Dublin’s Temple Bar is an enigma! Set up originally as a cultural quarter in an effort to regenerate a run down part of town, it now is a mish mash of culture, cobbled streets, stag/ hen partys, beautiful buildings and (some) terrible pubs. Its definitely worth a visit and is a fun lively way to spend a few hours. However you need to understand what it is you are visiting. Firstly, you will find very few Irish people will socialise here (see our Dublin 2 guide). There are a number of reasons for this. The price of everything particularly drink is very expensive, probably the most expensive in Ireland apart from the very high end hotels. In addition, as the area has over time become more famous, naturally it attracts more tourists and with that inevitably the natives tend to drift away as prices go up. The area can be quite dirty, especially late at night and with so many stags and hens in the area, you will find people vomiting on the streets while scantily clad and not in a very state of mind.
However the cultural ethos of the area is still prevalent and you will find lots of other things to do. There is the Irish Photography Centre, the Irish Film Institute, the Project Arts Centre, the Gaiety School of Acting and the Temple Bar Music Centre. You can go the Book Market held every Saturday and Sunday in Temple Bar Square, or the Cows Lane Market which promotes design and fashion every Saturday.
Did you know that Handels Messiah was first performed on Fishamble Street on 13 April 1742? And if you happen to be in Dublin on the 13 April be sure to attend the annual performance of Messiah which occurs on the same street.