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Dublin Nightlife

Nightlife in Dublin has changed beyond all recognition recently. Stylish bars and buzzing pre-club haunts now sit alongside the traditional Irish pubs. The popular Temple Bar area is perhaps the city's best-known hotspot, but areas around George's Street, Abbey Street and Wexford Street are increasingly the preferred options for locals. They offer lively bars, chic venues and variety that goes way beyond the traditional pint of porter.

For gigs, and shows, tickets can be purchased on the night directly from the venues or in advance at outlets of HMV stores, on Henry Street and Grafton Street, from Dublin Tourism on Suffolk Street (tel: +353 1 8903 24583; www.visitdublin.com; bookings in person only), or from Ticketmaster (tel: +353 8187 19300; www.ticketmaster.ie).

Music website www.goldenplec.com is a great source of gig listings, while fortnightly magazine In Dublin (www.indublin.ie) is good for nightlife and events listings, with bar, restaurant and club reviews. Dublin Tourism also has online events listings that are updated daily.

Bars in Dublin

Against The Grain

Dublin's growing love of the craft beer market is epitomised in this haven for those who love a classy pint. Against the Grain has an ever-evolving selection with the wonderfully unique taste of Galway Hooker at the heart of their broad selection. With board games, snugs and lively late nights, it's a pub well worth an evening or two.

Address: North Central Dublin, 11 Wexford Street, Dublin, Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 1 874 4045.
Website: http://www.galwaybaybrewery.com/againstthegrain

Dawson Lounge

This is the smallest pub in Dublin, with room for about six people tucked away in the basement. You'll have to lever your way in on a busy night, but at least you know you'll get served quickly. With wood-panelled walls and a mere smattering of furniture, it's great for a few novelty photos before the night really gets going.

Address: Grafton Street, Dawson Street, Dublin, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 677 5909.

Oliver St John Gogarty's

In the heart of Temple Bar, this bright green monster of a traditional pub seems to go on forever through winding little rooms and quaint hideaways. At its cosy core you'll find trad music played to perfection, alongside Guinness and whiskey served the way it has been for generations.

Address: Temple Bar, 58 Fleet Street, Dublin, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 671 1822.
Website: http://www.gogartys.ie

Clubs in Dublin

Lillie's Bordello

The exclusive Lillie's Bordello is where all visiting pop stars, actors and celebrities hang out for after-show parties. The famed upstairs room is a tough one to sneak into, but for a general sense of fashion and occasion, plus an extensive cocktail menu, it is worth dressing up for anyway.

Address: Grafton Street, 1 Adam Court, Dublin, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 679 9204.
Website: http://www.lilliesbordello.ie

The Hangar

Revamped into exactly the kind of warehouse venue it sounds like, The Hangar is located in a former shirt factory. It is rustic to say the least, but always good for a night of debauchery. There's rarely a quiet night here, though the camp shenanigans of club night Mother Dublin have gained a particularly flamboyant reputation.

Address: South Central Dublin, 9 St Andrew's Street, Dublin, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 672 9022.
Website: http://www.hangardublin.ie

Twisted Pepper

Out on its own as Dublin's most outstanding alternative club, Twisted Pepper's three floors transform from coffee shop during the day to messy, beat-driven nightclub when the sun goes down. Known for its cocktails and relaxed buzz, it does host some intense DJ talent and has a sweatbox feel that's fresh out of a Berlin basement.

Address: North Central Dublin, 54 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 86 325 2471.
Website: http://bodytonicmusic.com/thetwistedpepper

Live music in Dublin

National Concert Hall

Dublin's main classical music venue is the National Concert Hall, which is home to the National Symphony Orchestra. It hosts a range of events, including a few bargain-basement lunchtime offerings, with a broad musical, literary and theatrical output in the evening.

Address: South Central Dublin, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 417 0000.
Website: http://www.nch.ie

The 3Arena

Dublin's largest indoor concert venue has played host to many of the world's most famous acts, and can be a real revolving door of talent. With a capacity of 14,000, it's not exactly an intimate experience, but if you're after massive shows in a polished, bouncing modern warehouse, this is the spot to choose.

Address: , North Wall Quay, Dublin, Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 1 819 8888.
Website: http://www.3arena.ie

Whelan's

Easily Ireland's best-known live music pub, Whelan's is a mecca for hipster types supping pints and chatting in-depth on the latest far-from-the-charts fodder. It's also home to much of the city's most impressive music, spreading acts across three stages and covering most genres. Whelan's is a great spot to base a long night around.

Address: South Central Dublin, 25 Wexford Street, Dublin, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 478 0766.
Website: http://www.whelanslive.com

Classical music in Dublin

Dance in Dublin

Theatres in Dublin

Music and Dance in Dublin

Culture in Dublin

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Central Hotel

This cheap, city centre hotel harks back almost 200 years. It is very old school Dublin and as such boasts some impressive period features in its façade and public areas. The rooms have been recently refurbished, with free Wi-Fi available in most of them, though snuggle up in the Library Bar and the years still drift away.

Number 31

Overlooking elegant Fitzwilliam Place, Number 31 is the former home of Ireland's leading architect, Sam Stephenson. It has since been converted into a highly sophisticated, award-winning guesthouse with an emphasis on detail, luxury and simplicity. This stylish property offers a variety of en-suite accommodation, as well as secure car parking, but it's the intimate beauty that wins guests over.

The Shelbourne

A veritable Dublin institution immortalised in James Joyce's epic Ulysses, and now something of a hub for the Ireland rugby team, the 5-star Shelbourne Hotel has been home to the rich and famous (and even royalty) since its opening in the 18th century. Centrally located beside St Stephen's Green, with 265 opulent rooms, celebrated bars and restaurants, and a smart health club, it remains one of Dublin's most distinguished hotels.

The Merrion Hotel

Dublin's most sumptuous 142-room hotel looks like a standard Georgian block of houses, but behind its modest façade, it has been sensitively restored to combine period elegance with 5-star modern facilities. There's a classy restaurant, sizeable pool, gym and spa, but also magnificent formal, landscaped gardens, forming a serene haven far removed from the frenetic city centre.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel

Luxurious and ultra-modern, The Fitzwilliam commands a striking central location with the calm and tranquillity of St Stephen's Green to one side and Grafton Street to the other. Theirs is a stark, minimalist interpretation of typical country house features, using chrome, frosted glass, large leather sofas and dramatic down lighting. Its large roof garden is great for summer sunshine.

The Dylan

Located in the western canal belt, this small boutique hotel is the epitome of style and sophistication. It's housed in a former 17th-century theatre, which in its heyday staged concerts conducted by Antonio Vivaldi. Today, the minimalist east-meets-west designer décor of the 40 individually designed guest rooms, combined with an intimate courtyard garden, spectacular canal views, efficient staff and an excellent restaurant, ensures a luxurious stay.