Irish Pub in Ireland - Why do people love Irish Pubs?

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Irish pub in Dublin

Why do people love Irish pubs?

An Irish pub in Dublin or in Ireland is a place of hospitality where you meet friends to have a good time together. You drink beer – preferably one Guinness. If you want, you can order home-made cuisine that is typical of the region. An Irish pub also includes traditional music. But only Irish music. Pubs where a group sings traditional Irish songs are best. It certainly won't take long for the visitors to join in the songs. The later the evening, the funnier the company becomes. It sometimes happens that the pub visitors start dancing to the music.

I experienced this again and again on my travels through Ireland. As travel bloggers for slow travel we always look for experiences where we come into contact with the locals. There are hardly any better opportunities to do this in Ireland than visiting an Irish pub. Even as a tour guide, I have repeatedly experienced situations in which locals and tourists chatted informally with each other. Especially when the Irish start playing their music, you can't help but sing along and enjoy the atmosphere. The rhythm and catchy melodies of Irish folk songs captivate everyone.

By the way, this isn't just the case in the evening. I took the photos in this post in a pub where we had a lunch break. Even at this time of day, the counter was surrounded by locals enjoying a Guinness and Irish stew for lunch. Everyone talked to everyone and the atmosphere was contagious.



A visit to an Irish pub in Ireland where hospitality plays the main role

During our stay in Dublin we had the opportunity to study the Irish pub culture a little more closely. There are a few things you should know before you visit an Irish pub in Dublin or elsewhere in Ireland. According to the Dublin MM-City travel guide, the pub counter is a man's fortress. We can't quite confirm that, as the picture shows. A visit to the Irish Pub is as typical of Ireland as the island's greenery. This pub we visited in Kilkenny, looked more like the living room of the Irish at lunchtime, as people of both sexes and all ages met here at the bar, just like a big family.

Interior design and ambience in an Irish pub

In an Irish pub in Ireland there are distinctive features that contribute to the cozy atmosphere and give it its charm. The typical interior design and ambience play an important role. Dark wood is a distinctive element of many Irish pubs. The counters, tables and chairs are often made of solid, dark wood, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The walls are often covered in dark wood, and sometimes there are wooden beams on the ceiling. Cozy seating areas are also an important part of the ambience in an Irish pub. There are often separate areas or niches where you can retreat and chat in peace. Comfortable sofas, armchairs or benches invite you to linger and contribute to the relaxed atmosphere.

The wall decorations in an Irish pub are varied and tell stories from the past. Typical are old photos, historical maps, vintage posters or paintings showing Irish landscapes or scenes from everyday life. Sometimes there are also advertising signs for beer brands, sporting goods or other typically Irish products on the walls. Vintage memorabilia are other distinctive elements that define the atmosphere of an Irish pub. These can consist of a variety of objects, such as old musical instruments, sports equipment, books, bottles or other relics of bygone times. These objects are reminiscent of Ireland's history and traditions and give the pub its authentic character.

Discover Dublin on a pub crawl


Maybe it was because we were in an Irish pub in Kilkenny on an Irish holiday, maybe it was because it was lunchtime. Irish pub food is popular for lunch, since it usually consists of simple and homemade dishes such as Irish stew, soups or pies, which are still quite cheap. Meanwhile, it is worthwhile, to look out for new food trends. Innovative cooks interpret Irish specialties in a new way.


Pint of Smithwick's
Pint of Smithwicks in the Irish Pub in Dublin


In the evening in an Irish pub in Ireland

In the evening the picture really changes: then whole clusters of men crowd around the counter in an Irish pub in Dublin or elsewhere in the hope of getting hold of the next pint. A true Irishman doesn't ask for a glass or half a beer, no, he knows exactly what kind of beer he wants. "A pint of Guinness" or "a pint of Smithwicks" is a popular choice, although I have to admit that I like the latter better than the standard Irish dark drink.

Popular drinks and their origins

Irish beers

When you visit an Irish pub, you will quickly find that there are a variety of traditional Irish drinks that you should definitely try. There are many other options besides Guinness and Smithwicks. Murphy's is an Irish stout originally from Cork. It has a slightly milder and sweeter taste than Guinness and is much appreciated by dark beer lovers. Harp is a refreshing Dundalk lager that has been brewed since the 1960s. It's a light, pale ale perfect for warm days and is available in many Irish pubs.

