Áras na nGael – Galway, Ireland - Gastro Obscura

Gastro Obscura

Áras na nGael

At this cozy bar tucked down a hidden Galway backroad, Guinness makes the Gaelic come out. 

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Anyone who’s lived abroad knows that foreign language competence increases exponentially with each drink. Nowhere might this be better proven than Aras na nGael, a Gaelic-speaking bar that offers nightly crash courses on all things Irish language and culture.

Galway’s Gaelic little secret isn’t the only one of its kind. Its sister bar in Dublin outright forbids the English language. Over in Galway, however, they’ve taken a more lenient approach to keeping their national language alive. Enter through a traditional stone archway and walk down an unsuspecting path where you’ll find a welcoming watering hole for the curious of mind.

Each night of the week is themed to help foreigners acclimate to traditional Irish living. Monday is “beginner’s night,” where newcomers to the ancient language can gain some confidence in their speaking and comprehension. Later on, there’s also a beginner’s music circle, where novice accordion, viola, and guitar players can jam on traditional Irish tunes. Tuesday is “student night,” where foreigners can come and mingle over a pint or five and work their language skills on the local bartenders.

After all that studying, things loosen up on Friday with “World Culture Club,” a night of hip hop and dance music. Saturdays and Sundays host live traditional music from local artists. 

If you’re not already one of the 1.7 million people who speak Gaelic, you may soon be.