Many visitors come to Dublin to enjoy the history, the culture and the architecture, but the truth is a good party is never far away. Walk into any pub in the city and there will be plenty of Craic and Guinness, but of course not every establishment is going to be themed with lots of traditional music and people dressed as leprechauns, any more than the average London boozer is filled with beef eaters and pearly queens.
The best way, therefore, to get to the heart of a real party in Ireland is to go on the Traditional Irish Experience, an interactive music and dance show. Running from June to August, this activity costs €14 to join in, with a meeting point at Break For The Border on Lower St Stephen’s Street. The activities include learning to play the Bodhran, a tambourine-like instrument played with a small wooden beater. This is one of the lesser-known instruments used frequently in Irish music, alongside more commonly known ones such as the harp and flute. Where there is music there will also be dancing, so prepare to be taught the high-energy activity that is a ceilidh. Fear not, however – you won’t be expected to have perfected the River dance routine by the end of the evening. Visitors will also be taught how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness – with a shamrock on the head of course.
All these things can be combined in the Musical Pub Crawl, which features two professional musicians who tell the tale of Irish music and its influence around the world, while playing a range of traditional tunes. All this takes place as their guests are taken from pub to pub in the famous Temple Bar area. So for €12 you can spend an evening enjoying the black stuff while being entertained in great style. With these events being run by professionals, you can be sure that the experience is authentic and those providing it know just what they are doing and what they are talking about. By the end, you will be left with a great insight into Irish culture – and probably be a little bit merry too.