By Briana Seftel
Going to Ireland without visiting a pub would be — wait, who would do such a thing? Pubs are as intrinsic to the fabric of Ireland as the Cliffs of Moher.
Short for “public house,” pubs were (and still are) the place to gather, have a chat, share a drink, and watch a game. You simply cannot visit Ireland without having a pub experience.
To help you navigate the seemingly endless array of pubs, we’ve picked out our favorites for a true Irish "craic."
The Long Hall
This old school pub is like a blast from the Victorian past. Walk onto red carpeted floor and past filigree-edged mirrors, dark wood carvings and cozy snugs. Order a Guinness and saddle up to one of Dublin’s most beautiful pubs. Wait, is that Oscar Wilde over there? — 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
If you want to hear traditional Irish music, there’s no better place than The Cobblestone. At this pub in Dublin’s Northside, you can enjoy free trad sessions every night with your pint. — 77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 TP22, Ireland
L. Mulligan Grocer
As the name suggests, this pub was formerly a grocer’s shop. It’s now known as Mulligan’s - not to be confused with Mulligan’s on Poolbeg Street. Located in the fashionable neighborhood of Stoneybatter, Mulligan’s serves up gourmet pub fare and a selection of hard-to-find craft beers - no Guinness on tap here. — 18 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland
Grogan’s is as “Dublin” as it comes. After all, it was a favorite haunt of such esteemed literary figures as Patrick Kavanagh, J.P. Donleavy and Liam O’Flaherty. Pop in here after shopping on Grafton Street or seeing the library at Trinity College. On those rare sunny Ireland days, head for the outdoor seating area. — 15 William St S, Dublin 2, D02 H336, Ireland
Step inside Tigh Neachtain and you’ll think you’ve entered a movie set. With its cozy wood panelled snugs, eclectic decor and books for perusal, this traditional pub (also informally known as Naughtons) is as warm and comforting as an open fire. It has been opened since 1894 and stocks over 130 different types of whiskey. — 17 Cross Street, Galway, Ireland
Maybe you need some time alone. If that’s the case, head for O’Connell’s, located on a quiet street across from Eyre Square. Pull up a bar stool or make your way to the outdoor garden and ponder your thoughts over an expertly poured pint. Need a refill? The suited bartenders have got you covered. — 8 Eyre Square, Galway, Ireland
You can’t miss the fire engine red facade of Tig Cóilí, located at the end of bustling Shop Street in the heart of Galway. Framed photos of past musical performers and various memorabilia cover every inch of wall space, while nightly trad sessions fill the pub with sweet melodies. It would be hard to find a friendlier pub in Galway. — Mainguard St, The Latin Quarter, Quarter, Co. Galway, Ireland
The charming town of Dingle is famous for its pubs - perhaps the most well-known is Dick Mack’s, named after the late leather-craftsman Richard MacDonnell. It’s still owned and operated by Mack’s family, and a small part of the pub is devoted to making handcrafted leather goods. — 6 Green St, Dingle, Co. Kerry, V92 FF25, Ireland
The Spaniard Inn
No visit to Kinsale is complete without a stop at The Spaniard Inn. Famous for good food, frothy pints and traditional music, this pub is the ultimate prototype of an Irish pub. Perched high above the harbor, you’ll want to stay a while to enjoy the warm atmosphere and great views. — Scilly, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
Operated by the National Trust, The Crown is a slice of history in the middle of bustling Belfast. Since the 1820s, this opulent pub has been serving thirsty patrons cold pints without pretence. Settle into an ancient snug and sip on your beer slowly. If you’re feeling peckish, The Crown has a full menu of pub classics like Irish stew. — 46 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7BA, UK
You’ll feel right at home at O’Riada’s, a local’s favorite for a pint and a chat. Order a Smithwick’s ale, brewed right in town, and catch a game of hurling on the TV - there’s nothing more Kilkenny than that! — 25 Parliament St, Gardens, Kilkenny, R95 CH79, Ireland
Literally meaning “that’s it,” this old favorite was named for the funeral parlor next door - nothing like a fresh pint to wash away your sorrows. Aside from great drinks, Sin é is one of the best places to hear traditional music in Cork City. Catch a session every night from 6:30pm until close. — 8 Coburg St, Shandon, Cork, Ireland
The Oliver Plunkett
Sometimes a memorable name is all it takes to make a great pub. Named after the famous Oliver Plunkett street, this pub also known as "The Frisky Whiskey Bar" has long been a popular choice for a night out in Cork City. Coffee and tea during the day and live music at night makes The O.P. a favorite at all hours - who says you can’t have it all? — 116 Oliver Plunkett St, Centre, Cork, T12 P957, Ireland