A compact cluster of crowded cobbled lanes, Temple Bar is an urban playground known for its nightlife. Once a rundown slum before artists and bohemian types—drawn by cheap rents—moved in, Dublin’s so-called cultural quarter has since been revamped. It is now home to galleries, vintage shops, cafés, cultural institutions, and a high concentration of pubs.
Explore the quarter as part of cycling or walking tours of Ireland’s capital, which sometimes include visits to the nearby Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery Bow St. or trips to farther-away attractions such as Malahide Castle. Hop-on hop-off bus tours also stop here, and it’s a popular spot for organized pub crawls thanks to the high number of traditional pubs in the area.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Temple Bar can be boisterous at night, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays, when revelers often spill out of pubs onto the streets.
- The streets are cobbled and uneven, so it’s best to wear sturdy, thick-soled shoes.
- Dropped curbs ensure wheelchair users can access most of Temple Bar, though the cobbles can be difficult to navigate.
How to Get There
Temple Bar is prominently located near Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and Grafton Street. The nearest Luas tram stops are Jervis (Red Line), Trinity (Green Line), and Westmoreland (Green Line)—all of which are within five minutes’ walking distance. Tara Street railway station, accessible via the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) electric rail, is about a 10-minute walk from Temple Bar.
When to Get There
The later it gets, the louder and busier Temple Bar becomes. By midnight on Friday and Saturday, the neighborhood is somewhat of a rowdy party. To experience a more mellow side to Temple Bar, go early in the morning. As a general rule, it’s quieter during winter than in summer, though exceptions, such as the Christmas period, do apply.
Things to Do in Temple Bar
By day, wander the busker- and boutique-lined streets. Visit the Gallery of Photography, watch a movie at the Irish Film Institute, or see the exhibits at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. Eating and drinking are the area’s other main draws. Pop into a pub for a meal and a Guinness or Irish whiskey and watch a live music session. Families can bring kids into pubs during the day, but at night, most pubs are adult-only zones.