Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session.

Updated On: June 30, 2022

Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session.

Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.

What is Traditional Irish music?

Traditional Irish music is very culturally significant, often highlighting the events or people in Irish history as well as the culture of the people in Ireland. These tunes, reels, and songs are played on many instruments such as bodhran drums, bagpipes, flutes, fiddles, and concertinas to name a few!

Where and When can you see live traditional music in Belfast?

If you know where to look you can see live traditional Irish music everyday of the week in Belfast in a variety of pubs and bars. This article will tell you all you need to know to make sure you see as much live traditional Irish music as your heart desires.

What is the best day to watch live traditional music in Belfast?

Sunday! Ten of our featured bars have traditional live Irish music on a Sunday afternoon or evening. An Irish music session is a great way to end the week and unwind, but in case you are busy prepping your Sunday roast you may also have great luck catching a Saturday show as six of our featured pubs have live trad music on Saturday.

How to catch live traditional music in Belfast:

  • Check social media – bars often change the acts they show and may even add one off shows, it’s always a good idea to check a bar or pubs social media to make sure you don’t miss out!
  • Ask some locals – Belfast locals are known to be friendly and may have some interesting recommendations to add to your itinerary.
  • Read this guide – The timetable of trad means you won’t have to flip through the websites of every bar to check where and when you can catch a trad show. Spoiled for choice? Read on to find out more about the individual bars listed on the timetable.

Bars in Belfast that offer live traditional music:

The Deer’s Head – Friday

The Deer’s Head is a traditional bar with an in-house craft brewery, visible through glass walls inside. Take a seat in one of their comfortable booths and call for a drink with the click of a switch. This comfortable pub has a large range of craft beers and ales on tap with a selection which changes with the seasons. If craft beer isn’t your thing you can still find a nice larger to suit you. The Deer’s Head has an interesting calendar of live events including a Ukulele jam night every Wednesday from 7pm and their new Folk Night on Thursdays from 8pm.

  • Place: Located at 1-3 Lower Garfield St, Belfast the pub is in the heart of Belfast’s former brewery hub. It is centrally located just a short walk from the City Hall.
  • Food and Drink: The Deer’s Head serves classic pub food from burgers and pies to fish and chips.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 12–10pm
  • Tuesday – 12–11pm
  • Wednesday – 12pm–12am
  • Thursday – 12pm–12am
  • Friday – 12pm–1am
  • Saturday – 12pm–1am
  • Sunday – 12–11pm
  • Session Times: Friday (5pm)

The Dirty Onion – Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.

the dirty onion belfast instagram Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 11

In a rustic 300-year old building you will find the charming bar, The Dirty Onion, in a former warehouse this cozy bar offers drinks, entertainment, and quality rotisserie chicken in their upstairs restaurant. This modern bar is host to live music every night of the week including several traditional music sessions. They even host a bodhran drum lesson and music session on Tuesday nights 8pm-10pm (you don’t even have to bring your own bodhran).

  • Place: 3 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA, Located in Belfast’s stunning cathedral quarter, a short walk from the centre of the city.
  • Food and Drink: The Dirty Onion is also home to arotisserie chicken restaurant called Yardbird above the bar which also hosts live music as well as delicious food.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 12–11pm
  •  Tuesday – 12–11pm
  • Wednesday – 12–11pm
  • Thursday – 12–11pm
  • Friday – 12–11pm
  • Saturday – 12–11pm
  • Sunday – 12–11pm
  • Session Times: Thursday (7:30pm) Saturday (5:30pm) Sunday (6:30pm)

The Duke of York – Sunday

Located on one of the most iconic streets in Belfast is The Duke of York, this pub is chock full of brewerania bric-a-brac, this treasure trove of brewing history memorabilia is also the home of fantastic pints and traditional music. No matter how many times you go to this pub you will always spot something new on the walls, doors, or even the ceiling.

