The Best Pubs in Galway for Live Music
When you think of Ireland, you might think of the lush, green landscape: scenery made possible by the country’s daily forecast of drizzle. Or, you might think of the mahogany-colored stout that everyone loves to drink pint after pint. Or, just maybe, the music!
Ireland has a thriving music scene unlike any other country. A land that deeply treasures their past, Irish traditional music can be heard wafting out the doors of the lively pubs lining the streets. Nicknamed trad for short, these folk melodies bond people of all ages inside the quaint taverns where the sessions take place. The authentic and quirky atmosphere in Galway City makes it the perfect place to grab a pint and listen to these sessions all night long, as you’ll feel like you’re in an Irish storybook setting.
If you’re lucky enough to travel to this little green island, don’t fret about the overcast skies. The energetic melodies from instruments such as the fiddle, accordion, and bodhrán inside each pub could brighten up anyone’s dreary day. And with the combination of the friendliest locals around, you’ll have a time that you’ll remember forever. Here are a few pubs with live trad music you should definitely check out in Galway City.
Boasted as the “home of traditional Irish music”, you can’t go to Galway and not stop in this cozy pub. Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, Tig Coili is hugely popular among both tourists and Irish locals. There’s plenty of Guinness flowing, but the pub is famous for its riveting trad music sessions. The atmosphere there is one-of-a-kind, with people from all over the world gathering to listen to unique Irish instruments. Tig Coili boasts 14 sessions weekly all year round, featuring local and visiting musicians. They have pictures of everyone who’s played covering the walls to prove it!
The musicians of the night sit nonchalantly around a table in the corner, so getting in early to get a great view should definitely be a priority. You’ll make plenty of friends, as this tiny spot sitting on Galway’s most popular shopping street gets packed as the night grows old. With a bright red exterior and hoards of people flowing in and out, you won’t be able to miss it.
It’ll take you 60 seconds to walk from from Tig Coili to Taaffes Bar down on Shop Street, that is if you don’t get distracted along the way. “Where the ceol and craic take precedence”, there’ll always be a music session no matter if you go during the day or the wee hours of the night. If you arrive before 2 pm you can have a lovely Irish meal with your pint as you nod your head to the lively melodies.
This old-fashioned and long-established pub will give you a real taste of traditional Ireland. It’s perfect to watch a GAA in the summer or learn a bit of the Irish language from native speakers. There’s no frills need, just good spirits, great music, and even better company!
After renovations, this Galway pub is back and better than ever. A newly updated An Pucan lies on Forster Street and remains the focal point of the area’s social scene.
There’s live music seven nights a week, standout bar food, and a cavernous beer garden. What more could you ask for? No surprise it’s a hit with the younger crowd. On the weekends, the bar stools are filled with college students and young professionals. No matter what age you are, An Pucan is worth a visit for the music (and beer garden) alone.
Roisin Dubh means “dark little rose”, but the atmosphere sure is bright and lively. The pub is located in an area locals refer to as “The West”, and is one of the best places to catch both international and Irish bands.
Some of Ireland’s favorite bands, such as Le Galaxie, Two Door Cinema Club, and Villagers, play free shows on Thursdays. Roisin Dubh also is constantly welcoming emerging artists to take the stage.
Located on Dominick Street Upper, this well-known pub spans three floors and offers all sorts of different kinds of entertainment. You can grab a bite to eat on the first floor while you listen to some folk music and watch traditional Irish dancing. Head to the late night bar on the top floor any day of the week for visiting acts and the best drinks around.
Monroe’s Tavern is great for getting a casual late night drink without the craziness of an Irish nightclub.
This pub dates back to 1894, and is still widely-loved today. That’s when you know they’re doing something right! It was even the famous American poet and philosopher Allen Ginsberg’s favorite place to grab a drink when he visited.
Tigh Neachtain is a favorite of not only visitors, but locals throughout all of Ireland. Like Tig Coili, this stylish pub is located in the heart of Galway’s Latin Quarter. There’s live music every Sunday, complete with a toasty open fireplaces and amazing Irish food from the restaurant upstairs. Come listen to music and grab a glass of whiskey- there’s more than 150 kinds here!
No matter where you head to in Galway for your night out, you’ll be sure to have a grand time with lots of craic. Just follow the music!