Temple Bar, Dublin

by Seán on January 5, 2007

by Seán | January 5th, 2007  

Temple Bar area in DublinYou will probably hear an awful lot about the Temple Bar area in Dublin. This is a neighbourhood on the south side of the river where most of Dublin’s partying happens.

Temple Bar has all the right elements for drunken shenanigans: it’s centrally located, chock full of pubs, restaurants and cultural venues, plus it’s near the campus and has a sizeable courtyard at its heart for sitting and watching the world go by.

It used to be that Temple Bar was a run-down neighbourhood where numerous artists and musicians were able to afford to find a place to stay. Back in the late 1980s/early 1990s Temple Bar was a rough and tumble area filled with buskers and the cultural fringe, a great place to relax among the relaxed. Nowadays its white-hot real estate prices have filled the area with upscale restaurants and posh shops. There is the occasional street performer, but you’ll see a lot of expensive shoes on the passersby – if you know what I mean.

Sign for the Temple Bar in Dublin's Temple Bar neighbourhoodDon’t get me wrong, it’s still definitely someplace you should check out. Tourists, head down to Fitzsimmons Bar where Irish dancers take the stage for the tourists nightly. Beer geeks – DO NOT MISS the porterhouse down at the end of Temple Bar (try the Oyster Stout . . . mmmm). Can’t decide? Have a pint in the bar called “Temple Bar”, just to say you, literally, had a pint in Temple Bar. Or, just sit down and watch the people go by. Check out a street performer during the summer months. Sing with a busker (if there are any). Eat at a nice restaurant (but don’t trust that Alamo restaurant for Tex-Mex . . . bad idea). Eat at a cheap restaurant (like Half Moon . . just cause I designed their logo).


David Thomas March 14, 2007 at 9:13 pm

I live to drink. Ireland is a good place for that, no doubt; however, I also like to have a nice smoke whilst I drink and be exiled to the sidewalk. Ireland is NOT a good place to go if you enjoy drinking and smoking together. In fact it is one of the worst places to try to do both. Most pubs have no patio accomidation for us smokies and couldn\\\’t care less if we don\\\’t like it.

The typical attitude I got from the Irish people was the same as any up-tight, Berkely, California Yuppie. Maybe even worse.

Ireland is a country that tries to push it\\\’s since of tradition and ihndipendance on it\\\’s visitors, when in all reality it is just trying it\\\’s best to copy the U.S.

Sean March 15, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Seems like your comment would be better at


As I mentioned in that post on smoking, the Irish really took to the smoking ban in a surprising way.

I don’t know that it’s fair to single them out as US copycats when just about every other nation is drinking Coca Cola, putting up McDonalds and listening to Metallica and Britney Spears. I’d say the Irish are more hesitant about the above “Americanizations” than a lot of other places I can think of. At least you’ll hear Irish music in most Irish pubs (whereas the US and British pop charts dominate the jukeboxes in a lot of other countries).

Look at how much the Irish have affected US culture as well – there’s certainly too much of a unique relationship between the Irish and the US to dismiss it so flippantly. No doubt the last 20 years here have seen the most change since Cromwell invaded, but I think globalisation has definately been interpreted here rather than embraced wholeheartedly.

The Irish can be a very stubborn people at times, it’s true. I think it sounds like your experience with their smoking ban has happened to trip that part of their character.

The Irish may toe the line on their smoking ban during opening hours, but consider this: I have sat smoking in more than one Irish pub after the doors have closed, whereas I have NEVER seen that happen in the states. This country may fixate on public opinion and appearances at times, but there’s a lot more to the Irish than what one might initially perceive.


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