In Ireland, pub culture is widespread and involves more than just drinking. I went to Sean’s Bar in Athlone, the oldest pub in Ireland, which was established in 900 AD! As I entered the dim room through the door, I felt as though I had traveled back in time. It was simple to imagine a gathering of generations of families with music and laughter. Behind a glass window, a safe portion of the original straw and clay wall can still be seen in the bar.

Kings Head Pub, Galway When you enter the Kings Head Pub in Galway, the fireplace, which dates back to 1612, is the first thing you see. You can only imagine how cozy it is! If my Beef and Guinness Stew was any indication, the food is excellent pub fare and the building is full of history.

Joe Watty’s Pub, Aran Islands If you make it to Inishmore on the Aran Islands—please do!—please do! Joe Watty’s Pub is a must-visit. You can enjoy your meal while listening to folk musicians sing tales from long ago if you time it right.