The world has endless corners to explore, but few are as captivating or cozy as Galway’s historical pubs with their amber lighting and quiet corners. After exploring Eyre Square and Merlinpark Castle, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a pint and engaging in lively philosophical debates with your friends at the coziest pubs in this enchanting city. Whether you’re looking to escape for a few days, or you want to live like a local for a few weeks, there’s a lot of things to do in Galway…and spending time at these historic pubs is a great way to immerse yourself in the Irish experience! Pack your most comfortable sweaters, book a trip to Galway, and prepare to be welcomed with a pint and a smile.
Tigh Neachtain – 17 Cross Street
Regarded as one of the most popular pubs in Galway, Tigh Neachtain has been in operation since 1894. With historic charm and relaxed seating, you’ll feel right at home here. Tigh Neachtain prides itself on providing eccentric individuals with a comfortable place to meet and speak without judgement. If you’re looking for a place where you can have a drink and a laugh, this is the place for you. Pull up a chair by the fire on cold, rainy nights, and warm yourself with a mug of cider and the accompanying sound of live Irish music. Visitors who are exploring Galway in the summertime can sprawl out on the outdoor beer garden where you’ll have the perfect view of the bustling city streets.
For a quintessential Irish experience, treat yourself to lunch and drinks at Tigh Neachtain. Creamy chowders and hearty stews are served with treacle bread and cuinneog butter, making for a perfectly cozy Instagram snapshot to share with your followers. You’ll find yourself revisiting the sights, tastes, and sounds of Tigh Neachtain long after you’ve returned home.
The King’s Head – 15 High Street
The King’s Head is a must for any historical buff visiting Galway. The building housing this pub was erected over 800 years ago and was originally used as the mayor’s home. The fireplace found in the Front Bar has been there since 1612, making it an object of conversation as you enjoy your drinks and the surrounding warmth. One of the coziest pubs in the city — and probably one of the most inviting in all of Ireland — the King’s Head has strings of twinkle lights over the main area and gorgeous dark wood adorning every surface. If you’re traveling through Ireland on a whim, be sure to stop at this location to enjoy the comforting atmosphere and strong drinks.
The food served at this pub is made with fresh, local ingredients, providing you with an authentic Irish experience with each bite. Order yourself a plate of fish and chips or a juicy Irish beef burger and a pint of the King’s Head Blood Red Ale and enjoy an afternoon of televised rugby matches and good company.
O’Connell’s Bar – 8 Eyre Square
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Step into the past at O’Connell’s! The outdoor beer garden was created with traditional cobblestones, providing the pub with an air of old-world charm. The street itself and the surrounding shops and restaurants were also designed with a traditional Irish style in mind, and were built to resemble what the area once looked like. The interior of the pub is filled with vintage cereal boxes and soup cans, as well as an antique register and radio, lending to the atmospheric charm. It might be 2020, but you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time when you spend the evening at O’Connell’s!
With dim overhead lighting and cozy booths to tuck yourself into, this is the perfect spot for a weekend retreat. Musicians play in the pub on Saturdays and Sundays, creating a lively and enticing environment. Grab yourself a pint and dance the night away or settle in for a delicious meal on the beer garden. Lines of picnic tables adorn the outdoor area, along with beautiful strings of lights and hanging plants. Equally dreamy and otherworldly, O’Connell’s is one of the best pubs in all of Galway.
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Taaffes Bar – 19 Shop Street
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Brick walls and arched doorways create pleasant ambiance at Taaffes Bar. Traditional Irish music is played nightly beginning in the summer months and the locals flood in to grab a drink and listen to the music as they unwind with their closest friends. Typically busier than other pubs in Galway, Taaffes is a great location if you want to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of city life. Meet new people, try new drinks, and enjoy the historical charm of this treasured Galway staple.
Seat yourself in one of the cozy wooden booths and order yourself a freshly made sandwich and a Guinness while you spend the afternoon watching sports. You’ll learn more about the passionate history of rugby while making friends with the locals and gaining valuable stories to share on Facebook and beyond.
The Crane Bar – 2 Sea Road
Beloved by all in Galway, the Crane Bar is considered one of the most traditional Irish pubs in the city. The intimate atmosphere makes this an ideal spot for those seeking new and exciting experiences, so that’s something you might want to take in mind when booking flights to Ireland. You’ll sit side by side with local musicians as they fill the bar with captivating melodies. Be sure to get there early, as the seating and standing room is limited, and you don’t want to miss a single note. The interior of the bar features dark wood paneling, low stools, and golden lighting that encompasses you as soon as you set foot in the door.
Wooden counters run along the walls of the pub, providing you with a convenient spot to place your drink as you engage in lively discussions with your fellow travelers. Check the list of performers before arriving as the Crane Bar is known for their wide array of music.
The Dáil Bar – 42 Middle Street
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You can’t miss The Dáil Bar when you’re walking the streets of Galway. With an arresting pink exterior and hanging flower beds, this pub is one of the most iconic in the city. The whiskey selection at the Dáil Bar is exclusive to the pub itself, and the food is served at affordable prices. From goat cheese spring rolls to classic toasties, the menu at Dáil is filled with delicious Irish specialties. Try the traditional beef stew and a draft beer as you soak in the charming atmosphere.
The interior is accented by glowing lights, rich wood tables, and ornately carved columns. With plenty of seating, you’ll be able to tuck yourself away into a forgotten corner with a good book or you can take center stage at one of the stools positioned around the bar. You’ll find yourself dedicating a glamorous blog post to your time spent at this cherished Galway pub once you’ve returned home!