A literary pub crawl around Dublin

Dublin was this week’s answer for our Where in the World Wednesday competition. Well done to the 58 entrants who guessed correctly- and congratulations to Wendy E Murray, you are our winner this week and have won a £20 alpharooms.com voucher.

Dublin is famous for many things- Guinness, culture and ‘craic’ (fun in Gaelic!), and is well known as a top destination for a weekend away. Whilst many go to sample the city’s alcoholic staples such as Guinness and Whisky or to grab some bargains on Grafton Street, some also go to bask in the literary atmosphere of Ireland’s capital city. Dublin has produced an astonishing literary scene, with writers such as Beckett, Joyce and Beeham giving Dublin a reputation for high quality works of literature. Here is my guide to a literary pub crawl around the city centre, visiting the much loved watering holes of some of Ireland’s most famous writers. Just remember to take a copy of Ulysses or Waiting for Godot around with you!

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Start off on the Northside at the  Oval Bar on Middle Abbey Street which is mentioned in Ulysses by James Joyce and more Pricks than Kicks by Beckett (my favourite of the Irish writers!). After a quick drink, cross over the River Liffey and head to Mulligan’s on Poolberg Street. This is a busy historical pub which was visited by James Joyce amongst other, and was also mentioned in Ulysees. Your next stop is another pub mentioned in this famous book (if you hadn’t noticed already, this is a trend in this pub crawl!)- O’ Neills on Suffolk Street promises a friendly welcome and is full of charm.


Your next three pubs are all quite close to each other which is good news if all the Guinness is going to your head by this point! Wander down to Duke Street for 2 stops. The Duke was often frequented by the likes of Joyce, Kavanagh and Beehan and with it’s lovely atmosphere and 2 floors of seating, is the perfect place for a drink before a spot of shopping on Grafton Street. It’s also a great place to be on Bloomsday (16th June) where people come for a glass of wine and a Gorgonzola sandwich a la Leopold Bloom.
Next, head a couple of doors down to the gourmet pub Davy Byrnes which specialises in Seafood.  Byrnes was friends with Joyce and so it’s unsurprising that this is yet another pub mentioned not only in Ulysees but also in Dubliners- “He entered Davy Byrnes. Moral Pub. He doesn’t chat. Stands a drink now and then. But in a leap year one if four. Cashed a cheque for me once”.

A short walk away is McDaids pub on Harry Street, which was Beehan’s favourite haunt, as well as being popular with Patrick Kavanagh, Flann O Brien and JP Donleavy. An interesting fact about this pub is that it is where the door of 7 Eccles Street (the home of Leopold Bloom!) was kept before being transferred to the James Joyce Cultural Centre. Have a drink and enjoy feeling how Beeham may have done!

I hope you’re still feeling okay at the point because you’ve got a 10 minute was down the road to Toners on Baggot Street which is said to be the only pub that WB Yeats frequented, as well as being one of Kavanagh’s hangouts. If you’ve got the time and energy for one more stop, walk/stumble up to  Kennedy’s (formerly Conway’s) to enjoy an Irish Whiskey in a pub visited by Samuel Beckett while he lived in Ireland.

The morning after…

Feeling in need of a strong coffee the next morning? Pop to Bewley’s Coffee Shop which is a hangout for the likes of James Joyce and various other living celebrities such as U2 and Bob Gelfof. If the only thing that will settle your hangover is a fry up, look no further than Gallagher’s in Temple Bar for an amazing Irish breakfast at around 10 Euros per person.

Do the official tour

If you’re not familiar with Dublin and want somebody to lead the way, try the Dublin literary pub crawl which kicks off at the Duke Pub and features professional actors to provide an evening of inebriatiated entertainment.

Where to stay

The 4* Brooks Hotel in St Stephen’s Green is the host of the Dublin Writers’ festival, which celebrates the best of Irish and International writers.  It is located on a quiet street just minutes from the Trinity College, Temple Bar and Grafton Street. The designer hotel caters for guests who value difference and for whom ambience, décor and quality of service are important. The elegant and contemporary bedrooms at Brooks Hotel are all air-conditioned with colour TV, power shower, ISDN connections and mini bar. The hotel’s restaurant offers modern Irish and international cuisine. The Jasmine Bar at Brooks Hotel is the ideal place to meet friends and enjoy a few drinks.


The Morrison Hotel is situated on the North Quays close to the city’s financial services centre at Customs House Quay, overlooking the River Liffey. The hotel is also within close proximity to many of Dublin’s restaurants, theatres, art galleries and museums. All of the 84 rooms are stylishly decorated and come equipped with TV, VCR, telephone line and safe. The Morrison Hotel boasts two restaurants, the Halo and the Cafe bar, as well as two bars, the Lobo and the Morrison bar. On site is a boardroom for eight people, and the Lobo conference room, seating 70.



A quick thank you to GoIreland.com’s guide to the Most Famous Literary Pubs and Dublin City of literature for help and inspiration!


See Also: Alcohol inspired trips to get you feeling light headed!


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