Kilkenny is a creamy, reddish ale that, as the name suggests, hails from the city of Kilkenny. It has been brewed since the 14th century and has a smooth, malty flavor that is very popular with beer lovers. Beamish is another Irish stout also from Cork. It has a deep, malty flavor and is often drunk as an alternative to Guinness.

Ciders and Whiskeys

Bulmers, also known as Magners, is a refreshing Irish cider from Clonmel. It is made from different types of apples and is particularly popular in the summer months.

Of course, one must not forget the traditional Irish whiskeys. There are numerous whiskey distilleries in Ireland, offering a wide range of flavors and styles. Well-known brands are Jameson, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew and Redbreast.


Irish pub taps
An Irish pub in Ireland has many taps


What do you eat in Irish pubs?

In Irish pubs there are not only delicious drinks, but also typical Irish snacks and dishes that you should definitely try. Here are some of the foods that are on the menu in most pubs.

Fish and chips are a real classic, originally from Great Britain, but also very popular in Irish pubs. Fried fish, usually cod or haddock, is served with crispy fries and often complemented with a helping of peas.

Bangers and Mash consists of sausages and mashed potatoes. The sausages are usually grilled or fried and the dish is often served with a tasty onion sauce.

Shepherd's Pie is a hearty dish made from a layer of minced meat, usually lamb, with vegetables, in a rich gravy. On top comes a layer of mashed potatoes, which is baked until golden brown. A variant with ground beef called a cottage pie is also sometimes served.

Soda Bread is a traditional Irish bread made without yeast. Instead of yeast, baking soda is used as a leavening agent, hence the name "soda". The bread has a dense yet soft texture and is often served with butter or jam. It is often found in pubs as an accompaniment to soups or stews.


Pictures in the Irish Pub in Dublin
Pictures in the Irish Pub in Dublin


800 Irish pubs - in Dublin alone

In Dublin There are said to be around 800 such Irish pubs. Of course we haven't tested all of them, but we have tested a few of them. And we noticed differences. While in Temple Bar, the region on the south bank of the Liffey in Dublin, you will mainly find tourist-oriented pubs, where almost every music group offers live music, the situation is different in the pubs away from the tourist mile. This is where locals meet for a pint to discuss the day's events or drink a whiskey as a nightcap before bed. The music here, if at all, comes from the CD player, but the noise level in these pubs is usually so high that you hardly notice it. However, one thing applies to all of them: hospitality is very important in Irish pubs in Dublin.

The History of Irish Pubs in Ireland

Did you know that Irish pubs are not an Irish invention at all? They have only existed since the early 17th century. Until then, the Irish frequented taverns or alehouses. The pubs or public houses were first brought to Ireland by the English. So it's no wonder that pubs first spread out in Dublin, the seat of the English colonial government. These were very popular. By the mid-17th century, despite attempts to limit the number of pubs, there were already 1500 Irish pubs in Dublin. The pubs originally brewed their own beer, but that quickly changed. Thus new commercial breweries sprang up around James Street in Dublin, supplying the pubs with their beers. It is therefore not surprising that the headquarters of the Guinness Brewery are located there.

Over the years, Irish pubs have become important social gathering places and part of Irish culture. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they were not only there for drinking, but also as trading centers. Farmers sold their products here and businessmen met for negotiations. Sometimes even local disputes were resolved in pubs. Pub culture emerged in Ireland in the 20th century. Pubs became places where people of all ages and genders came together to listen to music, share stories, and participate in social gatherings. They promoted traditional Irish music and dance and thus became an important part of the national identity.

The 20th century also saw legislative changes for Irish pubs. The "Holy Hour" of 1927 required pubs to close between 14pm and 00pm to limit alcohol consumption. This was not abolished until 17. In 00, the ban on smoking in pubs was introduced, changing the pub experience.

Today, Irish pubs are known and loved all over the world, a global phenomenon. They represent Irish hospitality and give visitors an authentic insight into culture and traditions.


Dublin Beer & Whiskey Experiences


Irish pub culture – what you should know

If you don't want to appear as a stranger in Irish pubs, you should know a few customs: I already mentioned above that they ask for a pint. If you're not that familiar with Irish beers, it's best to just try out the ones that are offered as a draft from the tap. The names of the available beers are usually written on the taps. In the pubs, you pay as soon as you receive the drink. This way you avoid cumbersome calculations after a social evening and can leave when you feel like it. By the way, tipping is not customary in pubs. If you mean well with the barman, you can invite him for a drink. Most of them will typically turn down this offer unless they want to become an alcoholic quickly. If you get to know Irish people in a pub, it's easy to be invited to a round. It is best to return the favor in kind.

