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The Ultimate Six Nations Weekend Away In Dublin

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5 months ago

Ireland is playing on its home turf in Dublin three times this Six Nations: first against Italy, then against Wales, and finally against Scotland on Super Saturday for the fifth and final round of the season.

From the best pubs to soak in the Six Nations action to the essential sites of Dublin to enjoy in between the matches, we’ve got you sorted for everything you need to know to make sure you have a memorable Six Nations Rugby weekend in Dublin.

English football player for Six Nations 2024
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Upcoming matches

Ireland vs Wales

Kick-off is at 2:15 pm GMT on Saturday, 24 February 2024 at Aviva Stadium. The match will end at approximately 3:40 pm.

Ireland vs Scotland

Kick-off is at 4:45 pm GMT on Super Saturday, 16 March 2024 at Aviva Stadium. The match will end at approximately 6:20 pm.

(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Where to stay in Dublin for the Six Nations Rugby

There’s no better choice than Ballsbridge in South Dublin, only a 10-minute walk to Aviva Stadium. Ballsbridge really comes alive during the Six Nations with the buzzing pubs on Baggot Street hosting live bands and opening well into the night for post-match revelry.

Our picks for the best hotels in Ballsbridge are the InterContinental Dublin, Herbert Park Hotel and Park Residence (which overlooks the beautiful Herbert Park), and Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge (check out the Dubliner Pub in the hotel for some excellent Irish cuisine).

And if you want something that has all the Georgian charm that characterises the Ballsbridge area while also being close to Aviva Stadium, Pembroke Townhouse is the right choice.

If you’d rather stay slightly further away from Aviva Stadium but still be close to lively pubs, amazing restaurants and cultural highlights, we would recommend Temple Bar. There are also excellent transport links to Aviva Stadium from Temple Bar.

If you’re looking for a more family-friendly area, we would recommend the area surrounding Merrion Square Park which also has a DART (local train) that will take you straight to the Lansdowne Road entrance of Aviva Stadium. If you’re looking for a better deal on a great rental property (everyone needs more space), Vrbo has excellent options in Ballsbridge close to the Stadium.

You can also snag an excellent hotel deal on Expedia at the moment.

How to get to Aviva Stadium

By foot

If you’re staying in Ballsbridge, the walk to any of the five entrances of Aviva Stadium should be no more than 15 minutes. Legions of fans will be walking the same path, so you can expect the revelry to continue all the way to the match.

By train

If you don’t want to walk, the best way to Aviva Stadium is by DART directly to Lansdowne Road. If you’re going to the Stadium directly from Dublin Airport, the fastest way to the action is by car, but note that cars will only be able to get within a certain distance of the Stadium.

Dublin’s tram system (the DART), does not have a stop near Aviva Stadium.

Best pubs to watch the other Six Nations games

For Round Three, Scotland will take on England at 4:45 pm GMT on Saturday, 24 February at Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, just after the Ireland vs Wales match in Dublin. And then after the Scotland vs England game, France will face Italy at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille at 3 pm GMT on Sunday, 25 February.

Man watching the Six Nations in a pub
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

For Super Saturday, 16 March, Wales takes on Italy at 2:15 pm GMT at Principality Stadium in Cardiff before Ireland vs Scotland in Dublin, and then France takes on England at 8 pm GMT at Groupama Stadium in Lyon.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best pubs to soak in all of the Six Nations action, whether for pre-match drinks before Ireland vs Wales, or the best places to watch the other Six Nations games happening in Round Three and Super Saturday.

Map of Six Nations Pubs

See below for a map of all of the pubs screening the Six Nations pub this year in all of the host cities:

The Bath Pub

Just a few minutes’ walk from the Stadium, The Bath Pub is one of the best places in Dublin to soak in the Six Nations action. The pub boasts three screens outside, four in its front area and three in its back room.

The Bath Pub will be serving its brunch and dinner menu during the match days, and will have live music to keep you entertained before and after the matches. Last call is a little bit later at The Bath Tub on Saturdays: 12 am.

Expect to be standing up – and you don’t need a table to get a drink. And in terms of food, you can get pizzas in the evenings as well.

The Old Spot

Only one block away from The Bath Pub is The Old Spot which is more of a controlled, sit-down affair. Here, you’ll need to book a table to get a meal and drinks (there’s no standing space).

If you book earlier enough to get a table, you’ll be treated to a TV in the main bar and in the main dining area. The Old Spot is known for its friendly vibe, and Dublin locals have been choosing The Old Spot to watch the Six Nations for years so it’s got quite a local feel.

The Old Spot will be serving dinner for the Scotland vs England match in the afternoon on Saturday, 24 February.

Slattery’s

Like everywhere in South Dublin during matchdays, expect Slattery’s to be filled up from the moment they open. Slattery’s boasts 16 screens scattered between its lively inside and outside areas.

Slattery’s won’t serve you food, but we’ve got you covered on the best restaurants and food in the area in any case. Like The Bath Pub and The Old Spot, Slattery’s is within throwing distance to the Stadium, so expect a great atmosphere for the game – before, during and after!

