The Brazen Head: Sunday Session at the Oldest Pub in Dublin, Ireland by

The Brazen Head: Oldest Pub in Dublin, Ireland

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Dublin, Ireland is a land of historic castles, Catholic churches, little leprechauns, lucky shamrocks, pots of gold, pints of Guinness and rowdy bars filled with music and craic. Among the many Irish pubs in Dublin, The Brazen Head reigns king.

Honored as the Oldest Pub in Dublin, Brazen Head is an institution…and a must-see Dublin sight! The Brazen Head Pub Dublin is open for visitors from mid-morning until late every night – but the best time to go to this popular Dublin pub is during their legendary Sunday Session.


The Brazen Head Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland Sunday Session at The Brazen Head, Ireland's Oldest Pub

We routed our way through the city on a Self-Guided Dublin Walking Tour that purposely ended at the Brazen Head Pub Dublin.

Inside the historic and famous bar in Dublin City, the walls are covered in memorabilia and classic Irish pub décor. The layout consists of five small rooms – three of which have bars. There is also space to sit upstairs, as well as in the outdoor beer garden courtyard.

The cozy ambiance is highlighted by comfort food aromas – like fish-and-chips, fresh mussels and hearty beef stew. It is a quintessential Irish bar – and exactly how we imagined it would be.

We eased into a booth in the back room and waited patiently for our perfectly poured pints of Guinness. Our first sip confirmed what we had heard: Guinness does taste better in Dublin. I wondered how many pints have been served from these bars – and based on our initial observations and silly math – there have been oh-so-very many!

Pro Tip: The Brazen Head is touted as one of the best pubs in Dublin for food. We think the best pub food in Dublin is traditional Irish fare – which features heavily on the Brazen Head menu. However, there are some vegetarian and lighter meal options, too.


Live Music At The Brazen Head: Dublin Ireland’s Oldest Pub

Performers at the Brazen Head Sunday Session, Dublin, Ireland

While the claims of being the Oldest Bar in Dublin were enough to entice us to visit the Brazen Head, we specifically planned our visit to coincide with their famed Sunday Jam Session. Nearly all of the Dublin, Ireland pubs host live musical performances, but none are as intimate or endearing as a Sunday Session at The Brazen Head.

For more than 20 years, Rafferty has been entertaining guests at The Brazen Head Irish pub on Sunday afternoons. By the time we wandered into the front room bar for the music, it was completely packed – with both locals and tourists.

Standing on my tippy toes, I could just see the seven musicians sitting in the corner booth. Ranging in age from nearly dead (their words, not mine) to rather young, they played guitars, a fiddle, an accordion, a couple of bodhrans (Irish drums), and spoons, but had no microphones or amplifiers.

It truly was a traditional Dublin, Ireland Sunday Session, as they also doubled as comedians and story tellers. During traditional ballads, the entire bar sang along and when they played upbeat tunes, there was so much stomping that the entire room was shaking.

Initially, we had anticipated only staying for a few tunes, but the atmosphere was so engaging that we couldn’t tear ourselves away. We ended up staying for the entire 3-hour traditional Sunday Jam Session. Slainte!

Pro Tip: The Brazen Head Sunday Jam Session takes place on Sundays from 3:30pm until 6:30pm. The pub also hosts nightly live music from 9:30pm onwards.


Brazen Head Dublin History: The Oldest Pub in Dublin, Ireland?

Even the Scots get in on the action at a Dublin, Ireland Sunday Session!

The history of The Brazen Head Dublin is a bit murky and often challenged. While the Brazen Head Pub claims to be the Oldest Pub in Ireland, that fact is contested by Sean’s Bar in the town of Athlone, which is said to have been established in the year 900 (and, if that date is correct, it is possibly the oldest pub in the world).

The origins of the Brazen Head can be traced back to the year 1198 to an inn the operated on the exact same spot on Bridge Street – and that date makes it the Oldest Pub Dublin. 

That said, there is evidence that ale was sold from an establishment on the site in 1661 – and there is no doubt that the current building was constructed in the 1750s. No matter what the exact age of the bar, it is clearly one of the oldest pubs in Dublin!

To be honest, who really cares if it ranks as the Oldest Bar in Dublin or in all of Ireland? It is a Dublin landmark and an Irish treasure. Long serving as a place for socialization, The Brazen Head Ireland has seen a slew of famous guests – from writer James Joyce to country singer Garth Brooks. The Brazen Head Dublin has – without a doubt – played host to many thirsty patrons over the centuries!


Where Is The Brazen Head Pub Dublin, Ireland?

Cozy at the Brazen Head, Dublin, Ireland

Finding the ‘Dublin Oldest Pub’ is fairly easy – as it’s just a short walk from major attractions.

Brazen Head Dublin, Ireland is located at 20 Lower Bridge Street in Usher’s Quay. It is just about a 10-minute walk from the center of Temple Bar, a 5-minute walk from Christ Church Cathedral and about 15 minutes from the Guinness Storehouse.

