Skip the quotidian Temple Bar pubs full of tourists to rub elbows with Dublin’s artistic set at the Irish Film Institute. People-watch at the IFI Café Bar before and after the nightly screenings ($12.60), which feature the Best of Irish filmmaking but also foreign-language and art films. Drinking in the cinema is encouraged, so don’t be afraid to ask your bartender to pour your cocktail into a plastic cup.
Witness the avant-garde side of the local performing arts scene at the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock Stage (tickets from $25), an experimental 157-seat venue known for productions featuring less clothing and more alternative music than what happens on the main stage upstairs. Recent production Perve looked at film, paranoia, and sexuality, while forthcoming 16 Possible Glimpses promises a stylized, highly visual look at the life of Chekhov.
Get an interactive experience at the National Library of Ireland (free), where you can explore the personal notebooks of Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet W.B. Yeats. Using touch-screen technology, leaf through the pages, zoom in on the poet’s scribblings, and get a sense of the man behind the work. Yeats is further brought to life by video installations and recordings of his poems by notable Irish personalities like Sinéad O’Connor and Seamus Heaney.