  • Place: 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast. Nestled amongst many fine pubs in the cathedral quarter.
  • Food and Drink: The Duke of York, Belfast does not serve food.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 11:30am–11pm
  • Tuesday – 11:30am–11pm
  • Wednesday – 11:30am–11pm
  • Thursday – 12pm–1am
  • Friday – 12pm–1am
  • Saturday – 12pm–1am
  • Sunday – 12–9pm
  • Session Times: Sunday (5pm)

The Errigle Inn – Tuesday

errigle inn belfast craft beer instagram 1 Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
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Offering friendly service in a comforting traditional dark-wood pub environment the Errigle Inn is the perfect place to eat, drink, and enjoy some pub atmosphere and Irish music.

  • Place: 312-320 Ormeau Rd, Ormeau, Belfast A short trip out of the city center on the Ormeau Road surrounded by other nice pubs, café’s, and restaurants.
  • Food and Drink: Food is served in the pub as well as in the in-house restaurant, they offer pub classics including vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 12:30pm–12am
  • Tuesday – 12:30pm–12am
  • Wednesday – 12:30pm–12am
  • Thursday – 12:30pm–12am
  • Friday – 12:30pm–1am
  • Saturday – 10am–1am
  • Sunday  10am–12am
  • Session Times: Tuesday (10pm)

Fibber Magees – Everyday

Every day is a good day to listen to trad music in Fibber Magees. This place is as traditional as it gets and filled with Irish charm.

  • Place: 38-42 Great Victoria St, Belfast
  • Food and Drink: Fibbers serve lunch and dinner 7 days a week with a selection of great pub grub.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 11:30am–1am
  • Tuesday – 11:30am–1am
  • Wednesday – 11:30am–1am
  • Thursday – 11:30am–1am
  • Friday – 11:30am–1am
  • Saturday – 11:30am–1am
  • Sunday – 12:30pm–12am
  • Session Times: Monday – Wednesday (9:30pm) Thursday (10:30pm) Friday (5pm & 10:30pm) Saturday (3pm, 5pm, & 10:30pm) Sunday (9:30pm).

Granny Annies – Friday

granny annies bar belfast traditional music Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 13

This cozy, quirky bar in Belfast’s city center might make you feel like you’re granny has turned her living room into a bar. Filled with trinkets, carpet, and, lamps Granny Annie’s is a casual place to dine, drink, and watch live music. The large venue is great for big groups and has several nice seating areas including outdoor space.

  • Place: 81 Chichester St, Belfast BT1 4JE. This city centre bar is right across from Victoria Square shopping centre, a great Place to relax after a long day shopping.
  • Food and Drink: Granny Annie’s has a varied food and cocktail menu.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 12–11pm
  • Tuesday – 12–11pm
  • Wednesday – 12–11pm
  • Thursday – 12pm–1am
  • Friday – 12pm–1am
  • Saturday – 12pm–1am
  • Sunday – 12–11pm
  • Session Times: Friday 12pm

The John Hewitt – Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday

The John Hewitt Bar - Live Traditional Music in Belfast
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 14

The John Hewitt is Belfast’s only pub run by a charity, in this case, The Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre, helping to raise money for that organisation and others to do their good work. This unique venue is home to a large menu of delicious food, local craft beers and ales, and a calendar full of live music including traditional Irish acts.

  • Place: 51 Donegall St, Belfast, in Belfast’s bustling Cathedral Quarter.
  • Food and Drink:
  • Opening Hours:
  •  Monday to Friday – 11:30am to 1am.
  • Saturday – 12 Noon to 1am.
  • Sunday – 7pm to 12 Midnight
  • Session Times: Tuesday (9:30pm) Saturday (4pm) Sunday (4pm)

Kelly’s Cellars – Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

kellys cellars instagram live traditional music Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 15

If you fancy a trip to Belfast’s oldest traditional bar, Kelly’s Cellars can offer you a warm atmosphere, original architectural features, pints and a bowl of Irish stew. Kelly’s Cellars is a bustling old pub with traditional and eclectic design and fireplaces to warm yourself if the Northern Irish weather isn’t ideal. Live music is on 6 nights a week at Kelly’s, with a quite night on Mondays and traditional music played live 3 nights a week.

