Galway is located on the West Coast of Ireland and is home to one of the most vibrant and cultural cities in the country. From the stunning beaches of Salthill to the scenic trail walks of Connemara, Galway City is surrounded by natural scenery which attracts tourists from all over the world. The city itself is one of the most traditional in Ireland with cobblestone streets and pubs and shops whose original structures have stood for as long as over 400 years. As well as this, it is no secret that the nightlife of Galway is known for being an exceptional experience for visitors and locals alike.
From traditional Irish pubs serving the perfect pint of Guinness enveloped in the sound of live Irish ceoil to the more modern bars with DJs playing chart music into the early hours of the morning, Galway City is sure to have something to suit everyone. Whether you are a visitor or Galway is your home, the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the city is sure to capture a place in your heart. In this article, we will narrow down the pubs of Galway to the top 5 that you absolutely must visit if you ever find yourself in this beautiful city.
5. Taaffes Bar
Taaffes Bar, as with most of the pubs in this article, is situated in the Latin Quarter on Shop Street. Another extremely traditional Irish pub, it provides live traditional music every night starting early in the summer months. It is also a popular location for viewing GAA games. Famous musicians including Sharon Shannon have performed live in Taaffes bar in the past.
As well as serving a brilliant pint of Guinness, Taaffes also serves breakfast and lunch until 2pm according to their Facebook page. Taaffes are, however, mostly known for their traditional music sessions, so if you ever get the chance to experience a live session in Taaffes you definitely won’t regret it!
Address: 19 Shop St, Galway, Ireland
4. Tig Coili
Tig Coili is one of Galway’s cosiest, older-style pubs. Tig Coili is definitely the place to go if you are looking for real Irish trad sessions with 2 live sessions a day, all year round. It is not a late night bar, only opening until 11:30 pm during the week and 12:30 am at the weekend but the atmosphere during opening hours makes up for closing earlier than some of the other pubs and bars. The great atmosphere and music have brought musicians from all around the world to play in Tig Coili including a few famous names like Sharon Shannon.
Tig Coili is definitely considered the heart and soul of traditional Irish music by many locals and tourists alike and accompanied by the warm atmosphere and a pint, this pub is truly a must to visit.
Address: Mainguard St, The Latin Quarter, Galway, Ireland
3. The Front Door
The Front Door, also located in Galway’s Latin Quarter. It is one of the largest pubs in the city centre spreading over 2 large floors with 5 separate bars. Regardless of its size, the front door is extremely cosy and inviting without being difficult to move around in. Staying open until 2am every night, the Front Door is popular with people of all ages, and both students and tourists alike so the crowd is always diverse. Live music begins every night at 9:30pm during the week, 10:30pm Friday and Saturday nights and 9:00pm on Sunday nights and is followed by a DJ set until 2am.
The Front Door is also home to the famous Sonny Molloys whiskey bar which offers a wide variety of whiskey including the well-known Galway Bay Irish Whiskey. As well as a top-class whiskey selection, an excellent pint, and music to suit everyone’s taste, The Front Door also serves food from 12 in the afternoon and has a broad menu guaranteed to suit everyone. The Front Door is one of the most vibrant pubs in Galway City with a warm, bustling atmosphere at any time of the day.
Address: 8 Cross Street Upper, Galway, H91 YY06, Ireland
2. The Quays
The Quays Bar can be found in Galway’s famous Latin Quarter. The Quays is a traditional Irish pub and the original structure is over 400 years old with some of the original features still present. The Quays Bar is a well-known music venue with two floors playing music every night of the week. The venue also has in the past hosted acts such as Aslan and Nathan Carter and is also home to TG4’s country music competition “Glor Tire”. There is also food served in this homely bar from 12 in the afternoon and an a la carte menu in the evening. Whether you are in search of live music or great food in a lively environment, The Quays Bar has something for everyone. It is a popular spot for tourists also as you are sure to get a taste of the Irish culture in the Quays.
Address: Quay’s Street, Galway, Ireland
1. O’Connell’s Bar
O’Connells Bar is situated in the heart of Galway City on the East of the infamous Eyre Square. It is well known for its quirky features and being home to one of the best beer gardens in the city. The outside beer garden is decorated to resemble a typical old-style street with cobblestones and shop and pub fronts lining the wall making the outdoor area very distinctive from other beer gardens.
O’Connells is a major sporting pub and you can expect large crowds and plenty of craic on Irish rugby game days and it has become a popular venue for members of the Connacht rugby team. On Friday and Saturday nights, there is live music in the beer garden and the outdoor bar opens to serve the crowds. You are guaranteed to enjoy the lively atmosphere and large selection of drinks both during the week and on the weekend.
Address: 8 Eyre Square, Galway, Ireland