If you have been to Killarney then you will probably have a special place in your heart for this bustling town. The pubs in Killarney are some of the best on the Island of Ireland.
I have stayed and visited Killarney throughout my childhood and still today it is one of my favourite places to go. Whether I am looking for a relaxing day out in nature or a night out on the town, Killarney is always the number one choice. With a pub every couple of metres of one another it would be difficult to choose a top 10 list in this Kerry town. Instead I have curated a list of the best pubs in Killarney for whatever the occasion.
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The Best Music Pubs in Killarney
If you are looking for a pub in Kerry that will keep you entertained with fantastic live music then here are a few pubs you should consider.
1. J.M Reidy’s
J.M Reidy’s is one of the most well known pubs in Killarney. Not only do they serve great food and drink but also entertainment. If you end up going to J.M Reidy’s an evening you are in Killarney the chances are that you are not leaving until late that night. The bar is a renovated sweet shop and if you look around from where you are seated you will see many different sweets and treats and old Irish trinkets hanging from the ceiling and attached to the wall.
In this bar in the heart of Killarney town you will eat delicious food while listening to local trad musicians play their instruments. The pub is made up of pokey rooms and and little nooks that create a comfortable and cosy atmosphere. The outdoor area is also very authentic and if you stay later in the evening to see the band you are in for treat. Be prepared to have your best dancing shoes on! A busy night in J.M Reidy’s is unmatched to anywhere else.
2. O’ Donoghues
O’ Donoghues is by far my favourite pub for a good trad session. If you want a classic Irish shindig this is your place to go. Musicians play late into the night at O’Donoghues and you won’t be able to sit still for long once the music begins. Not only will you hear wonderful music but you will also witness plenty of jiving and set dancing from the crowd who can’t contain themselves.
To add an extra level of entertainment to the night, if your lucky you will witness one of O’Donoghues very own staff tap dancing on top of the table as the musicians play the music. The low lightening also gives a very cosy and warm feeling to the pub. I don’t think I can recall a poor night in O’Donoghues, it simple doesn’t exist. I couldn’t recommend this pub more!
3. The Killarney Grand
If you can’t choose between traditional Irish live music and a club scene then the Grand is the place for you. The Grand allows you to experience both with a live band playing in one room and a DJ in another. I mean what other pub offers a space where you can be jiving in one room and busting moves in another, all while under the one roof. The tunes can be heard from outside the Grand seven nights of the week. You will not be disappointed with your experience at the Grand. You are guaranteed a fun night in the Grand but it is important to remember the dress code. If you are wearing a tracksuit you won’t be allowed in, neat attire only!
4. Social 15
When all the other pubs begin to close and you want to add a but more music and dancing to your night, Social 15 is one of the places that will satisfy this need. I am not going to lie when you first climb up the stairs of social 15 you can get a little bit discombobulated as it is like a maze with many different rooms and levels and music.
The biggest dance floor opens later in the night and the music is very good. There is also an upper floor above it that allows you to look down below at everyone if you find the crowd too much. There is also many different booths and seating areas if you want to sit down and enjoy a drink while chatting to friends.
5. Scott’s Bar and Courtyard
Scott’s Bar and Courtyard has a fabulous courtyard covered over so the party doesn’t stop no matter what the weather. The outdoor area is also equipped with heaters for that added warmth during the colder evenings. Listening to a live band playing in Scott’s bar is quite the experience and the atmosphere is amazing. This pub is also a great spot to watch a match as they have a big screen outside, again the atmosphere on match day especially if Kerry Gaa are playing is quite the buzz. The courtyard on these days is a sea of green and gold.
6. Tatler Jack
Tatler Jack is located on the main street in Killarney and it always host brilliant live music that will keep you entertained for the night. The bar is cosy and decorated very nicely. I personally love the numbered vintage Gaa jerseys that hang on the wall above the bar counter and around the pub. Tatler Jack is also a great place to stay as it is located right in the town. The bar also has a big screen in the pub that makes watching matches very enjoyable.
The Best Pub Food in Killarney
If you are looking for a gastro pub in this Kerry town we have you sorted with these four choices.
7. The Danny Mann
The Danny Mann is a lively pub which offers great food, drink and entertainment. The Danny Mann serves the perfect comfort food on a cold day, with warm fish dishes, tender lamb and vegan curries. The portions are very generous. There is a lovely atmosphere in the Danny Mann and the live music adds to this. The Danny Mann often also has local dancers dancing to the live music to really add to the buzz of the bar. If you have children with you the Danny Mann also has a pool table that will keep them entertained for a couple of hours.
