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9 Galway bars you need to visit this weekend

Or any week, really.

THE GALWAY RACES is a clear highlight of the calendar, not just for the horses, but for the craic too. Galway functions on a different frequency during race week, welcome thousands of people hoping to win a couple of quid and have some fun.

Here are a couple of picks for some of the best bars you might be able to wedge into during one of the busiest weeks of the year.

1. O’Connells

O'Connells Bar O'Connells Bar

For a beer garden, O’Connell’s is a traditional pub on Eyre Square with decent pints and picnic style tables (which you’ll probably be lucky to get!) It might seem old-worlde from a distance, but up, close and personal during race week, you’ll have people spilling out the door trying to get a piece of the brilliant atmosphere.

2. An Púcan

An Pucan An Pucan

An Púcán has just opened a fully decked out, flower-filled beer garden, big-screen beer garden that will probably be the talk of the town. The huge pub is perfectly located off Eyre Square and has a whiskey or cocktail menu to impress even the most hardened aficionados.

3. Shop Street

ConorLuddy ConorLuddy

Not strictly a single pub, but it’s safe to say Shop Street/High Street will be hopping every night of the races. Taaffes and Tig Coili are at the heart of it, while the Latin Quarter becomes a big street party, where people spill out of the streets from the Quays and Neachtains. The Dew Drop Inn is another that will packed to the rafters, but the atmosphere is worth it.

4. Guinness Village, Ballybrit

Daniele Faieta Daniele Faieta

At the back of the main stand, this is where you can stock up on some soakage with brown bread and smoked salmon as you sup a pint and enjoy the atmosphere of the racecourse.

5. The Radisson bar

It’s Ladies Day and you’re in your finest, there really is only one stop: The Radisson. Champagne cocktails on the terrace before you hot-foot it into the ballroom for some all night dancing. Remember though, you’ll need to abandon the course at least two races before the end to make it in there.

6. The Champagne Bar, Ballybrit

galwayplayer galwayplayer

Close to the Main Tote is the place to see and be seen, especially on Ladies Day. Sashay in there like you own the place, grab a glass of perfect prosecco and settle in for some people-watching.

7. Cocktails at House, the G or the Meyrick

The House Hotel The House Hotel

Race week and cocktails go together perfectly. And this is one part that the Hotels do spectacularly well. The House Hotel, the G Hotel & The Meyrick all offer extensive, upmarket cocktail menus that are the perfect antidote to sore feet and a couple of losing bets.

8. The Salt House

Salt House Salt House

There is still plenty of opportunity to soak up some craft beers during race week. Head for one of the Galway Bay Brewery bars, there’s not a dud amongst them. The Oslo in Salthill and the Salt House in Galway’s West End offer a huge selection of bottled IPAs and change the taps regularly so you can always bet on something unusual.

9. The Hole in the Wall

Apparently even the jockeys and trainers can’t escape the lure of a pint even during the heights of race week and the Hole in the Wall is their chosen watering hole. Listen out for tips from every corner!

More: The 11 best things to eat in Galway this week>

More: 11 insider tips everyone heading to Galway this week needs to know>

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