The Bridge 1859

On the south side of the Stadium is The Bridge 1859 which boasts eight screens inside. There is an outside area but there aren’t any screens, so if you’re looking for an outdoor viewing space you might want to head to Slattery’s.

The Bridge 1859 is a gastropub through and through. It’s one of the best places to try Irish favorites like Irish stew, fish & chips, and (our favorite) beef & Guinness pie. They also do a mean Bailey’s cheesecake and Death by Chocolate if you’re looking for a sugar rush to accompany your adrenaline from the Six Nations games.

Guinness and pork ribs at The Bridge 1859 in Dublin
(Source: The Bridge 1859)

There’s quite a lot of standing space on matchdays but The Bridge keeps some tables for people to eat. And they keep the dinner menu all day on matchdays, so this might be the perfect one-stop shop.

The Bridge 1859 is owned by ex-Rugby players Dave Kearney and Jamie Heaslip.

This is a big Rugby pub that welcomes both home and away fans. There is a live music to keep the atmosphere going after the game all the way until closing at around 12:30 am.

Searson’s

Searson’s is a bit further away from the action near the Stadium, but if you choose Searson’s as your viewing venue you’ll be rewarded with three projectors that come down for the bigger matches. There’s even several screens in Searson’s huge beer garden.

On matchdays, Searson’s offers a limited food menu available from 12 pm. You want to make sure to get the Weekend Roast (they know how to do a striploin) with its many, many sides. The Shepherd’s pie is also one of the best in Dublin. For your dessert, treat yourself to the cookies and cream – the cookie dough is perfectly rich, and there’s a handsome dollop of salted caramel. But I think our favorite has to be the excellent brioche bread and butter pudding.

Searson’s doesn’t take reservations so make sure you get there early. And if you do manage to get a table, you must try their flight of whiskies (they have a selection of over 250 Irish whiskies).

Searson’s is also perfect for those looking for a later night. They close at 2 am on Saturdays and 11 pm on Sundays (this one is by law).

Best food around Aviva Stadium

Dublin is known for its gastropubs (including The Old Spot and Searson’s), but there’s also amazing food to be sampled around Aviva Stadium while you’re in town for the Six Nations.

Paulie’s Pizza

Transport yourself to Italy at Paulie’s Pizza which is truly some of the best pizza you can get in Dublin. Skip the pub pizza and treat yourself to the Super Picante or Octavia. Locals worked out that Paulie’s Pizza is some of the best in town a long time ago, so you’ll need to make a reservation in advance or you can try to walk in later before they close at 10:30 pm.

Presto Chipper

Almost next door to Paulie’s Pizza is Presto Chipper, the quintessential fish and chipp shop. Unlike Paulie’s, this is an easy takeaway with big portions and amazing value for money. You’ll also be surprised to know that their chicken fillet burger is also fantastic.

Base Wood Fired Pizza

We don’t always put a pizza chain on our lists, but the woodfired pizza at Base is some of the tastiest in town. If you’re heading south after the game, Base is a great option – and the focaccia with nduja is the star of the show.

The Chophouse

This is on the famous Shelbourne Road intersection (Slattery’s is just across the road), so expect an amazing Six Nations atmosphere at The Chophouse. The food here is nothing short of top quality at very reasonable prices, and you can expect generous portions no matter what you order.

You should probably get their steak, but their lamb is worth particular mention if you’re looking for a different flavor profile.

Jewel in the Crown

If you’re in the market for something a bit tastier after the game, the Jewel in the Crown is an excellent Indian restaurant – and it’s priced very reasonably. Given its location near Aviva Stadium, it does get quite full after matches on the weekend, so make sure you book in advance.

Avoca Ballsbridge Food Market

This is the perfect stop for an on-the-go breakfast in the morning (they even do half-price specials in the morning), but locals know that Avoca’s brunch is incredibly good and at shockingly low prices. This is a local Dublin favorite, so you should book in advance if you want to go for their brunch. Among their very many excellent dishes is the Lamb Shank Madras which you’ll be very satisfied with.

Best restaurants in Dublin

If you’re willing to travel a little bit further from Aviva Stadium, Dublin truly has some standout restaurants with incredibly exciting dishes. Treat yourself to a meal at one of the best restaurants in London during your weekend.

Doolally

Consistently rated one of the best Indian restaurants in Dublin, you can always expect an excellent meal at Doolally. They perfected everything from the food to the service, and the interior manages to be both cosy and classy at the same time. Doolally’s dishes are presented beautifully without losing the authentic flavours – and without breaking the bank!

There really isn’t a single best dish at Doolally because their choices are all fantastic, but if we had to choose it would be the butter chicken (yes, it really is a cut above the rest) and the chicken tikka masala.

Peploe’s

Overlooking the stunning St Stephen’s Green park is Peploe’s, serving an amazing range of thoughtfully prepared dishes. Peploe’s is a bit more of a dining affair, so you might want to choose this as your first meal in Dublin to sample some of the best flavors.

