12 Best Things To Do In Shannon, Ireland - Updated 2023

Sin Yee
Sin Yee 
| 5 min read

Shannon is a small little town located in the southeastern part of County Clare, Ireland. The town is home to Shannon Airport, an international installation that serves the Clare and Limerick region as well as tourists flying in from the UK, Europe and the USA. Aside from it being an aviation stop, the town has a lot more to offer. Shannon is a new town built in the 1960s from reclaimed marshland and got its official town status in 1982. After its population boomed in the 1990s, it started thriving in many ways and now has a lot of activity options for you to choose from. Even accommodations are aplenty as locals have started welcoming guests in their quaint Airbnb vacation rentals. We are going to discover a few activities in this virtual tour, so read on to find out more about the best things to do in Shannon, Ireland.

1. Visit Shannon Aviation Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Aviation Camp flew by this week with everyone having a fantastic time. A lovely crew to have with us and we can safely...

Posted by Shannon Aviation Museum on Thursday, July 13, 2023

Visiting the Shannon Aviation Museum is a captivating activity that delves into the rich aviation history in Shannon, Ireland. The museum is situated near Shannon Airport and offers an impressive collection of aircraft, artefacts, and exhibits, showcasing the evolution of aviation over the years. Visitors can explore various aircraft models, including vintage planes and modern jets, gaining insight into their roles in the aviation industry.

At this tourist attraction in Shannon, Ireland, guided tours and interactive displays are conducted to provide informative experiences, shedding light on the airport’s development, historical events, and the pioneering individuals who contributed to Shannon’s aviation legacy.

Visit Shannon Aviation Museum

Address: Link Road, Smithstown, Shannon, Co. Clare, V14 PH34, Ireland

Website: Shannon Aviation Museum

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 10am - 4pm; (closed on Sun - Tue)

2. Have a glass of whiskey at Durty Nelly's

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

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Posted by Durty Nelly's on Thursday, June 22, 2023

Having a glass of whiskey at Durty Nelly’s is a delightful activity in Shannon, Ireland. Located near Shannon Airport, this iconic pub boasts a rich history dating back to the 17th century, making it one of Ireland’s oldest and most charming establishments.

Stepping into Durty Nelly’s feels like a journey back in time, with its cozy and authentic Irish atmosphere. The pub is renowned for its extensive whiskey selection, offering local and international varieties to satisfy all preferences. Savoring a glass of whiskey at Durty Nelly’s allows visitors to immerse themselves in Irish culture, enjoying the warm hospitality, live traditional music, and friendly conversations with locals and fellow travelers.

Have a glass of whiskey at Durty Nelly's

Address: Bunratty West, Bunratty, Co. Clare, Ireland

Website: Durty Nelly

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

3. Appreciate local crafts at Ballycasey Craft and Design Centre

If you are interested in craftwork or is looking for a souvenir unique to the town of Shannon, you should really give Ballycasey Craft and Design Centre a visit. Located right inside an 18th-century Ballycaseymore House, the exterior of this design centre is already a piece of art on its own. Upon stepping inside, you will find several quaint little craft-shops owned by talented craftsmen and craftswomen. If you are lucky, you might even catch them at work. That is definitely an amazing sight to see.

Ballycasey Craft and Design Centre

Address: Shannon Clare, Co. Clare, Ireland

Website: Ballycasey Craft and Design Centre

4. Stay fit with Shannon Swimming & Leisure Centre

Located in the heart of Shannon Town, Shannon Swimming & Leisure Centre is a great place for those who want to enjoy a great workout at affordable prices while on vacation. This leisure centre owns several state-of-the-art facilities and organises activities for everyone, including the seniors! Aside from the usual swimming and gym lessons, they also feature a program called “Senior Fit” that targets seniors who want to stay active. For ladies who are focused on staying in shape, they can also attend the yoga and pilates classes. Best part? It is open every day so it is a great way to maintain that workout routine of yours even when you are on a vacation.

Shannon Swimming & Leisure Centre

Address: Bothar Linne, Tullyglass, Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland

Website: Shannon Swimming & Leisure Centre

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 6am - 10pm; Fri: 6am - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 6pm

5. Tee off at Shannon Golf Club

What is a vacation without a golf session? Located near the Shannon airport, Shannon Golf Club not only has a 6,763-yard course, they also boast an amazing history of hosting various international golf tournaments and is also home to some of the most premium golf courses in the country. If you want to pair your game with nice sceneries, you won’t be disappointed because this club offers some of the most amazing views of the town.

Shannon Golf Club

Address: Shannon Airport House, Shannon Industrial Estate, Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland

Website: Shannon Golf Club

Opening hours: 9am - 11pm (daily)

6. Take a walk at Shannon Region Walking Trails

things to do in shannon | take a walk at shannon region walking trails
Source: instagram

Hiking one of the walking trails is definitely a great ways to explore this little town. Discover amazing landscapes, mountains and beautiful countryside. There are several networks of trails for you to choose from, and each one of them are special in their own ways. You’ll definitely discover new surprises and look at the town from a new perspective.

Shannon Region Walking Trails

Address: Shannon Town Centre, Shannon, Co Clare

Website: Shannon Region Walking Trails

Nearby options

7. Experience a modern fairy tale at Bunratty Castle (from USD 76.0)

Bunratty Castle is a 15th-century fortress located right in the centre of Bunratty village. Furnished with a magnificent collection of 15th and 16th-century furniture, tapestries and work of art, this castle is a living fairy tale of its own. If you want to get a full experience of the 15th century and the must-eats in Ireland, you can indulge in their Medieval Banquet - a two-hour, four-course dinner right inside the castle. The dining area is decorated with long oak tables, benches and candlelights.

