterns generate the setting.
A discounted menu will reward early birds. The restaurant serves Halal fare.
Address: 45 William St S, Dublin 2
– The Church
Have you ever dreamt of spending your Saturday night in the 18th-century church where Mr Guinness got married? Exciting but not so wild right? Let us spice things up a little by adding the fact that this same building has two bars/clubs, a restaurant and a rooftop terrace for barbecues! Sit and relax with your friends, eat finger food at the bar and put the world to rights. You can choose to have a more conventional dinner under the massive organ on the top floor. If food time already past and you eager party, the club opens until 2:30AM.
Address: Junction of Mary St. and, Jervis St, Dublin
– Live Music
From The Cobblestone to The International Bar and The Mezz to The Workmans Club, the inventory of live music bar in Dublin is rather extensive. Luckily, Over in Ireland has listed the 15 bests here .
– Opium Nightclub
Enter the colourful Japanese vintage décor and be ready for an unforgettable experience. Explore and discover the two bars of the IRO club, the botanical garden and the cocktail lounge. Savour a pan-Asian cocktail and the homemade gin. Dance under the DJ’s rhythm, the LED screens and the anime furnishing style.
Address: 26 Wexford St, Dublin
This old school gay club is one of the best in town. The retro style space will make you move under synth and electronic beats until 3:30 in the morning. You must be above 21 to enter the party.
Address: 23 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Late Night Munchies
- Good World Chinese Restaurant on 18South Great Georges St serves dim sums and original oriental food until 3:00AM.
- Sin Theatre Bar on 17-19 Sycamore Street stops finger food service at 3:00AM.
- Bobo’s on 22 Wexford St and 50-51 Dame St cooks made in Ireland gourmet burgers until 4:30AM.
- Zaytoon on 44-55 Lower Camden Street will give you the best taste of Persian food until 4:30AM.
9 Ideas for a Kid-Friendly Saturday Night
– The Ark
The Ark is a cultural centre for kids. Your children would be developing their creative side by practising great arts. It is also a great for them to socialise with other youngsters. They will enjoy an educative and colourful entertainment most Saturdays. The workshops go from dancing to bog story making.
Address: 11A Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin
Dublinia is the ultimate Viking and medieval experience. The interactive tour will lead you to four exhibitions. You and your children will be dressed like Vikings, learn about archaeology and play medieval games. You’ll end up your activity at the top of St Michael Tower. From there, relish dazzling vistas of contemporary Dublin.
Address: St Michaels Hill, Christ Church, Dublin 8
– Imaginosity, Dublin’s children museum
With about 20 cognitive and educational exhibitions spread onto three floors, Imaginosity did not lack ingenuity. On the first floor, the children can play their story in ten different spaces. On the second, they can play their own story in eight settings. The third level Eco Badger will share eco-stories of the building and captivating green technology.
Address: The Plaza Beacon South Quarter Sandyford, Dublin 18
A pizza for a family eat out is a recipe for success. Rascals has set up a space full of toys and colouring where children can have fun. The area is, and pushchairs can easily access and park. There are baby-changing facilities as well.
Adults will enjoy the freshly brewed beer, as the eatery is also a taproom.
Address: Goldenbridge Estate, Tyrconnell Rd, Inchicore, Dublin
– Moloughney’s, Clontarf, Dublin
If you planned to go for proteins in a social and sophisticated surrounding, then Moloughney’s is for you. The red brick walls and wooden panels highlight the authentic ambience. Every single ingredient is Irish-sourced, and the kitchen serves child-sized steaks.
Address: 9 Vernon Ave, Clontarf, Dublin 3
– The Marker Hotel
The Marker hotel offers a kid menu with gags, puzzles, and a booklet with drawing tools. This 5-star boutique hotel proposes salmon dishes, “surf and turf” and many other subtle recipes for the little ones.
This kid-friendly hotel and concierge also can help you plan your next family vacation.
Address: Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2
– Milano, Dawson Street, Dublin
Milano offers the Piccolo menu, a kid-sized 4-course dinner. Some of the dishes even contain the five daily fruits and vegetable essentials. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. An activity pack with games and colouring is given on arrival.
