Live Traditional Irish Music sessions run almost non-stop in Galway. From the talented buskers on Shop Street, to the plethora of pubs offering scheduled sessions in the evenings – Galway’s streets are always buzzing with local musicians. Here are our some of our favourites for the best craic agus ceol (fun and music) in the country.
Tigh Fox Trad House
Sessions at Tigh Fox are unlike any other in Galway! They’re great craic and always something different – you’ll never know what you’ll find! As popular place for both locals and visitors – it always feels like home at Fox’s. The musicians are known for a bit of banter and to get the crowd moving on their feet.
The early session (starting at 5:30pm) is unplugged and incredibly relaxed – making it easy to strike a conversation with the musicians or request your favourite tune. The late session moves to the back of the pub and is kitted out on stage with lights, microphones and speakers. Pretty common to see a bit of Irish dancing (both trained and first-timers)!
When: 5:30pm & 9:30pm everyday
Where: 2 Forster Street, East Village
Located in the heart of Shop Street, Taaffes Bar is a guaranteed good time! The friendly barstaff and local musicians make you feel like you’re part of the family. It’s a great meeting place after work, as their first session begins at 5:30pm. Grab a seat in the snug (the small room to the right of the entrance) to listen to the acoustic set and have a chat with the staff.
Be sure to arrive early for the night trad session – it is really popular! It’s fully amped, features the best local talent, and continues throughout the night. There is plenty of seating along the walls, but it does fill up rather quickly with a mix of locals and tourists! By the end of the night, many are up dancing around, pints in hand!
Where: 19-20 Shop Street, Latin Quarter
Another pub located in the heart of Galway, Tig Coili, is a well-known gathering spot for great musicians. This family-owned pub was destined to be a success – the majority of the family are musicians themselves! That being said – this pub fills up FAST! The tight quarters make for a very friendly atmosphere. The walls are decorated in photos from the past – showcasing different musicians and well-known visitors.
Where: Mainguard Street, Latin Quarter
This off-the-beaten-track pub is a local’s go-to pub for music. A bit quieter atmosphere, the sessions here are not a performance. Quite simply, a group of musicians together solely to share their love of playing. The passion of the musicians is contagious, and often leads to customers joining in for a sing-song!
There are two floors in The Crane, upstairs being about a 70 person capacity venue. It’s a lively space that often hosts singer/songwriters, roots and blues! Downstairs (often referred to as ‘the local’) has music almost every night of the week.
Where: 2 Sea Road, West End