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Considering week in Dublin for trad music; apartment/hotel location advice?

Considering week in Dublin for trad music; apartment/hotel location advice?

Dec 5th, 2012, 08:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Considering week in Dublin for trad music; apartment/hotel location advice?

We are considering lots of options as final spring break trip with daughter, but timing is really odd for our cycling trips. Earliest date to leave US is March 8; must be back March 17. So we are back to "week in city" type trip.

We all have lovely memories of Ireland from three cycling trips there, but we have never done Dublin. Hence this post. We are considering indulging ourselves in a week of trad music, especially since said daughter can now drink (Coke Zero gets old after a bit).

We are location, location, location people in selecting hotels. When in Paris for first trips, we were in 6th close to Notre Dame. When in Rome, near the Pantheon. You get the drift. An apartment rental would be great--but it would have to be city center or really convenient to city center because...

...we also would like to avoid renting a car (mass transportation or on-foot freaks).

OK--I placed my constraints. I hope someone can advise us. Thanks ahead for any help (and yeah, I know I owe last Paris Thankgiving report).

AlessandraZoe is offline  
Dec 5th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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The size of "downtown" Dublin differs a bit from that of Paris or Rome.
If a safe and very central location is your prime objection, I would look into hotels on and near the Northern edge of St Stephan's Green on the South side of the Liffey. And not further East than Merrion Square.
Temple Bar neighborhood is also very central, but somehow I guess may be a bit too much party zone for your taste.
So your location should be somewhere in the area made of the Green, Merrion Sq, Trinity College, Dame St, George St.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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Do not confuse Ireland with Dublin. You might find Trad Music of the Non "Irish pub song CD" variety hard to come by.
Tony2phones is offline  
Dec 5th, 2012, 03:52 PM
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Agree with Tony2phones..."traditional music" will be hard to find in any abundance in Dublin.
ashcanannie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2012, 03:09 AM
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Cowboy--I've been looking at a map since I've posted and I see what you mean. FYI, I made a temporary reservation at the Westbury (I'm also in sticker shock), but I'll use your recs to explore further.

Tony2phones and ashcanannie--Don't worry. We aren't looking for Tourist Ireland music. While we have nothing against belting out "Wild Rover" after a few pints, that's not what we're looking for. Before I ever made the plane reservations, I made sure I could access updated lists of local sessions, and I can. Thank you for your worries, though.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Dec 6th, 2012, 03:47 AM
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You could try going native http://www.anclub.ie/ open in Google Chrome and use the translate option?
Tony2phones is offline  
Dec 6th, 2012, 06:09 AM
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The only bar that I know of in Dublin that has genuine traditional Irish music (as opposed to the sing-song variety) is the Cobblestone in Smithfield - www.cobblestonepub.ie . If you get it on a good night, it really can't be beaten for great music. Do remember that it is a "listening" pub and that any talking while the music is going on is frowned upon.

Book early if you're planning to be in Dublin around 17th March because of St. Patrick's day, and if you're leaving on 17th, be aware that most of the citycentre roads will be closed because of the Parade that takes place that morning. Good idea to get out of Dublin and avoid the drunken antics that take place after the parade finishes!
ter2000 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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ter2000 and Tony2phones--Thanks.

We are escaping town before the 17th--plane leaves Dublin morning of the 16th--but I'm stuck in reservation hell, anyway. Seems as though I'm stuck between St Patty's and the prior weekend rugby match!

Ter2000--I have a few others on my list beside the Cobblestone, but I know what you mean. Don't worry.

I have to share one funny story. I'd say that this forum is not particularly musically inclined, but I received a heck of a tip on this site years and years ago. We were in Bunratty only as a final convenient stop on our way out of the country after more than two weeks of cycling, and I asked here if there was a "real" pub that played trad. A person told me that the best pub for trad in the area was INSIDE the darn tourist park (Bunratty Folk Park) after hours.

I was sort of in disbelief, but we decided, "What the heck, we'll try." So while all the tourists were sitting happily outside the park in the evening in the tourist traps, we sat happily inside Mac's listening to some unbelievable instrumentalists.

Initially confused by our presence, two of the locals were convinced after an hour that we might have some appreciation of what was going on because a) we didn't chat during their performance AND b) we showed no inclination whatsoever to request "Danny Boy" (I hate that song). They were delighted to inform us that two of the three musicians had just won national honors.

Again, thanks.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 12:13 PM
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If you're staying at the Westbury it may be worth contacting the concierge in advance and seeming what they can come up with for you when you challenge them to go beyond the sing along options.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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You might find the use of the Yankee term St Patty might get you a little closer to Hell. St Pats is fine, St Patrick's is fine, even Paddy's day is acceptable. Patty is some woman down in town, never a Saint.
Tony2phones is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 05:26 PM
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Eh, I'm
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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Sorry--different computer and switched out.

After three trips to Ireland, I quickly found that the Irish forgave me everything but that my country voted for George Bush, Tony2phones (took a LOT of abuse for that, and I for one certainly never was so inclined. Husband MAY have snuck in a vote, but he's not telling). I'm not worried one bit about how I refer to anything. A couple of rounds solves all.

If only Congress would find the same.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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I also heard some really good, authentic music in Bunratty! There was some good music in Dublin's Temple Bar area, but the place I went into was so packed I couldn't even get near the room where the bands were playing. (Can't recall the name.)

On the topic of Irish music ... you might want to be aware of the Belfast Nashville Music and Songwriting Festival. Held every February. It brings together some of the best Irish performers with those from Nashville. It's held every February. The music is not "traditional," but is authentic contemporary Irish music--mostly acoustic singer/songwriters. I've heard some fantastic music there, including a leprechaun of an artist named John Spillane.

I'll be combining it with a stay at Limepark in Armoy, near the Antrim Coast. I love it there. I've been all over Ireland, and Northern Ireland has some of my favorite areas. The Antrim Coast is stunning-- and it's less crowded and less expensive than the Republic. But, shhhh ... that's my secret ;-). I'm getting excited! (Leaving Feb. 13th)
Songdoc is offline  

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