You can’t miss them. With that casual and friendly vibe, the green accents on the wall, and of course the ever present servings of Guinness pints, Irish pubs are everywhere. In every major city in the world, there will almost always be a place that is (one way or another) an iteration of the theme: hearty food, overflowing drinks, and warm people.
An Irish pub is like your teaghlach (means family in Irish) away from home. Always ready to welcome you back.
But is it a case of once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all? Of
course not! Although most Irish pubs tend to look alike, there are some that
stand out for one reason or another. And in this list are the three absolute
must visit for any respectable Irish pub aficionado worth his pint. So get
ready, in the next St. Patrick’s Day, here are your possible destinations.
Sean’s Bar, Athlone, Ireland
For our first pub, we go old-school. Very old-school. Founded around the 10th century, Sean’s Bar is not only the oldest pub in Ireland, it is also the oldest in Europe (and possibly the world). Located at the very heart of Ireland, as soon as you step inside, you’ll definitely know you’re stepping into history.
With sawdust covered flooring, old-style open fireplace, and the best traditional Irish music playing, Sean’s is truly a unique gem. The walls are also adorned with ancient artifacts (such as old coins discovered inside its walls) to remind you of its storied past. And if history is not enough for you, perhaps their world famous whiskey will do the trick.
Fun fact: Sean’s Bar was briefly owned by Boy George in 1987. Yes, even the Karma Chameleon singer couldn’t resist the pub’s appeal.
George Best Bar, Bled, Slovenia
Irish pub and football go together like beer and craic (that’s ‘fun’ for you, non-Irish). Go to any Irish pub and you’ll see the telly tuned to a football game or two. That’s why second on the list is a pub named after arguably the best football player in history (the great Pele reputedly consider him the best) and Belfast’s own George Best.
Located near the picturesque Lake Bled, the place is filled with keepsake’s of the fifth Beatle’s brief but brilliant career. With reasonably-priced drinks, a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, the place is perfect during game days. They also have free WIFI so you can upload your celebratory selfies after each goal.
Fun fact: George Best Bar also operates a backpacker hostel located at the upper floor. Great for when you just had too much to drink.
Neil’s Irish Bar, Kampot, Cambodia
In the sleepy town of Kampot, settled along its tranquil riverbank is the curiously named Oh Neil’s bar. Look beyond its palm and bamboo foliage and you’ll see a proper Irish bar worth its praises among local and expat patrons.
With a good selection of inexpensive local and imported beers, some proper Irish and Scotch whiskeys, a few authentic Irish dishes such as potato cakes and stew, and music that leans on the blues and classic rock genres; the place ticks all the right boxes.
But perhaps the most endearing quality about Oh Neil’s is the good-natured atmosphere, from the staff to the customers. As one customer so aptly puts it, “Stumbled across this bar by accident while walking the streets of Kampot. Was supposed to stay for just one beer but ended up spending the whole evening and a few coming evenings as well. Great bar, friendly staff, good music, and cold beer.”
A proper Irish bar in beautiful Cambodia, what’s not to like?
Fun Fact: Oh Neil’s Irish Bar is owned and run by Neil (hence the name), who is himself a proper Irishman and always ready for a quick chat. Don’t hesitate to say hi when you see him.
So the next time you feel adventurous but still pines
for the familiar, go ahead and visit these places. A home away from home that
is guaranteed to give you an unforgettable Irish pub night.