Because in Dublin, Ireland, drinking is a serious game, with serious drinks and serious rules, and because the pub culture in the Irish capital is second to none, a good tourist has to visit at least a few of the best pubs in Dublin. To some, it can become a mission: to find the elusive craic(good times)!

In Dublin, drinking establishments obey specific and somewhat unique rules. Dublin pubs open at 10:30 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Pubs that open before that are called “early houses” and serve alcohol as early as 7 a.m., except on Sundays. Bars and clubs that serve alcohol after 11 p.m. are called “late bars” and usually close around 2:30 a.m.

Temple Bar is Dublin’s most visited pub. It’s in all of the tourist guides, and everyone from out of town goes to have a pint there. Since it’s basically where the tourist trail begins and ends, this bar is quite overpriced. And very few locals can be found on the premises.

Finally, everybody has a drink of choice, but Ireland’s beverage tradition is strong. Here, drinking local doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice anything. Guinness, Murphy’s, Smithwick’s, Harp and Caffrey’s are some of the best beers in the world, and Irish whiskey needs no introduction. Bailey’s and its imitations are great and soothing.

But please, please, don’t order an “Irish Car Bomb” in Ireland. That would be extremely insensitive. You see, the “Irish Car Bomb” drink is called that because of “The Troubles”, a conflict that supposedly ended in 1998 after 20 years of violence between Irish Catholics and Protestants. And yes, car bombs were used. The conflict is obviously extremely fresh on everyone’s minds. So, to be brief: avoid ordering this at all times and at all costs.

Morning Drinking

Yes, there is such a thing as “morning drinking” in Ireland. “Early houses” were initially kept for graveyard shift workers who wanted to grab a drink after their shift.

To read the rest of this article by Cedric Lizotte on #experiencetransat, Air Transat’s travel blog, click here.