Ultimate Guide Sligo 15 Best things to do

Ultimate Guide Sligo 15 Best things to do

Discover the hidden gem of Sligo, Ireland, with its breathtaking landscapes and rich heritage. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs of Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe, or stroll along the stunning beaches at Strandhill. Visit the iconic Yeats Building and immerse yourself in the literary history of the renowned poet W.B. Yeats. Explore the ancient Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery and delve into Ireland’s prehistoric past. Embark on a scenic drive through the picturesque landscapes of Benbulbin and Glencar Waterfall. Indulge in traditional Irish music and hospitality at local pubs and restaurants. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or culture lover, Sligo offers an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss out on the top attractions and hidden gems this charming town has to offer.

Knocknarea

Knocknarea Visitor Information

Working hours: It is open to visitors at all times, but it’s advisable to visit during daylight hours.

Need time: Allocate about 1-2 hours for the hike to the top and to explore the site.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Knocknarea, Carrowroe, Co. Sligo, F91 C996, Ireland

Knocknarea offers stunning views of Sligo Bay and the surrounding countryside, so make sure to bring a camera.

About Knocknarea

Knocknarea is a prominent hill located just west of Sligo town in County Sligo, Ireland. At its summit is the famous Queen Maeve’s Tomb, a large cairn said to be the burial place of the legendary Celtic queen. The hike to the top is moderate but rewarding, offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Sligo Bay, and the surrounding picturesque landscape. The site holds great historical and archaeological significance, and visitors can immerse themselves in the mythology and history of the area while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings. It’s a must-visit for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone looking for a memorable outdoor experience in Ireland.

Mullaghmore

Mullaghmore Visitor Information

Working hours: Open all day, year-round, for public access.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site, including hiking and enjoying the views of the stunning coast.

Cost to visit: Free admission to Mullaghmore.

Address: Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland.

The best time to visit is during the morning to have the best light for photography.

About Mullaghmore

Mullaghmore is a picturesque coastal village located in County Sligo, Ireland. It is renowned for its stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and dramatic cliffs, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers. The village is situated along the Wild Atlantic Way, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Classiebawn Castle, Benbulben Mountain, and the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, surfing, and birdwatching, or simply relax on the sandy shores. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in fresh seafood at the local restaurants and explore the charming harbor. Mullaghmore promises an unforgettable experience for those seeking tranquility amidst nature’s beauty.

Drumcliffe Church

Drumcliffe Church Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; hours may vary on weekends and holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to fully explore the church, graveyard, and surrounding area.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Drumcliffe Church, Drumcliffe, County Sligo, F91 YX59, Ireland

The church is an important historical site and is also the burial place of W.B. Yeats. Take time to explore the surrounding graveyard and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

About Drumcliffe Church

Drumcliffe Church is a place rich in history and natural beauty. It is best known as the final resting place of the renowned Irish poet W.B. Yeats. Visitors can explore the church and its grounds, where they can find Yeats’ grave. The church itself is a peaceful and serene place, offering a quiet retreat to visitors. The graveyard surrounding the church is also worth exploring, with its ancient Celtic crosses and stunning views of Benbulben Mountain. Additionally, the site offers an opportunity for visitors to learn about the area’s history and the life of W.B. Yeats through informative displays and plaques. Drumcliffe Church is an essential stop for those interested in literature, history, and the natural beauty of County Sligo.

Sligo County Museum

Sligo County Museum Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to fully explore the museum and its exhibits.

Cost to visit: Free admission for all visitors.

Address: Stephen Street, Sligo, F91 P386, Ireland

The museum offers guided tours for a more in-depth experience, and it’s recommended to check the current exhibition schedule before visiting for a unique and insightful trip.

About Sligo County Museum

The Sligo County Museum is a fascinating destination for those seeking to explore the rich history and culture of Sligo. Housed in a former convent, the museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, documents, and artworks representing the heritage of the region. Visitors can expect to delve into the history of Sligo from prehistoric times to the present day, with exhibits focusing on archaeology, the Great Famine, and notable local figures. The museum provides an engaging and educational experience, offering a deeper understanding of Sligo’s past and its influence on the present.

Due to limited space, large bags and backpacks are not permitted inside the museum. Additionally, photography may be restricted in certain areas, so it’s advisable to inquire upon arrival.

