Warning: Table './sunshine_imh2/cache' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache WHERE cid = 'variables' in /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 128

Warning: Table './sunshine_imh2/cache' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache SET data = 'a:1314:{s:13:\"theme_default\";s:11:\"a3_atlantis\";s:13:\"filter_html_1\";s:1:\"1\";s:18:\"node_options_forum\";a:1:{i:0;s:6:\"status\";}s:18:\"drupal_private_key\";s:64:\"5ddf8335b212958291d21fab1076e409a463ed9256d2338c81821b5cf8821e86\";s:10:\"menu_masks\";a:33:{i:0;i:127;i:1;i:126;i:2;i:125;i:3;i:63;i:4;i:62;i:5;i:61;i:6;i:60;i:7;i:59;i:8;i:58;i:9;i:57;i:10;i:56;i:11;i:48;i:12;i:31;i:13;i:30;i:14;i:29;i:15;i:28;i:16;i:25;i:17;i:24;i:18;i:22;i:19;i:21;i:20;i:15;i:21;i:14;i:22;i:13;i:23;i:12;i:24;i:11;i:25;i:10;i:26;i:7;i:27;i:6;i:28;i:5;i:29;i:4;i:30;i:3;i:31;i:2;i:32;i:1;}s:12:\"install_task\";s:4:\"done\";s:13:\"menu_expanded\";a:1:{i:0;s:17:\"menu-taxonomymenu\";}s:9:\"site_name\";s:19:\"INDIAN CHIEF TRAVEL\";s:9:\"site_mail\"; in /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 128

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:128) in /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 636

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:128) in /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 637

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:128) in /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 638

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:128) in /home/sunshine61/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 639
Best Small Towns in Ireland - Towns in Ireland - Best Irish Small Towns - Indian Chief Travel
IRELAND  |  Great Towns of Ireland, Ireland Travel Guide
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Best Small Towns in Ireland

Carlingford, Ireland (cc)
Photo: Colm Rice

The 10 Best Small Towns in Ireland

Ireland has some of Europe's most charming small towns and villages, both inland and along its coast, one more atmospheric than the next. And here are 10 of the most colorful, most popular and best small towns in Ireland.

[ Pages of interest: Dublin, Ireland and Great Castles of Ireland ]


1. Kinsale

Quaint, colorful, traditional Irish town, generally at the top of the must-see lists of travelers. It's a small town, famous for its upscale restaurants and bistros and its annual Gourmet Festival. There's also a large marina here, filled with yachts, a couple of old churches worth seeing, the town's early-17th-century Market House, and Desmond Castle, also known as the French Prison, all of which add to the visitor interest.

Location: County Cork

Population: 2,260



2. Killarney

One of Ireland's most popular tourist haunts, with numerous shops, restaurants and pubs, an effervescent nightlife, and more hotel beds than any other town or city in Ireland, other than Dublin. For sightseers, Killarney has a lovely Gothic Revival cathedral, a medieval castle, a splendid Tudor mansion called Muckross House, and fabulous Irish countryside all around, with lakes and all. Killarney is actually situated on the northeastern shore of Lough Leane, in the Killarney National Park. The Killarney SummerFest is popular throughout Irelnad.

Location: County Kerry

Population: 14,200



3. Donegal

Donegal is a colorful little town, built around the picturesque, 15th-century Donegal Castle. It has a lovely town center, the remains of an ancient Franciscan abbey, and a long tradition of poetry, Gaelic music, and tweed and carpet weaving. The town has good visitor facilities such as hotels, and is linked to Dublin and other Irish towns by rail and road.

Location: County Donegal

Population: 2,600



4. Wexford

Old Norse town-cum-seaport with a reclaimed waterfront, a legacy of woodworking, scores of historic churches, and the ruins of a 12th-century picture-postcard abbey that was sacked by Thomas Cromwell. The town has strong cultural underpinnings, and an Opera Festival, held in October each year, that dates from 1951 and enjoys world renown.

Location: County Wexford

Population: 20,000



5. Westport

Lively little town on the River Carrowbeg, with huge tourist appeal. It has tree-lined riverfront promenades, old stone bridges crisscrossing the river, and several old pubs and restaurants, including such atmospheric ones as McCarthy's and Matt Malloy's, the latter a musical pub in the heart of town. For sightseers, the principal draws are the 18th-century Westport House, long considered one of the most beautiful historic homes in Ireland that is still open to the public, the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, and Westport's 18th-century Georgian town center. What's more, the town enjoys a lovely backdrop in the pilgrimage mountain, Croagh Patrick.

Location: County Mayo

Population: 5,550



6. Carlingford

Medieval coastal town, tucked in the undulating sheep-studded country just to the south of the border with Northern Ireland. Tourism is front and center here, with the old castles, King John's and Taaffe's, the main draws. The medieval streets are still there, as are the 13th-century town wall and Dominican friary, the centuries-old three-story mint with its highly-decorated Celtic Renaissance windows, the Tholsel, or town gate, and the medieval Church of Holy Trinity which has exhibits depicting the history of Carlingford, dating from the Viking era.

Location: County Louth

Population: 1,050



7. Roscrea

Small heritage town with an old castle, the greystone Roscrea Castle, and the remains of a 12th-century Romanesque church and 15th-century Franciscan friary. The town has its fair share of pubs and cafés, and a prestigious boarding school for boys, Cistercian College, just outside town.

Location: County North Tipperary

Population: 5,400



8. Inistioge

Small, picturesque village on the River Nore, some 16 miles (25 km) to the southeast of Kilkenny, which has provided the setting for several films over the years, among them Widow's Peak (1994) and Circle of Friends (1995). Inistioge has a lovely village green, old stone bridges, and charming old pubs to inspire visitors.

Location: County Kilkenny

Population: 260



9. Adare

The most Irish of Ireland's villages, supremely picturesque, with an impressive collection of thatched-roof traditional Irish cottages and homes with whitewashed walls, now designated an "Irish Heritage Village." Overnight accommodations are available at the 19th-century mansion turned upscale hotel, Adare Manor.

Location: County Limerick

Population: 2,500



10. Tullamore

Pleasant little town on the Grand Canal, which links it to Dublin. The town has a famous haunted castle, which is also one of Ireland's most splendid Gothic buildings, and a legacy tied to Tullamore Dew, an Irish whiskey that was distilled here for more than a century, from 1829 until 1950.

Location: County Offaly

Population: 14,400


© Indian Chief Travel Guides

Last updated November 11, 2013
Posted in   Ireland  |  Great Towns of Ireland
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
Explore the Destination
Amenities and Resources
  • No weather for this city
Trending Themes:

Guides to Popular Ski Resorts

  • Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More

  • Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More

  • Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More

  • Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More

  • Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More

  • St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More

  • Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More

  • St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More

  • Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More


Copyright © 2010-2013 Indian Chief Travel Guides. Images tagged as (cc) are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.