The Famous Temple Bar of Dublin, Ireland

The Famous Temple Bar of Dublin, Ireland

Updated On: April 07, 2024 by   Shaimaa OlwanShaimaa Olwan

At first glance, one would think that The Temple Bar is a bar or a pub you could visit and spend some time at when it is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland.

Unlike other parts considered in the centre of Dublin, the place is promoted as Dublin’s cultural quarter with a lively nightlife and is consistently crowded with tourists. So you will be checking out one of the essential parts of the city and at the same time will get the chance to enjoy a drink at one of the many great bars found there.

One of the most famous destinations in the area is the Temple Bar Pub – maybe that is why it was given the same name, to bring people to it more often – but there are other popular venues as well, which include the Palace Bar, Oliver St. John Gogarty’s and the Auld Dubliner.

If you think the place’s name was given to the street in the old days, then you are wrong because the first mention of that name was in 1673 in Bernard de Gomme’s map. The street’s name is believed to be taken from the Temple family, whose progenitor, Sir William Temple, built a house and some gardens there in the early 1600s.

Temple Bar – Places to Visit in Dublin, Ireland

A Rich Tapestry of History

As much as this area carries history, it is now a place where many tourists head to experience the beautiful corners of the place and, at the same time, pass by some of the cultural institutions located there. From those cultural institutions that one could pass by, there is the Institute of Photography, the Irish Film Institute, the Button Factory, the Arthouse Multimedia Centre, the New Theatre, the Irish Stock Exchange, as well as other cultural institutions which one could get the chance to visit and enjoy as well.

Temple Bar’s story unfolds over centuries, its very name whispering tales of the past. The area is believed to be named after Sir William Temple, who built a house and gardens in the early 1600s. As Dublin flourished, the reclaimed land along the Liffey became a hub for commerce. The 17th century saw the establishment of printing houses, taverns, and even a theatre in the neighbourhood.

The 18th and 19th centuries witnessed the bar morphing into a working-class district. Printing remained a vital industry while workshops and warehouses sprung up. However, by the mid-20th century, the area fell into decline. Dereliction became a defining characteristic, prompting a group of artists to occupy vacant buildings in the 1970s. This artistic rebellion sparked a revival, paving the way for Temple Bar’s transformation into the cultural haven it is today.

Cultural Renaissance

Temple Bar is home to an array of cultural attractions that cater to every taste and interest. Art lovers can explore the myriad galleries showcasing contemporary and traditional Irish art. At the same time, history enthusiasts can delve into the past at the Irish Film Institute’s Archive, which houses a vast collection of Irish cinema history.

Literature aficionados will find themselves in paradise at the Dublin Writers Museum, which celebrates the city’s rich literary heritage and its most illustrious figures, including James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, and Samuel Beckett. Visitors can also follow in the footsteps of these literary giants with a stroll along the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which winds its way through Temple Bar’s historic pubs and watering holes.

Music is at the heart of the bar’s cultural scene, with live performances happening every night of the week. From traditional Irish folk music sessions in cosy pubs to cutting-edge gigs in hip-music venues, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The Temple Bar TradFest, held annually in January, is a highlight of the musical calendar, showcasing the best Irish traditional music and dance in venues across the district.

Artistic Enclaves

Temple Bar | Temple Bar Dublin | Dublin | Ireland | Things to do in Dublin

Art enthusiasts will be enthralled by the myriad galleries and studios that dot the bar’s streets. The Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, housed in a historic building, serves as a dynamic hub for contemporary visual arts, featuring exhibitions, artist residencies, and educational programs. Meanwhile, The Icon Factory showcases the work of local artists, offering visitors the opportunity to purchase unique pieces while supporting the vibrant arts community.

Visiting the Irish Film Institute is a must for those seeking a deeper understanding of Dublin’s artistic heritage. This iconic institution screens diverse Irish and international films, hosting festivals, retrospectives, and special events throughout the year.

Culinary Delights

The place is a gastronomic paradise, offering various dining options to tantalize every palate. From cosy cafes serving hearty Irish breakfasts to upscale restaurants showcasing innovative cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

For a quintessentially Irish experience, visitors can sample traditional dishes like Irish stew, fish and chips, or hearty Guinness pie at one of Temple Bar’s many pubs and eateries. Alternatively, those with a more adventurous palate can explore the diverse culinary scene, with options ranging from authentic Italian trattorias to trendy vegan bistros.

A Pub for Every Preamble

Temple Bar
Temple Bar

Temple Bar’s true essence lies in its pubs. These havens, with their brightly painted facades and welcoming interiors, are the beating heart of the neighbourhood. The air thrums with live music, a blend of traditional Irish tunes and contemporary sounds. Whether you yearn for a pint of Guinness amidst lively conversation or seek a cosy corner to savour a whiskey and soak in the atmosphere, Temple Bar’s pubs cater to every mood.

One iconic establishment is The Temple Bar pub itself. Boasting a history dating back to 1840, it is renowned for its extensive whiskey collection and commitment to traditional Irish music. From impromptu sessions by local musicians to scheduled performances by acclaimed artists, The Temple Bar Pub is a haven for music lovers.

Temple Bar by Night

As dusk descends, the bar truly comes alive. The pubs overflow with patrons, the music intensifies, and the atmosphere becomes electric. The Irish concept of “craic” – a sense of fun, good company, and shared enjoyment – permeates the air. The bar’s infectious energy will surely leave a lasting impression if you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-time visitor.

Music enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the soul-stirring melodies of traditional Irish music sessions, where fiddles, bodhráns, and tin whistles create an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness. Meanwhile, those craving a more contemporary vibe can dance to the latest beats at one of Temple Bar’s trendy nightclubs or live music venues.

Exploring Temple Bar

Temple Bar
Temple Bar

When exploring the bar, embracing its lively atmosphere and the experience’s spontaneity is essential. Here are a few practical tips to enhance your visit:

  1. Wander the Streets: Take the time to wander the cobblestone streets of Temple Bar, soaking in the vibrant street art, quirky boutiques, and bustling markets.
  2. Sample Local Fare: Don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional Irish fare at one of Temple Bar’s many pubs and restaurants. Be sure to pair your meal with a pint of the black stuff – Guinness.
  3. Experience the Arts: Immerse yourself in Dublin’s artistic heritage by visiting the galleries, theatres, and cultural institutions that call Temple Bar home.
  4. Enjoy the Nightlife: Experience Temple Bar’s legendary nightlife by exploring its pubs, bars, and live music venues. Whether you’re into traditional Irish music or contemporary beats, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
  5. Take Your Time: The place is best explored leisurely, so take your time to soak in the atmosphere and discover hidden gems.

Exploring Dublin’s Delights

Temple Bar serves as a perfect springboard for further exploration of Dublin. A short walk takes you to Dublin Castle, a landmark steeped in Irish history. For a dose of science, head to Trinity College Dublin, home to the awe-inspiring Book of Kells, a beautifully illuminated manuscript from the 9th century.


The bar is a testament to the enduring power of culture and creativity. From its humble beginnings as a 17th-century trading post to its current incarnation as a vibrant cultural quarter, Temple Bar has undergone a remarkable transformation. Today, it is a thriving hub of artistic expression, where tradition and innovation converge to create a uniquely Dublin atmosphere.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art aficionado, a music lover, or simply someone looking to soak up the atmosphere of this dynamic city, Temple Bar has something to offer everyone. So why not wander its cobblestone streets, explore its hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of culture that awaits you in this iconic district? Temple Bar awaits, ready to enchant and inspire all who venture within its bounds.

Have you ever been to Dublin before? If so, have you ever visited the Temple Bar in Dublin? Share with us your experience, and tell us how much you love the place.

Also why not check out some other popular tourist attractions around Dublin that we have visited, such as River Liffey, O’Connell Street, Phoenix Park,Molly Malone Statue, and Guinness Storehouse.

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