A short guide of things to do and see in Sligo town and County. Suggestions on where to eat and drink in Sligo town.
*Not an exhaustive list.
Local landmarks and Places to visit in Sligo town
Sligo Abbey, the ruins of a 13th Century Dominican friary – opened seasonally from March to October.
Niland Model Art Gallery on The Mall in Sligo town – view different art exhibitions and Jack B. Yeats art Collection.
Two traditional old-style shops are Mullaney’s Shop on O’Connell Street and Lyons Department store on Wine Street.
Sligo Townhall on Quay Street and the nearby Famine memorial statue on Lower Quay Street.
Lady of Erin memorial statue on Market Cross.
W.B. Yeats Bronze statue on Stephens Street in front of the sandstone classical romanesque style architectural bank building.
St John’s the Baptist Cathedral and graveyard on John Street.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Temple Street.
Peace Park on The Lungy Street.
Calry Church on The Mall.
Sligo’s Street Art trail
Carrowmore Megalithic cemetery
Famine graveyard at Ballytivan.
Doorly Park has a playground, Cleveragh Park has a running track, and tennis court on the east side of the town. The Sports Complex at Cleveragh has a swimming pool open to the public.
On the west side of the town, the Mitchell Curley park has a playground.
Yeats Memorial Building, an arts and crafts style former redbrick bank building. It hosts the Yeats Summer school and runs poetry and arts events throughout the year. There is an exhibition on Yeats and a cafe in the building for visitors.
Sligo Central Library and the Sligo Museum on Stephens Street. The town’s library is located in a Congressional Church building which dates to the 1850s. There is a local studies section which is good if you’re visiting to carry out local historical research or genealogy, send them an email before you visit as many of the archive records are located off-site. The library has a large wall mural which is quite impressive, and worth a visit to view the mural. I think it was painted by the local artist Bernard McDonagh. It depicts the 6th century Battle of the Books which occurred in North Sligo near Drumcliffe when St Columbas copied a book and it resulted in a battle over the copyright.
The Sligo Museum is a small building located next to the library and was originally the church manse house. It has a mix of items from prehistoric Sligo, archaeology finds and Yeats memorabilia. Email or ring beforehand to check opening times.
The Green Fort on the Fort Hill. A star-shaped military earthen fort constructed on the site of a prehistoric ringfort, the Green Fort dates to the 1640s built to defend Sligo. It was the site of battles during the Jacobite and Williamite Wars between William of Orange and King James II in the 1690s. The scrubs and foliage were recently cut back for an archaeology ground survey so you can get a better idea of its original shape. There are great panoramic views of Sligo town from this spot, you can see why it was chosen as a military defence location. Entrance from O’Boyle park off Connaughton Road.
Sligo Old Cemetery is located on Pearse Road, about 20 minutes’ walk from the town centre. The cemetery dates to the 1850s and has some interesting old headstones and vaults.
Places to visit in Sligo County
Walk up to the Caves of Keash and visit the nearby Foxes den cottage located at Keash, Co. Sligo near the town of Ballymote.
Walk up the Queen Maeve’s trail on Knocknarea hill at Strandhill. Strandhill is a seaside village located about 8 kilometres west of Sligo town. Local buses and taxis service the area.
Benbulben Gortowey trail – a forest trail situated under the foot of Benbulben mountain in North Sligo, about 15 kilometres from Sligo town.
Slish Wood – forest trail with views of Lough Gill. About 9 kilometres from Sligo town.
Dooney Rock – forest trail with views of Lough Gill and its islands. About 4 kilometres from Sligo town.
Rosses Point and Strandhill are the two local beaches close to the town. Strandhill is known for surfing and swimming is prohibited. Visit Rosses Point if you would like to swim. There are several other beaches in north and west Sligo.
Mullaghmore peninsula and Classiebawn Castle viewpoint.
