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  • “For a standard dance night at a bar, kind of a rip off.” in 8 reviews

    Good For Dancing: Yes

  • “The smoking area in Whelans is a joy, it almost feels like it is indoors, really very civilised!” in 7 reviews

  • “Was there last Thursday to see a band and discovered yet another room off the smoking area.” in 5 reviews

    Music: Live

  • 5.0 star rating
    25/3/2014

    multiple stages and a bar bar in each room. really fantastic place to see a show.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/3/2014
    2 check-ins here

    25 years old this year - an institution for live music - up and coming bands/singer-songwriters - a venue that has kept its old charm yet moved with the times. I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't like this place or hasn't at least one experience from a crazy night here - perhaps I meet like minded people ;)

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/10/2013
    1 check-in here

    Was at a gig here in the small upstairs room. . It held about 120 people I'd guess. Because it is small and very nicely appointed (very much like myself when you think about it), it makes for lovely cosy gigs where you can just sit back and enjoy.

    There is a likewise small bar beside the room and while it is not particularly well stocked with palatable beers, it is convenient.  

    The smoking area in Whelans is a joy, it almost feels like it is indoors, really very civilised!

  • 3.0 star rating
    25/6/2013
    2 check-ins here

    Whelans does some things really well, however, as far as pubs and venues go it wouldn't be high up my list.

    There are two areas for live music. A small intimate space upstairs, however it is an L shaped room which is far from ideal for the audience. There is a larger space downstairs but is still is small enough to remain fairly intimate. As far as sound goes, I'm not that impressed with the sounds quality, especially in the small upstairs venue.

    The bar is fairly typical Dublin bar, however where it comes into it's own is on lazy weekday evenings when random performers setup and play in the front window. I have accidentally stumbled upon some great and quirky muscians while rambling down Wexford/Camden street, for me this is what Whelans does best.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/2/2014
    1 check-in here

    great as always

  • 4.0 star rating
    15/11/2012

    Have been to Whelan's on a night where live music was being played and on a night where the music was not live.  Both nights, overall, had a great vibe,,,but honestly, this spot is not to be outdone when it comes to live music.  Saw former busker Ryan Sheridan here and was amazed.  

    If you're local, come for the music.  If you're from out of town come for the music...and spot where scenes from PS I Love you were filmed.  ;)

  • 5.0 star rating
    28/2/2012

    Great place to see a band.

    KC caught Dirty Three at Whelan's back in September of 2009 and it was epic. "I remember a time when once you used to love me" was typically enchanting.

    We've all felt that, right? Nobody lays down the pain quite like Dirty Three. Me mates and me gently raised our glasses of Powers each time a string broke on Warren Ellis' bow. Suffice it to say, that KC was shitfaced halfway through the set.

    Before slipping into "Everything's Fucked", Warren told a little story about running into James Brown in an airport in Memphis. And he was right. No matter how cool you think you are, James Brown is cooler.

  • 5.0 star rating
    30/9/2012

    This became a daily visit almost every day; I pretty much fell in love with it when I walked in and they had a picture of Lisa Kudrow as one of their visitors. Drinks are always served cold+fast here, and it is a pretty relaxed and welcoming environment to locals and travelers alike.

    Cool crowd, there's also a dim lit area to the left with some tables/booths if you feel like conversing. There's also an upstairs open area as well, for those who are craving a cigarette with their drink. My favorite part is that they have some GREAT live music acts that really put on a great show (and they also have some good DJ's afterwards as well)

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/11/2010
    1 check-in here

    It's pretty shocking that last night was my first time in this haunt. It disgusted my friend a lot but then again she is the live music queen. It's not like I went out of my way not to go but it just never happened.

    I had no idea it was so big in there with several music venues. We were in a smaller room. There is something so endearing about the fact that they are actively allowing the paint from the ceiling to rip, botched walls, open fires, traditional bars. It's like your granny's parlour that has not been cleaned in years yet now, like last night an electronic band from London were screaming on stage - 3 hours entertainment for €5, not too shabby!

    The bigger acts are on the main stage downstairs. Smoking area is great - I don't smoke though.

    Love the pub downstairs and I have decided that it will be my new Sunday afternoon pints spot during the winter.

    What I did not like... Some of the loos did not have toilet seats - that's mean and it hurts, please fix.

    The glass collector girl was rather forceful. She tossed me and others left and right to get to the glasses. Might be acceptable if we were lecherously drunk but I was sober. Counter that with another member of staff that said those very simple and effective words,
    "Excuse me."
    And you know what I kindly stepped out his way. When your one shoved me I stood solid so that she had to walk around me.

