Galway is a popular stop on an Ireland road trip thanks to its gorgeous seaside views and abundance of quirky pubs and bars. When you’re not exploring the shoreline or watching the boats go by, pop into one of the best pubs in Galway.
The coastal town is filled with great places to grab a cold one or order some pub grub with you and some friends. You can even cozy up in a booth with a view of the ocean while you sip on a pint. There are also plenty of adorable bed and breakfasts in Galway for you to stay on during your vacation.
Keep on reading if you want to go hopping between the best pubs in Galway, Ireland. We’ve covered our favorite spots in the vibrant Irish city where you can enjoy a cold one the Irish way. These spots offer local delicacies and drinks, not to mention a bit of local history and culture.
Best Bars and Pubs in Galway, Ireland
Many of these pubs in Galway are close so you can safely and easily visit without a car in Ireland.
In Galway, Ireland, bars seem to outnumber people at times. After all, the city is known as Ireland’s festival capital and is filled with fantastic pubs, taphouses, and more. One such iconic Galway bar is An Púcán, which offers excellent food and a better atmosphere.
Situated in the corner of Eyre Square, a public city park, An Púcán is a loud and proud Irish watering hole that’s open late and serves hefty meals to go with your beer. This pub also offers an extensive selection of whiskeys and bourbons.
You can pull up a chair at the cozy bar or take a seat in the pretty beer garden with your traveling buddies. This is a cozy place to stop during spring in Ireland if it’s raining outside.
Enjoy a delectable dinner every day before 8 pm, after which you can stick around to hear the live music. An Púcán hosts DJs and musicians regularly. So there’s always an energetic mood in the room, as well as fun people dancing in the crowd.
Of course, I can’t stop there before talking about the drinks. As with all traditional Irish pubs like this one, An Púcán offers a range of beers and ales. They also serve a mean Old Fashioned and a tasty, non-alcoholic Tom Collins for the non-drinkers. This Galway pub is ideal during winter in Ireland, as it’s plenty cozy.
Taaffes Bar is a Guinness bar in the heart of Galway’s Latin Quarter and a popular spot amongst the locals. If you feel like being a chatty tourist for a night, why not pull up a chair at the bar and spark up a conversation? The cheerful village pub is full of people you can bet have an exciting story or two to tell.
The Latin Quarter is pulsing with energy, one of the best parts of bar-hopping in Galway, even if you don’t drink. Expect loads of pedestrians weaving through scores of retail stores, pubs, bars, and cafes. Taaffes Bar will put you at the center of the Irish madness for one fun night out in one of the best cities in Ireland.
Taaffes Bar hosts live music shows along with their neighbors in Shop Street. Don’t be surprised if you hear a symphony of different tunes traveling through the air on this vibrant Galway street.
Snap a picture of you outside the pub before you go. Taaffes has lined their exterior wall with barrels of Guinness, which should make for an Instagram-worthy snapshot for your travel journal.
Crane Bar is arguably one of the best Galway bars out there, and it’s worth a spot on your Ireland bucket list. The issue of which bar is the ‘best’ is hotly contested amongst locals, however, who take the matter quite seriously.
Ranking aside, Crane Bar is a heck of a watering hole with a lot to offer any first-time visitor or return tourist wandering through the pubs in the street. You can count on hearing traditional Irish music at this pub, so expect a few Irish folks singing along to their childhood favorites.
Crane Bar hosts local talent every single night with everything from traditional Irish tunes to blues hits and more. The venue has a capacity of 70 people and is home to two stages, so this is a great spot to socialize, party, and enjoy yourself in traditional Irish fashion.
The exterior is a jolly dark green with red and white trim, welcoming passersby into the friendly pub. Grab an Irish ale from the barman and pull up a chair in the upstairs music area known as ‘The Listeners Club.’ The entire downstairs bar heads up around 9 pm every night to delight in local tunes.
Nestled in the heart of Galway City, you’ll find the popular Tigh Neachtain, a cozy Irish pub founded back in 1894. This popular spot is one of the most famous pubs in Ireland and definitely the one with the most confusing name. In case you’re wondering, Tigh Neachtain is pronounced Tee-g Knock-tin.
If you’re looking for a fun place to listen to music in the city, this is the bar for you. It’s smack in the middle of the Latin Quarter, and the bar hosts live music throughout the week. Tigh Neachtain has hosted some of the most famous Irish acts on the planet, including Sharon Shannon, Brendan O’Regan, Deirbhile Ni Bhrolchain, Kevin Hough, Breda Smyth, and Brian Lennon! Trust me; if you’re not familiar, these artists are a big deal on the Emerald Isle.
Now that you know the context, you probably want to see how the drinks are at this Irish pub. Tigh Neachtain offers an extensive list of craft beers and well-liked home-brewed beers, too. There’s even a comprehensive scotch list and a few rare whiskey options on the menu.
