After you've spent the day seeing all the attractions and museums, take a few suggestions from this article to have an unforgettable evening in Dublin! The list includes free and family-friendly activities, things to do at night, dining suggestions, and open-late attractions.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO
There are a lot of things to see and do in Dublin. What should you do first? Take a look at our top 10 list of things to do at night in the city to help you narrow down your options. We have tours, culture, museums, and music listed!
(1) Sightseeing Tours
There is so much to see and do in Dublin? How do you make sure you see the best of what the city has to offer? (Besides our Top 10 Lists!) Go on a sightseeing tour. And if you’re looking for something to do after dark, Dublin has tours for you! The popular BigBus Tours offer a nighttime route.
Try the Ghostbus tour if you’re into dark stories about the city’s past.
And if neither of these tours strikes your fancy, take yourself on a self-guided tour!
(2) Attend the Theatre
Dublin is home to some excellent theatre productions. There is usually a play, musical, or dance performance happening year round. One of the most well-known theatres in the city is Abbey Theatre. If you take a look at their website, they list what’s on several months in advance.
If you happen to be in Dublin from late September to mid-October, you might even be able to catch the Dublin Theatre Festival, which happens annually.
(3) Greyhound Racing
One interesting spectator sport that Dubliners enjoy is greyhound racing. These dogs race at Shelbourne Park Stadium at 8:00 pm on race nights throughout the year.
You can either take the 15-minute walk outside of the city centre or grab the Burgh Quay shuttle at 7:00 pm. Half the crowd will likely be betting on the winners, so if you’re feeling lucky (as the Irish do in legends), you can try your hand.
(4) Enjoy Dublin’s Music Scene
If you’ve ever been to an Irish pub anywhere in the world, you’ve likely heard some traditional Irish music. The music is one of the draws for visitors from all over the world! You can recognize the folk music from the fiddle, bagpipes, flutes, and other stringed instruments.
If you’re looking for a place where you can always find traditional music, try the Cobblestone.
Of course, you’ll also find live music in many of the pubs in Temple Bar at any time of night. If you take a stroll through either of the main shopping streets, Grafton or Henry, you’ll likely catch street performers singing or playing instruments. Many of these options are great free entertainment for the night, though we do suggest purchasing a drink or leaving a tip when appropriate.
For more budget-friendly ideas, check out our free things to do section.
(5) Enjoy Irish Food
Who doesn’t want to enjoy some nice comfort food when they’re in Dublin? If you’re looking for a good meal late at night, it might be a bit difficult to find. But there are still a few open-late restaurants with good meals!
Try Trocadero, which is a nice restaurant that continues taking orders up until midnight Mondays through Saturdays.
Bobo’s gourmet burgers continue to be served until 11:30 pm.
We have more dining suggestions further down in this post.
(6) National Gallery Thursday Lates
The National Gallery of Ireland has always-free permanent exhibits and holds an excellent collection of Irish art. While they usually close at 17:00, on Thursday evenings they keep the doors open until 20:30.
Each Thursday Late features a local DJ or musician playing in the courtyard, and different fun activities. For example, you might be able to get a portrait from the national collection painted on your nails by the nail artist.
If you want to see the temporary exhibits, they have a reasonable fee of 5 Euro after 17:00 on Thursdays.
For more attractions that are open late, check out our museums in Dublin section below.
(7) Take the Kids to Dublinia
Who knew learning history could be so fun? The kids will love this museum that allows them to discover Dublin’s Viking roots and medieval past.
Dublinia will allow kids to try on Viking armor and board replica ships to see what life was like as a warrior of old. They can also see what it was like to live on land during the medieval ages.
From March to September, the museum is open from 10:00 am - 6:30 pm.
If you’re looking for more things to do with the kids, check out our family-friendly section below.
(8) Take an Evening Kayak Tour
The Liffey River goes straight through the middle of Dublin, and from on the water, you can see the city with a completely different perspective. That’s why so many people enjoy taking a kayak tour down the river. Your guides will give you safety instructions and basic kayaking tips before you take off and will provide flotation vests.
