Going to Ireland without visiting a pub would be — wait, who would do such a thing? Pubs are as intrinsic to the fabric of Ireland as the Cliffs of Moher.
Short for “public house,” pubs were (and still are) the place to gather, have a chat, share a drink, and watch a game. You simply cannot visit Ireland without having a pub experience.
To help you navigate the seemingly endless array of pubs, we’ve picked out our favorites for a true Irish “craic.”
The Long Hall
This old school pub is like a blast from the Victorian past. Walk onto red carpeted floor and past filigree-edged mirrors, dark wood carvings and cozy snugs. Order a Guinness and saddle up to one of Dublin’s most beautiful pubs. Wait, is that Oscar Wilde over there? — 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
If you want to hear traditional Irish music, there’s no better place than The Cobblestone. At this pub in Dublin’s Northside, you can enjoy free trad sessions every night with your pint. — 77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 TP22, Ireland
L. Mulligan Grocer
As the name suggests, this pub was formerly a grocer’s shop. It’s now known as Mulligan’s – not to be confused with Mulligan’s on Poolbeg Street. Located in the fashionable neighborhood of Stoneybatter, Mulligan’s serves up gourmet pub fare and a selection of hard-to-find craft beers – no Guinness on tap here. — 18 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland
Grogan’s is as “Dublin” as it comes. After all, it was a favorite haunt of such esteemed literary figures as Patrick Kavanagh, J.P. Donleavy and Liam O’Flaherty. Pop in here after shopping on Grafton Street or seeing the library at Trinity College. On those rare sunny Ireland days, head for the outdoor seating area. — 15 William St S, Dublin 2, D02 H336, Ireland
Step inside Tigh Neachtain and you’ll think you’ve entered a movie set. With its cozy wood panelled snugs, eclectic decor and books for perusal, this traditional pub (also informally known as Naughtons) is as warm and comforting as an open fire. It has been opened since 1894 and stocks over 130 different types of whiskey. — 17 Cross Street, Galway, Ireland
Maybe you need some time alone. If that’s the case, head for O’Connell’s, located on a quiet street across from Eyre Square. Pull up a bar stool or make your way to the outdoor garden and ponder your thoughts over an expertly poured pint. Need a refill? The suited bartenders have got you covered. — 8 Eyre Square, Galway, Ireland
You can’t miss the fire engine red facade of Tig Cóilí, located at the end of bustling Shop Street in the heart of Galway. Framed photos of past musical performers and various memorabilia cover every inch of wall space, while nightly trad sessions fill the pub with sweet melodies. It would be hard to find a friendlier pub in Galway. — Mainguard St, The Latin Quarter, Quarter, Co. Galway, Ireland