  • 3.0 star rating
    27/6/2009
    Listed in The Camden Crawl

    If you ever want to sit in a dark pub at 2pm listening to Ride the Lightening on repeat, this is the place to be. But then, that's not what Whelans is all about.

    As a live music venue, Whelans is an institution. It's respected as a right of passage among the cities emerging new artists and established acts alike. You get some amazing gigs in this place.

    It's jammed tight on Friday and Saturday nights, however, with a particularly messy crowd.

    The mess is for two reasons. Firstly, there's nowhere to put your drink or sit down so people tend to drink a lot faster. Secondly, this is where half of Dublin ends up if they get turned away from another door. It's not dangerous though, the bouncers are draconian so any problems get fixed before they happen. Still, the messy and overcrowded nights can really bring you down.

    A word of advise. Don't agree to meet people here because you'll never find them, it's a loud, sweaty, labyrinth packed so tight that moving around simply isn't fun. Arrive together, it's the only way to survive.

    All in all though, the place has serious character and is capable of being either the best or worst pub you've ever been in. A gamble of a night out.

  • 4.0 star rating
    30/12/2009
    1 check-in here ROTD 18/3/2010

    Over the years I've seen John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Jonathan Rice in Whelan's Bar - its pretty amazing since the place is so small.  I think the John Mayer gig cost me 7euro back in 2002!

    Its a great spot for hanging out and I love the statue at the end of the bar, the amount of times I've said 'excuse me' to it is beyond ridiculous at this stage.  Its just the perfect old man pose at a bar :0)  I've eaten in Whelan's a few times for lunch and if you can get a table and chair that doesn't need a beer mat to prop it up, you are doing well.

    Drinks are no more expensive than anywhere else in the city and you are always assured of good music but maybe not a seat.

    Unfortunately, I had my jacket stolen from there last weekend, they really need a cloak room - thank god I had my iPhone on me at the time.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/11/2009

    Whelan's is a stalwart of the Dublin music scene, bringing us bands who may not be at the top of their fame but whose fans think they are, or up-and-comers getting a medium-sized break.  As a venue, it offers an old-school feel (think indie disco rather than dressing up in a uniform and doing shots). Okay, so the space can be tight, but you can still touch the stage - try doing that in the new O2 arena. Granted, if you're short, you may spend the night straining for glimpses of the bassist through someone's armpit, but at least you will be only metres away from the bar.

    And, when band leaves the stage, the party isn't over - the pub at the front and the venue bar stay open until 2am, while DJs attempt to get people going to GaGa or swaying to the Smiths. Insider tip: if you are looking for a late drink, arrive before 11pm or you will have to pay a €10 cover charge.

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/6/2013
    3 check-ins here

    Look, Whelans is Whelans. You know what you're getting. On the plus side: frequently great gigs, a cracking indie club at weekends, a great smoking 'terrace' and all-around pleasant vibe. On the minus side: dodgy toilets, overpriced drink - and, at that, a limited variety of drinks too. You just have to put the minuses aside. I've had many great nights at Whelans, and I'll probably have a few more - just be aware of its limitations.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/2/2012
    9 check-ins here
    Listed in DUBLIN GIG VENUES

    Whelan's is another great Dublin live venue. With Gigs galore all year round. Its quite a small venue so don't expect to see any massive acts playing there. Its a great place to find new bands/acts to see without breaking the bank.

    I've been to several gigs at whelan's, my favourite being new years eve 2010 when I saw "And So I Watch You From Afar" which was a brilliant night out.

    I've given Whelan's 4 stars due to the toilets and bar being a bit below standard.

    However the ambience and history of the place ( how many films has it been in? ) make up for anything like that.

    Check out the website to see whose on!

  • 3.0 star rating
    19/3/2011

    Whlean's is good craic when you're not bothered going to a usual clubs. The crowd is more artsy and alternative and definately discriminate against all things mainstream.

    You will not find orange girls marching around in arseskimmer dresses. It's always really packed, everywhere! The dancefloor is fun for a while but when you have no idea what most of the music is it gets old. Great for seeing live acts though.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/6/2009
    First to Review

    Whelan's is covers a lot of bases in terms of what you want in a drinking establishment. It has a really nice bar with a kind of olde worlde feel, all wooden interiors and an open fire in winter. You can't go too far wrong with the carvery there at lunchtime. And in the back, they have a really good live music venue, which becomes a dancefloor when there is no bands playing. Whelan's play really good music, none of this Rihanna shite.
    Nice smoking area upstairs, too.

    Rock music, no dress code, reasonably priced gargle. Happy out.

  • 2.0 star rating
    4/2/2013

    As a live musical venue, this place is great, a nice intimate space...  however as a nightclub? It is waaaaay too packed. In fact, it is surprising that so many people are allowed into one space. Drinking any liquid more than 5 feet from the bar becomes an extreme sport.

    Plus, the last time I was in there, my coat was stolen and the staff were quite unhelpful.

    Edit - I went back to see if they had my coat. They did not unfortunately, but the staff were great. Guess it was just too busy on the Sat.

  • 4.0 star rating
    28/6/2010

    Whelans was one of my fav pubs, I lived around the corner for a year and went on most Friday.

    Lots of hipters here, so if that's your thing, you'll love it. The whole pub and dance floor gets atsolutely insanely rammed with people at the weekend, so if you can't handle pushing your way through a crowd then you will do better off avoiding this place.

    It's a bit crap paying a tenner to get in, but it's always a good time.

    Toilets can get pretty filthy with long, long queues as the night progresses.

    It's a nice venue to check out a small gig - it gets packed but not as bad as the usual nights.

  • 3.0 star rating
    25/4/2011
    13 check-ins here

    There was a free gig in Whelan's tonight, a swing jazz set. Cool!! I got the impression that they have these lounge type Sunday nights regularly.

    However as we had consumed two cocktails earlier and had a fine meal that included lots of carbs, we both ended slipping into food comas and left before the music started).

    We enjoyed two drinks, mine was a perfectly adequate Pinot Grigio. My partners pint of cider served it's purpose fine. We enjoyed the background music too... a nice mix that included some Green Day.

    I also learned on this visit that a scene or two had been filmed here for PS I Love You. My advice is not to mention this to the bar staff... a European couple asked about it today and the barman explained that Whelan's do not promote this.

    The toilets here always let me down... I don't mind the graffiti on the walls... the hand dryers are great. But the smell, my god... a star lost for that.

  • 5.0 star rating
    26/8/2011

    Happened across Whelan's on the way back to my hotel after a long journey around town.

    Big draw was the perfect music pouring out onto the street from the opened windows.

    Walked in and kept there by the perfect music from this quartet (I'd put the video on here if Yelp had that option).

    I'll always stop in here on every Dublin visit.

  • 5.0 star rating
    12/7/2009

    As a pub, it's kind of crap. Dance night? Laughable. But it's one of the best venues to see bands I've ever been to (and I've been to a lot). Whelan's just has that laid-back music dork atmosphere you can't fake.

    Crowds here tend to talk less and listen more than other Dublin venues, which is really nice when you're seeing bands you actually want to hear.

    I love Whelan's.

  • 4.0 star rating
    4/8/2009

    Whelan's has been knocking around for twenty years now but its age isn't beginning to show in the least. In fact, since its recent face-lift, it just looks younger. I enjoy a night out in Whelan's, I do. Whether catching a gig, dancing to some top choons or having an auld chat at the bar, it's a bit of craic and a chance to get funky.
    Whelan's hosts a really good mix of acts, up and coming, Dublin favourites and credible established songsters including Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave, Christy Moore, The Frames and Arctic Monkeys. The bar/pub extends over two floors and is teeming of a weekend night.

    The DJs tend to steer clear of bubble gum rubbish so you can have a boogie without offending your ears though your body may well take offense to the jam-packed dance floor.
     
    The vibe is very indie cool and if you don't spot at least 10 pairs of cons then you're in the wrong place.

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/9/2009

    Whelan's is a really great bar and music venue and I have always had a really good time here.

    The bar is a great place to grab a drink any day of the week. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are pretty chill, everyone is just relaxing and having a good time at the bar. Wednesday through Saturday though, it gets really crowded and lively until the wee hours of the morning. On Friday and Saturday nights you have to pay a cover after a certain point, around 11 or 11:30. That's kind of a bummer, especially because said cover is 10 euros! For a standard dance night at a bar, kind of a rip off. But it's fun and the crowd is sure to be rowdy and raring to go.

    The clientele tend to be young and pretty friendly here. There is a good mix of the hip, the sporty and the dorky. One of my favorite things about this place is that people pretty much just shake their groove things wherever they feel like doing so, and not limit the boogie to the dance floor.

    The music venue hosts some of the best, lesser-known bands to come through Dublin. It's not terribly large, so it can't put up big names that require tons of space. The smaller setting creates a much more intimate setting to see a show and the sound's really great too.

