Ahhh Galway, the city of the Tribes. Home to the best horse racing in the country, incredible scenery and the friendliest people you will ever meet. Of course there’s a chance that I might be biased, having grown up in this charming city. But if you’re lucky enough to find yourself here, then I commend you on your excellent decision making. Galway is chock full of establishments to eat and drink in but if you’ve come here from afar, you’ll be after one thing only. A proper traditional pub. Fortunately for you, I’ve compiled a list of the best pubs Galway has on offer and the perfect route for you to take that will ensure you get the most out of your night. Get your comfy shoes on and line your stomach. We’re going on a pub crawl lads!
1. O’ Connell’s
This is one of Galway’s oldest pubs, located in Eyre Square and was originally a grocery store with a small bar. Of course, it was recently made famous as one of the locations for Ed Sheerans “Galway Girl” video. Sorry but you won’t find Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin having a laugh in the toilets. What you will find though it the best and biggest beer garden in the entire city and the finest Guinness outside of the Storehouse. The ideal place to kick start your night.
2. Garavans Bar
If you like whiskey, you’re in the right place my friends! Garavans is legendary for its extensive collection of whiskeys from around the world and has won Connaught’s Whiskey Bar of the Year for the past three years. Try their whiskey platter for maximum variety. They also do a bomb Irish Coffee btw. Parts of the building date back to 1650 so get some uisce beatha (water of life) into ya and bask in the medieval grandeur of it all.
Tip on further down the street and you’ll come to our next stop. Most of Galway’s drinking establishments are as old as the hills and Taaffes is no exception, operating as a pub for over 150 years. It’s very popular with tourists and locals alike so don’t bank on getting a seat in here! They have trad musicians playing every day and it’s been known to attract the likes of Sharon Shannon. Taaffes has a rep as serious GAA pub but with or without a match, the atmosphere is always buzzing.
4. Tígh Coilí
Literally a few steps from Taaffes is Tígh Coilí, which could be the blueprint for Irish pubs all over the world. It’s a little spot with massive personality. Another one of Galway’s best live music pubs, you can find 14 trad sessions a WEEK in Coilís! It’s rare to walk past and not have people and music pouring out of the front door. The walls inside are adorned with the many musicians who have stopped by to play a tune over the years and with plenty of local regulars, it’s great for a chat while you still have the run of yourself!
5. The Kings Head
We’re in the Latin Quarter now lads, which means you’re only a stones throw from your next stop on the route. The Kings Head is a true relic of Galway’s history, dating back over 800 years with links to the cities 14 tribes. It has the traditional décor you’d expect complete with massive fire places and is spread over three floors. It’s home to live bands and comedy too so can be a grand place for shaking a leg now that the booze should be catching up with you! Sink a pint in this time capsule and hope you remember it tomorrow!