My wife and I are traveling to Dublin next week and we love traditional Irish music. Where should we go to do so?
September 5, 2012 12:23 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are traveling to Dublin next week and we love traditional Irish music. Where should we go to hear the best in the city?

My wife and I are going to be in Dublin from Sept 11th through the 16th and we love traditional Irish music. Anything with a fiddle, bodhrán and madolin, it's for us. For some reason there's a bit of a Maritime music scene here in Vancouver and it's got a lot in common with traditional Irish music.

We prefer legitimacy though, not plastic paddy stuff setup just for tourists (yes, I realize we are also tourist, but hopefully not that kind). We're thinking a "cozy" pub where everyone sings along vs some giant venue.

So where should we go? We're staying around Parnell St and Gardiner Street (here basically). We're both mid/late 20s, so a later night thing isn't bad. But we're usually tapped by midnight or 1, not seeking bed at dawn.

posted by Nelsormensch to Travel & Transportation around Dublin, Ireland (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Cobblestone Pub in Smithfield (Dublin 7, on the Northside of the Liffey).
posted by trixie_bee at 12:56 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You'll find everything you need on this site. There's a lot of touristy Riverdance style shows like Johnny Fox's which are expensive and a bit fake to my mind so you'll avoid them by going to a session. You'll also get to see what modern Irish trad (including Americana) is like. Some of the venues are outside Dublin centre and might be a bit difficult to get to, like the Seamus Ennis cultural centre in Naul.

Some friends took this tour to get a bit of baseline knowledge and were really impressed. The historical connections with Canada are fascinating and the third most spoken language in Newfoundland in the 18th & 19th centuries was actually Munster Irish (the dialect I grew up with). Called Newfoundland Irish (the translation in Irish calls it 'Irish from the land of the Fish').

finally the area you're staying in is not the safest part of Dublin so be cautious, especially coming home if late at night. The Irish Tourist Assistance Servicehas a great booklet of hints and tips. Around that area especially on weekend nights the common crime is bag or mobile phone snatches. Normal big city precautions and you'll have no problems!
posted by Wilder at 1:27 AM on September 5, 2012

O'Donoghues is one of the most famous, and famously touristy. It's not far from Grafton Street.
posted by nevan at 5:56 AM on September 5, 2012

Do you like ballad singing? The Goilin Traditional Singer's Club happens every Friday night at 9pm at the Teacher's Club in Parnell Square.
posted by LN at 6:10 AM on September 5, 2012

Just go to a pub, any pub. Sounds pretty straightforward to me.
posted by Kruger5 at 6:45 AM on September 5, 2012

Seconding The Cobblestone. It usually has great music and, while it can be touristy, it's a "go to" place for most of my Irish musician friends.

Also, check out, which is a good source for traditional sessions. This web site is crying out for a "search by proximity" feature but, for whatever reason, doesn't have one. Either you have to just search for "dublin" in the search box or click the "Sessions" link on the right hand side.
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:40 AM on September 5, 2012

Response by poster: Very useful all, thanks everyone.
posted by Nelsormensch at 8:57 AM on September 6, 2012

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