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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 20 June, 2019

10 of the best pubs around Ireland for a cosy Christmas catch-up

Fireside, check. Friends, check. Good times, check.

Source: Paul Hudson via Flickr

CHRISTMAS IS A time for catching up. For spending quality time with people you don’t see enough… and ideally all in a nice warm snug with a pint in your hand.

But where? Well, here are some truly excellent ideas.

1. Tigh Neachtain’s, Galway

Source: ConorLuddy

Some people would claim that no trip to Galway is ever truly complete without a pint in Tigh Neachtain’s, which also boasts of over 130 whiskeys that are just waiting to be made into a hot toddy. It’s got such a cult status that they even sell their own hoodies online. You’ll find us by the fire…

2. The Oval Bar, Cork

14358927_599024540268409_5949809982234207822_n Source: The Oval Bar via Facebook

Nestled on Cork’s bustling Main Street, the pub was originally designed on behalf of the Beamish and Crawford Brewery. The Oval is the only pub in Cork to be included on a list of important 20th-century buildings within the city limits, and always smells of a reassuring mix of peat and whiskey.

3. The Blue Light, Sandyford

Source: The Blue Light Pub

Known during the summer for its breathtaking views of Dublin, the Blue Light boasts arguably one of the best locations for in the city. Come Christmas, visitors take refuge amongst the wooden snugs and roaring fires that make it the epitome of a traditional rural pub. Instruments are welcome so don’t be too surprised if you get caught up in a festive singalong.

4. Matt Molloys, Westport

14457311_338161199855256_1238849167731504682_n Source: Matt Molloy's Pub via Facebook

Owned by the Chieftains’ Matt Molloy, it’s no surprise that this pub is one of the few in Ireland that can boast of having brilliant live traditional Irish music seven nights a week. It attracts visitors from all over the world, so be sure to arrive early to claim a snug.

5. Sean’s Bar, Athlone

14681730_10154638225309886_6715635675521874555_n Source: Sean's - Ireland's Oldest Pub via Facebook

As the oldest pub in Ireland (and debatably, Europe), Sean’s Bar has a massive reputation that it absolutely lives up to. Located next to the River Shannon and Athlone Castle, the place is steeped in history. The best part about it? Definitely warming up beside the pub’s open turf fireplace.

6. The Harbour Bar, Bray

Source: theharbourbar

Once crowned Best Bar In The World by Lonely Planet, the Harbour Bar is a wonderful, winding pub through trad-filled snugs, cat-occupied couches and a wall in the attic conversion that is covered in paintings of the Pope. Most recently famed for its Stranger Things-inspired decor, we’re confident their Christmas decorations will be just as good.

7. M O’Shea’s, Borris

download Source: James Fennell Photography

As one of the focal points of RTE’s charming documentary The Irish Pub, M O’Shea’s is one of the few pubs in Ireland where you can still buy wellies, oven gloves, light bulbs and WD-40. Imagine Mary’s Bar on Wicklow Street if it had a crackling fire and had been in the same family for generations.

8. The Bath Pub, Sandymount

Source: bathpubdub

Although it’s a relatively newly-opened pub compared to most on this list, The Bath’s offers of free hot water bottles and delicious pub grub really make it one of the cosiest spots to go to if you find yourself in Dublin 4 this Christmas.

9. The Old Thatch, Killeagh

1937451_10152164302261863_1089154667349912052_n Source: The Old Thatch, Killeagh via Facebook

As one of the oldest licensed premises in Ireland, The Old Thatch was once refused a license in 1867 for fear that the pub harboured Fenians. The Sweeney family have been in charge since 1700 and a pint there really does feel like stepping back in time.

10. Cassidy’s, Westmoreland Street

Source: cassidysbarwestmoreland

Known to Dubliners as the cool older brother of P Mac’s on Stephen’s Street and Blackbird in Rathmines, Cassidy’s is known for its clientele-created graffiti, free packets of Meanies and tasty craft beers. Check out their newest arrival, mint chocolate stout, for a Christmas drink like no other.

Where’s your ultimate go-to pub for a cosy Christmas pint? Let us know in the comments below.

Whether you’re having a quiet catch-up or meeting the whole gang for Christmas drinks, use Visa contactless – the faster, easier way to pay for purchases up to €30. Spend less time at the bar and more time having plenty of Christmassy craic. Simply touch and pay with Visa contactless. Find out more here.

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