Immerse yourself in a grand dinner along with the sounds of live traditional Irish music played on Irish harps and fiddles. It’s an experience of a lifetime and you shouldn’t miss it!

Bunratty Castle Medieval 4-Course Banquet with Wine

Duration: 2 hours 9 minutes

88 reviews

8. Discover the gifts of nature at Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland
Source: Photo by user Giuseppe Milo used under CC BY 2.0

Located on the west coast of Ireland, in the Burren region, you’ll find Cliffs of Moher - sea cliffs over the Atlantic Ocean stretching 8 kilometres (5-mile) long and 214-metres (702 feet) tall at their highest point. The breathtaking vistas make it an ideal destination for a day trip from Shannon, Ireland. If you are lucky enough to visit on a clear day, you can see a panoramic view of Aran Islands, Twelve Pins, Maumturks Mountain, Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands from the top of the cliffs, right in front of you.

Go for the 18-kilometres (11.2 miles) cliff walk to experience this natural wonder and discover the various sea life and wild animal species residing in the area.

Cliffs of Moher

Address: Lislorkan North, Co. Clare, Ireland

Website: Cliffs of Moher

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

9. Delve in the past at Craggaunowen Park and Castle

Built in 1550s, Craggaunowen Park and Castle located in Quin, County Clare, was restored by the famous historian, John Hunt in the 1960s and he cleverly transformed and reconstructed the medieval castle into a pre-historic park and an open-air museum, offering educational tours, entertainment and also featuring lots of olden Irish architectures and antiques. If you are into history and want to discover more about how people in olden days used to live, take a walk down history lane at Craggaunowen Park and Castle.

Craggaunowen Park and Castle

Address: Craggaunowen, Kilmurry, Co. Clare, V95 AD7E, Ireland

Website: Craggaunowen Park and Castle

Opening hours: Easter Sat - Aug: 10am - 5pm (daily)

10. Take a hike at Cratloe Woods

things to do in shannon | take a hike at cratloe woods
Source: instagram

Cratloe Woods used to be a huge oak forest in the village of Cratloe in County Clare, Ireland. However as time went by, the oaks were replaced by coniferous softwoods with small amounts of oaks still surviving within the area. It has now become a great place for families and locals to go on little woodland adventures, with short trails that can be found all around the woods. You’ll also find a beautiful lake that is a really great scenic picnic spot for you to enjoy a quiet and relaxing day in the forest.

Cratloe Woods

Address: Cratloekeel, Co. Clare, Ireland

11. Enjoy a banquet at Knappogue Castle (from USD 65.0)

Knappogue Castle is a tower house built in 1467 and it has a long political history - going through several political wars and was home to many owners before Shannon Development purchased it in 1996. It is now a beautiful accommodation, wedding venue and you can even enjoy a 2.5-hour, four-course grand medieval banquet fit for kings and queens right inside the tower. You’ll first get welcomed into the castle by a series of lovely traditional Irish dances, then you get to listen to the history of the castle by the Earl’s Butler along with more music and other surprises throughout the course of the banquet.

Knappogue Castle Medieval Banquet

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

20 reviews

12. Tour the UNESCO-recognized Burren Geopark (from USD 34.0)

tour the unesco-recognized burren geopark
Source: www.viator.com

Burren Geopark was recognised as one of the UNESCO-assisted Global Network of National Geoparks since 2011 and became a UNESCO designation in 2015. With an area spanning over 530 square kilometres (204.6 square miles), this geopark has a biodiversity of different plants, animals and also features a variety of different karst landscapes of limestones, sandstones and siltstones. This place is very educational and there are lots of new information that you can take in during your visit to the park. If you are keen to learn and explore more of the park, we strongly encourage you to opt for a guided tour so you’ll get to discover more about the history, monuments and historic sites within the park.

Guided Burren Walks

Duration: 2 to 4 hours

Shannon is so beautiful

If prior to reading the article you were clueless about what is there to see in Shannon, Ireland, the case must have been different now. A vacation here can turn out to be relaxing and educational. Imagine the beautiful medieval architecture, rich cultural history and wonders of nature that you are going to see and experience during your visit. This rural and quaint little town is definitely a break from the usual city life and we are sure that you are going to enjoy it!

If you’re looking to extend the vacation in a nearby town, you can consider staying in one of the Airbnb vacation rentals in Kilrush to enjoy a more immersive experience in Ireland’s Clare County.

Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Shannon, Ireland

1. What are some fun things to do for fitness enthusiasts in Shannon?

If you wish to stay active even while on vacation, you can: i) break a sweat at Shannon Swimming & Leisure Centre, ii) tee off at Shannon Golf Club, iii) take a walk at Shannon Region Walking Trails, and iv) hike at Cratloe Woods.

2. What are some romantic things to do in Shannon?

For a great time with your beloved in Shannon, be sure to: i) catch the sunset at Shannon Region Walking Trails, ii) have a glass of whiskey at Durty Nelly’s, and iii) experience a modern fairy tale at Bunratty Castle.

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

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Sin Yee is a small-business owner, freelance writer and a content creator. I formulate all-natural, synthetic free skin & body care products at Basic Theory but I love sharing my thoughts and...Read more

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