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Things To Do In Donegal, Ireland

things to do in Donegal Ireland
Sharon A.
Sharon A.

On the uppermost corner of Ireland’s rugged northern coastline lies County Donegal. It is the fourth-largest county in the country, and it is home to a myriad of adventure opportunities that receives visitors in the thousands every year. There are so many attractions here that you can spend an entire month exploring and you would have only sampled a fraction of what this place has to offer. If you are thinking of visiting Ireland soon, or you are curious to know some of the things to do in Donegal, Ireland, read below to learn about the best attractions bound to leave you with lots of happy memories.

1. Tour the historic Donegal Railway Heritage Center

Posted by Donegal Railway Heritage Centre on Sunday, 6 October 2019

The Donegal Railway Heritage Center is a small museum with a lot of exhibits that tell the story of the railway industry in the area, and in Ireland in general. The displays showcase different classes of trains that were used in the past. You will find a few carriages outside the premises, as well as old ticket stubs used by passengers from that time.

Donegal Railway Heritage Center

Address: The Old Station House, Tyrconnell St, Donegal, Ireland

Website: Donegal Railway Heritage Center

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 4:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 4pm

2. Buy unique art at Donegal Craft Village

Beautiful earrings made by the McGonigle Glass Studio -EE

Posted by Donegal Craft Village on Saturday, 13 July 2019

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t find any Guinness t-shirts or canned leprechauns in this market - instead, you will find a multitude of craft studios with an incredible variety of art, including jewelry, ironwork, pottery, glasswork, handwoven fabric, and much more. There is also a great café you can walk into while you take a break from touring the market.

Donegal Craft Village

Address: Lurganboy, Donegal, F94 W9NY, Ireland

Website: Donegal Craft Village

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

3. Walk down memory lane at Donegal Castle

Ireland is home to a plethora of castles, with some being several centuries old. Donegal Castle is a lordly structure that has been displaying the English and Irish might since its construction in 1623. Guided tours of the castle are available. When you visit, don’t miss the chance to check out the magnificent Great Hall upstairs, with its beautiful Persian rugs, French tapestries, and the awesome ornate fireplace.

Donegal Castle

Address: Saint Helenes, 11 Castle St, Milltown, Donegal, F94 E3W5, Ireland

Website: Donegal Castle

Opening hours: 10am - 5:15pm (daily)

Price: 5 USD

4. Explore the shops in the downtown area

Get a feel of the shopping experience in Donegal by exploring the shops in the downtown area. There are a variety of shops dealing in all manner of goods. Mostly, these stores are necessary for the daily sustenance of the local population. View the art from one of the galleries or walk into any of the cafes for a cup of tea or coffee. You will realize how relaxed and laid back the Irish are when it comes to shopping, and you’ll also learn how they prefer to take their tea.

5. Admire nature’s beauty at Bluestack Mountains Scenic Route

If you’re in Donegal for an active break and want to explore the wild Atlantic wilderness of the county, there’s no...

Posted by Donegal East Tourism on Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Ireland is blessed with a plethora of beautiful, natural sceneries, and if you are visiting Donegal, you definitely should pass through Bluestack Mountains Scenic Route. The route has nothing but breathtaking landscapes, complete with a view of a waterfall that gives you a glimpse of the incredible beauty of Ireland. You will wish you don’t have to leave this place when you see the ocean and the mountains in the background.

Bluestack Mountains Scenic Route

Address: Donegal Town to Ardara Town, Ireland

Price: Free

6. Visit the amazingly peaceful Donegal Abbey

The story behind the abbey is that of death, but the most interesting thing about it is that it has been standing here since the 15th century. If you enjoy searching for inscriptions in graveyards, especially those on the final resting places of royalties, then you will enjoy every moment you spend in this place. But be warned, however, this spot is not only peaceful but it is also deathly quiet. The king and his wife do not want you to disturb their peace.

Donegal Abbey

Address: Glebe, Donegal, Ireland

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

7. Cruise around Donegal Bay with the Donegal Bay Waterbus

The Donegal Bay Waterbus is by far one of the best ways to sample the beautiful and rich surroundings of Donegal. A cruise on this waterbus will take you to Seal Island for a spectacular view of the seal colony and the Bluestacks Mountains. During the trip, you will be entertained with drinks from a fully stocked bar and cabaret shows on the return leg of the trip.

