Beer. Literature. Music. We loved our stay in Dublin, and did everything we could to absorb as much as possible of all of the above.
The literary and musical pub crawls were highly recommended - and fortunately we were able to do both.
We first attempted the Musical Pub Crawl on a Friday evening. Temple Bar on a weekend night? "Pretty busy" is an understatement. Crowded and crazy, we decided to return on a non-weekend night and I'm so glad we did, as a result our experience was a lot more intimate.
I read a review of the Musical Pub Crawl which described it it as "touristy but not." I think that is fair. It's a popular thing to do, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun! You are given a great introduction to the history and beauty of Irish music while simultaneously exploring some of the best bars in the area.
The tour proceeds from bar to bar, where rooms have been reserved in advance so tour-goers don't have to fight the crowds.
We really enjoyed the musical pub crawl and after the tour, we continued on to do some crawling on our own. While its true that you can find more "authentic" musical experiences - led by people with passion for the music and the history, I think these crawls serve as a great introduction, especially when you're getting to know the layout of a city.
We also really enjoyed the Literary Pub Crawl. Colm Quilligan, one of the two tour guides, wrote "Dublin Literary Pub Crawl: A Guide to the Literary Pubs of Dublin and the Writers They Served." Much like our guide from Manchester, it was clear he had a passion for the area and the creative forces that were an integral part of its history.
We strolled from bar to bar, stopping at historical spots along the way for live readings and reenactments
While it's not the perfect portrait shot, I will say this photo was taken at the *end* of the two hour pub crawl.
Maybe it's my bias speaking - but I think it'd be pretty cool to have some of those walking tours here in Minneapolis - don't you think? Of course, our music tour would have to head to Chanhassen... :)