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Irish Pub Etiquette

Thinking of visiting an Irish pub sometime soon? 


The classic Irish pub, of which there are many variations but the soul remains the same, is a great place to spend an evening or nip in for a quick pint between sightseeing, shopping, work or whatever else you’re up to.

Read on below to fit in and enjoy your visit like a local. 

Tips for Visiting an Irish Pub

Below we’ve distilled (pardon the pun) years of experience in enjoying Irish pubs to ensure you know exactly what to do when you visit a classic drinking den on the Emerald Isle…

Take a Seat

The majority of Irish pubs and bars you enter won’t have table service or hosts so, when you enter, feel free to grab the first seat, table or booth you see free.

Once you’ve found somewhere comfortable you can take your time and consider what you’d like to drink but remember that drinks menus are few and far between in Irish pubs. If you’re stuck make your way to the bar (see below) and ask for recommendations or take a peak at the shelves, fridges and pumps on display.

Oh, one final thing…

Irish pubs can get pretty crowded during evenings, weekends and big sporting events so be prepared for plenty of seat swapping and sharing. Sure we’re all friends here! 

Order at the Bar... and be Nice!

In Ireland it’s almost certain that you’ll have to order your drinks at the bar. This can change from time to time, depending on the type of establishment you’re in, but take our word for it and head on up when you’re ready to order. 

When you’re there, take your place in an easily visible part of the bar (i.e. not behind the beer pumps if possible!) or queue behind those already present. Bartenders generally have a knack for knowing who arrived first so relax and wait your turn and never (EVER!) shout, wave, whistle or do anything else out of the ordinary that might seem rude or aggressive.

It’s a sure fire way to be ignored for the rest of the night… and none of us want that!

In Ireland tipping isn’t essential or required. The majority of bar staff receive a good wage for their work but if you feel like your bartender has been particularly friendly, helpful or engaging then feel free to tip as much as you’d like.

Round and Round We Go!

Rounds are a huge part of the Irish pub scene so it’s worth knowing and understanding this before drinking as part of a group. 

Rounds are essentially a system where each person in the group takes it in turn to buy everyone, including themselves, a drink. This system ensures the bars are clearer, as only one person from each table orders at a time, and the craic keeps flowing as everything isn’t constantly disrupted by drinks orders.

The most important thing to remember with rounds is, if you enter a round with people then you must honour your round and return the favour.

If you don’t feel like entering a round with your group, or can’t keep up, just let everyone know and enjoy the rest of your visit at your own pace. 

Be Patient!

According to official Guinness custodians it takes exactly 119.5 seconds, and a 45 degree tilt, to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. After that you’ll want to leave it to settle until it casts that iconic ruby black silhouette with creamy head on top. 

As a result, always, always ask for pints of Guinness at the start of your order, especially if it’s a big round!

This small detail ensures bartenders have plenty of time to pour your pints of Guinness, and let them settle, whilst handling your other various drinks orders as well. Perfect Irish pub etiquette that will be appreciated by the staff serving you! 

Finally... Enjoy the Craic!

This should go without saying but, for 99% of the time, Irish pubs are supposed to be places of fun, storytelling, music and craic. 

So get out there, have fun and if you hear a good story be sure to tell us!


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