Irish nightlife revolves around the pub. It's Ireland's most important social meeting place; a place where people meet after work, discuss business, meet friends, make new friends, have a chat, have a laugh, and sometimes get drunk as a skunk.
Up until recently Irish pubs had to be closed by law at 11.30pm. What used to happen was people would end up cramming all their drinking into just a few hours, often with disastrous consequences.
Nowadays, things are much more civilized. Pubs are allowed stay open until 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 11.30am during the rest of the week. This has already relaxed the nations drinking habits. Nightclub opening hours have been extended from 2 to 3am in the morning. This has alleviated the problem of hundreds of drunken clubbers all descending on the streets at the same time, which would often resulting in fights.
Dublin in particular, has one of the most happening nightlife cultures in Europe, possibly the world! It has everything from traditional pubs playing Irish music to massive international bars and trendy nightclubs, packed with celebrities.
In Galway and Cork, the nightlife is heavily influenced by the large student populations. The atmosphere is always youthful and vibrant, with some great music events and venues.
Quick pointers!! "What are ye up to?" suggests you might want to go for a pint. "Are you going for a pint?" means going to the pub. "Are you going out?" means to the pub for longer. "Are you going out out?" means to a nightclub after the pub. "Are you goin out out, like on a major one" means you mightn't be back for days!
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