Best Pubs in Galway

Top 8 Best Pubs in Galway 2024

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I have had the absolute pleasure of visiting Galway a couple of times. I recently spent St. Paddy’s there sinking a few Guinness and soaking up the live Irish music. I even compared Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish. But what is the best pub in Galway? Having visited a fair few after some very boozy sessions, this article sets out some of the best pubs! Whether you’re visiting or a local, this article is for you! 

Why Galway’s Pubs?

Galway’s pubs are more than just drinking establishments; they are the lifeblood of the city’s nightlife, a sanctuary for music lovers, a canvas for local brewers, and a meeting place for storytellers and friends. From traditional Irish music sessions that carry on until the wee hours to cosy corners where locals and visitors share stories, Galway’s pubs offer a unique experience that embodies the spirit of Ireland.

Best Pubs in Galway - Galway Highstreet
Galway, Ireland

8 Best Pubs in Galway

1. The Quays – A Musical Haven

Easily one of my favourite pubs in Galway, The Quays Pub is one of the city’s most famous and historic music-drinking establishments. For nearly 400 years, it has served both locals (Galwegians) and visitors, offering a rich combination of great food, drink, and live music. Located in the heart of Galway City’s vibrant Latin Quarter, The Quays is renowned for its lively atmosphere and diverse entertainment options, including daily live music sessions catering to various musical tastes.

The pub is housed in a building that boasts an overload of character and historical features, including unique medieval church fittings and 250-year-old stained glass windows. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a pint with friends while soaking in the craic agus ceoil (fun and music) or want to experience the lively Galway nightlife, The Quays is a must-visit destination known for its warm welcome and vibrant atmosphere.​

2. The King’s Head – A Historic Haunt

The King’s Head is a glorious and historic pub with a fascinating history that spans over 800 years, dating back to the 13th Century. Located at 15 High Street, it was once the home of the Mayor of Galway and is one of the city’s most iconic and prominent buildings, as depicted in Speed’s famous Pictorial Map of Galway, drawn in 1651. The building is a true piece of living history, with its impressive 5-story structure known as Stubber’s Castle standing tall among Galway’s architecture.

The Grealish family has operated this landmark pub since the late 1980s. It is known as a pub and a cultural institution enriching the local arts and entertainment scene. It comprises a Pub, Bistro, and Live Venue spanning over 3 floors. It offers a fantastic reputation for live music and comedy, good, honest, hearty food, and great craic. 

3. Tigh Neachtain – A Treasure Trove of Tradition

Tigh Neachtain, located on the corner of Cross Street and Quay Street in the heart of Galway City, has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1894. This pub has been a vibrant meeting place for a diverse and eclectic clientele ever since it opened its doors. The building was formerly the home of Richard Martin, a prominent animal rights activist.

Tigh Neachtain is renowned for contributing to the local music scene, hosting some of the world’s most talented Irish traditional musicians. Names such as Sharon Shannon, Brendan O’Regan, Deirbhile Ni Bhrolchain, Kevin Hough, Breda Smyth, and Brian Lennon have graced its ambience with their music. 

4. The Salt House – A Craft Beer Paradise

The Salt House, part of the Galway Bay Brewery network, stands out as a premier destination for craft beer enthusiasts. It offers an impressive selection of over 120 bottled and canned craft beers from around the globe, catering to a wide range of tastes. It boasts 23 taps, with at least 10 rotating selections, ensuring that even the most discerning beer enthusiasts can find something new and exciting to try. Additionally, The Salt House has a cask engine, further diversifying its offering with unique pours.

Opened in the summer of 2008, The Salt House has become a modern staple, and its location and extensive beer selection make it a sought-after spot. 

4. O’Connell’s Bar – Backyard Beer Garden Bliss

O’Connell’s Bar, with the best beer garden in the city, is nestled on Eyre Square. It originally started as a grocery store and small bar and has maintained its original character and decor, including tiled floors, antique lighting, and stained glass windows. It’s renowned for serving an exceptional pint of Guinness and having live music played from a church pulpit. 

