Top 15 Things To Do In Clifden, Ireland

things to do in Clifden Ireland
Plarlene Juliane
Plarlene Juliane
Updated

There are many things to do in Clifden, Ireland that will be memorable for you. In this scenic town 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from Galway, you can shop at boutiques or souvenir shops, dine and unwind at fine restaurants, cafes, or pubs, and explore theatres and museums. If you’re up for a thrilling adventure, you can schedule a hike at Twelve Pins Mountains, drive through Clifden’s famous Sky Road, or ride a horse at Errislannan Manor. Up north, you can also appreciate the beauty of coastal villages such as Cleggan and Inishbofin. For other activities you can enjoy here, you can stroll on the beach, play golf, try scuba diving, or spend time fishing. Check our list of the things to do in Clifden, Ireland and decide whether you want to try them all or just choose what suits you.

1. Experience farming activities at Connemara Heritage & History Centre

Posted by Connemara Heritage & History Centre on Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Form a group of 20 and book a guided tour at Connemara Heritage & History Centre. In this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about traditional farming techniques and interact with friendly locals. You can also take a picture of the popular Connemara ponies or of the cute donkeys and sheep. There’s a restaurant inside the farm where you can get a quick lunch or coffee to stay energized throughout the tour.

Connemara Heritage & History Centre

Address: Lettershea, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Website: Connemara Heritage & History Centre

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

2. Endeavor to do a four-hour walk at Walk Connemara

Derryclare Lough
Source: Photo by user Bernd Thaller used under CC BY 2.0

If you’ve always wanted to jumpstart your journey towards fitness, start now while you’re traveling! While you’re in Ireland, head to Walk Connemara and explore its beauty with guided walks through Maumahoge Mountain Lake, Derryclare Woods, Derrigimlagh Walk, and Maumeen Mountain Pass. These are the most famous walks where you can also observe magnificent views of Galway’s flora and fauna. If your fitness level is average, casually walking in these trails will only take two to four hours of your precious time. Please do note that it is necessary to get a guide before you walk in these hiking areas because these are off-trail hiking. Off-trail hiking means there are no clear paths you can follow while walking.

Walk Connemara

Address: Galway Rd, Couravoughil, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Website: Walk Connemara

3. Travel back in time by touring Clifden Castle

Things to do in Clifden, Ireland
Source: Pixabay

Learn more about Clifden’s fascinating past by visiting Clifden Castle. Even though it’s a ruined manor house, it’s not every day that you’ll get to see a castle in person - you mostly see them in movies or pictures. This castle has been here since the 1800s and was once owned by a wealthy landowner. Fast forward to the present day, this castle is now simply an abandoned but picturesque site filled with standing stones and greeneries. Just a few steps from the castle is the sparkling clean Clifden Bay.

Clifden Castle

Address: Clifden Demesne, Co. Galway, Ireland

4. Appreciate Irish art at Whitethorn Gallery

Brenda Malley et al at Art Source with The Whitethorn Gallery Sat/Sun 16/17 Nov #artsourcerds #irishseascapes #seascapes #artfairs #oilpaintings

Posted by The Whitethorn Gallery on Saturday, 16 November 2019

Get some source of inspiration from Ireland’s contemporary art scene at the Whitethorn Gallery. This place showcases the most exquisite paintings, sculptures, and other intriguing modern art figures created by locals and some European artists. You’re not only limited to just viewing the lovely artworks here, but you can also purchase them! The Whitethorn Gallery is situated on Main Street and is just beside other art galleries that you might want to check out as well. Don’t forget to take pictures and post them on your social media so that your friends will also be compelled to visit this gallery that is owned by award-winning painter Anne Merrins.

The Whitethorn Gallery

Address: Main St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Website: The Whitethorn Gallery

Opening hours: 12pm - 6pm (daily)

5. Get a nice view of Clifden from John D'Arcy Monument

Clifden - D'Arcy Monument
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Knocko used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Bring your handy telescope and observe the town of Clifden from John D'Arcy Monument. This monument serves as a commemorative place for John D'Arcy, the founder of Clifden and former owner of Clifden Castle. Here, you can also get a closer look at the remnants of the town’s history through various graffitis engraved in the monument.

John D'Arcy Monument

Address: 7 Beach Rd, Cloghaunard, Clifden, Co. Galway, H71 TV26, Ireland

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

6. Study Clifden's history at Station House Museum

County Galway - The Station House Museum Clifden
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Newbert12 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’ve already visited John D'Arcy Monument and Connemara Heritage & History Centre, you might want to get some in-depth knowledge about the aforementioned founder of Clifden, as well as the Connemara ponies. Just visit the Station House Museum to know more about them and also to hear the interesting story of the old railway line between Clifden and Galway, and the world’s first transatlantic flight. In case you’re hungry after your tour, there is an on-site restaurant that serves the best chowder in town.

Station House Museum

Address: Station House Courtyard, Galway Rd, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

7. Feast on seafood at Mitchell's Restaurant

Posted by Mitchell's Seafood Restaurant Clifden on Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Mitchell’s Restaurant offers the best-tasting local seafood delicacies in town. The menu won’t ruin your diet, especially if you’re health-conscious. You can request for gluten-free meal options here! Among the most recommended dishes here are the Oyster Rockefellers, smoked salmon, Mitchell’s Fish Pie, and seafood platter. They also serve salads, soups, sandwiches, and desserts. This restaurant is worth a visit because its history as one of the recommended restaurants by Michelin Guide 2016 has proven that their seafood dishes are genuinely delicious.