    One thing to be wary of is that they ID people regularly, or at least they ID me regularly. The first time I didn't bring my ID and the bouncer let me in anyway, but just be aware that if you're not a small, blonde girl they might not be so lenient.

  • 4.0 star rating
    23/1/2010

    This might look like a pub when your walking by and it is a pub but deep in the depths of this bar is one of the best music venues in Dublin!
    It is a really intimae space with a stage and if i were a musician this is the place that i would want to play all my gigs!

    it a bit of a pain though cause you have to pay a tenner in if you are just going in to have a few drinks which is so annoying when you could go to loads of other pubs and have the same pint and not pay in.

    there is always a good crowd in here, and i mean that in both senses, there is a good size and the people in the crowd are good people.

    i love the smoking area here, its upstairs buts its kind of nestled in between the walls of he buildings around it, its like an out door room almost, like an insidey outsidey kind of place, its always packed though, uncomortably packed!

    the inside of the bar is left as you imagine it probably was years ago which i love!

    im almost positive that this place was used in the filming of PS i love you but they really mess with the name and they call it waylens instead of whelans!

    • Qype User kingof…
    • Dublin
    • 13 friends
    • 133 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    29/1/2010

    Ah, Whelan's. What great nights I've spent here. If you're remotely interested in what the Irish music scene has on offer, this is your place. Almost every Indie/Alternative/Rock act that is either a household name or and up and coming has made a stopover here. The Frames, Kate Nash, Lisa Hannigan, Republic of Loose, Mumford & Sons just to name a few - the wall's are plastered with gig pictures.

    Shows are on two stages almost every night, there's a beer garden/smoking area and they serve ice cold Jägermeister (not a standard in Dublin). On the weekends the main stage area turns into a club come 11 PM and the craig gets mighty. The bouncers may get a bit nervous once the evening wears on, but that's the only disadvantage of Whelans that I can think of. One of my favourite places in Ireland. Maybe even in the world.

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/7/2009

    Nice place to have a few jars, whiskies or what have you on an off night, and the smoking deck upstairs is good as well.

    On the other hand it can get beyond crowded when the bands are on, so be warned, it is what it is, plan accordingly. I myself probably wouldn't go if I knew it was going to be crowded unless I really liked the band that was playing.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/9/2012

    Labyrinth of a venue. Was there last Thursday to see a band and discovered yet another room off the smoking area. Was good too with its twin peak style curtains behind the stage. Often think I should have came here more over the years. Think I prefer the mid week to weekends here. My only gripe is the drink are a bit of a rip off. Think i was paying 6 euro for a Budvar. Good night though!

    • Qype User Archie…
    • Dublin
    • 1 friend
    • 1 review
    3.0 star rating
    20/6/2009

    As Dublin's celebrated Whelan's celebrates 20 years of hosting some of the best acts - Jeff Buckley to name but one - to come to the city, it has opened a new venue...above the old one. If you thought the usual venue was intimate, Whelan's Upstairs even has a fireplace and red walls creating a warm fuzzy glow that would seem the wet dream of any weepy singer-songwriter.
    However, the new venue's choice of acts has taken a different route, its late night gigs with the best of Ireland's own providing the perfect alternative for those who love a good night out but just aren't that into clubbing. Small enough that after 30 minutes you feel you know every face in the crowd, and big enough to still not care, Whelan's Upstairs makes a great night out.

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/3/2011
    1 check-in here

    The home of Indie music in dublin is definitely whelans and they've never let go of their roots. You can stop for a pint and a chat in the bar, dance your socks off to your favourite indie chunes in the club or hear a local band in the upstairs venue. It might not be swanky but the vibe is good and the punters are friendly. Even the graffiti in the toilets is interesting.

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/3/2011

    Came here for Paddys day and had great fun. Get what you expect when you come in here. Just a tad better than Doyles. Better music. The space helps too. Great craic in their big smoking area even though I dont smoke.

  • 4.0 star rating
    26/6/2010

    The best Dublin venue if your into alternative music (I am), have spent many a great night there in the last 20 years, my only criticism would be that there range of beers is very poor, mostly just your, Coors, Heineken, Budweiser crap with 1 or 2 decent bottled beers (Budvar), they need to be alternative in more than just music, most Irish people have travelled and discovered proper beer in other Countries, they should support Irish microbreweries and at least  get a Galway Hooker tap in (check out Anseo across the road from it, has 2 or 3 irish microbrews on tap)

  • 5.0 star rating
    6/7/2011
    1 check-in here

    Great venue for upcoming acts or well known-favourites.  Also great for atmosphere and a good night out with your pals.  Definitely one of my favourite drinking holes in Dublin!