  • Place: 30-32 Bank St, Belfast. Right in the heart of Belfast city centre, Kelly’s is a great place to stop for a pint during a day out in the city.
  • Food and Drink: As they say on their website, Kelly’s isn’t a restaurant but they are one of the places in Belfast where you can grab a bowl of Irish stew. They also offer a pizza menu Thursday-Sunday.
  • Opening Hours:
  •  Monday – 11:30am–1am
  • Tuesday – 11:30am–1am
  • Wednesday – 11:30am–1am
  • Thursday – 11:30am–1am
  • Friday – 11:30am–1am
  • Saturday – 11:30am–1am
  • Sunday – 1pm–12am
  • Session Times: Tuesday (7:30 pm) Wednesday (7:30pm) Thursday (8:30pm)

Maddens – Everyday

Maddens was one of the first bars in Belfast to host traditional music sessions and is a perfect venue for a relaxed pint by the fire. Their second floor is the place to see some fantastic Irish music played live in a cozy and friendly atmosphere. They are known for a great pint of Guinness so if you are in search of a pint of the black stuff, Maddens is a great bet.

  • Place: 74 Berry St, Belfast, off the regular beaten track but not far at all from the high street this is a wee gem not to be missed.
  • Food and Drink: No, Maddens don’t serve food.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 11:30am–1am
  • Tuesday – 11:30am–1am
  • Wednesday – 11:30am–1am
  • Thursday – 11:30am–1am
  • Friday – 11:30am–1am
  • Saturday – 11:30am–1am
  • Sunday – 1pm–12am
  • Session Times: Monday-Thursday (8pm) Friday & Saturday (5pm) Sunday (9pm)

McHugh’s – Saturday & Sunday

mchughs bar belfast live traditional music Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Belfast, N.Ireland- Sept 4, 2021: The McHughs Bar and Restaurant in Belfast city centre.

Housed in the oldest surviving building in Belfast you will find McHugh’s, nestled between The Big Fish and The Albert Memorial Clock, this traditional pub is full of charm. Serving great quality pints and food McHugh’s is a great place to relax and enjoy some live traditional music. Arriving earlier on Sunday you may also see a Irish music school that play from 1pm. If you get hungry you can also try an Irish boxty, a traditional Irish dish consisting of a potato pancake that McHugh’s are known for.

mchughs boxty traditional music live Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 16
  • Place: 29-31 Queen’s Square, towards the river and between two iconic Belfast landmarks which you can see on the way.
  • Food and Drink: Other than their iconic potato boxty McHugh’s have a varied menu of pub classics from Carbonara to Steak.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 12pm–1am
  • Tuesday – 12pm–1am
  • Wednesday – 12pm–1am
  • Thursday – 12pm–1am
  • Friday – 12pm–1am
  • Saturday – 12pm–1am
  • Sunday – 1–11pm
  • Session Times: Saturday (3pm) Sunday (5pm)

The Points – Several days a week.

Situated on the bustling Dublin road The Points is a one stop shop for all the elements of a traditional Irish pub experience. This beautifully decorated dark wood pub has a dark and warm atmosphere that will make you feel at home surrounded by the sounds and sights of Irish music and dance. Their menu has bundles of Irish classics including Irish stew, a full selection of whiskeys, expertly poured Guinness, and much more. The points hosts its own group of dancers that regularly perform on a permanent stage, the points dancers will give you an experience of the dances that go along with the music being played live.

  • Place: 44 Dublin Rd, Belfast, Joining a host of interesting bars and pubs on the busy Dublin road The Points is a must.
  • Food and Drink: The Points only serves stew but does so daily.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 2pm–1am
  • Tuesday – 2pm–1am
  • Wednesday – 2pm–1am
  • Thursday – 2pm–1am
  • Friday – 2pm–1am
  • Saturday – 2pm–1am
  • Sunday – 2pm–12am
  • Session Times: Check their Facebook page for details as they change regularly.

