Tuneful Pint: Cork's Most Muscial Pubs

Cork has a deserved reputation as home to some of Ireland’s best pubs for live, traditional music. It’s virtually a rite of passage to catch a session while enjoying a pint or two (and it’s stout in these parts, by the way—Murphy’s or Beamish, not Guinness—if you really want to fit in).

You can just follow your ears to find the best places, but to get you started, here are a few of the most respected spots. An Bodhran (the name refers to a type of drum made from goatskin), 42 Oliver Plunkett St. (021/427-4544) has live sessions nightly, as does the cozy An Spailpín Fánach (which means “the Wandering Migrant Worker”), 27 South Main St. (021/427-7949). The succinctly named Sin é (literally, “That’s It”), 8 Coburg St. (021/450-2266) has been one of Cork’s top live-music pubs for decades. It has sessions most nights at 7pm, but those on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday tend to be particularly good. There’s trad every Thursday night at the atmospheric Long Valley, 10 Winthrop St. (www.thelongvalleybar.com; 021/427-2144)—but if you’ve had your fill of the pennywhistle by this point, come on Monday nights at 9:30 to catch the lively program of spoken-word events; see www.obheal.ie for more details.

For a Laugh 

You're likely to have the last laugh every Friday and Saturday night from 9:30pm at City Limits Comedy Club, 2 Coburg St. (021/450-1206 for recorded information, or 021/450-7744 bar; www.thecomedyclub.ie). You can purchase tickets in advance at www.tickets.ie. Ticket prices vary depending on the act.

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Held every year since 1978, this is Ireland’s biggest and most prestigious jazz festival. Big names such as Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, and Stephane Grappelli have played here over the years, with more than 1,000 performers from all over the world taking part annually. It’s held at various citywide venues in late October. Visit www.guinnessjazzfestival.com for details. Tickets go on sale in early September; prices vary and some events are free.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.