The Front Door, Sonny’s Bar & Restaurant
Boasting five bars and two stories of fun and fanfare, The Front Door is a laid-back pub in Galway in the epicenter of the city’s social scene.
Enjoy live music acts every day of the week, as well as a varied food menu of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options for those of us with fussy stomachs. They also serve a mean Gin & Tonic, great cocktails, wines, and craft beers. The bartenders and waitrons also give recommendations on pairings with your meal.
Ask for the Whiskey Platters Menu if you’re a big whiskey fan and looking to splurge on something special. The Sonny Molloy Prestige Platter is the most expensive whiskey platter in the world. You’ll get a flight of whiskey that includes an extremely rare tot from a 30-year-old bottle!
Are you feeling a bit tender after a late-night party? Head back for a delicious breakfast. You can enjoy a traditional Full Irish, Huevos Rancheros, or any classic breakfast dish you can think of. The Front Door also brews a lovely cuppa and a robust black coffee for your sore head, making it one of the best pubs in Galway to suit all needs.
The Dáil Bar
The Dáil Bar deserves a place on any Galway pubs bucket list, thanks to its late-night DJ sessions, live music acts, and vibrant atmosphere. You’ll always see tons of locals and tourists having a good time at this joint in the middle of the Latin Quarter.
Cocktail lovers, in particular, love The Dáil Bar, as they serve award-winning cocktails like Strawberry Daiquiris, Espresso Martinis, Tom Collins, and Negronis. The Irish Hospitality Global Awards also awarded The Dáil Bar the ‘Best Cocktail Experience’ prize in 2019. So, you can rest assured you’ll sip on some unforgettable drinks at this Galway pub.
Dáil also serves a lunch and dinner menu if you’d like to snack on something to pair with your beer or ale. The chef uses locally sourced ingredients in their dishes, which is a plus if you want to explore a more sustainable relationship with your food. This spot takes pub grub to a whole new level, offering wings, fried chicken tenders, potted prawns, and more.
Be sure to try the onion rings; they’re crispy and delicious. For dessert options, the homemade sticky toffee pudding is also immaculate.
The Quays pub in Galway is widely considered one of the best bars in Ireland, and it’s a favorite amongst the locals. Quays hosts live music every night of the week, so you can always expect entertainment along with your drinks. The Guinness at the bar is exceptionally smooth, so a pint is always in order.
One of the best things about nightlife in Galway is that you can almost always depend on great food. The Quays serves a fantastic Irish stew if you’ve got a hankering for a local staple. If you’re looking for seafood while you’re on the coast, try their mussels ー you won’t be disappointed.
However, the best thing about The Quays is the decor ー weird, whacky, wonderful. Inside The Quays, you’ll find artifacts from an old Spanish church that were imported, such as real church pews and arches. There’s even a big old organ in the upstairs bar, making it one of the best pubs in Galway.
Pop in for dinner and dance at The Quays if you like a touch of originality in your watering holes. It’s one of the best bars Galway has to offer, and you’ve probably never seen anything like it before.
Hyde Bar & Gin Parlour
An Irish pub crawl deserves a spot on your itinerary list if you find yourself in Galway. Sneak away from your hotel for the night and head to Hyde Bar. If you like gin, you’re in for a real treat. Hyde serves over 500 gin brands, and their staff is incredibly knowledgeable. It’s always fun to treat yourself and try a cocktail you’ve never had before.
Hyde Bar is part of The Forster Court Hotel, a well-liked boutique accommodation in the city if you’re looking for a place to stay. You can pop down to the bar in the evenings for a nightcap or good meal. Hyde serves tasty local delicacies and snacks, and they have an extensive wine and beer list. They’re also open for brunch on weekends if you want to enjoy a mimosa and some flapjacks.
You can always depend on the Hyde staff for excellent hospitality and service, which explains how the bar has remained a favorite in Galway for so many years. Whether you’re having a relaxing brunch with your significant other or a festive occasion with the gang, Hyde Bar promises a good time.
Check out O’Connell’s Bar if you’re looking to have some fun on a night out in Galway City. The pub is near Eyre Square, so you can pop in for a cold one after you’re done exploring the park. Inside the bar, numerous peculiarities and obscure decor pieces make things more interesting. These include portraits of historical figures, old figurines, and odd antiques.
O’Connell’s was established way back in 1862, so this is a great spot to visit if you’re on the hunt for something traditional that’s steeped in Irish history. It’s one of the oldest bars in the whole city.
O’Connell’s Bar is famous for its delicious Guinness beers and charming beer garden. They also have a separate pizza bar outside where you can get a killer wood-fired pizza with all the toppings you can imagine.
There’s tons of space outside for you and your pals, and don’t worry, the staff will put up a cover if it starts to rain. If the weather is chilly, be sure to order an Irish coffee — they’re to die for. You can also expect pretty fairy lights adorning the beer garden on some evenings, which makes the whole experience a touch more cinematic.
These are just some of the best pubs in Galway, but there are many more you can and should explore on your own while you’re in town!