Sligo travel guide

Sligo Tourism | Sligo Guide

You're Going to Love Sligo

Pronounced "SHLEE-goh", this North Atlantic spot is an abundant Irish city. It may be small but it packs the characteristic Irish charm that travelers flock to the region for. Along with its beautiful coastline and surrounding natural landscape, as well as it's thronging city life, Sligo is a hidden gem you'll want to revisit over the years.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Sligo

1. Unexpectedly...For Surfing!

Surf's up in Sligo -- really! True-blue surfers know that Sligo's renowned waves are the perfect take-off point for those looking to challenge the seas.

2. The Fresh & Hearty Cuisine

This coastal town brings in its fair share of seafood fare -- fresh oysters, clams and shellfish, not to mention a lobster season in the summer that's not to be missed. The perfect accompaniment to dark local stouts.

3. Incredible Live Music Scene

Sligo's music scene comes alive during its annual music festivals that feature the roots of Irish and Gaelic music in modern acts.

4. Cozy Coastal Spas

Sligo has a wide variety of excellent spas. The best ones have a view of the Atlantic coastline, making it the perfect complement to your afternoon steam.

5. Chic Urban and Wild Countryside

Sligo combines quaint and colorful houses, winding bridges overlooking sleepy ravines and cobblestone streets with more than a few vintage bookshops with the wild Northern Irish countryside, with its historic castles.

What to do in Sligo

1. Modern Irish Art

The Model, which houses The Niland Collection, is one of Ireland's most renowned modern art museums. Known for its avant garde exhibits, the museum showcases a collection of works from artists such as John 'Jack' Butler Yeats, Paul Henry, Estella Solomons and Louis Le LeBrocquy, among others. The gallery also hosts an extensive contemporary and classical music program, as well as a selection of international films. With educational workshops for children and adults, the Model is the perfect site for a family outing.

2. Medieval Sligo Monastery

Originally built in 1253 at the request of Maurice Fitzgerald, Baron of Offaly, Sligo Abbey was besieged by fires and wars but eventually rebuilt in the 1850s. The setting for two short stories by William Butler Yeats, the monastery currently displays a wealth of Gothic and Renaissance carvings, a 15th century altar and several impeccably preserved cloisters. The visitor's center contains a copy of the diary of Charlotte Thornley, who lived with her son, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, in Sligo.

3. Ode To W.B. Yeats

The Yeats Memorial Building, located on Hyde Bridge, houses the Yeats Society. The center showcases an audiovisual exhibition on the life of the poet and over 3,000 reference books. The building is also home to the Hyde Bridge Gallery, which hosts international exhibitions, the Yeats Poetry Circle, which meets weekly from September to May, and the Yeats exhibition, which features a collection of phonographic recordings, as well as the film, Yeats Country.

4. Sligo Through History

Established in 1955, the Sligo County Museum, which was redesigned in 2008 by Sheridan Woods, highlights the history and culture of County Sligo. The building itself was built in 1867 and is connected to a former church, now known as the Sligo Library. The museum has a collection dedicated to Yeats, as well as paintings by John 'Jack' Butler Yeats, George William Russell, and Seán Keating. Local archaeological artifacts are on display along with a collection of World War I memorabilia.

5. Local Wood Works

A quaint shop on Wine Street, Michael Quirke's Studio displays the work of its owner, who moved to Sligo in 1957 and opened a butcher shop at this location. Since 1970, Quirke has been carving and selling wood figures. His artwork is mostly inspired by Irish mythology, as well as local poet W.B. Yeats. A stop at the studio is a chance to chat with the local artist and purchase one of his many affordable pieces.

1. Modern Irish Art

The Model, which houses The Niland Collection, is one of Ireland's most renowned modern art museums. Known for its avant garde exhibits, the museum showcases a collection of works from artists such as John 'Jack' Butler Yeats, Paul Henry, Estella Solomons and Louis Le LeBrocquy, among others. The gallery also hosts an extensive contemporary and classical music program, as well as a selection of international films. With educational workshops for children and adults, the Model is the perfect site for a family outing.

2. Medieval Sligo Monastery

Originally built in 1253 at the request of Maurice Fitzgerald, Baron of Offaly, Sligo Abbey was besieged by fires and wars but eventually rebuilt in the 1850s. The setting for two short stories by William Butler Yeats, the monastery currently displays a wealth of Gothic and Renaissance carvings, a 15th century altar and several impeccably preserved cloisters. The visitor's center contains a copy of the diary of Charlotte Thornley, who lived with her son, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, in Sligo.