Donegal Bay Waterbus

Address: Quay St, Glebe, Donegal, F94 E023, Ireland

Website: Donegal Bay Waterbus

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 22 USD

8. Visit the small but lovely Donegal Town Church of Ireland

This church was constructed in 1828, and though it has been in existence for more than a century, it is well-kept and remains welcoming and peaceful. It is traditional in every sense, and you will still find the initial features it had at the time of construction, including the private vestry, the organ chamber, and the chancel. You can visit to see more of the town’s history or join a Sunday service in this historic building.

Donegal Town Church of Ireland

Address: Tirchonaill St, Milltown, Donegal, F94 Y902, Ireland

Opening hours: Sun: 12pm - 1pm (closed from Mon - Sat)

9. Visit the ruins at The Deserted Village of Port

"The Legacy of Port" Port (An Port) County Donegal, Ireland In the extreme reaches of west Donegal, lies the remains...

Posted by Gareth Wray Photography on Sunday, 16 April 2017

One thing that those who have visited the Deserted Village of Port agree on is that getting here is a challenge, but all the hurdles you face will be forgotten when you see this beautiful and unspoiled village. It is believed that the village was deserted during the famine of 1845. When it was over, the villagers never returned, leaving everything to fall into ruins. This place is rough and rugged, with plenty of trails that lead to incredibly beautiful locations around the port.

The Deserted Village of Port

Address: Port, Donegal Town, Ireland

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

10. Enjoy an authentic Irish pub experience at The Forge

Posted by Mikey Coyle on Friday, 31 May 2019

The Forge is an authentic Irish pub staffed by the owner and his sons and daughters. The atmosphere inside this establishment is so friendly that they are willing to chat with you over a pint or two of cold beer. The walls are decorated with old newspaper cuttings and lots of other artifacts that do a very good job of adding to the traditional Irish pub atmosphere. In addition to a pint of their finest ale, you will also love the music playing in the background.

The Forge

Address: 7 Meetinghouse St, Milltown, Donegal, F94 P9K7, Ireland

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5pm - 11:30pm; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 12am (closed on Sun)

11. Snap a photo beside the Red Hugh O Donnell Monument

#Statue of the first Red Hugh O'Donnell, #Gaelic #Lord of #Tyrconnell (Tír Chonnail), known as Aodh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill in...

Posted by Stuart Gourd on Thursday, 15 August 2019

The monument is a masterfully crafted, life-size bronze statue of Red Hugh O Donnell – once a powerful Gaelic chief who was credited with building the majestic Donegal Castle, as well as Donegal Abbey. The monument has an incredible history of revolution, betrayal, and succession behind it. Other than the history, posing for a photo with the chief will be a permanent reminder of your trip, and proof enough that you visited Donegal.

Red Hugh O Donnell Monument

Address: The Pier, Donegal, Ireland

12. Sample the region’s best food at Ole Castle Bar & Red Hugh’s Restaurant

Posted by Olde Castle Bar and Red Hughs Restaurant on Thursday, 18 October 2012

If you want to have a taste of the region’s delicacies, Ole Castle Bar & Red Hugh’s Restaurant will give you a very good representation of how good the food here tastes. Expect to find classics such as Irish stew and a variety of food platters, including Donegal Bay oysters and delicious steaks. This is also where you can find the original Red Hugh Brew. Enjoy the dining experience while you interact with friendly locals.

Ole Castle Bar & Red Hugh’s Restaurant

Address: Castle St, Milltown, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Website: Ole Castle Bar & Red Hugh’s Restaurant

Opening hours: 12pm - 12am (daily)

Enjoy the beautiful landscapes and the history of Donegal

Source: Pixabay

Beautiful natural sceneries, old castles, beer, and rich history are a few of the things that make tourists troop to Ireland. Though there are several places you must visit, Donegal is without a doubt one of them. Read the above list of things to do in Donegal, Ireland and equip yourself with the best experience.

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

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My name is Sharon, but I won't get offended if you called me Shaz. I live in the City in the Sun. I travel, interact with cultures, eat their foods, dance with them and then write about my...Read more

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