Stay a while and explore the charming town that has grown around the Castle walls.
Athlone, in the Heart of Irelands Hidden Heartlands, is the perfect base for your next break. You can wander through charming streets, with delightful shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Explore the many heritage and cultural experiences and riverside walks. Choose from a variety of accommodation options.
Located on the left bank of Athlone, you will find the municipal visual art gallery. Luan Gallery programmes dynamic contemporary visual art exhibitions of both established and emerging artists from Ireland and worldwide. This award-winning designed space is its own work of art, overlooking the west bank of the River Shannon. Luan Gallery provides a warm welcome to all visitors and ensures a diverse inclusive range of programming is available to all.
Art and Heritage
Whether you are interested in nature, art, history or culture, Athlone and its surrounds caters for all tastes and interests. Take a trip down memory lane and visit Derryglad Folk Museum, follow in the footsteps of Athlone’s most famous son, John McCormack and visit the places he once lived. Learn about Early Christian Ireland and our Saints and Scholars at nearby Clonmacnoise. Take a trip to Mullingar and visit the splendid Belvedere House and Gardens where history and nature combine.Travel through time and experience a unique outdoor adventure exploring tradition, heritage, nature, and activity at Dun na Si Amenity & Heritage Park in the neighbouring village of Moate. All of this and more can be found in the majestic Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
Amongst Athlone’s many places of worship worth visiting is St. Peter & Paul’s Church, just across the road from the Castle.This imposing church, sometimes mistaken for a cathedral, was designed by Ralph Byrne and completed in 1937. Among the many fine features of the church are six stained-glass windows from the Harry Clarke studios.
Things to Do
In and around Athlone, you will certainly find activities that cater for the individual traveller, couples, and families alike. There is a plethora of entertainment on the doorstep of Athlone. Take an explorative boat trip on the River Shannon, learning about its history with Viking Mike or River Run Cruises. Get you wet suits on for some fun at Baysports, enjoy time with the animals at Glendeer Pet Farm or take a leisurely walk or cycle on the Old Rail Trail Greenway or along the banks of the River Shannon.
If entertainment is your thing, enjoy a show or play at the Dean Crowe or Athlone Little Theatre. Fun and games can be enjoyed at the Planet Entertainment Centre. Catch a movie at one of the six screens at the IMC Cinema, located at Golden Island. There is something for every member of the family to enjoy in the town of Athlone.
Stay in Athlone
Athlone offers a wide range of accommodation for families, including budget, luxury, and intimate boutique hotels along with bed-and-breakfast accommodation
Athlone has a particularly vibrant foodie scene with many gourmet hotspots near the Castle in the narrow streets of the Cultural quarter. Be it in restaurants, including Thyme and Kin Khao, both recommended by the Michelin Guide, or Left Bank Bistro, pizzerias or artisanal cafés such as Bastion Kitchen or Nave, you will be sure to find something that entices your tastebuds.
Whether it’s in a shopping centre, a renowned traditional department store, or a distinctive independent store, shopping in Athlone is an exciting experience. The highlights in and around Athlone include the Bastion Gallery, the Celtic Roots Studios, Glasson Craft Shop or Burgess Department Store, which has been trading on the town’s main thoroughfare since 1839.
From the traditional to modern, Athlone has everything one would want from a night out on the town. Restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs dotted all around the town of Athlone offer a vibrancy and a warm welcome to all visitors. You may just end up in a good ole Irish music session in one or more spots. Only a stone’s throw from Athlone Castle is Sean’s Bar. One of the oldest pubs in Europe, it is said to date back to 900AD. Get lost in its traditional charm and infectious ambience. If something completely different is on the agenda, Dead Centre Brewing has you covered. Overlooking the River Shannon, it offers a range of Irish and worldwide craft beer and tasty food all set against the backdrop of a working brewery.