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Music is enormously important in Irish culture; in fact, the harp is one of our national emblems and is on the back of Irish Euro coins. In years gone by, people used to play in their homes and churches. Many songs are laments, particularly from the famine era. Livelier songs include jigs and reels and are mainly instrumental. Today, "trad sessions" or a "seisiún" (seshoon) are common in many pubs around the country and are not to be missed while you rent your short term Sunlight Properties holiday property in Dublin. Traditional instruments include not only the harp, but also the accordion, bodhrán (bow-rawn), tin whistle, banjo, uilleann (ill-in) pipes and the fiddle.
It is not only traditional music that is well known and loved. A wide range of artists have seen international success such as U2, The Script, The Dubliners, Enya, The Corrs, Snowpatrol, Thin Lizzy, The Cranberries, Clannad to name just a few. There is a plethora of great live music venues all across Dublin where you can enjoy a wide range of music while on your Dublin vacation.
Hand in hand with Irish music . . . goes of course Irish dancing! Traditionally, there are two types of dancing: step and set. Step dancing requires the dancer to keep their upper body completely straight while only moving their lower half. There is a story that this is because the English outlawed dancing. Seemingly, the native Irish danced behind the closed, bottom half of their front doors and English soldiers were none the wiser! Step dancing was made famous by Riverdance in 1994 but is less traditional, as the dancers do move their arms.
Set dancing is the other type of Irish dancing that focuses less on intricate steps and more on intricate moves and swinging your partner around and around! It is fast paced, energetic and definitely worth a try if you fancy something different during your next holiday in Ireland.
Below are some recommendations of venues where you can enjoy a mix of the music and dancing on offer in Dublin.
This is a great choice of traditional Irish pub, with free live music every night from 9pm and weekend afternoons.
Live Irish music and dancing, starting at 7.30pm every Sunday to Wednesday at this restored Catholic Church.
The highest pub in Dublin, traditional sessions are what they do best. Every night from 9pm enjoy live music and ballads, or join in one of their famous “Hooley nights”. The Johnnie Fox's bus leaves from many city centre locations each evening to make sure you get there and back safely from your Sunlight Properties holiday rental property.
Live music events every day during the summer, free entry and late opening at this city centre pub.
Mon – Thurs & Sun: 12pm – 1.30am
Fri & Sat: 12pm – 2.30am
Prices from €33.50 for a three course meal and two hour dance show.
An authentic Irish experience hosted at this pub on the outskirts of Dublin. Choose from show only for €20, or dinner and show for €49.50. Shuttle bus transfers can also be booked to and from the city centre.
Set in a beautiful Georgian building, enjoy a three course meal before the party gets started. Award winning singers, dancers and musicians come together to offer a true Irish experience.
Join in on live set dancing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Open daily with late nights on weekends.
One of Dublin's most famous live music venues, choose from a wide range of events all throughout the week. Entry is normally free to the pub but gigs have a cover charge. Open daily until late.
Just next door to Whelans is this more contemporary bar and late night venue. Just as popular as Whelan's, but much smaller, so be sure to get in early to avoid disappointment.
Offering a wide range of gigs, this was formerly known as the Temple Bar Music Centre and is conveniently located in the centre of Temple Bar.
An award winning venue, Vicar St is an intimate spot that plays host to international names as well as home grown talent.
An edgy late night bar covering two floors. Enjoy a cocktail in one of their booths downstairs or join the masses upstairs on the dance floor with a live DJ.
Tues – Sat: 5pm til Late
Sun: 4pm til Late
A chilled out crowd here and frequent comedy nights make for a fun night out on this busy city centre street.
Mon – Fri: 12pm – Late
Sat & Sun: 10am – Late
This is a popular spot for after work drinks that inevitably turn into a night out. It's hard to resist the cocktail menu and dance floor in this large, high ceilinged, late night bar.
Mon – Wed & Sun: 12.30pm – 11.30pm
Thurs: 12.30pm – 1.30am
Fri & Sat: 12.30pm – 2.30am
Situated in the beautiful Georgian buildings of Powerscourt Townhouse, enjoy different rooms and bars in this trendy nightclub.
Open daily until late.
Another trendy, late night bar. Solas is spread over two floors and features a rooftop terrace.
Open every day until late.
Late night revellers cram into this basement nightclub that features an outdoor smoking room. A large bar area and dance floor guaranteeing a fun night out!
Open daily until late.
Occupying two Georgian houses on Lower Leeson St; House aims to provide relaxed glamour for your night out.
Mon – Fri: 10am – Late
Sat & Sun: 4pm – Late
A large nightclub, complete with VIP lounge and a heated beer garden; this is a known celebrity hotspot.
Thurs – Sat: 5pm – Late
If you fancy spotting some Irish celebrities this holiday, Krystal is the place to go. An exclusive nightclub, reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment at the door. Open every night till late.
Located in the heart of the city centre, this is an opulent and luxurious nightclub. The main feature is the circular bar but there are different areas to discover and dance the night away.
Mon – Sun: 5pm till Early!