Top 10 Pubs in Galway

No visit to the City of the Tribes is complete without an evening in one or more of the best pubs in Galway. 

There’s nothing like whiling away the hours with friends in a cosy bar, enjoying fine conversation, tunes and the best Guinness in Galway! And if there’s a roaring fire,  even better.

We’re delighted that our Maldron Hotel Sandy Road is located just outside the core of the city. It’s the perfect base for groups of friends who want to experience the finest pubs in Galway city centre.

Join us as we explore the finest establishments Galway has to offer. Each of them provides a flavour of the true Irish pub experience, while also having their own unique personality. 

From city-centre locals to sports bars, from unique beer gardens to medieval pubs, there’s something for everyone among the pubs in Galway city centre.

1. The Crane Bar

If you’re looking for pubs in Galway with music, the Crane Bar is a great place to start. Located on Sea Road, it’s one of the best-known traditional music pubs in the city. 

The tunes and “craic” are spread across two floors, with the downstairs pub area devoted to nightly live sessions. Upstairs boasts a popular yet intimate venue called The Listener’s Club, offering musical concerts in a variety of styles. 

The musical influence of the pub has spread far beyond its own four walls. Many well-known Irish musicians and singers have been nurtured here over the years.

The Crane Bar isn’t just known for its music though; it’s famous for its overall authentic feel, with friendly and fun staff. 

2. Taaffes’ Bar

You’ll find Taaffe’s on Shop Street, right in the centre of Galway’s retail district. Because of this, it’s usually buzzing and lively during the day. Why not combine a shopping trip with the chance to soak up a classic pub atmosphere? You can even enjoy breakfast here if you wish, or pop in a bit later to enjoy their Guinness stew.

Taaffe’s is also famous for its music. Seán Keane and Sharon Shannon are just two of the notable names that have performed here. But the bar’s open invitation to play or listen means everyone is welcome to be part of their musical tradition. 

Finally, this pub is the place to be if you’re a GAA fan. Make sure you don’t miss their framed hole in the roof, put there by an over-excited Galway supporter back in 1998.

3. The Quays

If you have an eye for architecture, make sure to head to The Quays on Quay Street. The interior is famous for its unusual church-like appearance, with a large stained-glass window providing a colourful backdrop to your night out. Plus, you’ll never grow tired of exploring the various nooks and crannies the bar has to offer.

Glór Tíre (TG4’s Irish language Country and Western singing competition) is filmed in the venue’s music hall. To continue the church theme, the music hall also boasts a huge church organ as a backdrop.

Even without the presence of TV cameras, many consider The Quays to be the perfect spot for people watching!

4. Tigh Neachtain

Tigh Neachtain exterior

Perhaps you’re eager to discover the best beer gardens in Galway? If so, Tigh Neachtain on Cross Street is a great place to start. Enjoy one of their home-brewed beers in the fresh air with friends.

If you’re feeling chilly, find a seat by the fire or settle into a cosy snug. While you’re there, you can enjoy browsing some of the theatre and festival posters that decorate the walls. Tigh Neachtain prides itself on the support it gives to culture in the city and has strong links with the creative community.

And if you really, really love Tigh Neachtain, you can purchase a craft kit that lets you build your own model of the pub. All you need are scissors and glue! Bring home one of the best pubs in Galway.

5. The King’s Head

We often associate storytelling with Irish pubs, but The King’s Head has a fascinating tale of its own. 

Dating back over 800 years, the building was originally home to the Lynches, the Mayors of Galway. But in 1654, Colonel Peter Stubbers, one of Oliver Cromwell’s men, seized it. Since Stubbers is believed to have executed England’s King Charles, it’s little wonder the pub chose The King’s Head as its name!

Although proud of its history, the pub also has its feet firmly in the present. You’ll find the finest in bistro and bar food, served up with laughter at one of the venue’s stand-up comedy gigs.

The King’s Head encourages visitors and locals alike to “buail isteach” or “call in”. Make sure you do; you won’t regret it!

6. O’Connor’s

O’Connor’s of Salthill refers to itself as Galway’s original singing pub. 

It embraces the history of the Irish pub tradition by avoiding TV, sports and food. As a result, it’s the perfect spot to relish some music or make the most of a catch-up with friends. 

