Despite having a tiny population, this town is constant bustle. Students weave in and out of coffee shops, Irish music flows out of quaint pubs, and pretty bridges laden with bright flowers span the river at every corner.
But it’s also an outdoor playground. The neighbouring town of Strandhill hosts a huge surf community on the Atlantic, and the competition is fierce. Surf shops line the waterfront. Then there’s stand-up paddling on Lake Gill, hiking the prolific Benbulben Mountain, and so much more.
All you have to do to meet the locals is show up at one of the popular pubs in town, especially when there’s a proper trad session on. You’ll be welcomed with open arms.
W.B. Yeats, Sligo native and famous Irish poet
Unique Things to See and Do in Sligo
- Have a local show you where the Faerie Glen is
- Hike to the top of Bebulben
- Take a surfing or body-boarding lesson
- Stand-up paddle to the Isle of Innisfree
- Visit W.B. Yeat’s grave
- Sit in on an Irish trad session in a cozy pub
- See the fabled Queen Maeve’s Grave atop Knocknarea
- Go to Glencar Waterfall
Information on Sligo
Sligo’s large student population bolsters the town’s success as an adventure capital. It’s an incredibly lively town, despite only having a population of about 20k. Sligo town is at the centre of it all and is the easiest location to set up base for getting around the area.
Strandhill is where you want to be if you’re interested in a quieter scene filled with surfing (or anything else water-sports related). There is a regular bus that goes between both towns, and further onward around the county.
Getting to Sligo
Car rental is always the best way to get around Ireland, especially if you’re interested in Sligo’s outdoors attractions. While there is a somewhat reliable public bus travelling around the communities, it won’t take you to any hiking attractions or trails. But it’s not hard to find a friendly local who will lead the way.
Bus Eireann is Ireland’s main bus network connecting communities across the country. It’ll take you straight to Sligo.
The train network isn’t your best bet – it’s not reliable, or affordable for that matter.
Did you know…?
Sligo’s Irish name “Sligecah” means “the place of many mussels.”
Did you ALSO know…?
Surfing pros from around the world come to take advantage of Strandhill’s waves – from as far as Australia and Hawaii!
Ready to plan your visit to Ireland? Check out these popular guides and trips.