Athlone is a glistening gem of a town nestled in the heart of the Midlands. Based on the River Shannon and boasting the stunning Athlone Castle as an impressive centrepiece, it has always attracted tourists from all over Ireland and further afield. It is simple to understand the draw of the town – it is rich in historical attractions, shopping amenities and a range of activities for both the young and the young at heart. Another major pull of Athlone is its wide array of pubs whose clientele are a perfect mix of friendly locals and visitors who bond over their search for a night of pints and banter. Here we list the top 5 pubs in Athlone you must see before you die.
5. The Junction Beer and Wing House
The Junction is fast becoming one of the more popular spots for a night out in Athlone. It is especially attractive to the younger patrons of Athlone’s drinking establishments so is the perfect venue for college students hoping to get a taste of Athlone nightlife. The interior is slick, with the pub taking traditional tavern elements such as barrel tables but breathing a new life in to these ideas to give a modern feel more in tune with their customers. The Junction is a fantastic spot for live music, with local acts taking to the stage on a regular basis. It also offers bar food such as wings and tenders which can be washed down with one of their many craft beers from an extensive menu.
Address: 18 Sean Costello Street, Loughanaskin, Athlone
4. The Prince Bar
The Prince Bar is a lively spot with an enticing interior of soft lighting and open fires in a spacious setting. The Prince has a winning trilogy of delicious bar food, good pints, and tantalising cocktails. Their Cosmopolitans are second to none and cocktails have grown so popular in The Prince that they now offer cocktail training evenings – perfect for a Hen Party or a weekend getaway with friends! It is one of the most well-established live music venues in Athlone with local live music acts attracting crowds each weekend without fail. The Prince Bar is located beside Karma, so why not make the most of your night and end it in Athlone’s most popular nightclub?
Address: Church Street, Loughanaskin, Athlone
Grogan’s might be located a little outside the town but a trip to the quaint village of Glasson, Athlone is certainly worth it to experience the charm of Grogan’s pub. The minute you cross through the front door you are welcomed into a pub rich in tradition with roaring fires during the Winter months and staff that could not do more to make you feel at home. The evening menu is fantastic and serves food until nine. Most locals will recommend the fresh catch of the day, a substantial and tasty steal at just €13.50. After your meal, settle in at the bar for a perfectly poured pint of Guinness and revel in the tales from the locals – they are more than happy to retell the fascinating stories handed down from the generations of patrons before them.
Address: Glasson, Glassan, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
2. The Snug Bar
The Snug Bar very narrowly misses out on the number one position on our countdown. The pub is exactly as the name suggests – a snug, cosy, casual bar in a beautiful location between the River Shannon and Athlone Castle. The interior is warm, comfortable and ideal for catch-up pints with friends during the chillier months. There is also a heated beer garden where there is always plenty of craic to be had, especially during the weekend. However on the rare occasion that the sun decides to shine over Athlone Town do your very best to grab one of the seats outside. The Snug’s prime location makes it’s outdoor seating the ultimate spot for people watching and drinking in the hustle and bustle of life in the busy town.
Address: Main St, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
1. Sean’s Bar
The coveted number one spot on our countdown was only ever going to go to Sean’s Bar and it truly deserves this title. Sean’s Bar is officially listed as Ireland’s oldest pub and has featured on the Lonely Planet’s list of the 25 Most Incredible Bars in the World. No trip to Athlone is complete without a cheeky pint (or several) in this beautiful pub. The floors are enveloped in sawdust and on a cold evening, the old style open fire will get rid of the chill in your bones. Sean’s is the only place to be on a Summer night with its beer garden being the ultimate attraction for patrons young and old. Sipping on a pint while you bask in the sun and the surroundings of the pub is a fantastic experience and it is no wonder that Sean’s pub continues to be Athlone’s favourite pub over 1000 years after it was first established.
Address: 13 Main St, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland