Top 5 best pubs in Ireland

photo by Jessica Spengler

If you ask anyone in the world what’s the most memorable thing about Ireland that they know of, there are good chances that their answer will include Irish pubs (and perhaps shamrock). Pubs in Ireland have a certain feel and a certain atmosphere that are unique, which explains why more and more pubs outside Ireland are trying to emulate the ‘Irish pub’ feel, with more or less success. Truth is, you’ll never find an Irish pub as good as the ones in Ireland, because these pubs don’t try to be Irish, they just are! So if you want to experience the real Irish pub atmosphere, here are the top 5 best pubs in Ireland.

McCarthy’s, Fethard, Co Tipperary

Fethard (pronounced ‘feathered’) is a town in South Tipperary, not far from Cashel, the town famous for its amazing castle. If you’re in the area and feel like a pint of lager, drop by McCarthy’s, a lively pub whose dark and alluring interior holds the promise of a cold beer and banter with the locals. The pubs motto is ‘we wine you, we dine you, and we bury you’ – straight to the point, considering that the pub serves some quite good food, and doubles as an undertaking service.

EJ Morrissey’s, Abbeyleix, Co Laois

When you’re traveling from Dublin to Cork, there’s no excuse for not stopping for a break at Morrissey’s pub and having a drink (if you’re not the one driving). The pub is a genuine institution in the small town of Abbeyleix, and also know to people who frequently travel to Cork. The wooden interior is lit by soft lamps, with lots of nooks and crannies where you can retreat with your pint and some pub grub.

Tigh Neachtain’s, Galway, Co Galway

Tigh Neachtain’s is a pub that’s been passed down from generation to generation. The current owner, Jimmy Maguire, was born in a room above the pub. It seems like not much has changed in the pub in the past few decades, which is part of its charm, along with its constant bustle and the great live music.

De Barra’s, Clonakilty, Co Cork

De Barra’s pub is the musical pub par excellent, not only because it often has live music, but also because its walls are decorated with musical instruments of every ilk – traditional bodhrans, as well as fiddles, flutes, pipes and saxophones. The instruments are not just decorations – they have a history, and the pub’s staff are happy to tell guests about it.

The Stag’s Head, Dublin

The Stag’s Head is one of the most important landmarks in Dublin, a place where students from the nearby Trinity College, journalists, artists and tourists usually congregate. Some of the most famous clients of the pub include writer James Joyce and Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, and more recently, Quentin Tarantino.

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