Mitchell's Restaurant

Address: Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Website: Mitchell’s Restaurant

Opening hours: 12pm - 10pm (daily)

8. Groove to Irish music at Lowry's Irish Music and Whiskey Bar

Posted by This Is Galway on Monday, 23 September 2019

Lowry’s Irish Music and Whiskey Bar is a traditional pub in Ireland that plays live Irish music. This place is perfect if you want to unwind in a lively atmosphere. Here, you can make friends with the locals and other guests while chilling with some whiskey and listening to good music. If you’re not into drinking, it’s still worth it to pay a visit to this pub because they offer large servings of sandwiches, paninis, and wraps. They also have finely brewed Irish coffee and rich hot chocolate.

Lowry's Irish Music and Whiskey Bar

Address: Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway, H71 WT32, Ireland

Website: Lowry’s Irish Music and Whiskey Bar

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10:30am - 11:30pm; Fri - Sat: 10:30am - 12:30am; Sun: 12:00pm - 11:30pm

9. Shop for awesome items at Lowry's Sweater and Gift Shop

Posted by LOWRY'S SWEATER & GIFT SHOP on Saturday, 28 February 2015

Lowry’s Sweater and Gift Shop is the place to be if you’re thinking of getting some souvenirs for yourself and for your loved ones. This family-owned business is famous for selling traditional Aran sweaters and accessories. They also have a wide array of hats, shirts, scarves, sweatshirts, and cardigans, among others. Most gift shops, if not all, have overpriced items, but the items here are very affordable. Not to mention, shopping here is tax-free! Their staff members are very attentive and friendly.

Lowry's Sweater and Gift Shop

Address: Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 6:30pm; Sun: 1pm - 6:30pm

10. Admire the paintings at Lavelle Art Gallery

Posted by Lavelle Art Gallery on Wednesday, 11 February 2015

If you want to see more art, visit Lavelle Art Gallery. For three decades, this gallery has been catering to visitors who appreciate high-quality paintings, as well as those who want to tour a well-reputed art gallery in Ireland. Aside from the paintings, you can also admire the building from the outside. It’s 200 years old and can easily be spotted due to its tall structure and bright yellow and blue paint. On the other hand, they also sell nice souvenirs such as greeting cards, notebooks, rings, mugs, and many more.

Lavelle Art Gallery

Address: Main St, Clifden, Co. Galway, H71 VW73, Ireland

Website: Lavelle Art Gallery

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

11. Feel the wind and enjoy the view at Sky Road

Sky Road
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Superbass used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Your journey in Clifden would not be complete without stopping by Sky Road. This place is dubbed as having one of the most beautiful nature views in the Connemara region. Here, you can get breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast and enjoy the cool breeze. You can also choose a spot within the area to set up a picnic. Spend a day relaxing while listening to the calming sound of the water.

Sky Road

Address: Sky Rd, Belleek, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

12. Buy interesting books at The Clifden Bookshop


If you’re a book lover, check out The Clifden Bookshop. Since 1997, they have been selling a huge selection of local and international titles to the people of Clifden, including Connemara guide books and Irish literature. They also have art materials, stationeries, and cards in case you’re looking for something to give your friends back home. Aside from browsing their shelves for interesting reads, you can also engage with fellow book lovers.

The Clifden Bookshop

Address: Main St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Website: The Clifden Bookshop

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 6pm; Sun: 9:30am - 4pm

13. Watch family-friendly movies and shows at Station House Theatre

Posted by Station House Theatre Clifden on Monday, 22 August 2016

Station House Theatre is often flocked by locals and tourists because most of the movies here are family-oriented. They show new releases, classic films, local documentaries, and musicals. The theater is spacious, has comfortable seats, serves great snacks and drinks, and is staffed with welcoming and friendly locals. The theater also holds spectacular concerts and events, so you’re lucky if you’re in Clifden while one is ongoing.

Station House Theatre

Address: The Courtyard, Clifden Station House, Connemara, Galway, Ireland

Website: Station House Theatre

14. Take a nice shot of the Rifle - Sebastian Sculpture

El Rifle, regalo de México al pueblo de Clifden, en Irlanda, lugar de nacimiento de John O´Reilly, líder de los San Patricios.

Posted by Ecos de la Antiguedad on Saturday, 24 August 2019

If you’re wandering around Main Street, make it worthwhile by stopping by and appreciating the Rifle - Sebastian Sculpture. This sculpture that stands in the town center was a gift from Mexico to the folks of Clifden as a symbol of friendship. This sculpture also commemorates John Reilly and the San Patricio Battalion, heroes for the Mexicans during their war against the US in the 19th century. Take a picture of this fantastic sculpture and show it to your friends!

The Rifle - Sebastian Sculpture

Address: Main St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

15. Book a bike tour at Clifden Bike Shop, Hire and Tours


Take advantage of Clifden’s cold breeze by exploring the town through a bike tour. Visit Clifden Bike Shop, Hire and Tours to schedule one during your visit. The guided tour will take you to the hidden gems of Clifden, including underrated but picturesque beaches and green countrysides. At Clifden Bike Shop, you can choose between an e-bike or a traditional bike. You will also be given a map, helmet, and side bag.

Clifden Bike Shop, Hire and Tours

Address: Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Clifden reveals a piece of Galway County's beauty

With a wide range of enjoyable things to do in Clifden, Ireland, we’re pretty sure you’ll never forget your journey here. Who knows, you might even decide to move here if you’ve been dreaming of starting a new life somewhere else. Nevertheless, enjoy every moment you’re in Clifden and try every activity suggested on this list.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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