Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter

photo by Martin King

Dublin is fairly small as far as European capitals are concerned, which doesn’t make it any less interesting, obviously. But the small size ensures that there are a few places in the city that you simply can’t avoid unless you are prepared to make some very inconvenient detours. Temple Bar is one such place that everyone eventually ends up seeing, but the again, Temple Bar is definitely the kind of part of Dublin that all tourists want to see. Temple Bar is one of the most iconic areas of the Irish capital, and it is nicknamed Dublin’s ‘cultural quarter’. But temple bar is not only a corner for culture-seekers to come together and slink into galleries, but also a place where anyone can have fun regardless of their cultural inclinations. Here’s a short guide to in Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter.

About Temple Bar

photo by William Murphy

Temple Bar is located on the banks of River Liffey, right at the heart of Dublin. Although Dublin has its fair share of historical streets with old preserved buildings, none of them has achieved the same medieval flavor as Temple Bar. The area has the same street patterns and cobbled alleys and lanes as half a millennium ago. Temple Bar stretches is bordered by Liffey to the north, Fishamble Street to the west, Westmoreland Street to the east and Dame Street to the south, and the name of the district probably comes to the wealthy Temple family who lived in the area in the 17th century. It’s hard to believe that one of the biggest tourist hubs in Dublin was almost razed to the ground in the 80’s, when the city authorities decided to built a bus terminal in its stead. While the plans for the terminal were being made, the buildings in Temple Bar were let out at really cheap prices, and attracted countless small shops, pubs and galleries – and this is how Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter as you see it today was born.

What to see and what to do

photo by Kevin Gibbons

Some of the best known fixtures of Temple Bar are its many galleries where you get to see the freshest and most innovative Irish art. In addition to private galleries, there are several cultural institutions open to the public, like the Irish Photography Centre, Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, the Irish Film Institute, incorporating the Irish Film Archive, the Temple Bar Music Centre, the Arthouse Multimedia Centre and several others. While during the day Temple Bay is milling with art lovers who go from gallery to gallery, at night the quarter transforms itself into one of the hottest nightlife areas in Dublin. Foggy Dews, Quays Bar, the Temple Bar, the Porterhouse are only a few of the pubs where you can spend the night eating delicious pub grub and drinking Guinness.

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