3. Ode To W.B. Yeats

The Yeats Memorial Building, located on Hyde Bridge, houses the Yeats Society. The center showcases an audiovisual exhibition on the life of the poet and over 3,000 reference books. The building is also home to the Hyde Bridge Gallery, which hosts international exhibitions, the Yeats Poetry Circle, which meets weekly from September to May, and the Yeats exhibition, which features a collection of phonographic recordings, as well as the film, Yeats Country.

4. Sligo Through History

Established in 1955, the Sligo County Museum, which was redesigned in 2008 by Sheridan Woods, highlights the history and culture of County Sligo. The building itself was built in 1867 and is connected to a former church, now known as the Sligo Library. The museum has a collection dedicated to Yeats, as well as paintings by John 'Jack' Butler Yeats, George William Russell, and Seán Keating. Local archaeological artifacts are on display along with a collection of World War I memorabilia.

5. Local Wood Works

A quaint shop on Wine Street, Michael Quirke's Studio displays the work of its owner, who moved to Sligo in 1957 and opened a butcher shop at this location. Since 1970, Quirke has been carving and selling wood figures. His artwork is mostly inspired by Irish mythology, as well as local poet W.B. Yeats. A stop at the studio is a chance to chat with the local artist and purchase one of his many affordable pieces.

Where to Eat in Sligo

At Fiddler's Creek, tuck into large portions of excellent food like medallions of Irish beef, roasts of the day, Fish'n'Chippies or Angus Beef burgers with all the fixings. A four course meal is EUR22.

When to visit Sligo

Sligo in July
Estimated hotel price
$107
1 night at 3-star hotel
Sligo in July
Estimated hotel price
$107
1 night at 3-star hotel

The climate in Sligo is what you would expect of a North Atlantic city; there's lots of precipitation year-round, winters get down to 41°F and summers are warmer but only ever rise to about 60 °F.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Sligo

Plane

Located 16 miles from the city center is Sligo's domestic airport. International flights take off at Ireland West Airport Knock, which is the closest to Sligo. To get into town from here, you'll have to travel 89 miles.

Train

Sligo is a day-trip away from Dublin and Belfast by train, and Irish Rail trains arrive at Sligo's Mac Diarmada Station. Fare prices vary between EUR32 and EUR44.

Car

Travelers come in to Sligo by car from 3 major hubs. From Dublin, take the N4 road west for 130 miles. From Galway, take the N17 road north for 90 miles. From Belfast, use the M1 to get onto the A4 which turns into the N16.

Bus

Bus service includes routes to Dublin, Galway and Belfast with the bus service Bus Éireann. Fares vary by city of origin but can start at EUR20 for a trip from Dublin.

Airports near Sligo

Airlines serving Sligo

British Airways
Good (1,434 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,689 reviews)
Aer Lingus
Good (429 reviews)

Where to stay in Sligo

The Leftbank - Although running at a slower pace than Sligo Town, this neighborhood is definitely louder, and it plays host to many a local live music performance and homey restaurants.

Popular Neighborhoods in Sligo

Sligo Town - The heart of Sligo, made up of Wine Street, O'Connell Street and Rockwood Parades, situated along the Garavogue river.

Abbeyquarter - This vibrant neighborhood is home to Sligo's Italian district on Tobergal Lane and the majestic Glasshouse hotel.

Where to stay in popular areas of Sligo

How to Get Around Sligo

Public Transportation

For local bus routes S1, S2 and R291, fares are EUR1.70 for a single adult and EUR3.20 for a day pass.

Taxi

Fares start with a flat rate of EUR4 and there's a EUR2 charge for ever mile thereafter.

Car

Rent a car to get around from companies like Europcar or Hertz. Day rates start at EUR87.

The Cost of Living in Sligo

Shopping Streets

Most of the one-off, vintage and local shops are based around O'Connell Street, Wine Street and Grattan Street. There are also two new shopping centers known as Johnson Court and The Quayside, for those who prefer malls.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs EUR0.98 and a dozen eggs cost EUR2.53.

Cheap meal
$22.90
A pair of jeans
$105.68
Single public transport ticket
$7.05
Cappuccino
$4.41
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