Ireland’s Most Famous Pubs!!

You are tired of the one and only Irish Pub in your town outside Ireland. It is either called The Fitzpatrick, the Shamrock or the O’ something. You are coming to Ireland and you want to live the great Irish Experience with a Pub, a great atmosphere, good “craic”, pints and music? You want to discover the real Pub Culture? Well I can tell you exactly where you need to go to live an Irish night.

Check out Ireland’s most popular pubs (in no particular order!) – all of them should be on your bucketlist!


Durty Nelly’s

Durty Nelly'sThe good old Durty Nellies is located in the picturesque village of Bunratty directly next to, you might have guessed it by now, Bunratty Castle!

Durty Nellie’s truly is one of Ireland’s most famous pubs and chances are, that you’ve either heard off it or that you’ve been there already! Once you enter this cozy place, you will be brought back to the “old” Ireland…after all Durty Nellie’s dates back to 1620 and is a piece of Irish heritage. Enjoy a perfect pint of Guinness and live traditional music 7 nights a week. Oh, and the traditional Irish Bar Menu there is amazing, too!

The history of Durty Nelly’s is an intriguing one indeed. The Durty Nelly whom the venue is named after was once the keeper of a toll-bridge over the river Owengarney. The full history involves an Irish Wolfhound, a miracle cure, a thieving rogue from Kilrush and a whole host of other twists and turns…a bit too long to tell now, but you can always google it!

And there is even a “Nelly’s Blessing” – check it out below:

Nelly’s Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.


The Brazen Head

Brazen HeadThe Brazen Head is a true Dublin institution. Every visitor of Ireland’s capital city will sooner or later end up there. After all, it is Ireland’s oldest pub – dating back to 1198!

The pub is only a short walk from Christchurch Cathedral and the Guinness Brewery and has a reputation as one of Dublin’s best Irish music venues. You should come here on Sundays for lunch (if you don’t have a hangover that is!): there is live music and gorgeous food… and not to forget – the best Irish Coffee in Dublin (says my colleague Andrea).

What is exciting as well are the Brazen Head’s past regular patrons, who have included such literacies as James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift as well as such revolutionaries as Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’Connell and Michael Collins.

The Brazen Head is officially Ireland’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198. While it is unclear how much of the original 11th century coach house is still intact, there is a palpable sense of history within these timeworn walls. If you are looking for the true Irish pub experience then the Brazen Head Pub should be your first port of call. Today the patrons still include some famous faces, including some very famous musicians like Van Morrison, Hothouse Flowers, Mary Black and Garth Brooks. Take some time to absorb the pictures and scrolls covering the walls. There is a palpable sense of history within these timeworn walls.

Check out this video of Brazen Head


Johnnie Fox’s

Johnnie FoxHidden in the Dublin Mountains is another iconic Irish Pub – Johnny Fox’s. This is Ireland’s highest pub… and the absolute favourite of my colleague Emer! Johnny Fox’s is only a 25min drive from Dublin City centre. They even provide shuttle busses from Dublin City to their pub. Check out their website for more info on that.

The interior of the pub is stuffed with old Irish memorabilia, so much fun to have walk around to look at everything. And there are obviously in true Irish pub tradition wooden chairs and tables and many fireplaces to make it a warm and cozy place (that always smells like turf). When the weather is nice, you need to check out their beer garden. Lovely wooden, hand carved banks and tables with a nice view of the Wicklow Mountains….oh, and they have and old-timer bus in their parking lot – so cool!

One thing you really need to check out when you are there and have the time, is their famous ‘Hooley Night’ – dinner plus Irish dancing and music show. It is brilliant and usually crowded, so make sure to book in advance!

You don’t have to watch the show to have a good time at Johnny Fox’s! They are famous for their fresh sea food, but also the rest of the dishes on the menu are simply brilliant. So it is worth to come up here for lunch or dinner. But it is even worth to come here for a couple of drinks – just to soak up the atmosphere.


The Crown Bar

The Crown BarIf you find yourself in Belfast (Titanic Belfast anyone? Should be on your bucketlist, too!), make sure to check out The Crown Bar, undeniably, the Belfast’s best known pub!

The Crown Bar, is unbelievably rich in colour and design that each time you go in you’ll find something new to catch your eye that you had missed before.

This pub, which is located on Great Victoria Street, in the centre of Belfast, was perhaps the greatest of Victorian Gin Palaces which once flourished in the industrial cities of Britain. Today wonderfully preserved, the Crown is cherished and still well used by the people of Belfast. It is owned by the National Trust and managed by Six Continents Retail Limited. The National Trust made the decision to purchase this exotic property in 1978 ( Sir John Betjeman, the late Poet Laureate, played a crucial role in the Trust’s decision.) In 1981 the Trust carried out a sympathetic restoration, and it took the sum of approximately £400,000 to restore the bar to its full Victorian splendour.

What makes a good Belfast pub? It’s more than just bricks and mortar. Like a pint itself, it is something that settles over time.

No visit to Belfast would be complete without calling in for a pint or two as it still retains an indelible flavour of yesteryear, for in the Crown Liquor Saloon there are no strangers, only friends who have yet to meet. (I will certainly go when I visit Belfast at the end of the month)

The food menu has over the years been extended to suit all our guests, and has come a long way in years past from Pork Pies and Pickled eggs. So reserve a Snug for lunch and enjoy the Craic.


Nestled at the entrance to the world famous Gap of Dunloe lies Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a 150 year old family-run establishment. At “Kate’s” you will enjoy the tradition of hospitality made famous by the legendary Kate herself.

Kate-KearneysAfter a day’s sightseeing, why not stop in for a taste of Kate Kearney’s famous pub grub, washed down with the finest pint in the Kingdom! Relax in the newly refurbished lounge bar with its welcoming fire, and enjoy the atmosphere which attracts both locals and visitors alike. Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night during the season the cottage is host to an “Irish Night” featuring local traditional musicians and dancers.(Awesome night, I promise!!)

Kate was a well known beauty in Ireland in the years before the Great Famine (1845-1849). The legend of Kate has captured the imagination of people far and wide down through the years.


So… listed above are some of the most famous pubs in Ireland that I would definitely recommend so If you’re ever in Ireland, be sure to sample a pint of the black stuff, listen to some traditional music and live a great Irish Night.

To finish here are some crazy Stats: In Dublin, there is one pub for every 1119 adults, while in County Leitrim the ratio is one pub per 148 adults. Yet alcohol consumption per capita is roughly the same. The conclusion is inescapable – Leitrim folks are lonely drinkers, while Dubliners schmooze when they booze. County Waterford is average at 1 pub per 316 people.

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