With it’s dimly lit atmosphere and traditional decor of antiques and collectibles, you’ll be tempted to linger to take it all in, and if you do, you’ll be in good company. The music video for Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl (featuring Saoirse Ronan) was filmed here, and other famous visitors include Michael D. Higgins, Art Garfunkel and Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson).

If you do plan to visit O’Connor’s make sure not to turn up during the day. In true traditional Irish pub fashion, they open only at night time.

7. O’Connell’s

O’Connell’s Exterior

O’Connell’s of Eyre Square also features in the Galway Girl video. If you’ve seen the clip for yourself, you’ll recognise this pub by its highly decorative, pressed tin ceiling. 

Decor is something O’Connell’s really makes an effort with. One area of the bar reflects its history as a grocer’s, while its outdoor area is not to be missed. There’s no denying this is one of the best beer gardens in Galway, even if you never touch a drink in it! Its old-fashioned street design will add a magical feel to your visit and you’ll even find the front of a bus making an appearance.

While you’re there, make sure to explore the pub’s wide range of whiskeys, craft beers, and gins.

Please Note: At the time of writing, O’Connell’s is currently closed and due to reopen in November 2021.

8. An Púcán

The inside of An Pucan Pub

Here in Ireland, we have a long-standing tradition of heading to the pub to enjoy sports fixtures. So why not pair your pints with the passion and power of sports at An Púcán, the home of sport in Galway city?

Be sure to make a beeline to this Eyre Square pub if you want to catch a match with friends. With 11 screens, you’re sure to find something of interest.

If sport isn’t your thing, An Púcán offers live music daily, live bands at weekends and a late-night DJ on Saturday. 

No matter what entertainment you’re enjoying, make sure to sample their food, whiskey and cocktail menus.

9. Tigh Chóilí

Tigh Chóilí exterior

Tigh Chóilí is a gem of a pub in Galway City Centre, run by the O’Flaherty family. The family refer to their pub as “a country pub in the middle of the city” and with two trad sessions a day, it’s one of the best pubs in Galway with music.

Like O’Connor’s, they make sure to avoid the distraction of TV, and patrons are encouraged to listen to the music and strike up conversations. Make sure to spend a few minutes enjoying the photos on display, each of them a snapshot of the pub’s past.

Tigh Chóilí is known for its mix of locals and visitors, creating a genuine community atmosphere. It’s a great place to catch up with friends and meet new people: just ask the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

10. The Dáil Bar

The Dáil Bar exterior

The Dáil Bar on Middle Street claims to have the best Guinness in Galway, so why not call in and see for yourself? They also aim to take typical pub food to a new level, so make sure to sample a meal as well.

This pub is another great choice for sports fans. Most major events are screened live and the venue is proud to support local teams such as Connacht Rugby and Galway United. 

Of course none of the best pubs in Galway would be complete without music. The Late Lounge, upstairs at The Dáil Bar, has hosted acts such as Gavin James and Little Hours.

Your Base For Visiting The Best Pubs in Galway

If you’re visiting the city with friends, a day trip just won’t cut it! To really soak up the atmosphere of Galway’s finest pubs, an overnight stay is a must. 

Here at Maldron Hotel Sandy Road, we’d love to welcome your group to stay in our range of spacious and comfortable rooms. Since we’re just a five-minute drive from the city centre, we’re the perfect place for you and your friends to start your Galway adventure.

Check out our 4-star hotel rooms in Galway, to explore the range of options we have on offer. We look forward to welcoming your group and offering you our own personal insight into the best pubs in Galway.


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Common Questions

  • General Hotel Information

    What time is check-in?

    Check-in is 3.00pm on the day of arrival. In the case of earlier arrival, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that an earlier check-in is subject to room availability and that additional charges may apply.

    What time is check-out?

    Check-out is at 11.00am on the day of departure. In the cases of late departure, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that a late check-out is subject to room availability and is available until 2.00pm at a cost of €20. If you plan to avail of a late check-out, please arrange with our reception team during your stay.

    Does the hotel offer baggage storage?

    Yes, you can leave your luggage with the reception until your room is ready or you are ready to depart.

    Does the hotel have WiFi?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Sandy Road is pleased to offer complimentary WiFi in all public areas and bedrooms.

