There’s no denying that chill in the air, those dark winter evenings and the sudden pull of gravity towards the pub. If you are like us and crave a hot whiskey once the temperature drops below a certain point, you'll be delighted to know that Galway’s got a whole lot of cosy pubs for you to call home while you’re sheltering from the cold. Whether it’s a quality pint by the fireside or a festive cocktail on a comfortable bar stool, there’s always space to unwind in one of the city’s many welcoming pubs.
What is mentioned below is only a snapshot of the amazing bars and pubs that line the Galway city streets, to discover the full array of boozers and to read all about the phenomenal Galway bars that are outside the city, please tap here.
1. THE GREAT GARAVAN’S
As the evenings get longer and the darkness rolls in, the only way to escape that winter chill is to dive into Garavan’s. Whether you’d prefer to settle into the lively bar or hide away in a quiet snug, this toasty pub is truly is one of a kind. Home to three generations of Garavan's, this original spirit grocery has withstood the test of time and, holding the title of Whiskey Bar of the Year in Connacht for 6 years, they’re here for the long haul. Garavan's are famous for their Irish coffee, and when you're feeling the chill of the season there's no better cure for the cold.
46 William Street // more here
2. TAKE A SEAT IN TIG CHÓILÍ
Warm up your hands and stomachs with the famous Irish coffees served in Tig Chóilí. The cosy pub is well known for its traditional music sessions and the musicians and celebrities that have visited align the wall in an array of framed photographs. Pop in during your shopping to escape the cold and warm your spirits with the music, and your stomachs with the booze, at Tig Chóilí all while still having a view of the buskers outside.
Mainguard Street // more here
3. STEP INTO THE SKEFF
The perfect place to soak up the magical festive atmosphere in the run-up to the holidays, The Skeff’s sensational food menu and vast drink selection will warm you right up. Take advantage of one of the best viewpoints in the city while enjoying some festive drinks as you watch the twinkling lights cast their spell over Eyre Square, and their diverse selection of cocktails, gins, whiskeys and wines will keep you content all night long.
27 Eyre Square // more here
4. ENJOY THE TRAD IN TAAFFES
Bringing the feel of an intimate village pub to the heart of the city, traditional Irish tunes echo from Taaffe’s stone facade, luring in passersby. The likes of Sharon Shannon and Sean Keane have performed here, as well as a number of wandering entertainers and musicians. With no cover charge, you’re always welcome to listen or join in, if the mood takes you! Trad music, a roaring fire, a few cold ones and top-notch company - what more could you want on a chilly winters evening in Galway?
19 Shop Street // more here
5. PULL UP A CHAIR AT THE CELLAR BAR
A great place for a hot toddy, Irish coffee or a cup of coffee, the Cellar has you covered. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, they’ve got great home-cooked food every day and if you’re looking for a spot to watch the match, grab a pint and a stool in front of their big screens on any given day. There’s live music every Friday and Saturday from some of the best local acts, so pop in and let the stellar Cellar staff look after you.
12 Eglinton Street // more here
6. FIND HEAVEN AT SEVEN
The perfect place to shelter from the cold after a long day of milling around the shops, Seven Bridgestreet have all the food, drink and entertainment you need to spend the whole night propping up the bar. Whether it’s cocktails and a wide range of spirits you’re after, or a tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner off their new menu. Warm yourself up with their signature hot whiskey or a Baileys hot chocolate as you watch the world go by in one of the cosy window booths.
5-7 Bridge Street // more here
7. GRAB A TABLE IN TAYLOR'S
This traditional landmark pub on Dominick Street Upper offers an old-world character while encapsulating that signature character and craic of Galway within their walls. Talyor's has got live music offerings every night of the week, with great DJs looking after the late bar on a Friday and Saturday. Their large, heated beer garden is perfect for wintery evenings. Equipped with two outdoor screens and another five inside, Taylor’s is a serious spot for watching the match. Small at the front, big at the back, Taylor’s will keep you cosy, even when the weather outside is frightful.
7 Dominick Street Upper, Galway's Westend // more here
8. HEAD TO HARRY’S
This Water Lane gastro-bar offers everything you could need for the ultimate day or night out. Supplying all the food, drink and craic you could hope for, Harry’s brings together the buzz of a burger joint, the energy of a sports bar and the elegance of a cocktail bar in one neat little package. Their menu is mouthwatering, and their drinks menu is just as extensive - you seriously need to pay them a visit!
77 Bohermore // more here
9. DRINKS APLENTY AT 1520
Experts in providing a warm welcome and serving up some delicious warm drinks, 1520 are known for their exquisite cocktails and their great range of winter warmers and hot drinks will keep your cosy during the chilly months. If you fancy braving the elements, you can bundle up and sit outside for some good old-fashioned people watching. You never know, you might even get lucky and spot the first snowfall of the season from the comfort of 1520, with a hot whiskey in hand.
14 Quay Street // more here
10. A FEW FESTIVE PINTS IN AN PÚCÁN
Despite being one of the hottest spots in town, An Púcán somehow manages to maintain the intimate feel of a local, especially in their front bar. Grab a stool and soak up the ambiance with brilliant live music every night of the week. Serving up the old winter reliables like Jack Daniels apple hot whiskey and Powers Irish coffee alongside their impressive cocktail menu, you'll soon forget about the dreary weather outside.
