In Search of the Perfect Pint in Dublin

By: Elisha Burberry

There is plenty more to Dublin than drinking pints of Guinness in old world style pubs, but pub culture remains a huge attraction for many visitors and with good reason. Dublin has become a young, vibrant city boasting great nightlife juxtaposed by constant reminders of the ancient civilisations that have occupied the same streets. Dublin satisfies visitors seeking culture, art, history, modern or traditional music, stunning scenery and of course those waiting for a perfectly drawn pint of the dark stuff.

Despite the fine museums, historic castles, green parks and gardens, visitors always find themselves back at the pub, drawn together with all of the other visitors and locals to sit back, have a chat, enjoy some pub grub and reflect on the day's activities. There are over 1000 pubs in this small city of just over half a million people and it's one of the youngest cities in Europe with around 50% of its inhabitants younger than 25. Dublin was also voted the friendliest city in Europe in 2007 so it's no wonder that it is such a popular destination for visitors.

Despite its rapid economic growth and phenomenal rise in living standards and wages over the last 10-15 years, affectionately referred to as the Celtic Tiger, traditions live on and are evident to anyone travelling to Dublin. Pub life is alive and well in the city and although nowadays many more upscale restaurants can be found serving up a wide array of global cuisine, traditional pubs still dot the streets and can often be found by ear, listening for the sounds of traditional or contemporary Irish music.

For some visitors, pubs and the pub culture are the main attractions for coming to this city as many have been drawn to Dublin by the theory that Guinness, which has been brewed as the St James's Gate Brewery since 1759, tastes best in Dublin. Some say the best way to experience the culture of Ireland is to go into a pub. And indeed the archetypal Irish inn is celebrated for its convivial, vibrant atmosphere, friendliness of its customers and staff and what is known as the "craic", the Irish expression for fun.

People travelling for a long weekend from Britain may be tempted by a short haul flight, but should look around for other more carbon friendly and comfortable options before purchasing a ticket. Travel by ferry from UK to Dublin is becoming increasingly popular, especially for those wishing to explore other regions outside of the Emerald Isle's capital. By taking their car they can travel around at their own pace so ferry travel is the way to go.

Once you have arrived in Dublin in search of that perfect pint of Guinness, remember that pubs close earlier than in some other countries - usually around 12:30am at weekends. Only night clubs and what are known as late bars may serve beer after hours but this is only until the latest of 3am. So, when you do decide to go out, remember to start on those pints of Guinness early!

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