Peploe’s is known for having quite the buzz, so expect plenty of cocktails and a much more boisterous atmosphere to accompany the very impressive food.

Spitalfields

Named after one of the best areas in London, Spitalfields combines the best of a cosy pub within Michelin-grade food. This one is slightly more on the expensive side, but for the investment you’ll get to try some very eclectic dishes (you don’t often see bitterballen and papadums on the same menu).

The atmosphere is relaxed and the setting is charming – and the service is just as good as the food (which is to say, absolutely excellent).

The best things to do in Dublin in between matches

Dublin is one of the easiest and friendliest cities in Europe: easy because of its walkability, and friendly because of the Irish charm. Take advantage of your time in between matches to explore the Irish capital.

1. The Guinness Storehouse Experience

The Guinness Storehouse tells the store of Ireland’s famous beer complete with tastings and a rooftop bar. What makes the Guinness Storehouse so exciting is that it seamlessly blends history, education and pure enjoyment. This isn’t just a journey through Guinness brewing; it is a deep dive into Irish culture and tradition told through the lens of a national treasure.

Iconic Guinness Storehouse sign on brick wall in Dublin

Every detail is very well thought out. You’ll get everything from a showcase of the rich heritage of Guinness to a full instructional on Guinness brewing. From start to finish, the Guinness Storehouse is committed to visitor satisfaction, and if that isn’t enough, there is an unforgettable panoramic view of Dublin at the Gravity Bar at the end.

Make sure you book your ticket in advance. This is one of the most popular experiences in Dublin for a very good reason.

You can take yourself on a self-guided tour which is perfectly designed with informative exhibits and interactive displays. If you want something really memorable, take the beer-pouring class to add a hands-on element to the tour (and they do something you really won’t forget to the foam on your Guinness). Treat yourself to a freshly made pint (it does taste different), and soak in the isolated aromas in the tasting room.

2. Take a short walking tour of Dublin

The history of Dublin is particularly fascinating, and there is no better way to get to understand the local culture than through a walking tour of the city with a local.

3. Visit the library of Trinity College

Visiting the library of Trinity College and seeing the Book of Kells for yourself is truly a surreal experience. The library itself is breathtaking – there really is nothing quite like it in the world. Prepare to be taken on a sensory experience of the journey of the book and to see sights like you haven’t seen before.

library with books in dublin ireland trinity university

Fun fact: The Jedi archives of the Jedi Temple in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is modelled on the library at Trinity College.

4. Spend an afternoon a pub tour

There are many things that Dublin is known for, but one of them is the locals’ love of beer. You’ll get plenty of time for beer at the pubs we’ve mentioned in Dublin, but if you’re looking for a curated experience of some of the best pubs that Dublin has to offer (and that’s quite a feat), then spend an afternoon on a pub tour.

5. Go to the Irish Emigration Museum

Want to find out why there are Irish pubs all over the world? The Irish Emigration Museum will teach you about why the Irish have gone all around the globe and just how far they’ve gone. This is also a great place to take children (they give you a “passport” which you stamp in every room). You’ll be amazed by the variety of exhibits and interactive displays which cover everything from Irish sports to Irish criminals.

6. Enjoy Dublin’s unrivalled whisky experiences

There are quite a lot of whisky tasting experiences in Dublin, but the crowd favorites are definitely the Jameson Distillery and the Irish Whiskey Museum.

The Jameson Distillery is a must-visit for any Jameson fan. The atmosphere hits you as soon as you walk in with a fantastic bar serving incredible cocktails and a gift shop with some of the nicest souvenirs from Dublin. Book in a tour for an experience that is even better than you’d hoped for – you can even taste from a cask that they don’t sell and 21-year whiskey straight from the barrel!

All of their experiences are delivered in the inimitable Jameson way, and if you do the Black Barrell Blending Class, you’ll come away educated on the process and with a 50 ml bottle of your own blend.

Right beside the famous Trinity College London, the Irish Whiskey Museum is one of the best whisky tours in Dublin. The tour is entertaining and informative (about whisky and Irish history) – and you get a few whiskies to try at the end. There is even a non-alcoholic version of the tour. The guides here are particularly known for their characteristic Irish humour so you can get the full cultural experience.

There is obviously so much more to do in Dublin if you have a bit more time, but we’ve handpicked the above to fit in with your Six Nations schedule.

Dublin by night

Dublin is known for its raucous nightlife, and there is no better time to experience it than during the Six Nations. The pubs that we’ve mentioned above will be going late into the evening, but if you’re looking to experience a deeper level of Dublin nightlife, go to the pubs at Temple Bar. There is so much to keep you occupied there, and the venues here will be open much later than the pubs.

Dublin for young families

If you’re taking kids to Dublin, in addition to the Irish Emigration Museum, you might also want to take the kids to the Dublinia museum, which is surely one of the most unique museums in the city. The museum takes you on a journey of Dublin’s Viking history with interactive areas, photo opportunities with medieval helmets and the 96-stair tower which rewards you with an amazing view of Dublin. The section on the Black Death is particularly well presented.


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