Do you tip in pubs in Ireland?

In Ireland it is customary to tip, but less formally than in many other countries. If you order at the bar, it's not necessary to tip every time. However, if you feel particularly well served or the bartender has given you a great tip for your trip, feel free to leave a few coins.

However, if you sit at the table and someone serves you there, you often round up the bill. For example, if your bill is 18 euros, you give 20 and say it's fine. This shows your appreciation and is always well received.

Remember, tipping in Ireland is a nice gesture to express your satisfaction, not a must. So, enjoy your pint and the warm hospitality!

Live music and entertainment are part of Irish pubs

Irish pub culture includes live music and entertainment. In many Irish pubs, music plays an important role in creating a convivial atmosphere and entertaining patrons. The music varies from traditional Irish tunes to modern hits. Traditional Irish music, also known as 'trad', often consists of instruments such as fiddle, flute, bodhrán (Irish frame drum) and guitar. This style of music is characterized by catchy melodies, swinging rhythms and the characteristic Irish flair. Many pubs have regular 'sessions', where local musicians come together to play and encourage guests to sing and dance along.

As well as traditional music, some Irish pubs also feature live performances by local bands or musicians covering different musical genres. It can be rock, pop, folk or even jazz. The diversity of musical styles helps ensure that everyone gets their money's worth and feels comfortable in Irish pubs.

Many pubs also have open stages, also known as 'open mic nights', where aspiring musicians or those who just enjoy making music can showcase their talent and entertain the crowd. These events promote a sense of community and provide a platform for local artists.


Dublin Pubs and Distillery Tours


Irish events and holidays are celebrated in the pub

Irish holidays and events are characterized by culture, tradition and conviviality. Irish pubs often play a central role in this. Here are some of the most famous occasions where pubs take center stage:

The St. Patrick's Day is the most famous Irish holiday celebrated on March 17th. On this day, Irish people honor their patron saint, St. Patrick, and celebrate their culture with parades, music and dancing. Irish pubs are particularly busy on this day as many people gather to celebrate dressed in green and enjoy a pint of Guinness or green beer.

Bloomsday is observed on June 16 and celebrates Irish writer James Joyce and his best-known work, Ulysses. Readings, guided tours and events are held in Dublin on this day, often ending in pubs. Joyce fans visit pubs mentioned in the novel and toast the author.

The Galway Oyster Festival takes place in September each year and is one of the most famous food events in Ireland. The festival is all about oysters, seafood and of course the drinks to match. Irish Pubs in Galway offer special menus and are gathering places for foodies and revelers.

The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl is a popular event for literary fans and pub lovers alike. On this guided tour, participants visit various pubs where famous Irish authors such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett or Brendan Behan frequented. At each station, anecdotes and quotes from the writers are recited while guests enjoy a drink.


Traditional pub tour and whiskey experiences


Etiquette in Irish pubs you should know

Irish pub culture is known around the world for its hospitality, conviviality and traditions. When visiting an Irish pub, there are some etiquette tips and pointers so you can act like a local

Rules for visiting the Irish Pub

  • Say hello to people: When entering an Irish pub, it is customary to greet the patrons and staff in attendance with a friendly "Hello" or "How are you?". It shows respect and interest in the community.
  • Order at the counter: In most Irish pubs you order your drink directly at the bar. Then sit at a free table or join other guests. This often leads to interesting conversations.
  • Pay direct: In many pubs you pay for your drink as soon as you order it. In some cases an invoice can be kept open, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
  • Offer a round: It is common for friends and acquaintances to buy each other drinks. If you're traveling with a group, it's a nice touch to order a round for everyone.
  • Tipping rules: Tipping is not as common in Ireland as it is in other countries. However, for good service it is appropriate to leave a small tip, around 10% of the bill or simply round up.
  • Respect the music: When live music is being played, be attentive and polite. Loud conversations during the performance may be considered impolite.
  • Learn the basics of pub games: Many pubs offer games such as darts, billiards or quiz nights. It's a good opportunity to have fun and meet new people. Learn the rules and join in!
  • Community is important: Irish pubs are places of conviviality and exchange. Be open, friendly, and interested in conversation. You will quickly realize how valuable this community experience is.

If you follow these tips, you'll be able to enjoy Irish pub culture to the fullest. Irish Pub etiquette is one of respect, community and friendship, and if you share these values, you'll quickly feel welcome and at home.

