6 Best Pubs To Hear Traditional Irish Music

If you came to Dublin to enjoy the full Irish experience, you probably want to hear the joyous sound of Irish music. And if you really want to enjoy traditional Irish live music, nothing is better than a classical Irish pub. Lots of them host Irish musicians in their warm and relaxing facilities. 

The Cobblestone

The Cobblestone.

Image via @cobblestonepubdublin

Located in Smithfield, The Cobblestone is a traditional Irish music bar held by Tom Mulligan. Music has been in Mulligan’s family for five generations. First-class musicians give you Irish music sessions in the bar every day of the week. You can even hear Tom’s brother, Néillidh Mulligan, who is a famous uilleann piper.

The Cobblestone also hosts Na Piobairi Uillean, which are piper sessions, on the first Tuesday night of every month. You can also attend gigs, sessions, classes, dancing and talks. If you desire to learn more about Irish music, you can assist the Balaclavas sessions on Wednesday night in The Backroom. The classes are given by Tom’s own daughter Síomha and Jacki Martin, who both play the fiddle but teach Irish music on different instruments.


77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin, D07 TP22

Opening hours:

Monday – Thursday: 16.00 – 23.30

Friday – Saturday: 2.00pm – 0.30am 

Sunday: 1.00pm – 11.00pm 

Live music:

Monday: 6.00pm

Tuesday – Friday: 6.00pm 

Saturday: 2.30pm

The Merry Ploughboy

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Image via @merryploughboypub

The Merry Ploughboy is quite unique, owned by traditional musicians who perform at all the shows. Located in Dublin 16, this pub is far from the city centre. But don’t worry, if you are attending the show, you can ask for the shuttle service provided by the pub. It costs 12 euros per adult and 6 euros per child. As you enjoy the music, you can also savour the delicious traditional dishes like the Irish Angus steak. The dinner and the show costs 55 euros per person. 

Furthermore, you can sit and listen to live music every Friday and Saturday night. Singers and musicians will bewitch you with contemporary music or Irish songs and ballads.


The Merry Ploughboy pub, Rockbrook, Edmond Rd., Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Opening hours:

Open every day from 12.30-9pm (8pm on Sunday) 

Johnnie Fox’s

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Image via @johnniefoxspub

Enjoy a unique Irish atmosphere from the settings to the food in Johnnie Fox’s. Entering this pub will give you a sense of stepping back in time, with antiques, farming tools, old photographs hanging on the walls and even a warm fire pit.This award-winning kitchen serves traditional Irish meals like the braised lamb shank or the battered fish and chips. All breads and desserts are homemade as Johnnie Fox’s also has its own bakery.

You can come for lunch or dinner from 12.30pm to 9.15pm then sit back and relax to the live music after dinner.

If you want to participate in the whole Irish experience, you can book the Irish dancing ‘Hooley Show’. You will be treated to a four-course meal followed by vibrant traditional or folk Irish music. After the music stops, you will hear the sound of the dancing Irish shoes on the stage for a dance spectacle.


Johnnie Fox’s Pub, Glencullen, Dublin Mountains, Co.Dublin, D18 X635, Ireland. 

Live music times:

Monday – Wednesday: 7.30 – 9.30pm

Thursday: 9.00pm – 11.00pm

Friday: 8.30pm – 11.30pm

Saturday: 3.00pm – 5.00pm, 6.00pm – 8.00pm, 9.30pm – 12.30am

Sunday: 2.00pm – 4.00pm, 6.00pm – 8.00pm, 8.30pm – 10.30pm

The Celt

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Image via @theceltdublin

If you come to The Celt from 9.30pm, you’ll be sure to hear traditional Irish music. Every day, at this time, Irish music and dances will follow your pint of ‘The Black Stuff’ (the famous Guiness) or your tasty evening meal. The menu is full of Irish classical dishes. The warm and mellow atmosphere of The Celt awaits you in the North of Dublin!


81 Talbot St, North City, Dublin, D01 YK51

Opening hours:

Monday – Thursday: 11.30am – 11.30pm

Friday – Saturday: 11.30am – 00.30am

Sunday: 12pm – 11.30pm

Live music times:

Monday – Sunday: 9.30pm – closing hour 

Darkey Kelly’s bar and restaurant

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Image via @darkeykellys

Darkey Kelly’s is located in one of the oldest part of Dublin, Fishamble Street. This street was known as the official fish market until the end of the 17th century.

The pub’s name refers to one of Dublin’s legends. Dorcas “Darkey” Kelly was a woman who was in charge of a brothel in Fishamble Street. We don’t know that much about her life, but the legend goes that she was burned at the stake for witchcraft for sacrificing her baby to the devil in 1746. A discovery in 2011 found that she was publicly executed in 1961 for the murder of shoemaker Patrick Dowling. Thirty years after her death, the newspaper spread that the corpses of five men were hidden under the floorboards of the brothel.

You can watch live performances every day of the week, most of the time in the evening, except on Sundays where the band Trad Rocks starts at 3.00pm.

You can try traditional Irish dishes but Darkey Kelly’s bar also offers a range of more than 100 whiskeys.


19 Fishamble St, Christchurch Pl, Temple Bar, Dublin 8, D08 PD8W

Opening hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10.30am – 11.30pm

Friday – Saturday: 10.30am – 12.30am

Sunday: 12.30am – 11.00pm

O’Donoghue’s Bar

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Image via @odonoghuespub

One of the best known bars in Dublin, O’Donoghue’s bar has been frequented for many years by musicians. The Dubliners made a name for themselves there by performing nightly Irish music sessions during the 60s. Many other notable Irish musicians from The Fureys to Seamus Ennis, Joe Heaney performed in O’Donoghue’s Bar. The bar is decorated with photographs of some of Ireland’s best musicians. 

You can now listen to traditional Irish music seven nights a week at 9.00pm and at 5.00pm on Saturdays.


15 Merrion Row, Dublin City, Ireland

Opening hours:

Monday – Saturday: 10.30am – 12.00am

Sunday: 12.00am – 12.00pm

Marylou Prevost
Marylou Prevost

After a Master's degree in journalism and one year as a journalist in France, I landed in Dublin to write for Babylon Radio. I mostly love writing about cultural events in Ireland.

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