While the kayaking tour is offered multiple times per day, one of the most interesting times to take the tour is later in the evening! During the warmer months, the group will take off after 6:00 or 8:00 pm!
This is a great activity for participants of all ages, as long as you can swim! We have more family-friendly activities in the section below.
(9) Irish Film Institute
The Irish Film Institute is a popular spot to find indy and artistic films and documentaries. Most likely, you won't be able to find the latest summer blockbuster here. But you will find works from Irish and other international filmmakers.
The Institute's mission is to exhibit, preserve, and educate through the media of film. Many of the showings will be focusing on Irish culture, but you'll also see some international topics pop up as well. Check out their website to see the weekly schedule.
(10) Tourist Pass
Utilizing a tourist pass, such as the Dublin Pass, is one of the best ways to see more of Dublin for less money. For one price, you’ll get entry into many of the most popular attractions and activities, as well as transportation with the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus!
- Teelings Distillery
- Jameson Distillery
- Guinness Storehouse
- Aquazone Aquatic Centre
- Little Museum of Dublin
Bonus: Haunted Self-Guided Exploration Game
If you're looking for an alternative to the traditional ghost tour in Dublin, this outing allows you to take control and search the city for some of its most haunted locations.
One of the nice things about this service is that you can enjoy the game at your own pace, so even if most people will solve the puzzles in 1 ½ hours, you can take your time and move from one stop to the next whenever you want.
FREE THINGS TO DO
You don't need to bust your budget to enjoy Dublin in the evenings!
From self-guided tours to landmarks and free music, there are plenty of budget-friendly activities after dark.
Taking a tour is a fantastic way to get to know a new city better. You’ll get insider tips and history you might never have known about. But what do you do if you want to take a tour at night? Free audio tours, like these from GPSMyCity, are the perfect way to walk around Dublin on your own time.
Officially named the Liffey Bridge, the Ha’penny bridge was built in 1816 when most people had to use ferries to cross the Liffey River. It cost a half penny to cross until more bridges were built! At night, the bridge is very pretty while lit up.
Live Music at Pubs
In the evenings the pubs get a bit louder with live music and plenty of sing-a-longs. Just walking through the Temple Bar district will let you sample traditional Irish music, what the locals call a “trad session,” as well as entertaining bar music.
If you hear something you like, you can walk right in.
National Gallery of Ireland
Ireland’s best artists have their artwork displayed in the National Gallery of Ireland. Every Thursday evening, except major holidays, the National Gallery stays open until 20:30 (9:30 pm). This should leave you plenty of time to admire the art or take a stab at drawing something yourself.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Evensong services, which are free to attend, generally start around 17:00 (5:00 pm). The official cathedral of the Church of Ireland is open late! They’re also open for prayer and worship until 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm at night most nights, so check the schedule.
The Dublin Castle grounds are perfect for an evening walk.
As the sun goes down the lights are turned on, which makes the pretty castle even more beautiful.
Temple Bar is where all of the partying happens early into the morning. You’ll see some locals and university students and a lot of travelers. Keep in mind that in Temple Bar prices of both food and drink are the most expensive in this area.
There are still plenty of fun things to do after dinner in Dublin!
You can take your kids on a walking tour, to see landmarks at night, or to fun activities. Take a look at our list below.
Take a Ghost Walking Tour
This fun, 90-minute haunted walking tour will get a bit spooky! Learn about Dublin’s spooky myths and very real dark past. Your entertaining guide will keep things from getting too scary with plenty of jokes throughout the hour and a half.
Clockwork Escape Room
This Escape Room is easy to reach in the middle of the city. Kids will love finding and figuring out the clues that are based on Lewis Carrol’s work. Why don’t you join Alice in the looking glass for an evening?
Dublin Castle really shines at night, with plenty of atmospheric lighting on the grounds where you can walk around at any time. The lighting gives it a mysterious air. Kids can still run around the open spaces during the evenings.
