Bit of an obvious one but there is a reason why a trip to the cinema remains one of the most popular sober things to do. Dublin is full of fantastic cinemas which makes the experience so much more than just watching the film. The Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Temple Bar and the Light House Cinema in Smithfield are the ultimate places for movie lovers. The IFI features lots of domestic Irish releases and independent productions as well as hosting educational events. Boasting stunning cinema halls and a huge range of films, the Light House Cinema is also a must. The Savoy Cinema on O’Connell is perfect for visiting with a group of friends. Finally. the crown jewel of the Stella Cinema in both Rathmines and Ranelagh is something we should all experience at least once in our lives!
Escape rooms have rocketed in popularity in recent years and many places in Dublin have sprung up. This is a really fun activity for families or groups of friends. The idea is simple, even if the escape is not! The aim is to rack your brains together as a team and find a way out of the room using the strategically placed clues before the clock runs out. Incognito Escape Room on Ushers Quay and Adventure Rooms on Green Street near the Rotunda are our favourites and they both run evening sessions which are often in high demand so book early!
On Ormond Quay near the Ha’penny bridge is one of the coolest spots in Dublin for chill, non-alcoholic fun. You can kick back and chill and choose from 40 different varieties of tea, healthy snacks and shisha pipes. It is the perfect mix of relaxing vibes while also being a perfect spot to chat and socialise. If the pub scene isn’t your thing, this is the place for you.
Virgin Mary Bar
On the other hand, if the pub atmosphere is your thing minus the alcohol, there is also a perfect place for you. When the Virgin Mary Bar opened on Capel Street in May 2019 it hit headlines around the world as a completely alcohol-free bar. The Virgin Mary is keen to stress that they don’t do ‘mocktails,’ however and that alcohol-free doesn’t have to mean pleasure free! They specialise in a large range of delicious cocktails and also have a wide selection of alcohol-free craft beers and ciders, wines and spirits and also an impressive Guinness 0.0 on draught. An alcohol-free bar might confuse some people but a trip to the bustling Capel Street to visit the Virgin Mary will make it all make sense.
Walk the City
Dublin is a city that comes alive at night. Some of the capital’s best landmarks and attractions are best experienced in the evenings. A stroll through Trinity College gives you a mesmerising stillness slap bang in the middle of the bustling city. Much of the grounds of the spectacular Dublin Castle are also accessible late and well worth a visit, you can even visit the impressive Chester Beatty Library on the castle grounds on Wednesday nights when it remains open till the later time of 8 pm.
Like our cinemas, Dublin is jam-packed with theatres both big and small. The big productions go to the Bord Gáis Theatre but there are plenty of smaller ones that host intimate and thoroughly enjoyable productions. The Gate Theatre is my personal favourite. The Gate has a rich history and is full of people passionate about the theatre from the actors and directors to the ticket staff and audience. You would be doing well to find a more authentic theatre experience than the Gate. Elsewhere, the Smock Alley, the Peacock and the famous Olympia Theatre are all noteworthy mentions and well worth a trip!
Conor Paterson – Co-Editor