Best Traditional Pubs in Ireland – Part 1

The best Irish Traditional pubs are usually known for their warm welcome, traditional bar design and live music. The “Whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is true for many traditional pubs, with many of the old rustic interiors dating back decades. The character, charm and craic of some venues is legendary and we’ve made a list of our favourites..


Kelly’s Cellars Belfast – 1720

Kelly’s Cellars still has many historical and original features. The famous white stone arches inside the bar along with the old ceiling beams, uneven stone floors, aged wall paneling and glazing create a unique atmosphere particularly when live traditional music is being played. Kelly’s now has a large beer garden at the front of the pub.

Sonny Molloy’s Galway

Sonny Molloy’s Irish Whiskey Bar is in the centre of Galway City and was formerly a drapery shop run by Sonny Molloy. The original building was constructed in the 1600’s, and the bar counter is the same as when Sonny worked behind it.

Sonny Molly’s has a large collection of whiskies, particularly from Middleton distillery including the popular aged Redbreast Whiskies. In recent years the pub has been internally linked to the next door Tigh Nora Gin Bar that has a quirkier bar design and the larger Front Door Bar offering music to late.

Tigh Neachtain Galway – 1894

This is another quintessential traditional Irish Pub and is very famous due to a mix of its location on Quay street in the centre of Galway, where you can watch large crowds of people enjoying street entertainment, and it’s old interior that features private snug booths. Tigh Neachtain is renowned for its traditional Irish music and is a must see on a trip to Galway.

PJ O’Hares Carlingford

The Anchor Bar or “PJs” as it’s known locally is the original bar and it’s quirky narrow entrance and bench seat opposite the bar provides the perfect spot for locals and visitors to conversate. The bar has been extended over the years, to the adjoining building and a beer garden added to the rear of the property. Intec Design carried out the bar design continuing the traditional bar design throughout all areas by using a mix of salvaged materials, construction techniques and traditional interior design.

PJ’s is known for its good food, live music and caters to a wide variety of age groups.

Traditional Bar Design

View some of our traditional bar designs here

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