Music Music Music

Music is an integral part of the social scene in Ireland, and offers one of the best ways for visitors to meet locals. Every town has one, two or more pubs which host live traditional music sessions. Locals will often pull out a pipe, a violin and join in, sing-along, clap hand or dance. It’s simply infectious and here we share some great Dublin and Belfast hotels and the finer points of Irish pub etiquette

Irish pub etiquette

Pints are also known as “jars” and “scoops”, but always ask for a pint, NEVER a scoop. Instead, scoop is used conversationally as in “do you fancy a few scoops?” or “would you like another jar?” Guinness takes a few minutes longer than beer to settle, so your barman isn’t just being slow, he’s actually doing things properly. And when you get your pint, make sure to leave it to settle for a few minutes, too. It’ll taste all the better for the wait

Our favourite pubs

Johnny Fox’s pub

One of Ireland’s oldest pubs, a 25-minute drive from Dublin city, every night means traditional Irish music as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Don’t miss the dancing on Hooley night and those who wish to enjoy a wee dram or two of Jameson’s can catch an express bus from Dublin.

J.P. Clarkes

A country pub with stone walls and timber beams, here you can enjoy traditional Irish cuisine, in Bunratty, County Clare


Five bars in one, but the most fun of all is to be had in the sawdust pit out the back where great musicians set the scene for a night of fun and conviviality. Don’t miss it.

Great Victoria Street, Belfast.

The Crown Liquour Saloon

Almost next door to Robinsons, the Crown is also known as the most beautiful bar in the world, and rightly so. Mosaic tiled floors, brocade walls and intricate woodcarvings are just part of the ornate décor which sets this pub apart. Romantics will love the ten carved booths, lettered from A-J, which form snugs where cuddly couples can hide form the world. Fortnightly blues evenings just add to the fun.

Great Victoria Street, Belfast


With live music each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, this traditional cork favourite offers great food, atmosphere, an open air courtyard and, of course, the craic.

Washington Street, Cork City

Or find more pubs and music here.