– Go Quest
If you still have some energy left, Go Quest is the place to go for a perfect after-show. The last session is at 7:00PM, and the full adventure lasts 2 hours. There are 28 challenge zones and 4 distinctive themes.
You can also have some finger food onsite if you want to skip the restaurant part.
Address: North Park, Exit 5 M50, 23, North Rd, Dublin
– Visit The National Wax Museum Plus
The children will be spoiled for choice at the National Wax Museum Plus. The “Sciences & Discovery Room” offers plenty of interactive experiments. The “Time Vaults” is a journey through Irish History. “Wax World” exhibits a vivid and fantasist space. The “Chamber of Horrors’ hides Dracula and the terrifying Hannibal Lecter. Take selfies with Pierce Brosnan and Yoda and photos with Bob the Sponge and Harry Potter. If you need something more to immortalise this moment, the wax museum can also create a mould of your hand.
Address: The Lafayette Building, 22-25 Westmoreland St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
13 Ideas for a Quirky Saturday night
– Discover Dublin Street art and stop for a drink at Bernard Shaw
Street arts cover the walls of the capital city. With four routes leading to each artwork, you can either spend the whole day walking around or split them into quadruple nights. You’ll see pieces from Fink, LeBas, ADW, Maser and many others along the way.
Stop at Bernard Shaw for a pint or even for pizza dining. This artsy spot hides a giant blue bus in its backyard. Splashy tags are all over the walls, and turquoise barrels serve as high tables. Events such as “Dancing for Money” or “It must be nice” happen most Saturdays.
Address: For the routes, please refer to our Self-Guided Street Art Tour
Bernard Shaw: 11-12 Richmond St South, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2
– Farrier & Draper
Situated in the basement, “La Cucina”, Farrier & Draper’s restaurant, has a very raw and authentic architecture. The space used to be Powerscourt Townhouse’ initial kitchens.
There is no way to be disappointed as every single course is made “al Forno” (a traditional wood burning stove).
After dinner, step in the “Gallery Room”, walk among the bright yellow or pink chairs and notice all the paintings covering the walls. If that’s not your style, the “Georgian Room” is a slick and clean space that can accommodate small groups of four. The “Mezzanine”, located above “The Bar,” is an intimate space for bigger get together.
Address: Unit 1, 24, 24a, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 59 William St S, Dublin 2
– Café en Seine
Only “La Seine” is missing in this Parisian indoor garden. Classic and a signature cocktail, prepared at “The Bar,” are a true work of art. Enter the electric blue and yellow restaurant. The food is classic, pleasant and has a unique style. About 50 people can sit at the same gigantic booth, so be ready to socialise!
Address: 40 Dawson St, Dublin
– Marrakesh by Mindo
If spices and Moroccan delights are your thing, then you are in for a treat. Immerse yourself in the traditional and modern environment. A relaxing night with jazz music at the piano and authentic food on the table is awaiting you. The complementary selection of “Shiwates” (nibbles), served before the meal, will open your appetite. Beware of the belly dancer; she might appear between the entrée and the main.
On a singing mood? A private karaoke room is for hire until 12:00AM!
Address: 121/122 Capel St, North City, Dublin
777 is a trendy Mexican restaurant with an offbeat style. Unconventional pictures cover the white tiled walls, and tequila bottles are all over the place. The loud music might set up your evening mood. The mixologists serve 100% blue agave tequila cocktails as well as many others. The designated driver won’t regret staying sober with the house-made ginger beer.
If the prices are over budget or just because you had a crush, Sunday is the perfect day to (re)visit. Indeed on the 7th day, everything costs €7.77!
Address: Unit 7 Castle House South Great George’s St Dublin 2 Ireland
– Mary’s Bar & Hardware Store
If Irish retro-rustic is the style you were going for, Mary’s Bar and Hardware Store is your best option. This multifunction institution used to be a meeting point for Irish revolutionaries at the time of the Wicklow hotel. Today, you can have a pint and buy yourself a caulk gun to fix your sink. This bohemian and agrarian ambience will provoke nostalgia over a period you probably never knew.
If time did not allow you to have a bite, try their “Wow Burgers” (the name speaks for itself).