Benbulben

Benbulben Visitor Information

Working hours: There are no specific working hours as Benbulben is a natural landmark and can be visited at any time.

Need time: Benbulben is a fantastic spot for a leisurely hike or a scenic drive with breathtaking views. Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully experience the beauty of the area.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Benbulben, County Sligo, Ireland

The best time to visit is during the morning or evening to witness the stunning sunrise or sunset over the majestic mountain.

About Benbulben

Benbulben, often referred to as Ireland’s very own “Table Mountain”, is a striking limestone formation located in County Sligo. This iconic landmark is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers for its rugged trails and captivating beauty. Visitors can explore the surrounding area, rich in mythological and historical significance, or take in the panoramic views from the neighboring vantage points. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a picturesque escape, Benbulben promises an unforgettable experience amidst Ireland’s remarkable natural scenery.

Lough Gill

Lough Gill Visitor Information

Working hours: Lough Gill is open to visitors all day, every day.

Need time: Allocate at least half a day to fully explore the beautiful landscapes and attractions around Lough Gill.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Lough Gill, County Sligo, Ireland

The best way to experience Lough Gill is by taking a boat tour to truly appreciate the stunning scenery and historic sites.

About Lough Gill

Lough Gill, located in County Sligo, is a picturesque lake surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests. The area is steeped in history and folklore, with renowned landmarks such as the Lake Isle of Innisfree, as immortalized by the poet William Butler Yeats. Visitors can enjoy activities such as fishing, hiking, and birdwatching, or simply relax and take in the tranquil beauty of the surroundings. The lake is also famous for the beautiful wooded island of Innisfree, which is accessible by boat. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the historic sites and breathtaking nature that Lough Gill has to offer.

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically open from dawn to dusk, however, it’s best to visit during daylight hours for safety reasons.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to admire the waterfall and take in the stunning natural surroundings at a leisurely pace.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Glencar, Co. Sligo, F91 TV04, Ireland

The pathway to the waterfall from the car park is well-maintained, but it can be slippery, especially after rain. Wear appropriate footwear and take caution, especially with children.

About Glencar Waterfall

Located in the heart of County Sligo, Glencar Waterfall is a truly breathtaking sight. This natural wonder cascades from a height of 50 feet into a deep pool below, creating an enchanting and serene atmosphere. The area surrounding the waterfall is perfect for a peaceful stroll, with the sounds of nature accompanying you. It’s a great spot for photography enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Be sure to bring a picnic and make the most of the beautiful picnic area nearby.

Model Arts and Niland Gallery

Model Arts and Niland Gallery Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site, including the exhibitions and the beautiful courtyard.

Cost to visit: Admission to the Model Arts and Niland Gallery is free, making it a great budget-friendly attraction.

Address: The Model, The Mall, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo, F91 NCF3, Ireland.

Located in the heart of Sligo, the Model Arts and Niland Gallery is easily accessible and a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

About Model Arts and Niland Gallery

The Model Arts and Niland Gallery is a contemporary arts centre that boasts an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. Housed in a striking building, the gallery features diverse exhibitions, including paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations. Additionally, the gallery hosts cultural events, workshops, and talks, providing a vibrant and engaging space for creativity and community interaction.

Benbulben Forest Walk

Benbulben Forest Walk Visitor Information

Working hours: Due to its nature as a public outdoor space, Benbulben Forest Walk does not have specified working hours. It is accessible throughout the day, year-round.

Need time: A leisurely exploration of Benbulben Forest Walk typically requires 2-3 hours, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Benbulben Forest Walk, County Sligo, F91 CP30, Ireland

Ensure to wear suitable footwear and bring a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

About Benbulben Forest Walk

Located at the foothills of the iconic Benbulben mountain, the forest walk offers a serene and picturesque setting for nature enthusiasts. The tranquil ambiance, coupled with the diverse flora and fauna, provides a wonderful opportunity for a peaceful retreat. Visitors can meander through the well-marked trails, relishing the enchanting woodland atmosphere and the captivating views of the majestic Benbulben peak. The site is also a haven for birdwatching and photography, making it a delightful experience for all who appreciate the outdoors.

