Search icon


11th Jun 2024

9 of the best places to enjoy traditional Irish music in Dublin


Say it with us now, one-two-three-four a one-two-three-four!

Irish traditional music has never been better, making an evening spent belting out trad songs while an aul lad toots at a tin whistle a great way to spend an evening. Glasses are clinked, toes are tapped and if you’re lucky, someone will whip out a pair of spoons and bounce them along to the beat. It’s one of our favourite things about the pub – the potential of stumbling across a wee session just makes a night out so much more exciting. If you’re in Dublin for the weekend wondering where to head for a bitta live music, we’ve compiled a list:

The Cobblestone

Smithfield’s North King Street, more info here

Top of any Dubliner’s list when their mind drifts to trad music, at The Cobblestone they do live trad music no less than every evening of the week. A night in the Cobblestone is always an interesting one, with a wonderful mix of tourists and locals packed in together. Thanks to a landmark Dublin city council decision back in November 2021, one of Ireland’s most famous trad music pubs survived after 700 objections were submitted against plans to turn the three-storey pub into a hotel.

The Brazen Head

Ushers Quay, more info here

Anywhere that bears the name of “Ireland’s Oldest Pub” has got to have trad playing it and The Brazen Head does not disappoint in that department on a Sunday afternoon. The place is always packed but if you walk around the labyrinth long enough, you’ll eventually find a seat!

Ryan’s of Camden Street

Camden Street, more info here

An often overlooked boozer, Ryan’s of Camden Street is a lively spot that has trad music every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 9pm until late.

Johnnie Fox’s

Glencullen (up the mountains), more info here

Boasting the title of Ireland’s highest pub, Johnnie Fox’s is a bit of a destination for tourists. The spot draws crowds (all the way up the Dublin Mountains) for their nightly ‘Hooley Show’ which takes in traditional music, Irish dancing and storytelling. While it is undoubtedly geared towards the tourist market, you will find a couple of cyclists, bikers, and walkers there who will tap their toes in time to the one-two-three beat.


Merrion Row, more info here

The hallowed walls of O’Donoghue’s have held some of the greatest sessions this town has ever heard. From Christy Moore to the Dubliners, some of the country’s best musicians have gathered in the tight quarters off Merrion Row to play. You’ll find tourists from around the world and locals alike at sessions every night of the week.


Camden Street, more info here

Here in Lovin Towers, Devitt’s is our much beloved local. It’s a bar that offers an old-style level of service that’s much missing from other spots in the city, it also does live music every night as long as you’re upstairs nice and early. Best to check their socials to see what type of music is on depending on the night, as there is typically a mix of Dermot Kennedy-style man with a guitar or trad music depending on the night.

The Palace

Fleet Street, more info here

Whether there’s trad on in The Palace or not, any night spent in one of Dublin’s greatest pubs is honour bound to be well spent. In the outskirts of Temple Bar, it’s the type of bar where both a local and a tourist could sit side by side in the bar and each have an incredible night.


Capel Street

A real gem of a pub, that feels more like someone’s cosy sitting room with a blazing fire than a business. Beginning life as a traditional music shop way back in 1834, it’s no surprise that the pub that eventually evolved places traditional music at the heart of what it does. From 9 pm most nights, the place plays host to some of the city’s finest traditional musicians (so much so the last time I was there I heard John Francis Flynn who is normally selling out Vicar Street playing).

The Celt

Talbot Street, more info here

For a calmer type of traditional music session, get your feet onto the ancient flagstone floors of The Celt. Over the hubbub of diners and drinkers, you’ll be able to hear some great local musicians play seven nights a week in the Talbot Street spot.

All you need to do is brush up on your trad lyrics and get out there! Let us know if we’ve missed anything, we are on [email protected]

READ NEXT: 12 of the best wine bars in Dublin