There’s no denying that chill in the air, those dark Winter evenings and the sudden pull of gravity towards the pub. We, as humans, are programmed to crave a hot whiskey once the temperature drops below a certain point, and it’s safe to say we’re past that at this stage. Luckily, Galway’s got a whole lot of cosy corners for you to call home while you’re sheltering from the cold, so whether it’s a quality pint by the fireside or a Winter warmer on a comfortable bar stool, there’s always space to unwind in one of the city’s many welcoming pubs...
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 grover 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.
46 William Street // more here
2. 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
3. ENJOY THE TRAD IN TAAFFE’S
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! Over their 150 years, Taaffe’s became known as a GAA bar, serving top-class and great bar food all day long.
19 Shop Street // more here
4. BUY A ROUND IN BARR AN CHALADH
A treasured watering hole for tourists and locals alike, Barr an Chaladh is known far and wide for its lively Irish music offerings seven nights a week, its signature energetic atmosphere and the instant sense of community it creates. Bursting at the seams with personality and charm, this pub stays true to its roots with their old Irish décor and humour-filled placards. Bringing together old and young, the fire never goes out at Barr an Chaladh and the good times are always on tap.
3 Daly's Place, Woodquay // 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. 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. HEAD TO HARRY’S
This Water Lane gastro-bar offers everything you could need for the ultimate day 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 - they’ve even got Harp on tap!
77 Bohermore // more here
8. GRAB A TABLE IN TAYLOR'S
Their traditional landmark pub on Dominick Street Upper offers an old-world character while encapsulating that signature character and craic of Galway within their walls. They’ve got live music offerings every night of the week, with great DJs looking after the late bar on a Friday and Saturday. 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
9. MAKE A NIGHT OF IT AT MONROE’S
Hearty home cooking is always the order of the day at Monroe’s. From a full Irish breakfast and homemade soup and sambo to a steaming bowl of Beef & Guinness stew, the folks at the tavern will be dishing up the delights from morning to night. Hide out beside the roaring fire and relax with an Irish coffee, a hot toddy or a creamy pint in hand. Perch on a high stool to enjoy some excellent live music any night of the week.
14 Dominick Street Upper // more here
10. 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
11. 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 reliables like Tullamore hot whiskey and Powers Irish coffee alongside their very own An Púcán Winter Warmer with Green Spot Irish Whiskey. Other gems include their Baileys hot chocolate and their hot mulled apple cider, which is crafted from their own special recipe.
11 Forster 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 for the month of December, they’ll be whipping up a special Roe & Co hot whiskey recipe. 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
Closing their doors mid-November to transform into a cosy Scandinavian lodge, Massimo have a full calendar of events lined up, from Christmas movie and music themed table-quizzes to craft workshops aplenty. Think luxurious hot boozy drinks served in bespoke mugs, a beer garden covered in snow and a roaring fire inside. Joining forces with The White Hag Brewery for a new and exclusive seasonal ale, they’ve even got a winter wonderland themed cocktail list.
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 offer 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 and this festive season will see the return of their legendary Christmas beer tent on November 15, where steins of beer and exclusive Winter warmers will be flowing far into the frostier months.
8 Eyre Square // more here