Pro Tip: Use our Free Dublin Walking Tour for a route to top city sights, and of course, our walk ends at The Brazen Head!

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More Must-See Old Pubs in Dublin, Ireland

This is no shortage of old Irish pubs in Dublin, Ireland. In fact, the sheer number of pubs in Dublin is astounding – there is said to be a total of more than 750 Dublin bars. After having a pint of Guinness at the Oldest Pub in Dublin, be sure to check out some of the other Dublin Famous Pubs.


The Stag’s Head Dublin

Established in the late 1700s, but renovated to its Victorian style in 1895, The Stag’s Head is highly ranked for its ambiance and food.



Since 1854, the low-key and no-frills Mulligan’s has been slinging drinks to the literary crowd and thirsty patrons.


The Gravediggers

John Kavanagh The Gravediggers Pub Dublin, Ireland

A local’s bar, The Gravediggers is the insider’s nickname for the John Kavanagh Bar – which dates to the year 1833 (and firmly establishes its place on the Old Pubs Dublin list!).


The Long Hall

Perfect Pints of Guinness at The Long Hall, Dublin, Ireland

One of the old, classic Victorian pubs in Dublin, The Long Hall was established in 1766 and pours a pretty tasty Guinness!


Johnnie Fox’s

Highest Bar in Ireland, Johnnie Fox’s Pub, Dublin, Ireland

Although not technically in Dublin, Johnnie Fox’s pub – located 20km (12 miles) south in the Dublin Mountains – is a traditional bar that claims to be the Highest Pub in Ireland, established in 1798.


The Temple Bar Pub

World Famous The Temple Bar Pub in Dublin

The Temple Bar district is well-known for its numerous Irish pubs that attract visitors from around the world. Among the many is The Temple Bar, which dates to the year 1840 – and aims to please tourists. While perhaps not the most authentic pub in Dublin, it is always packed with people having an excellent time!


Other Dublin Pub and Irish Drinking Experiences

While popping into a few pubs during your Dublin visit is a good way to get a taste of the city, there are more in-depth experiences to be had!


Dublin Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse Gate, Dublin, Ireland

Join a Guinness connoisseur on tasting experience at the famed Guinness Storehouse. Learn about the different varieties, explore the museum and enjoy two fresh Guinness pints in the Gravity Bar. Get your Skip-the-Line Tickets now!


Jameson Distillery

Tasting at Jameson’s Distillery, Dublin

Take a guided tasting tour through the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street. Sample Ireland’s famous whiskey while learning about the distillation process and behind-the-scenes stories. Get the details here! 


Dublin Pub Crawls

View of The Long Hall, Dublin, Ireland

For a fun night with fellow travelers, join one of the many themed Dublin Pub Crawls. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of Dublin’s literary heroes, seek out the sweet sounds of traditional Irish music or party the night away. Find the perfect crawl here!


Map Of Old Pubs in Dublin, Ireland

Use this link to Google Maps to find all of our recommended Pub in Dublin, Ireland!

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Travel Tips for Ireland

Details of the Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

Travelers as interested in exploring as drinking in the pubs will find that there are ample things to do in and around Dublin City! Check out our complete Dublin Itinerary to plan your vacation to Ireland.


Planning a Trip to Dublin, Ireland

There is a lot more to Dublin trip planning than simply seeking out the best pubs. If you are traveling to Ireland from overseas, start with our top tips for Planning a Vacation to Europe

Organization is key to planning any big trip – so it’s essential to keep all the details straight. Our printable Travel Planner has more than 20 pages of trip organization!

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Sightseeing in Dublin

River Liffey view on a Dublin Walking Tour, Ireland

Looking for more Dublin experiences? Use our guide to the Best Free Things To Do in Dublin – and see the best places in the city on our Dublin Walking Tour


Destinations Near Dublin, Ireland

Exterior view of Malahide Castle Ireland

Dublin is a great jumping off point for other Ireland Adventures

Take a quick day trip to the coastal village of Howth Ireland, where there are a handful of harbor-side pubs and tucked-away taverns.

Alternately, the village of Malahide offers charm, excellent cuisine and an impressive castle.

Make the trip to Belfast in Northern Ireland, where there are several old taverns – like McHugh’s Bar, Whites Tavern and Kelly’s Cellars. 

In the coastal town of Bray, check out the characteristic Harbour Bar after trekking the Bray Head Cliff Walk. 

Don’t forget the West Coast of Ireland! We have also written complete guides to the lovely village of Doolin (and how to visit the Cliffs of Moher), the mystical Aran Islands and fun loving Galway!


Start planning your trip to Ireland! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


Traveling to London, too? Fantastic! Check out our top tips for the Best Historic Pubs on the River Thames or the amazing craft beer flowing from the Bermondsey Beer Mile!


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The Brazen Head Oldest Pub in Dublin, Ireland by

7 thoughts on “The Brazen Head: Oldest Pub in Dublin, Ireland

  1. Anonymous

    Just for the record and despite the sign out The Brazen Head. It is not the oldest pub in Ireland, or even in Dublin.

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