Classiebawn Castle is a Victorian-Baronial style manor house designed by J. Rawson Carroll in the 1860s to be built on the Mullaghmore peninsula in north county Sligo. It was originally to be a country retreat for the former British Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, who owned land in County Sligo. Lord Palmerston died before the house was complete and it was inherited by his relatives the Cowper-Temples who finished construction of the house in 1874. It was eventually inherited by Edwina Mountbatten who married Lord Louie Mountbatten, a cousin of both Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip. The Mountbattens used it as a holiday home before leasing it to the Northern Ireland meat plant owner Hugh Tunney in the mid-1970s with the agreement the family could still use it every August for one month. Today, it is one of the most photographed buildings in Sligo and is occupied by Hugh Tunney’s widow, (Hugh Tunney bought Classiebawn in 1991) and is a private residence with no admittance to the public.
Lissadell House is a large country house built in the 1830s in Lissadell in north Sligo. It is the ancestral home of the Gore-Booth family and the 1916 Easter Rising leader Countess Markievicz and her sister Eva Gore-Booth. Today it is the private residence of the Cassidy-Walsh family, who open it seasonally to the public for house and garden tours. It has a large exhibition space on Irish history and a cafe in the courtyard. There are occasional outdoor events held on the grounds most recently an outdoor cinema. There are future plans to have music concerts with international artists performing on the grounds of Lissadell House.
Atlantic Sheepdogs show in North Sligo. They have a covered area for bad weather.
Eagles Flying show in Ballymote, Sligo. They have an indoor arena for bad weather and an outdoor viewing stand.
Streedagh Beach – long sandy beach, the site of the shipwrecks of the Spanish Armada.
Sligo Folk Park in Riverstown, in south county Sligo. A traditional two-storey Irish farmhouse preserved with furniture and antiques. A large exhibition hall with old shopfronts and a museum.
Drumcliffe church and the grave of William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet, Senator and nobel prize winner for Literature in 1923. It is located in Drumcliffe in north county Sligo. There is a cafe at this location.
Voya Seaweed baths at Strandhill or the Seaweed baths at Enniscrone.
Knox on O’Connell Street.
Bridgefoot Restaurant on O’Connell Street.
Pasta Fresca on Grattan Street.
Lyons Cafe – a cafe that originally dates to the 1930s, located upstairs in the old Lyons Department store building on Wine Street
W.B. Cafe on Stephen Street and Oysters experience. You can also book a private Oysters farm tour.
O’Hehirs bakery and cafe, there are three O’Hehirs cafes on Castle Street, Wine Street and in the Tesco Arcade.
Four Lanterns a fast food diner sit-in and takeaway. A Sligo institution known locally as the Four Lights. Located on John Street close to O’Connell Street.
Sweet beat Vegan cafe on Bridge Street in Sligo town and there also have a cafe in Strandhill.
Dock 84 cafe is located on Lynns Dock beside Finisklin, where Sligo’s industrial and business park are located. Dock 84 is based in an old warehouse building that was recently restored.
Jampot cafe in Grange in north Sligo.
Shells cafe in Strandhill seaside village, west of Sligo town.
Jalan Jalan, an Asian street food restaurant located on Castle Street, serves until 9.30 pm.
Glasshouse Hotel has a bar and restaurant menu and serves until 9.30 pm.
Hooked Restaurant on Tobergal Lane, fresh seafood and Irish cusine.
Bistro Biancone on Tobergal Lane offers Italian cuisine and pizza.
Flipside is a gourmet burger diner and takeaway, located on the corner of Thomas Street and Rockwood Parade.
Thomas Connolly’s, a traditional Irish pub, there has been a pub on this site since the 1780s. It was originally a grocers store and public house. The shelves are stocked with a wide selection of whiskeys. There are cosy wooden snugs, a pot-bellied stove and a long bar, you can ask the barman why it has two entrances! It gets a mix of locals and tourists, entertained with trad Irish music sessions, various live music and Sports. Located across from the Glasshouse Hotel on Markievicz Road and Holborn Street.