The pub has undergone expansions, featuring what I call the finest outdoor beer gardens in Galway. Winning “Best Outdoor Space” at the 2022 Irish Pub Awards, the beer garden Gin Lane offers delicious fast food options and plenty of seating area.

5. Monroe’s Tavern – A Taste of Trad Music

Monroe’s Tavern has been a cornerstone in the West End of Galway City since 1964 when it was originally opened as the ‘New Manhattan Bar’ by John and Margaret Monroe. They brought back innovative ideas for table service, a ‘Ladies Lounge,’ and a ‘Singing Lounge’ from New York City, introducing them to Galway for the first time. 

Located at 14 Dominick Street Upper, Monroe’s Tavern is celebrated for its lively atmosphere, good food, and particularly for its live music, offering performances seven nights a week. It is one of the few places in the city to regularly feature Irish dancing. 

6. Tig Coili – The Friendly Face of Galway

Tig Cóilí, located in the Latin Quarter on Mainguard Street, is celebrated as the home of traditional Irish music in Galway. This vibrant pub is well known for its cosy atmosphere and hosting live traditional Irish music sessions twice daily. Musicians and music lovers flock to Tig Cóilí for the authentic experience and the chance to enjoy performances by some of the most talented Irish musicians.

Tig Cóilí’s reputation extends beyond Galway, attracting visitors worldwide who immerse themselves in the lively and welcoming atmosphere. It is a must-visit destination for anyone wanting to experience the true spirit of Irish music and hospitality.

7. The Dáil Bar – Modern Meets Traditional

The Dáil Bar, situated at 42-44 Middle Street, has established itself as one of the city’s most popular destinations. This lively establishment is known for its extensive menu, which includes award-winning cocktails, a wide range of exclusive whiskeys, and delicious food served from noon until late daily. The Dáil Bar provides a unique atmosphere, blending traditional pub charm and contemporary sophistication. It is a perfect spot for a casual drink, a night out with friends, or even to catch live sports events.

It is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, offering live entertainment every evening, including music midweek and DJs at the weekend. With a late bar available seven nights a week until 2am, The Dáil Bar ensures a lively venue for enjoying the night in Galway City. Its reputation for quality is underscored by its accolades, including winning Best Cocktail Experience in Ireland and global recognition for its cocktails.

8. M. Fitzgerald’s Bar – Stews and Stouts

Situated where Kirwan’s Lane meets Quay Street, M. Fitzgerald’s has quickly become a must-visit spot. The bar stands out for its strategic location and its dedication to live music, with performances scheduled seven nights a week. 

The bar’s menu is a testament to its commitment to quality, featuring traditional dishes like fish and chips and beef and Guinness stew alongside contemporary classics such as gourmet burgers and butter chicken curry. In addition to its solid food offerings, M. Fitzgerald’s takes pride in its wide selection of drinks, including Irish stout, craft beer, whiskey, and handcrafted cocktails available at the Penny Bar.


Galway’s pubs are outstanding hubs of Irish culture, offering a blend of traditional music, craft beer, and hearty cuisine. The Quays and The King’s Head, steeped in history, provide lively music and stories spanning centuries. Tigh Neachtain and Tig Coili celebrate Ireland’s musical heritage, while The Salt House caters to craft beer lovers. O’Connell’s and Monroe’s Tavern enchant with their vibrant atmospheres and live performances. The Dáil Bar and M. Fitzgerald’s combine modernity with tradition, showcasing Galway’s dynamic pub scene. Together, these establishments encapsulate the spirit of Galway, making each visit a unique experience of craic, culture, and community. Let me know what your favourite pub is in Galway! 


Can I find non-alcoholic options in these pubs?

Galway’s pubs offer a range of non-alcoholic beverages for those who prefer them. Many pubs, such as M. Fitzgerald’s Bar, even serve non-alcoholic Guinness. 

Are Galway pubs suitable for all ages?

While pubs are primarily adult venues, many offer family-friendly environments during the day and early evening, making them suitable for all ages.

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