Ireland is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with over 9.6 million overseas trips taken there by non-residents in 2016 alone. While there are many tour options to consider when planning a visit to the Emerald Isle, castles and sightseeing are only just the beginning when it comes to experiencing Irish culture.
Many would say that music is the true beating heart of Ireland — and Celtic band tours are one of the best ways of experiencing these traditional sounds for yourself.
If you’re planning to visit Ireland and want to enjoy the most authentic music for yourself, here are the top five places to add to your Celtic band tours.
5. Ti Joe Watty’s
Located in Kilronan on the largest of the Aran Islands (Inis Mor), Ti Joe Watty’s stands as one of the island’s oldest pubs. During the summer, you can experience the best of Irish traditional music while soaking in the mellow and laid-back atmosphere. If you’re planning a stop by the Aran Islands, this is one location you simply cannot miss.
4. An Spailpin Fanach
Located in County Cork and just across the road from Beamish brewery, this pub features live music every night and a cozy atmosphere that will make you never want to leave. With traditional food, music, open fires, and a charming simplicity that just feels like home, an Spailpin Fanach is a must add to any Celtic band tours.
3. De Barra Folk Club
De Barra’s has a laid back attitude and an intimate setting. Situated in the seaside town of Clonakilty, here you’ll be treated to both traditional and modern musical selections, along with some comedy shows on specific nights. If you’re around Clonakilty, add this location to your Celtic band tours list so that you don’t risk missing out on the fun.
2. Ti Chairbre
Off the beaten path and owned by the same family since 1880, this pub is both modest and wholesomely traditional. Located in Drogheda, north of Dublin, it doesn’t get much more authentic than this. If you’re headed north out of Dublin, make sure to add this to your Celtic band tours list and stop by for a pint and a dose of craic.
1. Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann
The Fleadh Cheoil is the mother of all Irish music festivals and it attracts over 250,000 people over its eight-day span. No Celtic band tours would be complete without a stop by this incredible festival where music and dancing permeate the hosting town. Moving to different venues every year, make sure to check out the festival’s website to see where and when the next festival will be taking place so that you can be sure to stop on by for an unforgettable day of music.
While Ireland is known for its incredible landscapes and spectacular castles, it’s in the traditional music that you will find the true soul of Ireland. If you’re planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, be sure to check out these locations and experience the magic for yourself.