Sligo Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Sligo? This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to make the most of your visit, from top attractions to where to stay and what to eat.

Introduction to Sligo

Sligo, located in County Sligo in Northwest Ireland and Lakelands, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers looking for authentic experiences. This small county has it all - breathtaking landscapes, rich culture and history, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality from the locals.

List of Places to Visit in Sligo

Sligo has a variety of attractions that cater to every interest.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Sligo is known for its rich history and fascinating museums.

  • Sligo Abbey - a medieval Dominican abbey with well-preserved tombs and carvings dating back to the 13th century.
  • Yeats Memorial Building - a tribute to the life and works of renowned Irish poet and Nobel laureate, W.B. Yeats.
  • The Model Arts and Niland Gallery - a contemporary arts center housing a public art gallery, cinema, and unique shops.
  • The Sligo Folk Park - a living museum that captures Sligo’s traditional way of life.

Natural Attractions of Sligo: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Sligo’s landscapes are a feast for the eyes and offer a range of outdoor activities.

  • Benbulben - a large rock formation that dominates the landscape and offers stunning hiking trails.
  • Knocknarea - a mountain with a large cairn at its peak that offers breathtaking views of Sligo Bay.
  • Mullaghmore Beach - famous for its perfect surfing conditions and scenic beauty.
  • Lough Gill - a beautiful lake surrounded by hills and forests that offers boating and fishing opportunities.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Sligo

Sligo is a paradise for hikers and cyclists.

  • Sligo Way - a 74 km picturesque walking trail that winds its way through the Dartry Mountains.
  • Streedagh Beach Walk - a beautiful coastal trail that offers views of the Atlantic Ocean and Streedagh Strand.
  • Glencar Waterfall Walk - a short and easy hike to the magnificent Glencar Waterfall that is surrounded by lush greenery.

Best Things to Do in Sligo: Activities and Tours

Sligo has a range of activities and tours that allow you to experience the best of the county.

  • Surfing Lessons at Strandhill Beach - Strandhill is the perfect place to learn how to surf, with experienced instructors and ideal waves.
  • Sligo Food Trail Tour - a guided tour that takes you to the best food spots in Sligo and introduces you to the local cuisine.
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting at Castle Dargan - enjoy an afternoon of shooting with friends or family at Castle Dargan.
  • Horse Riding at Island View Stables - for a unique way to explore Sligo’s countryside, go on a horseback ride through the scenic trails.

Week-Long Itinerary for Sligo

To make the most of your trip, follow this week-long itinerary:

Day Activity
1 Visit Sligo Abbey and The Model Arts and Niland Gallery
2 Go on a surfing lesson at Strandhill Beach
3 Take a guided tour of the Sligo Food Trail
4 Enjoy a clay pigeon shooting activity at Castle Dargan
5 Do a horseback ride through Island View Stables
6 Go on a hike at Benbulben or Knocknarea
7 Visit Lough Gill and take a boat tour

Food and Drink Scene of Sligo

Sligo has a vibrant food and drink scene, with many local specialties.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Seafood Chowder - made with locally sourced seafood and signature broth
  • Traditional Irish Breakfast - including sausages, bacon, black pudding, and white pudding
  • Wild Atlantic Salmon - fresh from the nearby coast
  • Sligo Oyster Stout - a unique beer made with local oysters.

Local Beverages

  • Muff Liquor Company - a local distillery that produces hand-crafted spirits using local ingredients.
  • The White Hag Brewery - a craft brewery that offers an array of beers inspired by Irish mythology and local flora.

Where to Stay in Sligo: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Sligo has a variety of accommodations that cater to every budget and preference.

  • Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Sligo - a luxurious hotel with panoramic views of the mountains and coastline.
  • The Glasshouse - a stylish hotel located in the heart of Sligo town.
  • Yeats Country Hotel, Spa & Leisure Club - a family-friendly hotel that offers a range of outdoor activities and a spa.

What to Buy in Sligo: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Bring a piece of Sligo home with you by purchasing local souvenirs and products.

  • Sligo Tweed - woven with local wool and available in various apparel and accessories.
  • Drumcliffe Tea House and Craft Shop - offers a collection of locally made art, pottery, and crafts.
  • The Keg & Barrel Irish Pub - sells a variety of Irish whiskeys, gins, and craft beers.

Local Culture and Customs of Sligo

Sligo’s warm and friendly locals follow many traditions and customs, including:

  • Music and Dance - Sligo’s lively cultural scene is manifested through music and dance performances that celebrate traditional Irish culture.
  • The Irish Language - many Sligo locals speak Gaelic as their first language and appreciate visitors trying to communicate with them in this historical tongue.
  • Pubs - pubs are a central part of Sligo’s social life, where locals gather to catch up with friends over a pint of Guinness or local beer.

Best Time to Visit Sligo

The best time to visit Sligo is during the summer months of June to August, when the weather is mild, and the days are longer. However, visiting during spring or fall can be just as enjoyable and less crowded.

Do’s and Don’ts of Sligo


  • Try local cuisine and drinks
  • Visit historical sites such as Sligo Abbey and the Yeats Memorial Building
  • Hike or bike through Sligo’s stunning landscapes
  • Join in on traditional Irish music and folklore.


  • Leave trash behind
  • Ignore local customs and traditions
  • Get too rowdy in pubs.

Safety and Health

Safety in Sligo

Sligo is a safe place to visit, but standard precautions should be taken.

  • Keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Stay in well-lit and populated areas at night.
  • Be cautious when driving on narrow back roads.

Health in Sligo

Sligo has a reliable healthcare system, and the locals are friendly and helpful if you experience any health issues.

Getting to Sligo: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Sligo

  • Ireland West Airport Knock - located approximately 45 minutes from Sligo by car.

Bus Stations Near Sligo

  • Bus Eireann - the national bus company that connects Sligo to all major cities in Ireland.

Other Options

  • Train - Sligo is connected to Dublin and Galway by trains operated by Irish Rail.

How to Get Around in Sligo

The best way to get around Sligo is by car, which gives you the freedom to explore the countryside at your own pace. Taxis, buses, and bikes are also available in Sligo.

Where to Go Next from Sligo: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Sligo is surrounded by other fascinating destinations that are worth a visit.

  • Galway City - the bohemian city famous for its arts, culture, and medieval streets.
  • Connemara National Park - a wilderness paradise with mountains, bogs, and stunning lakes.
  • Donegal Town - a charming town on the rugged coast with impressive Georgian architecture.


Sligo is a breathtaking destination for travelers looking for a mix of history, culture, and adventure. With its stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, it is easy to fall in love with this hidden gem of Northwest Ireland and Lakelands.Plan your trip today and discover the magic of Sligo for yourself!