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5 great pubs in Ireland

When in Ireland you need to have a drink! I’ve picked the brains of Irish pub lovers far and wide to come up with this selection of pubs in the emerald isles that you should make a bee-line to:


Kelly’s Cellars

Built in 1720, this is one of Ireland’s oldest pubs and it still has the low doors and the original open fire. Its locals come from all over Belfast, such is the charm – and the singing. If a cosy pub with traditional Irish music is what you’re after, Kelly’s is quite possibly the best place to experience it on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Kelly's Cellars Ireland
This fab pic of Kelly’s Cellars was taken by Italian photographer Lorenzo Moscia


Brazen Head

Now this IS Ireland’s oldest pub. It’s been here since 1198 and one can only imagine the stories its walls could tell. The ruling clans, the wars, the skulduggery and all celebrated over a wee brew. This is a great spot to eat great pub grub and meet visitors from all over the world who have also heard of its reputation. They have a fantastic line up of Irish musicians every night (even van Morrison has played here) and the Sunday afternoon session is worth coming early for.

Brazen Head pub Ireland
The Brazen Head awaits…

Annascaul, County Kerry

South Pole Inn

Built by Antarctic explorer Tom Crean who famously joined Scott and Shackleton on several polar expeditions, this was where he saw out his days. He died in 1938, but his pub is still filled with exploring memorabilia, photos and many a yarn. But it’s unassuming and easy to miss if you weren’t looking out for it. Make sure you look out for it on your way to Dingle or the Ring of Kerry.

South Pole Inn Ireland
The South Pole Inn is full or Antarctic bits and bobs


Foxy John’s Pub

Dingle is one of the cutest seaside villages you’ll ever see and there are many pubs and restaurants to choose from. But you should head to Foxy John’s for a pint. It’s half pub, half hardware store and half bike rental (ok so that’s three halves). Sit down with a Jameson or a Guinness and start up a yarn with the locals. It’s small, cosy, plays football on the big screen and is a secret not many find in Ireland.

Foxy Johns pub Dingle Ireland
Enjoy a pint and pick up some nails while you’re here
The Kings head Galway
Live music inside or a couple of quiets outside


Kings Head

This three-story, 800-year old pub at 15 High Street is named after the execution of King Charles I as it sits in the former house of his executioner henchman Col. Peter Stubbers. But these days the medieval fireplace that was only uncovered in the last 10 years stands over revelry of a different kind with live music, theatre and improv, a big screen for the football, great food and wonderful staff to entertain many a visitor.

Read this post for a driving holiday to visit Ireland’s castles and manor houses.

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!