Ireland is full of mystery and romance. The ancient ruins and buildings still standing (and being used to this day!), the old mysterious castles and monasteries – they will all get your imagination flowing and you’ll yearn to get out there and explore.
Pubs are an inseparable part of Irish culture and history. Weary travelers let their feet carry them to the nearest watering hole – an important part of the Irish experience. This is not just an excuse that you might present to an overbearing travel partner. Irish pubs really are where you can experience the quintessence of Irishness.
Curious about which drinks to order? Here’s a great list of Irish libations! Or, interested specifically in beer? Check out this post on the history of Guinness.
You can people watch, try the pub fare, get to know the locals, listen to live music and very often, the pub itself will have a history to match that of any drafty old castle or church. If the idea of doing genuine adventuring while sitting back and having a pint sounds appealing to you, here are a few options of amazing Irish pubs:
Temple Bar, Dublin
If you were looking at any photos of traveling in Ireland before you set off to see it in person, you will know exactly which pub I’m talking about. The Temple Bar Pub, established in 1840, is located in a historic district of Temple Bar and it’s on top of the list of the things to do in Dublin.
A troubled, riverside part of town it was known for crime and prostitution throughout the ages, Temple Bar is now home to artists and cultural movers and shakers of Dublin.
Any pub situated in a place like this has to be amazing, and Temple Bar Pub is definitely as amazing as they come. There’s live Irish music every single day, and if you’re a whiskey enthusiast you can even bottle your own straight from a cask from the pub’s very own distillery store, and put your name down in the leather-bound annals to register your bottle and become a part of Dublin’s history.
If you make it here, do sit down and make yourself more comfortable – have something off of their impressive menu. There are a few places where you can experience Irish fare as authentic and fresh as here from oysters and seafood to gourmet sandwiches and platters with black pudding and local cheese.
Buckley’s Pub, Killarney
Irish Pubs and traditional music are just something that go together, period. If you are looking for some real Irish tradition and art look no further than a pub. Buckley’s is the creme de la creme of pubs you can visit if music is on your mind. This pub is known for all day music, and well known musicians just “dropping by” unannounced to play and enjoy themselves.
Many tourists find themselves in this area while exploring the Ring of Kerry – a sightseeing route that includes many castles, churches and scenic spots. If you are taking a break in Killarney, it’s worth to explore a bit and stop at Buckleys for a Guinness or just lunch!
Aside from the music, the thing that Buckley’s Pub is known for is the incredibly friendly staff, and it’s inclusiveness. Most people say they feel “just like locals” when visiting this place. What an experience to be truly welcomed – you leave feeling you have found a second home.
The Brazen Head
No Irish pub list of any sort would be complete without a mention of The Brazen Head. When it comes to being historic, The Brazen Head takes the lead. Not only amongst other pubs, but any establishments in Ireland period. It dates back as far as 1198.
Wondering how old that is exactly? The 12th century is when Gothic architecture was invented, as well as Middle English, the first medieval universities are founded, the first windmills, the idea of Purgatory is first mentioned, the Knights Templar are founded – you get the idea. Sometime when all of these things were taking place, one of the first patrons of what was to become The Brazen Head came in for a pint. Now you can, too.
Dublin was originally a settlement built on a crossing across the river Liffey. This place was most likely a place of meetings and commerce – and the pub is right next to it. It is quite possible that it is actually much older than we imagine.
The atmosphere at this ancient place – and we won’t hesitate to use that word – is just how it should be. It looks very, very historic. It has changed a lot over the years, but you still feel ghosts brushing past you as you sit down for a pint. The menu is a classic, containing Guinness and beef stew, fish and chips, smoked cod as well as a modern kale and quinoa burger designed for those with more modern sensibilities.
If you can’t make it…
Have a pint anyway! Wherever you visit in Ireland is sure to have a local pub. Go there to meet people and have a rest, and we guarantee that you will learn stories that are unique, historic and that you will treasure forever.