Sligo Folk Park

Sligo Folk Park Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; some areas may have varied hours.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Riverstown, Sligo, F56 V297, Ireland

Discover the rich history and culture of Sligo at Sligo Folk Park. Don’t miss the charming traditional cottages and captivating exhibitions.

About Sligo Folk Park

Immerse yourself in the heritage of Sligo at the Sligo Folk Park. Wander through the meticulously recreated village, featuring traditional thatched cottages, a church, and a schoolhouse, all providing a glimpse into rural Irish life in the 19th century. The park also hosts an impressive collection of agricultural and rural artifacts, offering insight into the region’s past. With its serene surroundings and engaging exhibits, Sligo Folk Park is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those seeking an authentic cultural experience in Ireland.

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery Visitor Information

Working hours: The Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is open to visitors from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with some variations in different seasons.

Need time: It is recommended to allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site, appreciate the ancient history, and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

Cost to visit: Free entry to Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery.

Address: Carrowmore, County Sligo, F91 W3F3, Ireland.

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is a captivating place to explore the ancient history of Ireland. Don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes and a camera to capture the stunning views.

About Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

The Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is a significant and awe-inspiring prehistoric site, comprising over 60 ancient ceremonial monuments. It is one of the largest and oldest megalithic cemeteries in Ireland, dating back to the Neolithic period. Visitors can wander through the mystical landscape, dotted with megalithic tombs, stone circles, and standing stones. The site offers a profound glimpse into the rituals and beliefs of Ireland’s early inhabitants, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking a deeper connection with ancient heritage.

Rosses Point

Rosses Point Visitor Information

Working hours: Due to the nature of Rosses Point being an outdoor area, it is open to visit at any time, but it’s recommended during daylight hours for the best experience.

Need time: Allocate at least half a day to fully explore the beauty of Rosses Point, with time to enjoy the stunning coastal scenery and maybe even dip your toes in the Atlantic waters.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Rosses Point, Co. Sligo, F91 YH44, Ireland

Rosses Point is an ideal spot for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility by the sea. Don’t forget your camera to capture the breathtaking views.

About Rosses Point

Rosses Point is a captivating coastal village located just 8km from Sligo town. The area is renowned for its picturesque beach, sailing club, and scenic golf course. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the shore, take part in water activities, or simply relax and take in the stunning views of Benbulben and Knocknarea mountains. With several charming local pubs and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to unwind and savor fresh seafood while watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. Rosses Point offers a true taste of the unspoiled beauty of the Irish coastline, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the enchanting county of Sligo.

Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery

Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery Visitor Information

Working hours: The Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery is an outdoor site and can be visited at any time. However, it is recommended to visit during daylight hours for the best experience and safety.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site, including time for hiking and enjoying the breathtaking views.

Cost to visit: Free – There is no cost to visit Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery.

Address: Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery, Castlebaldwin, County Sligo, F52 KR80, Ireland.

It’s essential to wear sturdy footwear and bring water and snacks, as there are no facilities or shops nearby.

About Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery

The Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery, located in the mystical landscape of County Sligo, is a collection of ancient passage tombs that date back over 5,000 years. The site offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Ireland’s prehistoric past while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and countryside. Visitors can explore the Neolithic burial monuments and experience the profound sense of history and spirituality that permeates the area. The site is also a popular destination for hikers and photographers due to its stunning natural beauty and historical significance. A visit to Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery promises a memorable and awe-inspiring experience for anyone with an interest in ancient history and the great outdoors.

Harry’s Bar

Harry’s Bar Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM; may vary on weekends and holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to enjoy the atmosphere and drinks.

Cost to visit: Free to enter; prices for food and drinks vary.

Address: 15 Union St, Sligo, F91 E7F1, Ireland

Enjoy Harry’s Bar for a relaxed evening with good company and great drinks.

About Harry’s Bar

Harry’s Bar, located in the heart of Sligo, is a cozy and welcoming pub known for its friendly atmosphere, diverse selection of drinks, and live music nights. The bar offers a laid-back setting, making it a perfect spot to unwind and mingle with locals and fellow travelers alike. Whether you prefer a pint of Guinness or a classic cocktail, Harry’s Bar has a wide range of options to cater to every taste.

