Ireland’s most musical counties


As a whole, Ireland is a country abounding with history and culture. It’s the birthplace of some extremely influential people, who have changed not just the Irish culture, but also the music and arts scene all over the world; people like Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Pierce Brosnan, Bram Stoker, Bono, Bob Geldof.

Ireland’s been the backdrop to plenty of famous films and music videos too. Films such as Love, Rosie (2014) and P.S. I Love You (2007) were set in Ireland, whilst Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Saving Private Ryan (1998) were shot in some of Ireland’s most iconic places: the Cliffs of Moher, and Curracloe Beach.

We’ve seen musicians like Sinead O’Connor, Danny O Donoghue, Enya, Niall Horan, and Hozier emerge from Ireland.

So if you’re a fan of music and the arts, Ireland truly is the place for you to go. If you’re planning a visit you’ll need to check out the eBook, Musical Drives, brought to you by Chill Insurance. Think of it as a guidebook, laying out where you need to go, places you need to visit and what to look out for. It even suggests the best music to listen along to, all written by Irish-born musicians.

With all of this musical history, where should you be heading to in Ireland to find the most musical counties?

Cork is the home of Cork Opera House, making it the place to go for any fans of classical music, theatre, or comedy sketches. The original opera house, built in 1855, burned down 100 years later in 1955. It was rebuilt in 1963 and has played a big part since in Cork’s music scene. The annual Cork Jazz Festival has previously been held there.

For more traditional Irish music, Sin é is the best place to try. It’s been the venue for the traditional Irish music scene since 1978, making it the longest-running one in Ireland. Their music runs 7 days a week and isn’t one to miss.

Cork is also home to the Rory Gallagher Music Library, a library dedicated purely to all things music. You can borrow music books, scores, CDs, DVDs and more. They cover a huge variety of genres, including classical, choral, jazz, modern and rock, so whether you’re a classical oboist or a rock guitarist, there’ll be something in there for you.

It would be impossible to do a cultural post about Ireland and not mention its grand capital, Dublin. Dublin holds Ireland’s biggest and best music venues. From tiny bars such as O’Donoghue’s Bar, where The Dubliners played their first gig, to huge arenas like 3Arena, which seats 13,000 people, there’s plenty to see and do.

You can visit Windmill Lane Recording Studios, where some pretty famous people have recorded their albums. This mega list includes Ed Sheeran, U2, Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart, Kate Bush, and Simple Minds. You can even book a private tour.

Bruxelles Bar is actually three bars in one building. It’s seen many famous faces come and go in the past, including Paul Weller, Oasis, Snow Patrol and Phil Lynott. Thin Lizzy spent lots of time there in their early days, which has led to a statue of Lynott being placed just outside Bruxelles. It’s situated just off Grafton Street.

There’s plenty more to see in Dublin, so do some research before you go to make sure you don’t miss out on a thing.

Ireland is an incredible place with some truly amazing historical places to see. It has everything from expanding cities to rural cliffs, making it a great trip for everyone, no matter what your taste.

Download Chill’s Musical Drives eBook to find out what else you can do on your trip around Ireland.