The Second Fiddle – Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

The Second Fiddle is a contemporary Irish bar focused on traditional Irish music and culture. They play host to a variety of events such as cider festivals, Jameson experiences, and are home to some events on the Belfast Trad Fest route. This lively venue is sure to provide you with all the Irish music and pints your heart desires.

  • Place: 42 Waring St, Belfast.
  • Food and Drink: No, The Second Fiddle does not serve food.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – Closed
  • Tuesday – Closed
  • Wednesday – Closed
  • Thursday – 5pm–12am
  • Friday – 5pm–1am
  • Saturday – 5pm–1am
  • Sunday – 5pm–12am
  • Session Times: Thursday (6:30pm)* Friday (5pm) Saturday (7:30pm) Sunday (6pm)

*hours recently updated

The Sunflower Public House – Wednesday & Sunday

sunflower pub belfast traditional music Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 17

There has been a public house on the corner of Kent Street and Union Street for 100 years, since 2012 it has been The Sunflower. This iconic Belfast bar has bars on the windows and door as a relic of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Even though they are no longer needed these decorative bars show an important part of the social history of the city. Beyond the doors and windows you will find a classic corner pub where friendly staff, comfortable seats, and great live music will greet you.

  • Place: 65 Union St, Belfast. Just a short walk from the cathedral quarter, and well worth the walk.
  • Food and Drink: Pizza is available here Thursday – Sunday (5pm-10pm)
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 12pm–12am
  • Tuesday – 12pm–12am
  • Wednesday – 12pm–12am
  • Thursday – 12pm–1am
  • Friday – 12pm–1am
  • Saturday – 12pm–1am
  • Sunday – 1pm–12am
  • Session Times: Wednesday (8pm) Sunday (7pm)

White’s Tavern – Sunday

whites tavern belfast live traditional music instagram Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 18

Belfast’s first tavern license was presented to the building of Whites Tavern in 1630, this place has been serving people drinks ever since. From the moment you step in the door at White’s you will be met with its incredible atmosphere, boosted by a peat burning fire. Filled with bar memorabilia, including some old-timey reviews in frames, this charming pub will be a feast for the senses. If you fancy a bit of fresh air, there is always White’s Garden outside a modern addition with a contemporary finish.

  • Place: 2-4 Winecellar Entry, Belfast. This cosy pub is hidden in a little entryway but if you look out for White’s Garden its much easier to spot.
  • Food and Drink: White’s Tavern serves classic pub food including Irish classics such as stew and ham hock, their menu also offers seafood fit for their roots as an oyster rooms. If you don’t fancy seafood in their garden you can also find wood fired pizzas on offer.
  • Opening Hours:
  • Monday – 12–11pm
  • Tuesday – 12–11pm
  • Wednesday – 12–11pm
  • Thursday – 12–11pm
  • Friday – 12–11pm
  • Saturday – 12–11pm
  • Sunday – 12–11pm
  • Session Times: Sunday Between 7pm and 9pm
whites tavern belfast live traditional music Belfast is a great place to be if you’re looking for great bars and even better live music, but with such a large amount of choice it can be hard to know where to go. If your looking for live traditional music it’s not always easy to know where and when it can be found. Our timetable of traditional music will be helpful in your quest to find great music and craic in Belfast.
Where & When to find Live Traditional Music in Belfast: 14 of the Best Bars to catch a session. 19

If you are lucky you may even be in Belfast during a traditional Irish music event such as the Ulster Fleadh, Culture night, or Belfast Trad Fest. Either way make sure to experience some authentic culture through traditional Irish music while in Belfast.

Some things never change, but unfortunately bar music schedules do. If you notice any of the info in this article becoming out of date, please leave a comment and let us know!