The bar’s location in the town center makes it easily accessible, and its traditional décor adds to the authentic Irish pub experience. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, ensuring a pleasant visit for patrons. Whether you’re looking for a casual evening drink or a lively night out, Harry’s Bar is a must-visit destination in Sligo.

Sligo Abbey

Sligo Abbey Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM; some areas may have varied hours.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to fully explore the site.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Abbey Street, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo, F91 V383, Ireland

Sligo Abbey is a fascinating historical site, so be sure to bring your camera to capture the beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere.

About Sligo Abbey

Steeped in history and surrounded by tranquil gardens, Sligo Abbey is a must-visit destination in the vibrant town of Sligo, Ireland. This well-preserved medieval Dominican abbey provides a glimpse into the region’s rich heritage. Visitors can explore the elegant architectural details and wander through the remnants of the abbey’s cloister, church, and chapter house.

The abbey’s peaceful surroundings offer a serene escape, ideal for quiet contemplation or a leisurely stroll. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, architecture lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Sligo Abbey promises a memorable experience for all who visit. Don’t forget to stop by the nearby visitor center for additional insights into the abbey’s history and significance in the region.

With its convenient location in the heart of Sligo, exploring the abbey fits seamlessly into a day of sightseeing in this charming town. Take your time to soak in the ambiance and absorb the historical significance of this remarkable site.

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FAQ

What are the must-see attractions in Sligo?

Sligo offers a wealth of attractions for visitors. Some of the must-see sites include the stunning Benbulben mountain, the ancient Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, the picturesque Lough Gill, and the historic Sligo Abbey. Additionally, make sure to explore the vibrant Sligo town and take a trip to the beautiful Strandhill Beach for some relaxing beach time.

Is Sligo a good destination for outdoor activities?

Absolutely! Sligo is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy hiking and climbing at the iconic Benbulben mountain, go surfing at the renowned Strandhill Beach, or take a leisurely walk around the tranquil Lough Gill. Additionally, adventure seekers can explore the diverse landscapes of Sligo through activities such as horse riding, cycling, and fishing.

What are some recommended dining options in Sligo?

Sligo boasts a diverse culinary scene with an array of dining options to suit every taste. For a taste of traditional Irish cuisine, consider visiting popular restaurants such as Eala Bhan or Knox. If you’re in the mood for seafood, be sure to check out the award-winning restaurants along the coastal areas, offering delicious fresh catch of the day. Additionally, the vibrant town center is dotted with charming cafes and eateries serving a variety of international cuisines.

Are there any cultural events or festivals in Sligo worth experiencing?

Absolutely! Sligo is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous festivals and events throughout the year. The annual Sligo Live music festival showcases a diverse range of musical performances, while the Yeats Day celebrations honor the renowned poet William Butler Yeats, who had strong connections to the area. Furthermore, the Sligo International Choral Festival and the Cairde Arts Festival offer a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the local cultural scene.

What are the most scenic drives to explore in the Sligo region?

The Sligo region is blessed with breathtakingly scenic drives that are a delight to explore. The Wild Atlantic Way route offers stunning coastal views, while the Lough Gill Drive takes you through picturesque countryside and offers spectacular views of the lake and surrounding landscapes. Additionally, the nearby Yeats Country drive allows you to explore the landscapes that inspired the famous poet, William Butler Yeats.

Is it possible to explore Sligo on a budget?

Exploring Sligo on a budget is definitely possible. There are free and low-cost attractions such as the scenic hikes at Benbulben and Knocknarea, the peaceful walks around Lough Gill, and the fascinating visit to Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery. Furthermore, you can find affordable dining options in the town center and take advantage of budget-friendly accommodations in the area.

What’s the best time of year to visit Sligo?

The best time to visit Sligo is during the late spring and summer months, from May to September, when the weather is generally milder and the outdoor activities and attractions are at their best. However, for those interested in cultural events and festivals, it’s worth considering visiting during specific times of the year when events like Sligo Live or Yeats Day are taking place.

How easy is it to get around Sligo without a car?

Getting around Sligo without a car is quite manageable. The town center is relatively compact and easily navigable on foot, allowing you to explore many attractions, dining options, and shopping areas. Additionally, there are public transportation options such as buses and taxis available for traveling to nearby attractions and scenic areas outside the town. Renting a bicycle is also a popular and eco-friendly way to explore the region at your own pace.

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