    Is there a laundry service available?

    Yes, we offer a laundry service in the hotel at a cost of €15 per laundry bag.

    What do I do if I accidentally left some items in the hotel?

    If you have left any items behind following your stay at the hotel, please contact our reception directly via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200 and our team will be happy to organise collection or postage if the item is found.

    Are pets permitted in the hotel?

    No, pets are not allowed in the hotel, with the exception of guide and assistance dogs.

    Is the hotel reception desk open 24 hours a day?

    Yes, the reception desk is operating 24 hours day.

    What is the hotel’s smoking policy?

    At Maldron Hotel Sandy Road, we operate a strictly non-smoking policy throughout the entire hotel. A deep cleaning fee will be charged to guests who are found to be in breach of our no smoking policy.

    Is the hotel accessible?

    Yes, we are proud to be verified as offering very good levels of accessibility throughout our hotel. Please click the button below for full details or contact us if you would like any additional information.

    Hotel Accessibility

    Do you sell gift vouchers?

    Yes, gift vouchers are available to purchase at the hotel reception desk or online. Gift vouchers can be used in all Maldron Hotels, in our sister brand, Clayton Hotels and selected partner hotels, The Gibson Hotel, The Belvedere Hotel and Hotel 7, meaning a choice of over 40 hotels in Ireland and the UK.

    Do you provide printing facilities for boarding passes?

    Yes, our reception team can assist with printing your boarding pass.

    Does the hotel offer currency exchange?

    No, we don’t offer currency exchange at the hotel, but we will be happy to direct you to the nearest facility.

    Do you supply travel adapters?

    Yes, travel adapters can be purchased from the vending machines (subject to availability).

    Does the hotel run a kids club?

    Yes, our Crafty Kids activities are available during all school holidays. Please note that the Kids Club is inactive at the moment due to Covid-19.

    Is there a babysitting service available?

    Yes, once you pre-book, we can organise a babysitter

  • Rooms & Amenities

    What room types does the hotel offer?

    Maldron Hotel Sandy Road boasts a total of 165 hotel rooms. Depending on your needs, you can choose between different room types, including double rooms, twin rooms, king and single rooms, executive rooms as well as family rooms and also a number of interconnecting rooms.

    Are there wheelchair accessible rooms available?

    Yes, the hotel is fully wheelchair accessible. There are lifts from the car park up to reception and all the floors. We also have 13 ground floor rooms. 61 of our rooms have walk-in showers and we also have 8 fully accessible rooms with wet rooms.

    Does the hotel have family rooms?

    Yes, we have a number of family rooms available. Our family rooms comprise of two double beds accommodating up to two adults and one or two children. Interconnecting rooms or a second family room are also available on request if you should need some more space.

    Can I get a cot or camp bed in my room?

    Yes, we provide rollaway beds and baby cots (subject to availability). We would recommend guests request the use of a cot or at the time of making their reservation by using the comments or calling +353 (0)91 513 200 to avoid disappointment.

    Are the hotel rooms air-conditioned?

    Yes, air-conditioning is available throughout the hotel and each guest bedroom.

    Do the bathrooms have a shower or a bath?

    All our rooms have a shower and baths are available in some bedrooms.

    Does the hotel offer wake-up calls?

    Yes, wake-up calls can be pre-arranged with reception.

    What amenities are included in the room?

    All our bedrooms come with a hairdryer, in-room safe, tea and coffee facilities, shampoo, shower gels and soap.

  • Dining

    What dining options are available at the hotel?

    Our Grain & Grill restaurant is open 7 days a week serving great quality food at reasonable prices from breakfast right through to lunch and dinner.

    Does the hotel offer breakfast?

    Yes, we are renowned for a great selection of breakfast options available each morning. Healthy or indulgent, hot or cold, we have something to suit all tastes and to kickstart your morning. Breakfast is served 7 days a week in our Grain & Grill restaurant, Monday to Friday from 7am to 10am and weekends and bank holidays from 8am to 11am.

    If breakfast isn’t included in your rate, you can still purchase breakfast for an additional €14pp.

    What are the opening times of the Grain & Grill?

    Lunch is served at our Grain & Grill restaurant daily from 12pm to 2pm and dinner is served daily between 6pm and 9pm.

