The tiny harbour town of Dingle in County Kerry, Ireland is a tourist paradise, but also relentlessly popular with locals, both as a place that offers gorgeous rural escapism, and a spot with a surprisingly lively restaurant and bar scene. The pubs here come from an old Irish tradition, some still maintaining the habit of ‘doubling up’ as something else, like a bicycle rental shop or a hardware store (the latter probably gives you a sense of how safe it is to go for a night out in Dingle – saws and hammers in the pub are just fine!). Here are our favourite spots to explore, from the ones with the best beer and whiskey to those with the best traditional music. Party on…
Built around the remnants of an old leather and shoe business (the products still gather dust on the walls), Dick Mack’s is a renowned and wonderful example of an Irish ‘old man’s pub’. There are countless little hidden snugs (private corners), open fires, and even a ‘walk of fame’ (a quaint version of the Hollywood Stars) outside the front door. Current owner Oliver MacDonnell has lived here all his life, literally. He was born above the pub. If you’re here during the day, there’s now a tourable brew-house out the back, too.
This is one of those spots we mentioned in the intro: Foxy John’s is not only a pub, but a bicycle rental store and a hardware store, meaning you’re literally drinking next to the screwdrivers and sandpaper. Star Wars actor Mark Hamill partied the night away here after local filming wrapped up recently, They have been known to have musicians stand behind the bar surrounded by screws and paint pots as they belt out their tunes, and in such a petite spot, the charm is endless. The kind of place you can’t quite catch the full impact of on camera, but you’ll remember forever.
Guinness is not the be all and end all down here: in fact, the Dingle Brewery is fast becoming the town’s core beer producer, and rightly so. The brewery is not a pub as such, though tours of the spot give you plenty of chance to try the beer right where it’s produced, if you’re into a bit of daytime drinking, and it’s as much a part of Irish pub culture as any other entrant on this list. Their core brew is Tom Crean’s lager, named for an Antarctic explorer (you can also visit his old pub, the South pole Inn, in nearby Annascaul), and he features heavily in the brewery tour, with ample relics from his exploration. You’ll be drinking next to a boat much like the one he once escaped the ice sheet on.
One of those old-world Irish pubs where the owner is also a regular patron, and the man behind the bar seems to know the entire history of not just the pub, but every petite corner of the town, too. This is a classic Irish boozer, home to regular Irish music sessions and with decades of local achievement plastered across its every wall. The tiny beer garden and much-loved Guinness is great, and with less of a tourist crowd than much of Dingle, you might find it a more authentic experience.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.