If you’re planning a visit and are looking to take a tour in Ireland, the music scene is something you shouldn’t miss out on. While Ireland boasts hundreds of spots where traditional music can be heard, we’ve narrowed the list down to six of the best! Be sure to add at least some of these to your travel itinerary while you’re exploring the Emerald Isle.
The Six Best Places to Catch Celtic Band Tours
Even though the median age in Ireland is 34, there is something for all ages to be found in Dublin. Whelan’s, for example, has been open since 1989 and is known throughout Ireland as one of the most prolific spots for music. Here, you can not only find local bands playing, but you may also run into a couple more famous acts while you’re there. This location has played host to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Nick Cave, Mumford and Sons, and The Corrs!
- Peadar O’Donnell’s
Located in Derry-Londonderry, this venue has all the charm you could wish for in an old Irish pub. With events that go on every night, this location is one that should be included in all Celtic tours. As with the above, this location plays host to both renowned and local bands, all bringing their own unique sound to the stage on any given night. If you’re going by the area, don’t hesitate to pop in for a pint or two while enjoying an impromptu trad session.
- The Cobblestone
Turning around and heading back to Dublin’s north side, you can find The Cobblestone. When it comes to authentic Celtic band tours, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better venue for traditional Irish music in the city. Nearly every night you can find musicians playing away in the front of the pub, with a backspace dedicated to smaller acts. If you’re in the mood for spirited Irish folk music, look no further than this incredible location.
- Connolly’s of Leap
A tiny pub in West Cork isn’t the most obvious place to include in any Celtic band tours. However, when you walk in and see the 4,765 music posters lining the walls, you’ll know that you’ve come to the right place. Music has been an integral part of this quaint pub since its opening, and the tradition is still going strong. If you want a cozy, intimate location to hear some of the best music of Ireland, be sure to check out Connolly’s.
- Roisin Dubh
Located in Galway, this spot is the go-to for those in Western Ireland. There is always an event going on every night of the week, with both local and big-name performers taking to the stage to entertain. Roisin Dubh is also a major part of other big named festivals such as the Galway sessions, the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, and the Galway International Arts Festival. If you’re fortunate enough to be visiting during one of these events, it’s highly recommended that you stop by.
- The Local Streets
Sometimes the best Celtic band tours include simply walking down the nearest street. Possibly one of the best things about touring in Ireland is that you don’t even have to be in a venue to hear some outstanding music. Street performers are prolific in Dublin, Galway, and Cork — really, any town you go to — and play a wide array of musical genres. If you can, try and visit Ireland during the Fleadh Cheoil. This music festival takes place in various towns annually and is a time when traditional music floods the streets. However, even if you miss the festival, street performers are never hard to find.
When planning a musical tour through the Emerald Isle, you have hundreds of options. Music is entwined with the spirit of Ireland itself and many venues across the country play host to incredible local and international musicians. While these six venues are some of the best, don’t hesitate to pop into any other spots you might find. You never know what musical treasures will await you at the unassuming pub around the corner.