You can travel just about anywhere and find an Irish pub, often in the most unexpected places. Marked with Guinness signage and tricolor flags, Irish bars around the world have a no-nonsense reputation for quality service and convivial atmosphere. (So much so, in fact, that a Google search for “good bars” in Ulaanbataar reportedly simply returns a list for “Irish pubs.”) Whether it’s a two-story dancehall or a backpacker’s layover, these Hibernian watering holes have one thing in common, a mission to spread the tradition of good Irish craic. Below you’ll find our selection of the farthest-flung, most remote, and otherwise unexpected Irish bars across the globe.
Malin Head, Ireland
Farren’s Bar on Ireland’s Inishowen Peninsula has the distinction of being the northernmost pub on the island of Ireland. Situated less than a minute from the north Atlantic coast, this pub was named the best bar in Ireland last year at the National Hospitality Awards. The bar is integral to the local nightlife scene as well as a favorite for tourists coming from nearby Derry and elsewhere. The bar opened in 1825 and has been family-owned and operated for six generations, through today’s current owner, Hugh Farren. “Everyone is a local, no matter where they’re from,” Ferren told the Derry Journal. “I think we’ve still got the old values of having a chat and good craic.” And, for the anglers out there, be sure to check out the bait and tackle shop next door.
Slievebawn, Malin Head
023567 Malin, Co. Donegal
THE IRISH PUB
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
If you want a good old Irish stout in the harbor of a god, look no further than The Irish Pub in the capital city of the north Atlantic Farrow Islands. Located in the center of Tórshavn, which translates as “Thor’s Harbor,” this Irish bar provides a welcome respite from the dreary weather to tourists and locals alike, while nodding to the Celtic heritage of these Danish islands. Situated almost exactly halfway between Norway and Iceland, the Farrow Islands were first permanently settled not by Scandinavian Vikings, but by the Norse-Gael descendants of Viking settlers in Ireland and around the Irish Sea, and traces of the Irish language can still be seen in the Faroese language today. With a standard selection of Irish whiskeys like Jameson, Bushmills, and Tullamore Dew, and beers like Guinness, Kilkenny, and Caffrey’s, The Irish Pub hits all the right tasting notes. The food menu includes staples like fish and chips and an “Irish burger” complete with chips, bacon, and cabbage. There’s a pub quiz every Friday and live music every Saturday and Sunday.
Gríms Kambansgøta 13
110 Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
Known as the “Gateway to the Arctic,” one of the best places from which to view the Northern Lights, and hometown of Norwegian pop star Dagny, the city of Tromsø lies 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle and receives two months of straight sunlight from mid-May through mid-July. But its location on the Norwegian sea and the effects of the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current give it a relatively temperate climate compared to other places along the same latitude. All this combines to make Tromsø one of the most popular destinations in Scandinavia, and a natural spot for an international Irish pub. O’Leary’s, the city’s sole Irish pub, is likely the northernmost Irish pub in the world (if you can find one farther north let me know in the comments below!). It is the brain child of Anne O’Leary, a Boston native, and Jonas Reinholdsson, from Sweden. The pair opened their first O’Leary’s in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1988 and quickly expanded throughout Scandinavia. Here, you’ll find the atmosphere of a “Bostonian neighborhood bar” — which basically translates to Irish pub — according to O’Leary’s website, along with good pints and ample TV screens for streaming any international sporting matches you care to see.
9008 Tromsø, Norway
GEORGE BEST BAR
Tucked deep in the Slovenian mountains, Bled isn’t the type of city on anyone’s bucket list, though it is a relatively popular resort area and backpacking destination as a launching point for outdoors adventuring in the surrounding region. So why in this small town of no more than 9,000 is there a bar named for one of Ireland’s most famous soccer players? That would be the doing of John Murray, a Belfast native who fell in love with the town and moved his family there in the early 2000s, setting up the George Best Bar upon his arrival. Inside, you’ll find a bar decorated with Ulster and Belfast memorabilia, as well as a hefty dose of Manchester United apparel, the team for which George Best scored 137 of his 179 career goals. The bar is just a few minutes from Bled Castle and the pristine glacial lake around which the city is situated, and upstairs, you’ll find a small backpackers hostel that organizes sightseeing tours, hiking, canoeing, and rafting trips.
Grajska Cesta 21
4260 Bled, Slovenia
GRAND KHAAN IRISH PUB
A stone’s throw away from the Mongolian capital’s monumental Sukhbaatar Square lies the purest expression of Irish and European pop export, the Grand Khaan Irish pub. A two-story disco, restaurant, sports bar, and music venue, the Grand Khaan was established in 2005 and takes its name from the literal translation of Genghis Khan. It lives up to its hype. Though a few blocks down the street lies The Dublin Irish Pub, which claims to have been the first Irish pub in Ulaanbaatar and takes credit for beginning the Gaelic pub craze across the city (there are now upwards of three dozen Irish pubs in Ulaanbaatar), Grand Khaan is impossible to beat for size and cultural relevance, for it’s here that the city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities are centered. Stop by for their balcony patio for a day-time Guinness, and stay through the night to see the city come alive.
