the best historic pubs in ireland

Irish pubs aren’t just about drinks; they’re places for stories, music, and fun. CIE Tours shares their favorite historic spots:

cross keys inn (antrim)

Crosskeys Inn exudes charm as Ireland’s oldest thatched pub. Dating back to the 17th century, this former stone cottage once hosted stagecoach travelers between Belfast and Derry. From its days as a shop and post office to its current role as a beloved pub, its authentic thatched roof remains a rare gem in modern Ireland. Worn stone floors, uneven walls, and crackling turf fires showcase its rich heritage. Today, it’s renowned for its warm hospitality and live traditional music.

sean’s bar (athlone)

Sean’s Bar in Athlone holds the prestigious title of the most historic bar globally. Recognized by the Guinness Book of Records, it stands as not only Ireland’s oldest pub but also Europe’s! Dating back to 900 AD, its rich history is evidenced by ancient artifacts, wattle and wicker walls dating to the ninth century, and sawdust-covered floors. Adjacent to a castle 200 years its junior, Sean’s Bar offers a cozy atmosphere with turf fireplaces, inviting visitors to step back in time.

Blakes of the Hollow (Enniskillen)

Blakes of the Hollow, nestled in Enniskillen, preserves the timeless charm of a Victorian-era pub, established in 1887. Retaining its 19th-century ambiance, the paneled walls, elegantly tiled floors, and marble bar exude nostalgic allure. It serves as an idyllic setting for leisurely conversations over a drink. Be sure not to overlook the “Door of Thrones,” a whimsical addition crafted from wood sourced from the renowned Dark Hedges, a filming location for “Game of Thrones.

Walled City Brewery (Derry)

Located in Derry, just a stone’s throw from the Peace Bridge marking the resolution of the Troubles, Walled City Brewery occupies a former military barracks. This trendy brewpub and eatery epitomize Derry’s revitalization, showcasing the city’s resilience and creativity. While its past may be marked by tragedy, Derry now thrives with a forward-thinking spirit. Indulge in their unique brews, some inspired by the beloved TV series “Derry Girls.

Marine Bar (Dungarvan)

Nestled in Dungarvan, the Marine Bar invites you to cozy up by the peat fire and indulge in refreshments, a tradition spanning three centuries. Initially a haunt for British Marines and later a favorite stop for stagecoach travelers, its fortunes waned with the advent of the railway and increased emigration. However, in recent years, musician Christy O’Neill breathed new life into the establishment. Now, the Marine Bar buzzes with live music, drawing in music aficionados and local talent alike.

O’Connor’s Pub (salthill)

Located in Salthill, Galway, O’Connor’s Pub is a treasure trove of antiques owned by the O’Connor family for three generations. Bursting with life, it boasts a celebrity connection as the filming location for Ed Sheeran’s iconic “Galway Girl” video featuring Saoirse Ronan. The fiddle from the video remains a cherished fixture, often featured in visitor photos. With a history of hosting notable figures like Martin Sheen and Art Garfunkel, O’Connor’s exudes a welcoming ambiance with a roaring fireplace and an unbeatable atmosphere, making it a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike.

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