Galway is home to a vibrant nightlife scene
The city has many, many pubs and bars as well as a few nightclubs. The possibilities are endless, from a quiet night out with friends to traditional Irish music and storytelling, or a night out dancing. The legal drinking age in Ireland is 18. There is a a Galway based website called Galway City Pub Guide which gives great reviews and tips including video & photos from pubs in galway. For a listing of pubs, bars and events in Galway visit IrishTourist’s pub page.
TRAD MUSIC SESSIONS
Many come to Galway to party as much as they can, but many a connoisseur will come to find the best Galway has to offer, in terms of good quality trad music. If this is what you’re looking for, your best bet among all pubs is The Crane Bar on Sea Road: 2 floors, one bar on each of them – ground floor is open to anyone willing to play trad music (and there are usually a lot of musicians there), while the 1st floor is reserved for musicians 3 nights a week, some well known, some less. It is well worth to cross the bridge and walk the extra 5 minutes to spend an unforgettable evening there. Second and third: Taaffes, on Shop Street, and Tigh Chóilí, almost facing each other in the pub district, are good trad pubs too, just check inside, next to the door, if musicians are there or not, and if the style suits you (Taaffes 6 PM sessions sometimes do not materialize)
Cookes Thatch Pub which is one of only two Thatch Pubs left in the City and dates from the 1600’s has Trad music sessions on Wednesday and Sunday nights which generally consist of 5 or more musicians.
Off the beaten track, but well worth the short walk, is the Thursday night music session at the Western Bar, just up from Eyre Square. This is one you won’t find in the tourist books, but in the last year or two has become one of the liveliest city jams. Sessions, despite what is advertised in the windows, usually begin at 10PM (used to be 9:30) :
The best bar scene is small country pubs. Here you get a taste of old Ireland. Galway city pubs are great too, but you will still find traditional ireland, despite the huge changes this country has gone through.