Want to know everything about the pubs of Ireland? Well for heaven’s sake, go there, have a pint and witness your world change! Because the pubs in Ireland have a way of changing the way you see life and the purpose of it. And what is so special about them you may ask? Just by asking this question you announce you haven’t been to any of them, or maybe you have been to an Irish pub (and most likely you have) somewhere around the world and don’t see the charm. Of course you don’t! They’re not the same as IN Ireland. Ireland is the Mekka for pubs, the ultimate relaxation destination for any pub-lover and for anyone who’s ever said “Good times”.
I’ve had good times in Irish pubs (in Ireland) since 2012. And yes, it’s completely changed my life. As a Finn it also changed the way I see alcohol. Irish and Finns are often seen quite the same way when it comes to alcohol: we use a lot of it. The only difference is that we don’t go hang out at pubs because drinks are rather expensive. We get shitfaced at home and then go, if we’re still allowed in pubs or clubs. I’m not saying Irish are any better by the end of the night but at least they start slightly slover.
The thing about Irish pubs is…
…they are always warm. The country is freezing cold 99% of the time because of the humidity and the Atlantic air. They also don’t know or simply won’t insulate their houses – maybe it’s a scam to get people to pubs more often? Well, worked for me. Pubs are the only place I have found that are warm in this country.
…the people. Irish are sooo rude and brutal with their humor that it suits me perfectly – I can take banter and give it back too! The bad thing is, Irish don’t accept any banter towards them. It’s a bit of a learning curve to knowing what to say and what not. I’ll give you a tip of 2 topics never to be mentioned: abortion (relates to them being heavily Catholic) and The Troubles. Also, never affend them in anyway. Irish are proud of everything that’s theirs and also take credit for much that’s not. After all, they’ve built all the world’s major cities by their own hands (words of an Irishman..).
…Guinness. The black gold. Oooh the Mighty Guinness. Filled with iron and therefore recommended to pregnant women in Ireland still in 1990’s. Works for the ones who are not pregnant too. Guinness so good you can’t get it as good anywhere else in the world. Don’t believe me? Go and try, you’ll see.
My favourite pubs are always outside of the touristy areas. Temple Bar in Dublin is a good place to find live Irish music but the bad thing is, there’s not many Irish folk there. For them you need to go deeper, search the random little alleys that are filled with pubs. Well, every street is filled with pubs. Every other door is a pub. Ireland has hundreds of pubs so there’s no shortage of those. I once passed a village of 30 people (seriously, 30 people) and they had 6 pubs. So there’s 30 people living there and they all live by one small road in the middle of nowhere on the shores of the Atlantic and they can organize a pub crawl without leaving the village? That’s amazing!
Best pubs with the best atmosphere are always the ones in little towns like Ennis, where I ended up in some man’s 50th birthday party when he was just so happy to be out because his wife usually didn’t let him come to pubs. So he saw me, danced me around and bought me a Guinness out of pure happiness. Random stuff happens in Ireland if you allow it to happen!
Who is this man?? Random photos from 2012, mostly forgotten..
The first time I went to Ireland, me and my friend decided to make a goal for the week. What’s a trip without some targets to hit? Well, I suggested that we try to drink 20 pints during the week, and they all have to be in a different pub. If in the same pub, the pint doesn’t count. My friend laughed and said “Make it 30! We can do it!”. Well, we did. But it was a horror at times. We had 7 days which meant we had to drink 4-5 pints a day. Some days we didn’t have lunch, instead we had a pint of Bulmers. After 3 days I couldn’t wear my jeans anymore, I was so bloated.
And by the end of the week, the last day, we still had 8 pints left to drink and a night at the airport. Hardest thing I have probably ever done but we both made it. And let this be a warning to you all: having this many pints of Bulmers a week does not do good to anyone. (Once I had 8 pints of Guinness during one night but that’s a story you’ll never hear.)
So how did we find the good pubs in our adventure? We just tried every single pub that came our way. Most we liked, some we didn’t. Good thing is that you can leave if you don’t like the place. In my personal research I’ve found that the average time it takes to drink a pint is 7-15 minutes. Make it quick and finish in 3, there are many pubs waiting. And a tip for you travelling Ireland alone, like me most of the time: smoke. The easiest way to find company is to ask for a lighter. Just don’t let them know you have one in your pocket. Sorry to give unhealthy tips, but this is the one that works for me.