Athlone travel guide

Athlone is located right in the middle of Ireland, but because many tourists do a coastal loop of the country, it is missed off typical itineraries. And that's a shame, because this pretty town (which may be bestowed city status in the not too distant future) has a lot to offer.

Introduction to Athlone

Athlone is split in two by the River Shannon - the longest river in Ireland. One side of the river is County Roscommon and the other is County Weastmeath; one side is in the province of Leinster and the other is in the province of Connacht. The town has a population of around 20,000.

Getting to Athlone

Athlone is about an hour and a half drive from both Dublin and Shannon airports. There are 15 buses a day from Dublin (around two hours) and Galway (around one and a half hours); and regular buses to Westport and Mullingar. There are also regular daily trains to Dublin (one hour 45 minutes), Galway (one hour 15 minutes) and Westport (two hours).

Top sights and attractions in Athlone

Athlone Castle: Athlone Castle was originally built for King John of England in 1210. It was twice besieged by the Williamites. The Athlone Castle Visitor Centre contains fascinating displays on the sieges as well as informative displays on the River Shannon.

Church of St Peter and Paul: This recently restored twin tower church is the symbol of Athlone.

Bronze bust of Count John McCormack: McCormack was an Athlone native and hugely successful singer who died in 1945.

Top hotels in Athlone

  • Glasson Country House Hotel Golf Club: €75 - €160 per night
  • Wineport Lodge: €153 per night
  • Sheraton Athlone: €69 - €133 per night
  • Hodson Bay Hotel: €69 - €142 per night
  • Athlone Springs Hotel: €56 - €131 per night
  • The Prince of Wales Hotel: €53 - €135 per night
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone: €78 - €140 per night

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