The few days before 'the' Christmas are always a bit mental.
Whether it's festive cheer or end-of-year stress, people flock in the thousands to town to try their best to drink The Pale dry – and the result is generally a city that's too full to be fun.
But, fear not. Not everywhere is ruined by the masses – slightly less packed places, with even the possibility of places to sit, do exist. And here are 13 of them.
1. Humphrey's, Ranelagh
Smyths? McSorley's? Forget it.
A favourite to locals, Humphrey's is full of friendly staff, a deadly patio and a perma-chilled atmosphere.
There's full outdoor heating and your chances of getting a seat are far greater than other pubs in the near vicinity. A real gem.
2. The Leeson Lounge, Leeson Street
The Leeson Lounge is very rarely especially crowded and the ambiance is casual and laid back.
Really super bartenders with a natural flair for people, a great beer selection, ample indoor seating and great tunes – live or otherwise. What more could you want?
3. The Square Ball, Hogan Place
A great pub for sports, with huge TVs and a selection of games (including Cards Against Humanity) for those who aren't that way inclined.
Tucked away onto Hogan Place, The Square Ball is always busy but not packed. Chances of seating are high, and even higher if you book a table. Solid beer selection and good drinks promotions.
4. The Lord Edward, Christchurch
An institution in itself, with decor that has barely changed since 1904, The Lord Edward is steeped in history, with an atmosphere that makes everyone feel at home within seconds of entering.
Real spit and sawdust sort of place, with many a place to perch. Cracking Guinness.
5. TP Smiths, Jervis Street
Lovely little bar, with an old-timey spiral staircase in the middle. Staff go beyond the call of duty in TP's, and there's plenty of room with a proper chilled atmosphere.
If you’re doing your Christmas shopping on Henry Street and want to dive in somewhere for a break, this could be your best bet.
6. Mulligan's, Poolbeg Street
Supposedly the oldest 'real' pub in Dublin, Mulligan's boasts truly fantastic atmosphere. Old school Irish cool, with high probability of seats for all.
A must stop for a pint – a sentiment backed by none other than JFK, who famously popped in during his 1963 visit. Some say it has the best pint of Guinness in Dublin...
7. The Gravediggers, Glasnevin
You've heard the stories, now's your chance to visit the Glasnevin cemetery haunt. The Gravediggers is one of Dublin’s most celebrated pubs. Proper traditional without a TV in sight. Perfect to stop in for one or 12.
8. Ned's, Townsend Street
A great little backstreet, old-school pub with a warm welcome and the usual Dublin banter and wit. Ned's is primarily known as an early house, but open for after work drinks also.
Can get busy, but generally quietens over the course of the night as punters flock more towards the centre of town. Good pints and loads of benches to get a place. A whopper pool table too, if you're so inclined.
9. The Royal Oak, Kilmainham
A real old-man pub which makes you forget you're in the capital. Memorabilia all over the walls, and a cosy atmosphere all around. Gas bartenders who certainly know their stuff.
The Royal Oak has been called the perfect pub on several occasions, and shouldn't be too flooded come Friday night – despite its small size.
10. The Cedar Bar, Raheny
Off the beaten track indeed, but worth the DART trip. Fun fact: Cedar Bar was used to film some scenes in The Commitments. Cracking pints, great atmosphere and you’re just across the road from McHugh’s, one of the nicest restaurants on the Northside.
11. O'Neill's, Pearse Street
A pub which bears almost no resemblance to the haunt of the same name on Suffolk Street, this O'Neills is very rarely overly busy, which is a feat considering its prime location.
Big smoking area with ample seating, along with a cosy interior by the bar.
12. L. Mulligan Grocers, Stoneybatter
Stoneybatter has become Dublin's trendiest spot in recent years, and L. Mulligan's is no different.
Excellent food, great atmosphere, huge selection of beers and ciders etc as well as insane attention to detail (your bills comes in those tin pencil cases everyone had!), this should benefit from being ever so slightly outside the heart of the city come the madness.
13. The Bloody Stream, Howth
Located underneath Howth DART station, The Bloody Stream is a great big pub with loads of seating and an exciting atmosphere. Comfy, cosy and with an impressive selection of drinks – it boasts everything your Friday night needs.
Also, doesn't it look so well, all dressed up for Christmas.