The Ha’penny bridge was built in 1816 to replace using ferries to cross the river.
It originally cost a half penny to cross, hence the nickname! The owner of the bridge made enough money on this bridge to stop his own ferry service. Visit at night for some pretty views of the city.
What do you do if you want to take a tour after all the tour guides have gone home? Or if your little ones just can’t keep up with a full tour? Free audio tours, like these from GPSMyCity, are the perfect way to walk around Dublin on your own time. And night - with fewer crowds - is the perfect time.
Grafton Street is one of the main shopping streets in the city. It sits between College Green and St. Stephen’s Green and is packed with shops and people. Bring the kids along so you can do some shopping and they can be entertained by street performers! You could potentially find singers, musicians, and optical illusion human sculptures.
RESTAURANTS AND FOOD
You definitely won't go hungry after a long day (or evening) seeing sights and exploring the city.
If you want some help finding the best food in Dublin, consider a Secret Food Tour. This service includes 6 stops and a variety of great dishes including Irish stew, cheese, ice cream, whiskey and more!
Here is our list of recommended restaurants and food experiences.
This Chinese restaurant is authentic and delicious! On Fridays and Saturdays, you can eat your fill until 3:00 in the morning! Their dim sum menu is available past midnight and offers a wide selection of dishes.
The South William Bar
This trendy pub and restaurant is a prime place to watch sports and they serve up high-quality burgers. You can order food right up until midnight!
The Porterhouse pub has a wide variety of craft beer on draught and in bottles! You’re also in luck if you’re hungry - they serve their full menu until midnight and you’ll be able to relax in the cosy booths and tables while you eat. If you’re in on a Saturday night there’s live music!
Brother Hubbard North
Perfect for bringing the little ones along, Brother Hubbard North is open for every meal of the day, every day of the week. They have delicious coffee and food, plenty of space, and offer kids menus and high chairs.
Grand Canal Dinner Cruise
Glide down the Grand Canal while eating dinner on a small cruise boat! The tour lasts for two hours and they serve a 3-course dinner. It can get a bit busy, so make sure you book in advance.
If you’re a fan of pizza slices that are larger than your face, make sure to stop in at this New York-style pizzeria. They stay open until 1:00 am! And if you’re looking to save a few Euro, their slices sell for €4 or €5.
MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS
Looking for something to do after dark?
These are the museums and attractions that are open late in Dublin!
Fans of Irish whiskey will love this distillery tour and tasting room! Depending on your budget and interests, you can tour the facilities, learn to make a whiskey cocktail, or even learn how to blend your own whiskey. This is the only distillery open until 7:00 pm.
Irish House Party
This attraction gets you an up-close and personal look at traditional Irish music and dancing. You’ll get a 3-course dinner and then be treated to a show of musicians and dancers until 10:00 pm!
If you’re looking to relax or see the latest blockbuster film, CineWorld has a branch in Dublin. It isn’t too far from the city centre, and you can find just about any new release playing on their screens.
There isn’t much you can’t do at LeisurePlex in Dublin. They offer bowling lanes, arcade games, and pool tables to play on with your travel buddies or new acquaintances. They’re open until midnight!
Clockwork Escape Room
This Escape Room is right in the heart of the city centre close to Ha’Penny Bridge. Their room is inspired by Alice’s world from the Lewis Carroll books, so go into the looking glass for a good time.
The racetrack is only 15 minutes’ walking distance from the centre of Dublin at Shelbourne Park Stadium. Races start at 8:00 pm, and you don’t have to bet on the outcome but it might be fun to try your luck!
This hands-on museum will take you back in time. Learn about how Vikings lived and fought on their ships, and how the medieval ages shaped current-day Dublin.
National Gallery of Ireland
On Thursday evenings, the gallery stays open until 20:30, and all of their permanent exhibits remain free to view. Thursday Lates are usually accompanied by additional entertainment such as live music.