    What time does the bar close at?

    Midweek – the last call is at 11:30 pm

    Friday & Saturday – last call at 12:30 am

    Sunday – last call at 11.00 pm

    Does the restaurant cater food for allergies?

    Yes, all of our menus have a full allergy listing. Please inform your waiter if you have any allergies, vegetarian or dietary requirements and our kitchen team will be delighted to assist.

    Does the restaurant offer a dedicated kid’s menu?

    Yes, we offer a separate kid’s menu for our younger diners.

    Do you provide room service?

    Yes, in-room dining is available daily. You can order from our Click & Go menu, available through our Guest Service Platform. The food can be collected at the collection point in our restaurant at your requested time.

    Is there a reservation for dinner required?

    No, a dining reservation is in general not required. However, we advise you to reserve your table to avoid disappointment. To book, please contact our reception team via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200 or email

    Do you cater for large groups? Can I book a private dining space for a special occasion?

    Yes, we do cater for large groups, however, we do not have private dining facilities. To enquire, please contact us via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200 or email

  • Leisure Facilities

    Does the hotel offer spa and gym facilities on-site?

    Yes, we have a well-equipped fitness suite on-site which all guests have complimentary access to. Unfortunately, we no longer have spa facilities on site.

    Does the hotel have a swimming pool?

    No, we do not have a pool on-site.

    What are the opening hours of gym?

    The gym open daily from 7am to 10pm.

    Is there an age limit for using the gym?

    Yes, guests must be 18 years of age to use our gym facilities.

  • Meetings & Events

    Are there meeting and event room facilities available at the hotel?

    Yes, we have 6 meeting rooms available at the hotel. Our newly refurbished hotel meeting and function rooms all boast first-class facilities with state-of-the-art AV and sound systems. All of our individual rooms are adaptable for different types of set up, depending on your individual needs, giving you the power to host the perfect event.

    Does the hotel facilitate conferences?

    Yes, our hotel does facilitate conferences.

    How many people do your meeting rooms accommodate?

    Our meeting rooms can accommodate up to 120 people.

    What equipment is included in the meeting rooms?

    All our meeting rooms are equipped with standard presentation facilities(LCD/TV/projector and screen), flipcharts, water, pads, pencils, podium and microphones. In addition, all meeting rooms are wheelchair accessible. Free high-speed WiFi will be provided complimentary in all meeting rooms as well as air conditioning. 

    Are there food and beverage options available?

    Yes, we have a variety of dining options as well as customised menus available for meetings to suit your budget and requirements. For more information, please contact our meetings team via phone on +353 (0)91 513223 or email

    Do you have corporate rates available?

    Yes, corporate rates are available. Should you wish to inquire about setting up a preferred agreement, feel free to contact our meetings team via phone on +353 (0)91 513223 or email

  • Booking & Cancellation

    What is Make It Maldron and how do I sign up?

    Signing up and being part of Make it Maldron means you can save €10/£10 per room per night every time you book directly on our website (excludes selected sale and promotional special offers). To sign up, visit our ‘Make It Maldron’ page and join in 3 simple steps to ensure your discount is applied to all future online bookings.

    Can I claim back on the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme?

    Yes, we are delighted to confirm that all Maldron Hotels are registered for the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme. That means if you stay with us between 1st October 2020 and 30th April 2021 you can claim up to €125 under this scheme, please see for more information and details.

    What is the best way to make a reservation?

    The best way to book is online on our website where you can easily see our best rates and what exclusive offers and packages are available. Alternatively, you can call us on +353 (0)91 513 200 or email

    What should I do if I haven’t received a booking confirmation?

    If you have not received your booking confirmation, try to check your spam/junk folder. If you still haven’t received it, please contact our reservations team on +353 (0)91 513 200 and they will be happy to help.

    What payment methods does the hotel accept?

    We accept all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express. We also accept Debit/Laser cards. Payment can also be made by cash (the receptionist will require photographic proof of identification) and by One For All vouchers and vouchers that have been purchased through our hotel or online. We also accept contactless payment up to €50.

    What is the hotel’s credit/debit card policy?

