How to See Irish Dancing in Dublin

Ireland has a rich and storied culture, with proud traditions of sport, music and of course, dance. When I tour-guide in Dublin, one of the most common questions I’m asked is how to experience some world-famous Irish dancing. Let’s talk about how to see Irish dancing in Dublin.

How to see Irish dancing in Dublin? If you want to see stage performances like “Riverdance”, then head to the Gaiety Theatre. The “Irish House Party” will serve food while you enjoy the performance. O’Neill’s pub offers a more relaxed and intimate experience.

While there is plenty of dancing shows in Dublin, some of them are better than others. They will also be geared towards different audiences and budgets.

How to See Irish Dancing in Dublin

Music and dance have been a huge part of Irish culture for generations and the two go together well. When you go to see a traditional Irish dancing show, you will inevitably get to experience some live musical performances too. Most Irish dancers have trained in their craft since they were children and the standards are high, no matter where you go. The music and dance communities are some of the biggest social networks in Ireland and there are regular gatherings and competitions throughout the year. People from all over the world train throughout the year to compete in these competitions and you can see them perform every night of the week in Dublin.

The most famous Irish dancing performance is undoubtedly Riverdance. This was originally the halftime show at the Irish-hosted 1994 Eurovision Song-contest but has evolved over the years and the dancers have gone all over the world, sharing this part of Irish culture. If you are in Dublin, it might be possible to see some bigger performances, like Riverdance, while you are in the city. This show is often performed in the famous Gaiety Theatre, off Grafton Street. Shows like this are great if you want to see some of the very best dancers in the world perform.

If you are looking for something a little more casual though, there are plenty of places to go in Dublin. This part of Irish culture, like many others, started off in public houses around the country, even today there are plenty of pubs that will play host to dancers and musicians every night of the week. Some of these performances are more intimate and the dancers will temporarily take over a small section of the pub to put on their show. There are other establishments that will put on a bigger performance. Some pubs in the city have built stages, specially designed so many people can enjoy Irish music and dance while they have dinner. This can be a great way to see as much of Irish culture as possible while you are here.

My Favourite Dancing Shows in Dublin:

  1. Riverdance. Though this show often travels all over the world, there is something magical about seeing it performed in its Irish home. Performed in the Gaiety Theatre, tickets can be upwards of €45.
  2. Irish House Party. This is performed in an old townhouse, just outside of the city centre. It is easy to get to and when you’re there, you will be able to enjoy a traditional Irish meal with a great show. Prices with the food are €45, without €20. Though this might vary.
  3. O’Neill’s. I have spoken about my favourite pub many times and I always recommend it to visitors to the city. This is one of the best places to see some Irish music and dancing in a relaxed atmosphere. The performance is free, though you can buy food downstairs until 9pm and drinks here are cheaper than pubs in Templebar.

These are my favourite places to see some Irish dancing in Dublin. If you want to find out which one is right for you, read on…

Dinner and Dancing Shows

If you want to get the most out of your time in Dublin, then this is one of the best things that you can do. There are many different shows around the city that will serve food while you watch a live performance of music and dance. Though Irish food hasn’t had the best reputation historically, this is starting to change. Even in the last ten years there has been a quiet revolution in the variety and quality of food on offer around the country and in many of these shows you will be able to experience some of the best parts of traditional Irish culture, with some of its most welcome recent additions.

In my opinion, one of the best shows like this is the “Irish House Party”. This show takes place every night in a beautiful 18th century Georgian townhouse, just outside of the city centre. This show is consistently ranked as one of the best things to do in Dublin and has been visited by famous figures like the poet Seamus Heaney and the Executive writer of CSI Miami, Brian Davidson. All of whom thoroughly enjoyed the performance. If you don’t want to enjoy any of the food on offer, it is possible to book a show-only ticket.

Dancing Shows in Pubs

My favourite way of seeing Irish dancing though is by going to one of the shows in a traditional pub. This is the most authentic way that you can experience Irish dancing in Dublin and there are many great pubs around the city where some of these older traditions can still be seen, in one form or another. My favourite place to see this dancing is by far O’Neill’s on Suffolk street. This pub has been owned and run by the same family for the last century and is one of the most popular pubs in the city.

I have more information on visiting this pub and experiencing some Irish dancing during a pub crawl in Dublin.Opens in a new tab.

There are other pubs that you will be able to see live musical performances in Dublin. The Church is a popular bar, built out of an old and disused local church in the centre of the city’s Northside. There are performances that take place here every night. Johnny Foxes’ is another of the most popular pubs in Dublin and they host live music and dance performances every night. Like dinner and music shows, they will also serve food and have special promotions where both are included. This institution however is in the Dublin mountains, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and offers a genuine and welcoming atmosphere. The music is also free to enjoy for all the patrons of the bar and there is a regular shuttle service to the city centre.

Related Questions

Irish Dancing Classes in Dublin. Of the many dance schools in Dublin, “Irish & Sean Nos Dance Dublin”, is one of the most highly regarded. Students and older beginners are welcome in this establishment.

Irish Dancing in Templebar. Templebar has many establishments that host Irish dancing shows. If you want an informal pub setting, O’Sullivans on Westmoreland street is excellent. Buskers on Fleet street offers a larger show, with great food.


Jack Redmond has been a tour guide in Ireland for the past decade. Having received a national guiding qualification, he has brought thousands of travelers all over the island of Ireland.

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