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Temple Bar District

Dublin's "Bohemian Quarter" - Ceol Agus Craic (Mainly for the Tourist)


Temple Bar
Murat Taner/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Temple Bar is reputed to be Dublin's "bohemian quarter" - it certainly is full of entertainment, art and culinary action. It is generally regarded to be on the list of top attractions of Dublin and visited by everybody and their grandmother for the ceol agus craic.

And arousing mixed feelings. Some people could happily spend the rest of their lives in Temple Bar, or at least until the ATM does no longer provide cash. Others have a look, maybe a quick pint (if at all, prices are high) and then call it a day.

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The "mixed feelings" mentioned above are certainly grabbing me when I think of Temple Bar. The area was seedy and run down, earmarked for a railway terminus that never was built. Then the council decided to scrap the plans and replace them with a free-flowing area of cheap rents, business incentives, cobbled streets and "youth culture". From brothels to bistros Temple Bar went - and hasn't looked back since

What you will find today are numerous restaurants, cafés and pubs, hostels and hotels, as well as small shops selling everything from fishing tackle to drug paraphernalia with stuffed leprechauns and tattoo parlours in-between. Also located in Temple Bar are the Irish Film Centre, the Project Arts Centre and DESIGNyard. All well worth a visit. Most visitors, however, come for the beer.

This transforms Temple Bar during the course of the day - mornings are dull, afternoons start slow, the evening has the area filling up with the dining crowd and tourists. And the later it gets, especially on the weekends, the less desirable Temple Bar can become. Obnoxious drunks, unidentifiable pools of semi-liquid consistency, pickpockets and very aggressive behaviour can be encountered. And cheap it ain't - Temple Bar tends to be overpriced, overhyped and overcrowded.

My recommendation therefore is to have a look at Temple Bar before 11 pm, unless you are prepared for some detrimental encounters. And always remember: What may be one man's "lively evening" is another man's pandemonium! There are many more pubs in Dublin that are far less crowded and far cheaper as well.

The Pros of Temple Bar:

  • Huge and diverse amount of restaurants, pubs, art and entertainment venues.
  • Center of Dublin's nightlife.
  • Very vibrant atmosphere in evenings and at night.


The Cons of Temple Bar:

  • Can be very crowded with large numbers of loud groups of party-people.
  • High prices.
  • Beware of pickpockets, aggressive drunks and frankly unhygienic conditions later in the evening.


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