Address: 8 Wicklow St, Dublin 2
– The Library Bar
The Library Bar is the ideal place to carry on a serene and luxurious evening with great conversations. To enter, you will have to go through the lobby of the central hotel. The antique furnishing is a testimony of the establishment’s History. Old books and chandelier warm up the atmosphere. The cosy couches and armchairs are an excellent excuse to loosen up. This true hidden-gem has a no-music policy. Leave modernity behind and opt for an old school chat.
Address: Exchequer St, Dublin 2
– The Dawson Lounge
Dawson Lounge is the smallest pub in Dublin. Its little capacity (24) is the insurance of a homely night and another proof that size does not matter! The red lightning and the red carpet stand the boozer out from its swanky neighbours.
Address: 25 Dawson St, Dublin 2
– Irish National Film Institute
Primarily built for a religious and educational purpose, this movie theatre is not a typical one. After losing its faith, the cinema focused on film culture and retrospective programs. If you are tired of mainstream pictures and are in search of something more stimulating, you should try the IFI.
– Sweny’s Pharmacy
Are you on a quest for a literary Saturday night? If the answer is yes, then you should join James Joyce Reading Groups at Sweny’s Pharmacy. This ancient apothecary evolved with time but kept prints of its past. Reconverted into a second-hand bookshop since 2009, you will also find handcrafted treasures and their famous lemon fragrance soap.
Address: 1 Lincoln Pl, Dublin 2
– Participate in a workshop
Most of restaurants and bars listed above offer masterclasses. For creative people, Hugh Lane proposes sculpture and drawing courses. They also teach Arts and History classes and organise reading campaigns.
Address: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Charlemont House, Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin
– National Leprechaun Museum
When you hear the word “leprechaun”, the first thing that comes to mind is “fairy.” As in every folk story, there is a dark side. Every Saturday evening, “Dark Land,” interactively depicts the bleakest sides of Irish legends.
Address: Twilfit House Jervis St, North City, Dublin
4 Ideas for an Irish Saturday Night
All Night Long
– Trad live music
The Auld Dubliner, O’Donoghues, the Porterhouse and Ned O’Sheas all spend their weekend nights playing traditional Irish sounds. Indeed these historical waterholes will present you “la crème de la crème”. You’ll only need to be seated and of course order a pint to enjoy the show. The prime feature of Irish pubs is that it’s also the top places to taste national food.
Find out more, here.
– The Irish House Party
Another music locus ten minutes from the city centre. On top of the euphonic performance, a dancing spectacle will follow. This is not the typical scene with all the stereotypes displayed to entertain the tourists. This is Ireland at its best. The talented musicians will perform on Uilleann Pipes, Bodhran and harp. Meanwhile, the skilful step dancers will give their finest interpretation of the treble reel and the Sean-Nós Dance (also known as Brush Dance).
You can either pay for the show only or combine dinner onsite.
Address: The Lansdowne Hotel, 27 Pembroke Rd, Dublin 4
– Watch a Game
There are two ways to watch a game: live or broadcasted. Irish are famous worldwide for being serious sports supporters. The GAA, the Gaelic Athletic Association, mainly promotes football, Hurling and Handball. The federation throws matches every Saturday.
Old school will always be cool. Head to a pub with a giant screen, order the first of many pints and make the most of the bustling night. The Living Room, on Cathal Brugha Street, has a beer garden and is perfect for a summer sporting event. Trinity Bar, The Mercantile, The Backpage and The Bleeding Horse have all HDTV screens.
Address: GAA, Croke Park Stadium, Dublin 3
– Listen to folklore at the Brazen Head
Established in 1198, the oldest pub in the world takes pride in telling stories, myth and legends. The ancients used to gather around a fire and share tales. This art form has disappeared in most regions of the world (especially in Europe) but not in Ireland. This institution is tremendously praised amongst tourists. However, despite the high frequentation, the pub did not give up on its authenticity.
Address: The Brazen Head, 20 Lower Bridge Street, Dublin 8
More? You Can Also
- Spin roller disco at The Rink at D12.
Address: Finches Industrial Park, Long Mile Rd, Walkinstown, Dublin
- Geek on arcades at Dr Quirkey’s Good Times Emporium
Address: O’Connell Street Upper, North City, Dublin
- Play pool or table tennis at the Hideout.
Address: 49 William Street Sth, Dublin 2