McLynn’s a small traditional pub established in 1889, it is located on Old Market Street, about 100 metres up from the Sligo Courthouse.
Foley’s Bar is on the corner of Teeling Street and Castle Street. A pub with a mix of locals and tourists with a beer garden, Sports and trad Irish music sessions.
Shoot the Crows is located in the centre of town, on Market Cross, across from the Lady of Erin Statue. The window of the pub is regularly updated with new artwork, it has nice wooden carvings inside and a fireplace.
Blue Lagoon local pub on Riverside has a large beer garden and outdoor area. It is located about 15 minutes from the town centre on the East side of the town, near Garavogue and Doorly Park. This is a great venue for private parties.
Hargadon traditional pub dates to the 1860s, located on the main street, O’Connell Street. The pub serves delicious Irish food, which you can have sitting in a snug or beside the fireplace.
Gracies bar, a faux-style Irish pub with live music, DJ sets and cocktails, popular with students and a young crowd. Located on Grattan Street.
The Swagman bar on Wine Street. A mix of local and tourists with an Aussie flavour, it serves tasty food and has a large beer garden.
Garavogue bar, a large pub with DJ sets and cocktails, popular with hens and stags parties and students. Located on the picturesque Garavogue River beside the Stephens Street car park. It has a large outdoor area in front of the river with a replica wooden water mill.
O’Neill’s bar on Church Hill is popular with Sligo Rovers fans close to the Showgrounds sports ground at Magheraboy.
Railway bar on Lord Edward Street, a pub located across from the Train, bus stations and the Southern Hotel. There is a restaurant called Lincolns located upstairs and also the Happy Eater, a fast food diner and takeaway next to the pub.
The Beach Bar, a thatched cottage – a bar and restaurant located in west Sligo 30 kilometres from Sligo town. There is a private campsite and Aughris beach/pier.
The Belfry, a large bar and restaurant arranged over three floors located on Thomas Street. Sports and tasty food.
Lillies Cocktail bar on the corner of Bridge Street and Stephens Street. Nice retro decor with music and comedy events.
There are a few pubs and restaurants in the Rockwood area/Stephens Street car park of Sligo town, including Kennedy’s bar, Fiddlers Creek, the Snug, Blind Tiger.
Electric Bolt bikes are available in the town centre. Register on the bolt bike app.
Taxis are available. Freenow is a taxi app.
Local bus services run, which will bring you around the town, Strandhill and Rosses Point.
Sean MacDiarmada Rail station, services to Dublin run daily.
Countess Markievicz Bus Station, national services to Galway, Enniskillen, Donegal and Dublin.
A few Leitrim tourist attractions close to Sligo.
Glencar Waterfall and the Tea shed cafe with a public playground, public toilets and car parking facilities.
Manor Hamilton Castle ruins in Manorhamilton and there is a cafe beside the castle.
Kiltyclogher village in north Leitrim. Visit the heritage centre and view the large statue of 1916 Easter Rising leader Sean MacDiarmada located in the centre of the village and Sean’s family home, a traditional Irish cottage located a few kilometres from the village. Tours inside the cottage can be booked at the heritage centre.
Parkes Castle, Dromahair, Leitrim. A castle on the shores of Lough Gill. It was restored by the OPW (Office of Public Works) in the early 1990s. It dates to the 1600s, the home of Captain Parkes and his family. Built on the site of an earlier Irish Chieftain’s O’Rourke’s castle. In the summer months, you can travel to the castle using the Rose of Innisfree cruiser boat which sails from Doorly park jetty in Sligo town.
Creevelea Abbey is a medieval Franciscan friary in Dromahair, Leitrim. It dates to the early 1500s and was one of the last friaries built before the dissolution of the monasteries.
Glencar Alpacas in County Leitrim is a sheep and alpaca farm offering guided alpaca walks, with panoramic views of the lake and valley of Glencar.
For more information and ideas on things to do in Sligo.
Check out the following websites: