County Clare, Galway, and the Aran Islands

We’ve compiled the best of the best in County Clare, Galway, and the Aran Islands - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Druid Theatre Company

    Center

    Ireland's theatrical hub outside the capital, the Druid has pioneered Galway's identity as a center for the arts. Playwright Martin McDonagh debuted here along with...

    Ireland's theatrical hub outside the capital, the Druid has pioneered Galway's identity as a center for the arts. Playwright Martin McDonagh debuted here along with many other playwrights. The Druid showcases 20th-century Irish and European plays and is considered a pioneer in the development of Irish theater. Its players have toured extensively and performed at Lincoln Center in New York, and several London venues. The Druid regularly presents a production at Galway Arts Festival in late July.

    Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
    091-568–660
  • 2. Fleadh Nua

    Ennis comes alive with the beat of the bodhrán for eight days at the end of May in one of Ireland's greatest traditional music festivals....

    Ennis comes alive with the beat of the bodhrán for eight days at the end of May in one of Ireland's greatest traditional music festivals. It offers workshops, concerts, trad sessions, parades, and street performances, as well as the opportunity to mix with locals. Book ahead to avoid staying in the periphery.

    The Market, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
    065-682–4276
  • 3. Macnas

    Center

    An internationally renowned, roving Galway-based troupe of performance artists, Macnas has raised street theater in Ireland to new levels. While their participation in the July...

    An internationally renowned, roving Galway-based troupe of performance artists, Macnas has raised street theater in Ireland to new levels. While their participation in the July Arts Festival's parade is always much anticipated, it's their broody, giant-scale procession at the Galway Aboo Halloween parade that's the annual highlight.

    Fisheries Field, Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
    091-561–462
  • 4. The Willie Clancy Summer School

    The sleepy town of Miltown Malbay has woken up every July since 1973 to the sound of harps, tin whistles, and uilleann pipes. The weeklong...

    The sleepy town of Miltown Malbay has woken up every July since 1973 to the sound of harps, tin whistles, and uilleann pipes. The weeklong Willie Clancy Summer School, named after the legendary piper, is the largest of its kind in Ireland, with 135 daily workshops and a full program of recitals, concerts, and dances open to the public. 

    Co. Clare, Ireland
    065-708--5107
  • 5. An Taibhdhearc Theatre

    Center

    Founders of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, partners Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir created the national Irish-language theater, An Taibhdhearc (pronounced "ontie-vark"), to produce...

    Founders of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, partners Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir created the national Irish-language theater, An Taibhdhearc (pronounced "ontie-vark"), to produce first-class Irish works in both English and Irish languages. Watch out for pop-up performances.

    Middle St., Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
    091-562–024
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  • 6. Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquets

    Filled with music and storytelling, Bunratty Castle's medieval banquets have been entertaining guests since 1963. Guests are heralded over a drawbridge by a kilt-wearing bagpiper...

    Filled with music and storytelling, Bunratty Castle's medieval banquets have been entertaining guests since 1963. Guests are heralded over a drawbridge by a kilt-wearing bagpiper before being ushered by courtiers and ladies-in-waiting to a banquet featuring spare ribs and mead, a locally produced honey wine. The congregation sits on benches while two unsuspecting guests are crowned Earl and Lady Thomond and allotted the responsibility of tossing someone into the great hall's dungeon. Banquets are held subject to demand at 5:30 and 8:45 nightly.

    Low Road, Bunratty, Co. Clare, V95 EH77, Ireland
    061-711--222

    Arts/Entertainment Details

    Rate Includes: From €63
  • 7. Cruinniú na mBád Festival

    Kinvara's Cruinniú na mBád, meaning "the gathering of the boats," in late August commemorates a time when the Galway hookers—red-sailed, black-hulled timber boats—hauled turf to...

    Kinvara's Cruinniú na mBád, meaning "the gathering of the boats," in late August commemorates a time when the Galway hookers—red-sailed, black-hulled timber boats—hauled turf to trade in Galway. It's a great opportunity to see restored craft in all their glory and remember a time gone by.

    Kinvara, Co. Galway, Ireland
  • 8. Fleadh na gCuach

    During the first weekend in May, the scenic harbor village of Kinvara hosts the hugely popular three-day traditional music festival, Fleadh na gCuach (the Cuckoo...

    During the first weekend in May, the scenic harbor village of Kinvara hosts the hugely popular three-day traditional music festival, Fleadh na gCuach (the Cuckoo Fleadh), attracting musicians from far and wide.

    Main St., Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
  • 9. Galway Arts Festival

    Held the middle two weeks of July, the Galway Arts Festival hosts an international array of the best of contemporary theater, film, rock, jazz, traditional...

    Held the middle two weeks of July, the Galway Arts Festival hosts an international array of the best of contemporary theater, film, rock, jazz, traditional music, poetry readings, comedy acts, and visual arts exhibitions.

    Co. Galway, Ireland
    091-509--700
  • 10. Glór—Irish Music Centre

    Ennis's venue for large concerts, Glór hosts popular touring acts, art-house cinema, stand-up comedy, and competitions of Irish music, song, and dance—including May's hectic Fleadh...

    Ennis's venue for large concerts, Glór hosts popular touring acts, art-house cinema, stand-up comedy, and competitions of Irish music, song, and dance—including May's hectic Fleadh Nua. There's also an art gallery, a café, and free parking.

    Causeway Link, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
    065-684–3103
  • 11. Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

    Held in September in the spa town of Lisdoonvarna in the Burren, Europe's largest matchmaking fest is a monthlong festival of music, dancing, craic, and—if...

    Held in September in the spa town of Lisdoonvarna in the Burren, Europe's largest matchmaking fest is a monthlong festival of music, dancing, craic, and—if you're lucky—love. 

    Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, Ireland
  • 12. NUI Galway

    University

    The art gallery at University College has a number of intriguing exhibitions each year on painting, sculpture, and photography....

    The art gallery at University College has a number of intriguing exhibitions each year on painting, sculpture, and photography.

    Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
    091-495--098

    Arts/Entertainment Details

    Rate Includes: No step-free access
  • 13. The Galway Races

    Known as the place where shady deals took place between politicians and developers during the boom times, the Galway Races is a high-profile event that...

    Known as the place where shady deals took place between politicians and developers during the boom times, the Galway Races is a high-profile event that brings the city to a standstill and brings out all of Ireland's aspiring socialites, horse-racing enthusiasts, and ostentatious hats. Room rates skyrocket around this festival so plan accordingly.

    Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
  • 14. Norman Villa Gallery

    Salthill | Art Galleries–Arts
    Closed Permanently

    Reflecting a passion for modern Irish art, this gallery exhibits work in the gallery owner's home and garden. ...

    Reflecting a passion for modern Irish art, this gallery exhibits work in the gallery owner's home and garden.

    86 Lower Salthill, Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
    091-521–131

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