Let’s face it; Dublin is a great city, but it isn’t always kind to a student budget. As the second-most expensive city for living costs in the Eurozone, the price of a night out drinking in The Big Smoke can deliver as big a hit to your wallet as it can to your head.
However, don’t despair; ahead of the start of the new academic year, we’ve rounded up the best bars and nightclubs that Dublin has to offer for students. The places that have made the list are vibrant, quirky and frequented by young people, as well as offering the best value and cheapest drink deals.
Whether you’re coming to study in one of Dublin’s universities or are planning a long weekend in the Irish capital, make sure to follow our list to get the best out of the city as a student, without breaking the bank.
10. Captain America’s
Location: 44 Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Irish students may be more familiar with this venue as a family restaurant and burger joint, but Captain America’s offers some surprisingly good drink deals- especially for students! Student drink promotions are available Monday to Wednesday with a valid student ID, and have before included spirit and mixers for 4 euros and cocktails for 5 euros! With its location in the heart of Dublin city center on Grafton Street, Captain America’s is the perfect place to kick off your student night out in a cheap but fun way.
9. Howl at the Moon
Location: 7/8 Lower Mount Street, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2
This mirror adorned, art deco-themed venue may feel expensive, but its drink deals are far from it! The club offers 2.50 drinks on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays across beers, ciders and spirits. Admission is free before 9 pm on Wednesday and Thursday and free before 10 pm on Friday, with a price of 5 euros after.
You’re unlikely to find such a wide selection of drinks this cheap anywhere else in Dublin. This spacious venue is a great place for students to go clubbing, with a variety of pop and chart hits.
8. Pavilion Bar
Location: College Green, South-East Inner City, Dublin 2
No student’s experience in Dublin can be complete without a trip to Trinity College’s famous Pavilion Bar. Offering stunning views of the university’s green sports field and into its campus, the bar is open for everyone, not just Trinity students (though you should bring a form of valid student ID).
The drinks are relatively cheap for Dublin prices; a pint of Guinness will set you back 4.10 euros while cans of cider are available for as cheap as 2.90 euros. The venue also boasts a reasonably priced food menu. All profits go directly to supporting local sports clubs, so you can even give yourself a pat on the back for doing good when you drink that pint!
7. Porterhouse Bar
Location: 45 Nassau St, Dublin 2
Porterhouse has two locations in Dublin: one in Temple Bar and, perhaps the better option for some students, on the corner next to Trinity College on Nassau Street. The latter location is particularly tempting to make a visit to after class! The bar has one of Dublin’s best selections of craft beer. It also has drink deals on Monday and Thursday nights, which includes 2 euros off all cocktails from its extensive menu.
The bar also has a special deal on a chosen spirit, in which it offers a double shot with a mixer for 5.50 euros. The spirit changes regularly, but past deals have included Absolut Vanilla Vodka and Zachoney. The food menu is award-winning, making this the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of lectures.
6. Sin E
Location:15 Ormond Quay Upper, North City, Dublin
The first of many live music venues on this list, Sin E tends to host acts in the hard rock persuasion. Even if that’s not your scene, however, this grotty but endearing joint is sure to feature in your list of places for nights out. The bar has a really great vibe, whether you want to immerse yourself in the crowd upstairs or chill on the sofas downstairs.
What’s more, Sin E offers some really great drink deals, with a menu of cocktails for just 6.50 euros each. The Caipirinhas are a must have, coming in a selection of four different fruity flavours; strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and passion fruit. Even if you don’t stay all night, Sin E is extremely popular among students as a pre-drinking venue; particularly if you decide to go to the next place on our list, which is just across the river.
5. The Workman’s Club
Location: 10 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Located on the banks of the River Liffey, Workman’s is Dublin’s premier indie music night out. What’s more, on most nights entry is absolutely free! The converted warehouse makes the venue feel more like a huge house party than a club, making it a particularly popular spot with students.
As their website states, the venue’s club nights play “everything from rockabilly to hip hop, 80’s guilty pleasures to disco, house to indie,” (but in particular “lots and lots of indie”). Workman’s only charges entry on Wednesdays, when it’s 5 euros admission to “Somewhere”, a club night featuring 2 floors of DJs.
However, the trade-off for the admission price is that beer and cocktails on this night cost just 4 euros. The venue also hosts gigs from underground artists throughout the year.
Location: 25 Wexford St, Dublin 2
While this venue will appeal especially to music lovers, this bustling and vibrant pub on Wexford Street is a particularly popular spot among all sections of the student demographic. Deceptively big, the venue stretches out into several stage rooms for live sets, as well as a fairy-light lit bar on its roof terrace.
The venue hosts gigs from the hottest up and coming artists as well as established names. Ed Sheeran famously played a small gig there in 2015, and even made a surprise appearance during band Apella’s set at the venue in April this year!
The venue’s drinks are averagely priced, however, every week there is a free silent disco event in the upstairs bar. It’s a perfect option for a different but inexpensive night out for you and your uni mates!
3. Flannery’s Bar
Location: 6 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2
Camden Street’s Flannery’s bar is a calmer, cheaper but altogether just as fun as the bigger clubs around the corner on Harcourt Street. While names such a Copper Face Jack’s, Dicey’s and DTwo will be charging between 5 and 10 euros for entry, you can walk into Flannery’s for no cost at all!
Another advantage is while the Harcourt Street venues are popular with college students and freshers, Flannery’s attracts an older and (hopefully) more mature student demographic. The playlist at this bar/club is a mixture of everything, from cheesy pop to traditional Irish music, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Its rustic wooden interior makes it a great spot for a quieter drink earlier in the evening, or for a full on “mad sesh” later on.
Location: Powerscourt Townhouse, South William St, Dublin 2
Renowned for its exclusive live DJ sets, this designer bar also offers an amazing selection of unique but cheap drink deals. On every day except Saturday cocktails are 2 for 1 at 13 euros, meaning they come in at just 6.50 each. Drinks of Pygmalion’s quality, created by trained mixologists won’t be found at this price anywhere else in the city.
The cocktail menu changes regularly, but you can always be sure drinks will be made from premier ingredients such as pear vodka and activated charcoal. The drink deals and regular live music means that this joint on the side of Powerscourt Townhouse Shopping Center is a favourite among Dublin’s younger demographics. Check out their Facebook page for their upcoming live sets.
1. The Bernard Shaw
Location: 11-12 Richmond St South, Dublin 2
The premier hang out spot for Dublin’s students has to be The Bernard Shaw on Richmond Street. Famous for its (literal) “Big Blue Bus” pizza restaurant at the rear of its huge beer garden, you can enjoy reasonably priced but delicious food while you sip your pint. 11-inch pizzas are priced at between 8 and 11 euros, available in a mixture of classic and avant-garde flavours. Drink deals include 2 spirits and mixers for 12 euros.
The venue is decorated with unique and ever-changing pieces from local Dublin artists and is regarded for hosting a variety of original and fun-filled events throughout the year; namely, its vintage flea markets on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. Last year it also hosted a Simpson’s themed “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween night, running a competition for the best Simpsons fancy dress! The vibe is unchallenged by any other bar in the city and is a go-to for any young person wanting an inexpensive slice of Dublin’s alternative side.