Temple Bar

Temple Bar

Temple Bar is your go-to neighborhood if you’re looking for a fun night out in Dublin. Pubs and clubs are more than plentiful, but be warned: the area is full of tourist traps in the form of overpriced and overcrowded bars, especially on the main strip (you’ll know when you’re there). That being said, there are some truly great spots that stand out, and these are the ones that make Temple Bar and its surroundings so wonderful. My personal favorite was The Porterhouse, with multiple floors, live music, more beers on tap than you can count to, and a friendly staff. During my short visit to Dublin, I already felt like a local there thanks to the great staff. The bartender (one of dozens) not only recognized me, but remembered my drink order! Awesome!

Temple Bar

Mercantile

If there’s no live music, it ain’t Dublin. Almost any worthwhile bar in the area (and even out of the area) is going to have some live tunage for its patrons, whether it’s one man playing acoustic covers or a three-piece ensemble rocking out to authentic Irish folk music. Either way, it’s awesome, and it truly sets Dublin apart from any other place in terms of authentic, cheerful nightlife; there’s nothing else like it. There are few things more rewarding in life than watching two Finnish brothers join a rowdy Irish dance competition while the locals riverdance to live Irish tunes. And trust me, this only happens in Dublin.

Temple Bar

Temple Bar

And don’t think for a minute that the awesome music is exclusive to the bars. The madness continues on the streets of Temple Bar. Check it out:

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¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!

“So how’s the nightlife on weekdays?” I asked a Madrid local as we shared tapas on a Monday night. “Hah,” she said with a smirk on her face. “It’s Madrid.”

Soon after dinner, I realized exactly what she meant.

Madrid’s nightlife is… intense, to say the least. No matter what your tastes or interests, Madrid offers plenty of exciting after-dark activities, many of which involve copious amounts of drinking and last until all hours of the night.

A typical night out will start with a late dinner (9 or 10 p.m. is customary). Of course, this dinner will be accompanied by a glass (or several) of vino, cerveza, or sangria. If you’re lucky, this dinner will also be accompanied by live music or a show.

On that note, do not miss out on a traditional Spanish Flamenco show; Madrid has some of the best displays of the passionate and powerful music/dance.

But perhaps spectating isn’t your style. In that case, try your luck at one of Madrid’s numerous salsa clubs, where (usually) older crowds will be drinking, dancing, and socializing until the sun comes up.

Don’t know how to salsa? No worries. There are bars and clubs throughout the city that will cater to any and all musical tastes. Younger crowds can enjoy their favorite pop, house, dubstep, rock, reggaeton, etc. music at a variety of lively locations.

I’m not going to beat around the bush; Madrid’s party scene is absolutely crazy. The music is loud. The drinking is heavy. The dancing is endless. And this behavior goes on every day. Every night. At all hours. In all seasons. As another local told me, “Madrid parties 24/7.”

So raise your glasses, folks. “¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!”