  • 3.0 star rating
    19/9/2010

    There's only music playing on one side of the main bar which confused me. There's a concert room next door separated by a wall partition. Luckily, we got into the concert area and watched a live performance which set the perfect mood for the night. Plenty of seating and quiet place more for conversation. I have yet to watch "P.S. I Love You" since it was filmed here.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/6/2012

    Had to come here after seeing PS I Love you...bar on the older side. But I had a blast!

  • 3.0 star rating
    3/7/2009

    Whelan's is what it is...for better or worse, this place is where the Irish singer-songwriter was born. Playing a gig here is looked on as being a sign that you may actually 'make it' (whatever that means), but the resultant crowd does tend to be a bit scene-y, with the 'in' crowd attempting to hobnob with the up-and-coming.
    As a place for a night out, don't come here expecting to hear Britney or Christina...no matter how much you love them, you'll be wasting your time. If, on the other hand, Rage tickle your fancy (ooh, that's not the right description of RATM at all...they don't really seem the tickling type!), then you may want to check this spot out. Their dancefloor tends to be so packed on weekends that its more a case of moving your body as much as physically possible while remaining firmly rooted to the spot, rather than any real dancing. In fairness though, that's just how a lot of people dance, so for those without Shakira's hips, it's a perfect place to hide your flaws...
    A wee bit of a trek up to Wicklow Street means that getting home can be a pain, as you are faced with the choice of often extortionate taxi rates or the uninviting toddle back down into the centre for a Nitelink...but you can do a lot worse in Dublin than checking this place out. Just be sure to see what upcoming gigs are on first...

    • Qype User linger…
    • Dublin
    • 32 friends
    • 149 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    1/11/2009

    Great music, lively atmosphere, and a host to many gigs is what makes Whelans such a delightful place to find yourself for a night out on the weekend. If you can find a place to rest your drink, count yourself lucky as this place gets packed very quickly. Even if you're squished in the queue for drinks you can find a way to wiggle to the tunes! Once you get to the smoking area, you get a view of the whole of Whelans and it's cool when you see the stage and the seats from an aerial view. Although it costs a tenner to get in, the drinks are fairly decent in price for town. The people here are what makes this place so special and gives it the eccentric character it holds.

    • Qype User oonagh…
    • Dublin
    • 10 friends
    • 21 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    18/8/2009

    A corner stone of Dublin and Music scene centre. It has a bar and music venue area. The Bar is free in but later busy nights it's not possible to get into the bar. So the cover charge for the club or gig can be the pricey situation. Have enjoyed many gigs there. It seems to be a meeting piont for artists in the irish music industry at times. I have fond memorys of Whelans on Sundays at around 17:00. Just by the bar anybody could turn up with a guitar and join in and play. Sometimes Damien Dempsey would turn up and sing reverently Dubliner folk tunes. Paddy Casey could appear also the odd time accompanied by other music industry collegues aswell as pals.
    The pub is a nice interior with a decent smoking area. Often they would do cheaper beer deals to cater for the students that would pour in around 21:00. Beside Whelans is a DIT college and it is also located near student flat land. So the scene is quite young and lively. A particularly chilled out pub at times before its fills up with punters. However it is also a late bar on weekends. So Dj's that arrive into the bar can play interesting sounds. They do food aswell during the day.

    • Qype User nillep…
    • Dublin
    • 7 friends
    • 82 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    18/8/2010

    I've been there in May, it was very nice. Tasty Bulmer's Berry, great music and nice people. :)

    • Qype User nycpun…
    • Dublin
    • 3 friends
    • 18 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    9/1/2009

    One of the best venues to see bands I've ever been to (and I've been to a lot). Whelan's just has that laid-back music dork atmosphere you can't fake.

    Crowds here tend to talk less and listen more than other Dublin venues, which is really nice when you're seeing bands you actually want to hear.

    • Qype User Sheena…
    • London, United Kingdom
    • 6 friends
    • 48 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    13/1/2009

    Whelan's is the historical hub of rock music in Dublin. By day, it's a charming pub, where you can count on a good pint and some decent music. By night, the attached gig venue (Whelan;s live) hosts live bands, you might expect to see anybody from the Frames to Juliet Turner or the remaining members of the zombies and it's a particularly good place to catch local talent. After 11, the venue opens as a nightclub and things get crazy as thronging crowds attempt to move between enthusiastic dancers. Expect to hear sounds like Joy Division. There's a large, recently renovated smoking area where Indie youngsters converse freely with singer songwriters and former Pearl Jam roadies.

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