Insider Tips

While You’re Here: Jameson Distillery

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
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We can’t think of anything better than using the Jameson Distillery as a launchpad to explore one of the most thriving emergent cultural hubs of the city. Here, Totally Dublin editor Michael McDermott shares his top recommendations in the area.


The arcade game bar craze has finally hit Dublin. Crowd-funded through Kickstarter, Token is the buzz space of the summer. Spread over two floors, the venue houses pinball cabinets along with a slew of blinking and beeping vintage arcade games. It also boasts some well-chosen beers and street-food-inspired dishes. If you’re seeking less of downtown LA or Tokyo on your Irish visit, then it doesn’t get much more authentic than The Cobblestone, a pub at the heart of Smithfield. It’s home to some great Irish traditional music and finely tightropes being a venue where both locals and tourists mingle at ease.

The Lighthouse Cinema is a beacon for cool design and cool films. This exquisitely designed cinema is an attraction in itself, and you can bring a beer into screenings along with your popcorn. They also run special seasons and events, as well as supporting the indigenous Irish film industry. If your taste-buds are tingling, then Fish Shop has the requisite culinary tackle to land you. Opened by former school teachers Peter and Jumoke, Fish Shop now has a cheaper sister restaurant a few hundred feet away – but this should be the ‘on holidays’ treat you so richly deserve.

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Old-school gaming at Token

Whilst still awaiting a planned revamp to turn it into an artisan market with butchers, fishmongers and craft sellers, the Smithfield Fruit and Vegetable Market continues to serve as a mostly wholesale hub for the city. Its charm lies in the character of the space and watching this stock exchange for fruit and veg come to life before your very eyes – well worth an early morning stroll through it. Next door to the market is the Hacienda; you have to buzz to get in, and proprietor Shay is always on hand to help navigate your journey through this speakeasy-style haunt. It’s famed for visiting actors and its accompanying 'Wall of Fame' proudly displays pictures of those who have dropped by, including Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson.

St Mary’s Abbey is a calm oasis in the midst of the inner city hubbub. Once the wealthiest Cistercian Abbey in Ireland, today only two rooms remain – the Chapter House and the Slype. The Abbey is mentioned in the ‘Wandering Rocks’ chapter of Ulysses by James Joyce, and houses an exhibition put together by the Office of Public Works along with the Dublin Archaeological Society and the History of Art Department of Trinity College, Dublin.

Be sure to check out Michael’s other recommendations. Here are some fun things to do, off the beaten track, around the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College.