How to find the fun things to do in Dublin: Tips from comedy writer Sean McDonagh

SEAN MCDONAGH

Ireland: A Survivor's Guide is an energetic comedy, with the history of Ireland in seven minutes, a guide to the sport of hurling and how to chat up Irish blokes. Written by brothers Sean and Niall McDonagh in their mam's garage, it runs June to August in Dublin's top comedy venue, the International Bar. See irelandasurvivorsguide.com

STEP ONE

Free walking tours have taken off in Dublin. You'll get loads of bluffing, people pointing out non-existent bullet holes from 1916. If they're good craic, they'll be making half the stuff up. You tip them if they get you all singing at the Molly Malone statue. I should be more angry about them, but we're all chancers, really, aren't we?

STEP TWO

There are always new, cool ideas about pubs – like the new Virgin Mary bar, which has no booze. Go and let me know if it's any craic, will yis? And we're super gay-friendly now, y'know, since the marriage referendum, and the mood in town is fantastic, check out Panti Bar on Capel Street. Or find your own local. You'll know it's a local if there are 70-year-olds and 20-year-olds drinking in it: ye'll find the craic with someone by the end of the night. Start with, "What the Guinness like in here?" It's a good, straight opener. See pantibar.com

STEP THREE

Check out the spoken word scene, our kickback against commercialism, where we got rich, then we got poor again. You'd think it's really intense, but Irish spoken word can be great fun, and doesn't take itself too seriously. Nighthawks at the Cobalt Cafe, which is in an old Georgian house, is a banker with very established artists (16 North Great George's Street), otherwise the Circle Sessions in the International Bar are a bit looser. See international-bar.com

STEP FOUR

If you want to feel Irish, jump in the Irish Sea down at the Forty Foot in Sandycove or High Rock at Portmarnock. You'll freeze your 'nads off but afterwards, you'll be warm for days. When you get out, you have to say, "It's gorgeous!" and you'll win the respect of all the Irish people around you, who'll be like, "Fair play!"

STEP FIVE

Our greatest tradition is in the theatrical and music arts: the Viking Theatre and Bewley's theatres programme good local theatre – for €12, you can see a good 50-minute two-hander show. You'll find authentic trad music sessions at the Cobblestone, or new Piper's Corner for trad and craft beer. Whelan's is still a great development spot for new bands. See vikingtheatredublin.com

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