8. The Laurels
The Laurels pub and restaurant located in the heart of Killarney town is ran by the lovely O’Leary family and it is definitely a pub that is worth the visit on your trip to Killarney. This pub is dimly lit creating a very cosy and warm feeling as you enter. The food is delicious and the menu has a good selection to choose from, whether it is stir fry’s, pizza or monkfish that takes your fancy the Laurels will have it sorted. The service here is also top notch, they will always try to accommodate every customer in the best way they can do.
9. Murphy’s Bar
Murphy’s Bar is also a restaurant and townhouse. So if you are looking for a place to stay that serves a good pint and delicious food, keep Murphy’s in mind. This lovely pub serves comforting food that is sure to warm up your insides on a cold winters day. Again, the staff are so friendly and very attentive here in Murphy’s Bar, this goes for most pubs in Killarney.
10. The Failte
The Failte is another pub in Killarney that just had to make my list. The Failte is a lovely pub which serves tasty food. The Failte is a hotel and restaurant but you do not have to be a resident to eat at their restaurant which is located upstairs.
Here the attentive staff will serve you breakfast, lunch or dinner, whether you are looking for the cure of a hearty breakfast the day after a night out on the town or a fulfilling dinner to keep you fuelled the Failte will have it for you. The Failte also has fabulous bar owned and ran by the O’Callaghan family, so be sure to head downstairs for a drink after your meal.
11. The Shire Café
If you are looking for good food and you are a fan of Lord of the Rings then look no further, the Shire bar and café is calling your name. Enter this hobbit themed pub and you will be greeted by friendly staff and delicious food. This café is certainly different to any other pub you will enter in Killarney and who doesn’t love different!
The Cosiest Pubs in Killarney
If you are looking for a cosy place to rest your legs after a day of exploring Killarney’s natural beauty these four pubs are worth a try. To others they may be classed as “old man pubs” but to many they are the true local pubs of Killarney. Some of these pubs may not be big in size but they are certainly big in personality.
12. Courtney’s Pub
Courtney’s is one of the oldest bars in Killarney. This pub is actually larger than it looks from the outside, as they saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. There is something different about going to a family run pub, and the Courtney family confirm this, giving all locals and visitors that old Irish feeling. The interiors are fabulous with a mixture of stone and timber walls and a cosy open fire. During the week you can get a mixture of live music and trad sessions in Courtney’s pub which really appreciates the joy music brings to the bar.
13. O’ Connor’s Pubs
O’Connor’s traditional Irish bar may be small and narrow but it is definitely not lacking in character and atmosphere. During the Summer nothing beats sitting outside O’Connor’s in the lane on the barrelled seats and tables playing cards and drinking pints. O’Connor’s also have live music and can be jammed packed so get in early if you want a seat. My personal favourite touch is the sign that is usually outside that reads “Live Music Tonite- 9ish” No promises of starting on time here. The staff are also very friendly and always up for a chat.
14. Jack C’s Pub
If you want to meet real characters Jack C’s pub is the place to go. It is in this pub you will hear great stories while drinking an even better pint. It truly is the definition of a traditional Irish bar. The publicans of this bar, the O’Sheas are what make Jack C’s what it is and they really are a credit to the pub.
Jack C’s pub has been open to the public since 1901. The late Seamus O’Shea took over the pub from his father and today it is ran by his wife Joan with help from her son and daughter JC and Brigitte and dog Ginny! They create a lovely, cosy and welcoming atmosphere for all that come in through their door. This pub can often get over looked with the many other bustling pubs in Killarney but if you are looking for that authentic Irish pub atmosphere here is the spot to be.
15. Dunloe’s Lodge
If you go to Dunloe’s Lodge once you are sure to return plenty more times when you visit Killarney. You will have great craic in Dunloe’s Lodge. My favourite thing about Dunloe’s Lodge is the amazing live music and trad sessions that the bar hosts. You will be up off your seat for the night dancing around this lovely Irish bar. The friendly staff and locals create a beautiful atmosphere that you will find hard to find anywhere else.
No matter where you decide to venture out for food, music, dance or chats in Killarney you are guaranteed to have a great time. No matter what the weather, time of year or time of day, Killarney delivers without fail.
If you are planning on going to Killarney or have been to Killarney before let us know your favourite spots to visit in the comments below.