    A valid credit/debit card is required to secure all bookings made online or over the phone, unless in cases where this is otherwise stated. Please note nothing is charged to the card at booking stage when booking directly with the hotel (with the exception of advance purchase offers or bookings that require a deposit. This will be clearly noted on the booking offer).

    For all rooms that are being paid for in cash must be accompanied with photographic ID. No rooms will be let unless payment is guaranteed.

    What age are children for the purpose of hotel packages?

    Under 12’s are considered to be children.

    How do I make a group or multiple room booking?

    To make a group or multi-room booking, you can book online or contact our reservations team via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200.

    Are there any age restrictions when booking a hotel room?

    To book a hotel room, you must be at least 18 years old. All under 18s must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

    Can I show up at the hotel without a booking?

    Yes, you can, however, we would always recommend to call ahead to the hotel or booking online prior to arriving to secure your reservation and to avoid disappointment.

    Can I extend my stay?

    Yes, depending on availability, we’ll be happy to accommodate you for further nights at an additional cost. Please contact our reception team if you plan to extend your stay.

    How can I upgrade my stay?

    You can upgrade your stay to an Executive Room for €40 or a Superior King Room for €20 on your check-in or with our reservations team directly.

    How do I amend or cancel my booking?

    If you have booked directly with the hotel, you can amend or cancel your booking by visiting the ‘Manage Booking’ section on our website by using your confirmation number and email address. Alternatively, you can call us directly on +353 (0)91 513 200 to cancel or amend your booking.

    What is the cancellation policy?

    If you have booked the reservation directly with the hotel over the phone or online, Maldron Hotel Sandy Road offers free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to the day of arrival unless advance purchase non-refundable rate was selected. Please note that some special offers and key dates outlined in the terms and conditions may specify a special cancellation policy applicable to that offer and date.

    How can I cancel my reservation if I booked via a third-party website?

    If you have booked via a third-party, you will need to contact the third party directly to amend or cancel your booking as we cannot do that on your behalf. Please note that they have their own cancellation policies, so please refer to your confirmation email.

    What does the “no-show” policy entail?

    If a guest makes a reservation and fails to show up and doesn’t cancel the reservation successfully then we will take payment for the first night’s stay from the credit or debit card provided at the time of booking. If your booking is advance purchase, the total amount will be non-refundable and you will incur a 100% penalty charge for the entire duration of your stay.

  • Location & Parking

    How far away is the hotel from Galway City Centre?

    Maldron Hotel Sandy Road is ideally located just a 15 to 20-minute walk from Galway City Centre. There are taxis available at the touch of a button that cost between 6 and 9 euro and there is also a bus stop located just outside the hotel with all bus times available at reception.

    What’s the best way to get to the hotel from the airport?

    Dublin airport – Galway: There are buses running from 5 am until 12:30 am each day with gobus, citylink and bus Eireann. You can also get a taxi to Heuston station if you wish to take the train from 7:35 am to 7:35 pm.

    Shannon airport – Galway: Bus Eireann runs a bus from 7:10 am until 10 pm every day.

    Knock airport – Galway: Bus Eireann runs a bus from 8:55 am until 8 pm every day.

    Are there any shopping areas nearby?

    Yes, Galway Shopping Centre in Headford Road is located just a 10-minute walk from our hotel and the Eyre Square Shopping Centre approx. a 20 to 25-minute walk. In general, we’d recommend a visit to the city as there are lots of diverse and high street options available.

    How close are public transport links to the hotel?

    The closes bus stop is located only a few minutes from the hotel. The 407 bus runs every 30 minutes. If you are coming from the hotel and you are going into town, the 407 bus stop is on the Headford Road beside Terryland Shopping Centre (Dunnes Stores) and it takes you to Eyre Square stop 2. If you are coming from town and you are going to the hotel, the 407 is at stop 2 on Eyre Square you get off at the bus stop on the Headford Road across from Terryland Shopping Centre (Dunnes Stores).

    What is there to see and do around the hotel?

    We are in close proximity to the City Centre, with easy access to Salthill also. We are the perfect base to explore all the City of Tribes has to offer.

    Is there a car rental station near the hotel?

    Yes, Europa car is located just a 3-minute walk from the hotel.

    Is parking available at the hotel?

    Yes, we have complimentary underground parking available to all our guests and visitors.


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