Galway is a lively medieval town on the West Coast of Ireland. It is constantly buzzing and the atmosphere is great. Galway is often referred to as the ‘Graveyard of Ambition’ meaning that once you go there, people often decide to stay even if means working a job that would pay much more in a bigger city. It really just is a nice little town and the pubs are great part of it. Here is my opinion of the best pubs in Galway. If you disagree with me, please let me know – I am always up for a chat about Galway and its gems!
- The O’Connors Famous Pub
The best pub in Galway has to be the O’Connors Famous Pub in Salthill. It is located in the beautiful lively seaside village of Salthill, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Once you walk in for the first time you will rub your eyes, since what awaits you is truly unique! The whole pub is decorated with thousands of different items hanging on the walls and from the ceiling. You will see the most bizarre items from Grandpa’s old clothes to interesting photos and you if you don’t get a seat next to the cosy fire, you will most likely sit on a table with an old Singer sewing machine right in the middle of it! The atmosphere is warm and it is a great place to meet local people and a have chat with the barmen – on some nights they have live music too. You just simply can’t miss O’Connors on your Galway visit!
- The Salt House
This pub is a lovely little spot very close to the city centre. Just cross over the Wolf Tone Bridge and you see it on your right side next to the canal. On a nice day you will most likely see people outside of it enjoying the drinks. The pub is actually tiny, but the atmosphere is great and there is nothing the staff doesn’t know about beer! Ask anything and they will have an answer for you. The pub stocks more than 100 bottled beers around the world and they sell the famous Galway Bay Brewery beers such as Bay Ale, Full Sail and Buried at Sea. I would recommend you to give a go and try one of the famous Galway Hookers… that obviously being the famous Irish Pale Ale!
- Tigh Neachtain
Tigh Neachtain is always full! No matter what the weather is like, there are always some brave people defying the elements and sitting outside in front of the pub. It is very centrally located on the corner of Cross Street and Quay Street, you can’t really miss it. Neachtain has been a meeting place for the people of Galway since the late 17th century. It has a large selection of beers and stocks over 100 different kind of whiskeys! What I mostly love about the place are the little nooks and crannies around the pub. It looks pretty small from the outside but it’s filled with little corners and hiding places. I just love to enjoy a pint of Irish craft cider in a good company in one of the pub’s snugs!
- Tig Cóilí
This is the must go place to anyone who enjoys traditional Irish Music. Like so many other Galway pubs it is very conveniently located on the main streets of Galway, you can enter from High Street or from Mainguard Street. Don’t let the two entrances to fool you though! The pub is not very big at all, and if you wish to enjoy an Irish session, I would advise to arrive early to get a good seat. The pub normally has two session on every evening. Have a pint and relax and enjoy the famous Irish tunes. Have a chat with the people behind the bar, they are very friendly and welcoming!
- The Quays Bar
The Quays Bar is located opposite the Tigh Neachtain pub on Quay Street. It is one of the most famous pubs in Galway. There is free live music on every night and in summertime there are daily gigs held in upstairs of the pub. Stairs is one thing that I find amusing about this place. Feels like there is an endless amount of stairs! There are so many different levels on this quirky place and it really adds to the whole experience. I would highly recommend for going to at least one of the gigs, you might need to spend around €10, but it will be a guaranteed night of great music.
Kati Lepisto is very passionate about the West of Ireland and especially the Wild Atlantic Way. She used to live in Galway City and knows it inside and out. She would be happy to help you with any inquiries regarding the West! You can email her directly at [email protected]