Last Order Please at the Irish Pub in Ireland

Usually at 23.30 p.m. it is “last order please”, which means that you still have half an hour before the Irish Pub closes. The curfew can be later in Temple Bar's pubs: after all, they don't want to drive away the tourists there. However, if you want to get to know quaint and genuine Irish pubs, it is better to look for one in one of the other districts of Dublin or in one of the small towns on the island.


Whiskey and Food


Irish pubs in Ireland that visitors recommend

According to Google ratings, these Irish pubs are among the best in Ireland:


The best pubs in Dublin

This map was created with Wanderlog, the best trip planner app on iOS and Android


  • The Brazen Head, 20 Lower Bridge St, Usher's Quay, Dublin, D08 WC64, Ireland
  • The Temple Bar Pub, 47-48, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 N725, Ireland
  • Brannigans, 9 Cathedral St, North City, Dublin, D01 FH29, Ireland


Traditional Irish pubs in Belfast


  • Kelly's Cellars, 30-32 Bank St, Belfast BT1 1HL, United Kingdom
  • Maddens, 74 Berry St, Belfast BT1 1FJ, United Kingdom
  • Duke of York, 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast BT1 2NB, United Kingdom


Enjoy your Galway pub experience at these Irish pubs

Trip map created with hiking log, a trip planner we iOS and Android


  • O'Connell's Bar, 8 Eyre Square, Galway, H91 FT22, Ireland
  • The Crane Bar, 2 Sea Rd, Galway, H91 YP97, Ireland
  • O'Connor's Famous Pub, Salthill House, Upper Salthill Rd, Galway, H91 W4C6, Ireland

Irish pubs around the world

Irish pubs can be found all over the world and offer a unique atmosphere that reflects Irish hospitality and culture. Here are some famous Irish pubs outside of Ireland that you should visit if you are in the area:

  • The Dead Rabbit (New York, USA): In the financial metropolis of New York you will find this award-winning pub, known for its impressive selection of whiskeys and creative cocktails.
  • The Irish Times Pub (Victoria, Canada): This cozy pub in the Canadian city of Victoria has a large selection of Irish beers and regularly hosts live music.
  • The Porterhouse (London, UK): In the British capital you'll find this large pub specializing in craft beers and running its own brewery.
  • The Irish Bank (San Francisco, USA): Enjoy Irish hospitality and a wide selection of beers and whiskeys at this historic watering hole in the heart of San Francisco.

Conclusion: a visit to the Irish pub in Dublin is one of the traditional experiences in Ireland

With these tips and recommendations you are well equipped to make a visit to the Irish Pub an experience. If you stick to the customs, you can quickly make acquaintances with the locals in the pub. In any case, we wish you a lot of fun and Slainte (Cheers).

Have you ever been to an Irish pub? How were your experiences?

What did you experience in an Irish pub? Share with us and other travelers your experiences and tips you had in an Irish pub. What did you like? Can you recommend a particular Irish pub? We look forward to your advice in the comments.

Irish Pub Questions and Answers

Besides beer and whiskey, what are typical drinks in an Irish pub?

In an Irish pub you will also find Irish coffee (coffee with whiskey and whipped cream), hot whiskey (whiskey with hot water, lemon and spices) and cider, an alcoholic drink made from apples.

Why are Irish pubs often green in color?

Green is the color often associated with Ireland. It symbolizes the island's 'emerald green' appearance and is also linked to Irish history and culture.

What is a snug in an Irish pub?

A "snug" is a small, separate seating area in an Irish pub that offers privacy and cosiness. In the past, it was often used by women who were not welcome in pubs.

Why do old photographs and newspaper articles often hang in Irish pubs?

Such decorations are a reminder of the history and traditions of the pub and the region. They create an atmosphere of nostalgia and connection with the past.

What is a "Céilí" and how is it related to Irish pubs?

A 'Céilí' is a social gathering of traditional Irish music and dance. It is often hosted in Irish pubs to bring the community together and celebrate Irish culture.


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Irish pub in Ireland
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Source Irish Pub: On-site research as well as that Travel Guide Dublin MM City* from Michael Müller Verlag, ISBN: 987-3-89953-774-1. However, our opinions remain our own.

Text Irish Pub: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos Irish Pub: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video Irish Pub in Ireland: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline


Irish Pub in Ireland - Why do people love Irish Pubs?

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

2 thoughts too "Irish Pub in Ireland - Why do people love Irish Pubs?"

    1. Who do you say that to? :) I think back to my first pub visits with a shudder. Since I'm from a faux-pum in the next entered :).

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