Insider Tips

Where was Once Filmed?

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
Tweet us @visitdublinCLOSE

This award-winning Broadway show, based on writer/director John Carney’s Once (2006), is the little film that could.

Coming to the Olympia Theatre this July and August, the film brings a lot of the real life, affectionate charm of Dublin as we know it to the screen.

Let us walk you through some of the movie’s most memorable locations, so you can recreate the Once magic for yourself this summer...


Where was Once Filmed?

Grafton Street

The film’s early sequences of Guy (Glen Hansard) going about his busking business were shot on Grafton Street – a real-life Dublin busker’s mecca. Grafton Street was also where Guy meets Girl (Markéta Irglová), and many additional scenes in the movie were filmed here. As well as the traditional singers/guitarists plying their trade, you’ll see everything from classical musicians to bodypopping ‘robots’, as you stroll down this iconic Dublin shopping street.

St Stephen’s Green

During the movie we see Guy in Saint Stephen’s Green – a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to stroll, take their lunch, feed the ducks and enjoy the general air of serenity.  This is a city centre haven on a warm sunny day, whether you're taking a break from busking or your job in a nearby office.

Where was Once Filmed?
Where was Once Filmed?

Simon’s Place

This shot in the movie features two great Dublin eateries. Guy and Girl are sitting in Simon’s Place, a cosy coffee shop at the South Great George’s Street end of the George’s Street Arcade (you’ll know it by the sign that simply says ‘Coffee Shop’). They’re looking across the road at the large and atmospheric Brasserie Sixty6 restaurant – a fun, bustling spot for lunch, brunch and dinner.

George’s Arcade

Guy and Girl are seen coming out of the George's Arcade in the next scene. An indoor Victorian market that’s home to a charming variety of boutique shops, stalls and cafés, offering everything from clothing and jewellery to vintage books and vinyl, many happy hours can be spent enjoying the atmosphere and picking up some bargains.

Image credit: indublin.ie

Where was Once Filmed?
Where was Once Filmed?

Harry Street

The buskers in this scene are in a prime location for visiting music fans – beside the Phil Lynott statue on Harry Street (just off Grafton Street). Just behind this bronze of the legendary Thin Lizzy frontman, you can see the iconic Dublin pubs Bruxelles and McDaids, and the stylishly elegant Westbury Hotel.

Image credit: been-seen.ie

Waltons

For many people, this is the film’s most memorable scene. Filmed in Walton’s Music Ireland on South Great George’s Street, it’s where Guy and Girl first perform the Oscar-winning ‘Falling Slowly’.

Image credit: indublin.ie

Where was Once Filmed?
Where was Once Filmed?

Dollymount

This shot is from a scene in which the couple take a stroll along Dollymount Strand. A beautiful stretch of Dublin coastline that’s close to Bull Island nature reserve, it’s located just north of the city centre and is a lovely spot for an open air stroll. It's an iconic Dublin sunny day hangout that also makes our list of things to do this summer.

The Coast

Here’s some more of the Dublin coastline, forming an attractive backdrop to Guy and Girl’s motorbike ride. Travel north or south along the coast from Dublin city centre and you’ll find lots of charming villages and scenery.

Image credit: moviemail.com

Where was Once Filmed?
Where was Once Filmed?

Temple Bar

We see Guy and Girl the morning after their recording session, strolling through the popular Temple Bar district of Dublin city centre. Its cobblestones are trod by thousands of visitors each week, looking for Dublin nightlife, authentic Irish food and drink, and traditional Irish music sessions.

Image credit: atriptoireland.com

Killiney

This final shot is another iconic one. It’s the scene where Guy asks Girl if she loves her husband, and she answers (in Czech), “miluju tebe” (“It's you I love”). It was filmed on Killiney Hill in south county Dublin, with its stunning backdrops of Dublin Bay.

Where was Once Filmed?
Where was Once Filmed?

The Olympia Theatre

The Olympia Theatre is an iconic Irish venue and is widely regarded as one of Dublin's top theatres. Opened over a century ago in 1879, it has been the stage for countless grand performances and spectacular shows. This year, the award-winning show Once – The Musical, comes home to Dublin and will be performed from 2 July to 27 August in the Olympia Theatre.