11 Forster Street // more here
11. BOTTOMS UP AT BIERHAUS
Snuggled in the bosom of Galway’s West End, Bierhaus is a warm and welcoming pub with lively weekends and American-style cocktails. With a huge range of all styles of beers, including Irish craft and premium beers that was all started in the City of Tribes. Their range of vegetarian pub grub, from the House Spuds to the Classic Grilled Cheese, there’s options for everyone to enjoy as you get cosy beside their stove.
Henry Street // more here
12. MAKE MURTY RABBITT’S A NEWFOUND HABIT
Murty Rabbitt’s has all of the winter warmers, inviting fires and good quality grub you could hope for. Out the back is an ideal spot to enjoy a few drinks in the toasty surrounds of the heated garden and if you fancy tuning into the match of the day this is the spot for it. Seven days a week from 12.30pm to 9pm, you can nab yourself some delicious traditional food, as well as a variety of daily specials.
23 Forster Street // more here
13. MASSIMO - THE WESTEND'S WINTER WONDERLAND
This Westend boozer transforms into a cosy winter wonderland every year, with hand carved decorations the festive cheer is in abundance. Think luxurious hot boozy drinks, a soul garden covered in snow and a roaring fire inside. When the wind howls and the chill sets in, a visit to Massimo does wonders to brighten up the cold evening.
10 William Street West // more here
14. ESCAPE THE WINTER FREEZE AT FREENEY’S
Bundled into a compact location on High Street, the facade of this traditional Irish pub would very nearly put you off the scent, but once you stick your head inside the door the rich character and warmth of the place will pull you in. Family owned and operated since 1938, Freeney’s Bar serve up an exceptional pint of plain while providing a welcome escape from the packed pubs we’re used to being squashed into here in Galway.
19 High Street // more here
15. GET COSY IN O’CONNELL’S
Bursting with energy and a warm, inviting atmosphere, this traditional-style bar offers a huge selection of the finest craft beers, wines and premium spirits. Their iconic beer garden features a cobbled street lined with lanterns, fairy lights and heaters to make even the dullest of nights feel enchanted add in the delicious offerings from Prataí and The Dough Bro and you will never want to leave.
8 Eyre Square // more here
16. KEEP WARM AT KELEHANS
If a traditional, community pub with a cosy atmosphere and welcoming staff is what you’re looking for, then Kelehans Bar is the place you should be. With cosy corners and a fireplace to beat the outdoor cold, it’s the perfect backdrop for a pint. Enjoy the live music every Thursday to Sunday, and if you need some fresh air, head out into their large covered outdoor terrace with views of Lough Corrib.
N 59, Bushypark // more here
17. BUY A ROUND IN HOLE IN THE WALL
A treasured watering hole for tourists and locals alike, Hole in the Wall features old world charm with all the artistic character Galway has to offer. Featuring a beer and a cocktail menu that is to die for, big screens for all the must-see games, cosy interiors and plenty of eye-catching décor that you won’t find anywhere else.
17 Eyre Street, Woodquay // more here
Hole in the Wall
18. STAY TRADITIONAL AT THE KINGS HEAD
For over 400 years the fireplace in The Kings Head has kept generations of Galwegians warm since its creation in 1612. History aside though, it’s a great place to lean against while enjoying a pint! Warm your belly and your body as you soak up the heat of the fire while enjoying a plate of local food. Wash it all down with an Irish Coffee before you get ready to face the wintery weather again.
High Street // more here
19. BOOGIE AT THE BLUE NOTE
The Blue Note is located in the West End of Galway City and has an atmosphere all of its own. With a team of staff that are extremely knowledgeable on craft beers they can pair any beer to match the season, guaranteeing it as a prime location to cosy up in. The snugs inside are ideal for intimate get togethers, and the dance floor is always open and waiting for you to get your moves on. Why not warm up your bones with a little boogie at The Blue Note?
William Street West // more here
The Blue Note
20. WARM RIGHT UP AT M.P. WALSH
Galway’s best kept secret comes in the form of M.P. Walsh’s pub. M.P. Walsh is one of the newest, smallest pubs on the West End in Galway, but they have created a space that offers a traditional, warm, and welcoming atmosphere to each of their visitors. It might be a small pub, but they pack a punch with their range of whiskey, beer and live sports on TV. There are lots of cosy corners to hide away from the weather at M.P. Walsh's.
Dominick Street Lower // more here
21. PERFECT SETTING AT PEIG'S SELECT BAR
The perfect spot for a cosy pint with friends or family can be found at Peig’s Select Bar at The Dean. The small snug pub is located adjacent to The Dean with an entrance through the lobby. The traditional style pub has a dark, home-like ambiance that will be sure to warm you up from the inside out, especially if you settle yourself beside one of their stoves.
80 Prospect Hill // more here
22. MAKE A NIGHT OF IT AT CAPONES
Setting an ambitious standard for cuisine with their ever-evolving menu and immersive atmosphere, guests to Capones have the privilege of tasting the bold and unique flavors that come from years of training and experience and on a cold winter's night there is nothing better than tucking into platters of delicious food.
Kingston Road, Knocknacarra // more here
Feature photo courtesy of The King's HeadPublished on Updated on