What are the best pubs in Ireland? It's a tough question. 

There are so many different ways to judge the top pubs in Ireland. Length of time in business, popularity, unique features, best pulled pints and poured cocktails, the quality of the craic and live music. 

Read More: The oldest and most charming pubs in Ireland

Thankfully, the folks at MailOnline Travel have shared their ranking of the best pubs in Ireland. If you're trying to pick which pubs to prioritize on your next trip to Ireland, you can't go wrong with one of these. 

Have you been to any of these pubs? Let us know if you agree they're the best! 

The Brazen Head, Dublin City, County Dublin 

The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head

This pub is located just off the Liffey quays in Dublin, outside the city walls and near the original bridge of Dublin. It's believed to have been a tavern since 1178 and the current building was constructed in 1754 as a coaching inn. 

The historical and literary figures who have enjoyed a pint at the Brazen Head include James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Jonathan Swift, Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins, to name just a few. Popular events include nightly live music and special storytelling sessions. 

Johnnie Fox's, Glencullen, County Dublin

Johnnie Fox’s has been at the center of Glencullen village since 1798, the year the Irish Rebellion was led by Wolfe Tone. It was also used for meetings by leaders during 1916. Fox’s also boasts of being the highest pub in Dublin and has an amazing view of the city below.

The pub is about 35 minutes away from the city center, but it is worth making the trek for the atmosphere, traditional music, dancing, storytelling sessions and other entertainment seven nights a week.

The Temple Bar, Dublin City, County Dublin 

One of the most recognizable pubs in Dublin, the Temple Bar holds court in the Dublin neighborhood by the same name. Founded in 1840, today it is rarely not packed and features live music most nights of the week. 

Read More: Five historic pubs to visit in Dublin 

The Mail Online reported that recent research showed it to be the most Instagrammed pub in all of Ireland, tagged in over 520,000 posts. 

The Bernard Shaw, Dublin City, County Dublin 

The Bernard Shaw is redefining what it means to be an Irish pub in the modern day.  With live DJs and bands, a food courtyard, and graffiti walls, it's one of the coolest pubs in Dublin. 

Social media users agree - The Bernard Shaw is the third-most Instagrammed pub in Ireland, tagged in over 25,000 posts.

Seán's Bar, Athlone, County Westmeath 

Sean's Bar

Sean's Bar

Seán’s Bar holds the title of the oldest pub in Ireland, based on the site where a tavern has kept people fed and watered since 900 AD. Not only does its 1,119 years make it the oldest pub in Ireland, but it’s also considered to be the oldest pub in the whole continent of Europe. It even has the certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records to prove it.

Read More: Oldest pub in Ireland - Sean's pub is possibly the oldest in the world

As you might expect, the bar is full of character and history, with wattle that still exists in the walls dating back to the 10th century. 

Hole in the Wall, Dublin City, County Dublin 

Tucked against the wall of Dublin's Phoenix Park, one of the largest open-air parks in any of Europe's capital cities, Hole in the Wall offers an utterly unique experience. Dating back to 1651, it claims to be both the longest pub in Europe in addition to holding the title of longest continuous pub counter. 

Its name allegedly comes from a hole in the adjoining wall to Phoenix Park through which the bar would sell tipple to British soldiers stationed inside the park. 

The Oliver Plunkett, Cork City, County Cork

Located on Oliver Plunket Street in beautiful Cork City, this massive pub is the place in Cork to see live traditional music seven nights a week. 

Read More: The best pubs and restaurants in Ireland, according to you

The Oliver Plunkett is filled with interesting facts about Cork, its history and its people past and present. Photos and paintings of people like Irish hero Michael Collins, US president John F. Kennedy, and Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten, whose mother was from Cork, line the walls. 

South Pole Inn, Annascaul, County Kerry

The South Pole Inn honors its one-time owner, Antarctic explorer Tom Crean (1877-1938), who ventured to the South Pole with explorers Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Scott.

In addition to being a charming Irish pub in its own right, the South Pole also features exhibits about Crean and his extraordinary life and expeditions. 

Gin Palace, Dublin City, County Dublin 

A stunning Victorian pub off of Liffey Street and Abbey Street in Dublin's City Center, the Gin Palace is home to the largest collection of gins in Dublin. 

Have one of their charming bartenders mix you a delicious cocktail. Sticking around for a bit? They have a gin club you can join. 

Dick Mack's, Dingle, County Kerry

Dick Mack's.

Dick Mack's.

Bet you've never had a pint in a traditional leather belt shop? A Dingle institution, Dick Mack's has been around since 1899 and features a classic pub in one half of the establishment and the aforementioned belt shop in the other. 

Stop in for one of the best pints of Guinness or pours of Irish whiskey around. 

Beach Bar, Aughris, County Sligo

A pub on the beach?! Beach Bar is an experience unlike any other. A traditional thatched cottage pub and bed and breakfast right on Sligo's pristine Aughris beach.

Read More: How a Dublin accountant came to own 14 Irish pubs in the US

With stunning views of Sligo Bay and Benbulben and Knockrea mountains, there's no place more beautiful to sup on traditional Irish food and drinks. 

Gus O'Connor's Pub, Doolin, County Clare

One of the most famous venues in Ireland for traditional live music, Gus O'Connor's opened in 1832. Gus and his wife Doll pioneered the music at pubs concept and many famous music sessions were recorded at Gus' over the years. 

Just a short drive away from the Cliffs of Moher, Gus O'Connor's is a must during any visit to Clare. 

Hargadon Bros. Pub, Sligo, County Sligo 

Billed as a grocer, spirit and wine merchant, Hargadon's was established in 1868. Dedicated to using fresh, local ingredients, the pub was Sligo’s only entry in the Michelin Guide, Eating Out in Pubs 2016. 

Fun fact: all of their house wines even come from their own vineyard in the Languedoc region of France.

L. Mulligan Grocer Pub, Stoneybatter, County Dublin

Located in the ultra-trendy Dublin Neighborhood of Stoneybatter, the L. Mulligan Grocer Pub offers a gourmet Irish pub experience. Their beer and food menus change seasonally, and they also offer a great selection of ciders. 

But the real highlight here is the whiskey - L. Mulligan's is home to an impressive selection. They also have a whiskey and specialty spirits shop in Powerscourt Town Center if you're looking to take some home. 

The Long Hall, Dublin City, County Dublin 

Established in 1766, The Long Hall is a classically beautiful historic Dublin pub. Its Victorian interior dates back to 1881 and creates a warm, friendly environment.

The clientele ranges from older locals to students from Trinity College or Dublin Institute of Technology. Both will be made to feel welcome - as will any tourist in search of a quiet pint and a decent conversation.

McDaid's, Dublin City, County Dublin 

Photo: Flickr/WordWritten

Photo: Flickr/WordWritten

A Dublin literary institution, McDaid's was once the haunt of writers like James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Flann O'Brien, Patrick Kavanagh, J.P. Donleavy, and more. 

Just off of Grafton Street, it's the ideal place to pop in after a day of shopping or exploring Dublin. 

The Old Thatch, Killeagh, East County Cork 

Ireland's oldest thatched pub, The Old Thatch was established in 1650 and remains a stunning example of this traditional Irish building technique. 

Come to have the craic with friendly locals and to sample dishes from their quintessential Irish pub menu. 

Don't see your favorite pub in Ireland listed here? Let us know in the comment section or on social media. 

Johnnie Fox's pub, the highest in Ireland, is among the best. Rob Durston