THE IRISH PUB
Namche Bazar, Nepal
The lowest elevation of the Khumbu Valley town of Namche Bazar, the last major outpost for climbers of Mount Everest before the South Base Camp, is 11,286 feet, making The Irish Pub the highest in the world. The village is only reachable via a two-day hike from the nearest airport at Lukla, meaning everything in the pub, from its Guinness and Bailey’s to its bar stools and pool table was carted in by mule train, yak train, or on the backs of Nepal’s indefatigable Sherpas. The mountaineering community is notorious for its camaraderie, and inside you’ll find any number of tips and tales being shared between international climbers in a dozen different languages. Hot drinks are a perennial favorite — unsurprising in a town where the average summer high is 16º F — including a local Nepalese drink called tongba, a millet-based beer that is drunk with boiling water added until the alcohol is gone.
00977 Namche Bazar, Nepal
Wedged into a slim French colonial building on Kampot’s popular riverfront walk between a pizza and burger joint and a massage parlor lies Oh Neil’s, an Irish-owned and operated bar decorated with bamboo, palm thatch, and shamrocks. Kampot, located at the mouth of the Praek Tuek Chhu river near to the Gulf of Thailand, was once the most significant port city in the country but is today a quieter town known more for its status as a base from which to visit the surrounding pepper plantations. The décor is full western ex-pat, with bank notes and coins from around the world adorning the walls and rock, jazz, and blues coming from the speakers. The eponymous Neil keeps a well-stocked selection of Irish whiskeys and cold beer in addition to local Cambodian ciders and homemade food. Plus, it’s open late, just like a good Irish pub should.
Kampot City, Kampot 07000, Cambodia
MURPHY’S IRISH PUB & RESTAURANT
Founded in 2010 by Irishman Killian Murphy, Murphy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant was the first true Irish pub to open in Jakarta, and the first pub anywhere in the city to offer draught Kilkenny and Guinness (though it took a year and a half get the Guinness flowing). With a proper lounge, a kitchen that serves up Guinness beef pies along side bangers and mash, and amenities like a full-size pool table and dart board, this bar offers one of the most authentically Irish experiences anywhere outside of Ireland and paved the way for all future Irish pubs in Indonesia. Located in the trendy international neighborhood of Kemang, Murphy’s also serves as the de facto center of the Irish expatriate community in the city and is home to the Jakarta GAA.
Jalan Kemang Raya No. 11
Kemang, South Jakarta, Indonesia
Billing itself as the “Party Capital of Kampala,” Bubbles O’Leary’s has been bumping since 1999. The pub is located in the heart of Kololo, one of Kampala’s biggest nightlife hubs, and offers live music every Wednesday, dancing on weekends, karaoke on Mondays. So chances are if you find yourself in the Ugandan capital, you’ll likely find yourself here one of your nights. In 2003, the owner bought the interior of an out-of-business pub in Drogheda and shipped it piece-by-piece to O’Leary’s, where it was faithfully reassembled to give the environs a sense of true Irish life. Whether you’re looking for a chill night or a party, the air conditioning is said to always be on.
19 Acacia Avenue
PADDY’S IRISH PUB
Located dead in the center of Cusco, across the street from the Cusco Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas, Paddy’s Irish Pub is hard to miss and hardly remote. Cusco is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the Americas, having been the capital of the Incan Empire until the Spanish conquest of the 16th century, and is still the traditional gateway to visitors to Machu Pichu. But at a mere 132 feet lower than The Irish Pub in Namche Bazar, Nepal, Paddy’s Irish Pub is the highest Irish-owned bar in the world. Opened in 1996, the bar offers traditional Hibernian staples like Guinness, Jameson, and Irish coffees, as well as all-day Irish breakfast. Paddy’s also offers a great selection of local fare and brews for those who wish to venture outside of the standard Irish pub menu.
Calle Triunfo 124
Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
Dublín Irish Pub is more an Irish pub in spirit, if not in menu. You won’t find Guinness on draught or dark wood paneling here, but you will find green corrugated iron with local stout and other craft offerings by Beagle and Cape Horn breweries. You’ll also find adventurers from around the world who come to Ushuaia for the nearby skiing at the end of the Andes and scientists back from research trips to Antarctica. Located at the southernmost tip of Argentina, Ushuaia is nicknamed the “End of the World,” and even has a museum dedicated to that status, fittingly called Museo del Fin del Mundo, covering the regional history of whaling and sailing, as well as seabirds like penguins.
Avenida 9 de Julio 168
9410 Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Dunedin, New Zealand
At 11,911 miles from Dublin — just a few hundred miles shy of half way around the earth — The Bog in Dunedin, New Zealand is literally the world’s farthest Irish bar from Ireland itself. It’s got all the staples of a standard Irish sports bar and restaurant and is often populated with university students from the nearby University of Otago, New Zealand’s oldest university. Owing to Dunedin’s strong Scottish heritage (the city’s name is derived from Dún Éideann, the Scotch Gaelic name for Edinburgh), it might even feel like you never left your local.
387 George St.
Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Did we leave your favorite international Irish pub off our list? Have you been to a farther-flung Irish bar? Let us know in the comments below!