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Athlone

(4/5 based on 2,600+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: nightlife, historic sites, museums

Gateway to the West

The largest town on the River Shannon has earned the moniker of Gateway to the West for its strategic location; visitors are attracted to Athlone for its vibrant streets. While the eastern bank of the town is mostly commercial, the western bank offers sightseeing and can serve as a base for day trips and river cruises. Along the historical western bank, you'll find old bookbinders, boutiques, houses, restaurants, and traditional pubs--including the oldest in Europe. Be sure to visit the town's attractions, including the river promenade, abbey remains, a gallery, and a castle. Take stress off the schedule by using our Ireland vacation route planner.
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Where to stay in Athlone

While the eastern bank of the River Shannon has a lot of commercial glitz, many visitors prefer to stay on the western bank in Athlone, where the castle beckons travelers to this lively town. Here you will find the winding streets, cafes, pubs, and historical sites that keep locals and visitors enchanted. There are plenty of hotels to choose from in the area, although bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and apartments tend to have more personality.
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