Fancy getting yourself a touch of the local culture and history but wish you could stop along the way and soak up a few pints? Well then, the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl is for you.
"Pub" is short for "public house," and those who run pubs are "publicans." Historically there were times when pubs were combination grocer's/alehouse; and while this practice may have faded in most major towns and cities, you can still find tucked away in parts of rural Ireland pubs that carry on this tradition. When going out with your friends, it's traditional to buy rounds for those you're with rather than getting your own drinks. Most pubs serve some kind of food as well - and pub food may be some of the best you get on your trip!
The DLPC is a fairly popular Dublin tour which begins at the Duke Pub, second floor, just off pedestrian Grafton Street. You and some 30ish other souls cram together for a pint as your two tourguides set the stage: Dublin, Ireland, and its many famous writers, its favorite haunts ... and its drinkers. There is lots of interesting information given along the way, so while drinking is an enjoyable part of the tour, be sure to keep alert enough to enjoy the guides' banter.
Depending on the time of year and who your guides are, you will visit 3-4 of approximately a dozen or so historical pubs in the Temple Bar/Trinity College area. For our particular tour, we progressed from the Duke, to Trinity's campus, over to M.J. O'Neill's, down to The Old Stand (likely the oldest pub in Dublin, with a history stretching back over 300 years), and finally back to just across from the Duke, to Davy Byrnes (where Joyce set the "Cyclops" chapter of Ulysses).
Of the various pubs we visited (and those we passed), my favorite was M.J. O'Neill's, a large - sprawling, almost - pub on three levels, which was hopping to a local band and where many cozy nooks awaited for conversation. O'Neill's was also the most popular of the places we visited, packed to the gills and three deep at the bar – it was my favorite. (Nine Irishmen pub in Las Vegas draws a striking resemblance to O’Neill’s!)
Our guides were very witty and made the whole experience a good time, although occassionally they did walk a bit fast (only 2 hours to pack in 4 pubs and a few historical sites along the way, you know). At the end of the tour they ran a trivia contest, which was "a good way to see who was paying attention between their drinks, y'see," and the winner got a t-shirt.
There is perhaps 1 to 1-1/2 miles worth of walking, but there are frequent stops so for the most part it is an easy tour (provided you do not imbibe too freely en route!). In all, a great way to spend an evening!