10 Things To Do in Doolin - McGann's Pub

10 Things To Do In Doolin

There is so much to see and do in Doolin! From breathtaking landscapes to exciting adventures and cultural experiences, there's something for everyone. Here are some of our recommendations for things to do while in Doolin.
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Enjoy a Trad Session

In addition to its ideal location and beautiful landscapes, Doolin is also renowned for its traditional Irish music sessions. Music really is an essential part of our local heritage and people have been coming to Doolin to listen “trad sessions” for decades.

McGann’s Pub has been hosting these sessions since the late 70s and we have music nightly for most of the year, featuring some of Ireland’s most talented musicians. So make sure to join us to experience the magic of the sessions after a delicious meal while also enjoying the perfect pint of guinness (or a cup of tea!).

If you are passionate about Irish music, make sure to check out the Russell Memorial Weekend at the end of February each year. It is our local traditional music festival which really kicks off the season here in Doolin, with sessions all day long and throughout the evenings!

Discover Doolin Cave

Doolin Cave is one of Doolin’s best kept secret. Located a couple of miles up the road from McGann’s Pub, you can visit the cave and discover the Great Stalactite, which is the world’s 3rd largest! It is a true natural wonder and the guided tour of the cave is very informative about the Burren region in general.

There is also a very nice nature trail on the grounds of Doolin Cave for all the family to enjoy.

Doolin Cave
The Great Stalactite at Doolin Cave

Walk the Cliffs of Moher Trail

The Cliffs of Moher are arguably Ireland’s most famous natural wonder. You can drive to the visitor centre and enjoy the amazing views from there, but our personal recommendation is to walk the Cliffs of Moher Trail from Doolin to the Visitor Centre. The trail offers the best experience, away from the main crowd and is a great day out. The walk take about 3 hours to complete, and you can take a bus or a taxi back to Doolin.

For the best experience, we highly recommend doing the walk with local guide Pat Sweeney of Doolin Cliff Walk, who brings walking groups on the trail daily during the season.

Take a day trip to the Aran Islands

Doolin Pier offers the shortest route to the Aran Islands and you should definitely take advantage of this while you are in the area! The Aran Islands are spectacular, you will find yourself in a different world there and you will get the opportunity to hear the locals speak in Irish.

For a day trip, we recommend visiting Inis Oírr, which is the smallest of the three Aran Islands and the closest to Doolin. Rent a bike or enjoy a tour on a horse cart to discover the various sites on the island, such as the Plassey shipwreck, the Lighthouse, the beautiful stone walls and finish off with a dip in the crystal clear water at the beach.

For information, times and bookings of the ferries, check out our two local companies, Doolin Ferry Co. and Doolin2Aran Ferries. Both companies also offer a cruise along the Cliffs of Moher, which offers an incredible perspective of the Cliffs.

Cliffs of Moher Walking Trail
Cliffs of Moher Walking Trail

Explore Killilagh Church & Graveyard

An example of the community’s dedication to preserving its rich heritage is Killilagh Church, whose renovation was overseen by a local voluntary group (including archaeologists) in 2013. The ruins of the church, built in the 17th century originally, sits on a ridge just 5 mins walk from McGann’s Pub. It is an amazing site, rich in history, that will bring you back in time. The views are spectacular and sunset is a great time to see it, just before a delicious meal and live music at McGann’s Pub.

Drive around The Burren

The Burren, which means “stony place” in Irish, is an area of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams. Located in the edge of the Burren, Doolin is an ideal gateway to visit this beautiful region with its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, megalithic tombs and monuments. The Burren is a magical place which few people leave without wanting to come back again.

There are many sites to visit in the Burren, including the iconic Mulloughmore mountain and Poulnabrone dolmen, but there also many other parts that are worth exploring. One of our favourites is Caherconnell Fort, which also offer sheepdog demonstrations. A great experience!

Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren
Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren

Taste Delicious Irish Food

The West of Ireland is building a great reputation as a foodie’s destination and here at McGann’s we want our visitors to enjoy the best of Irish food. Creamy Seafood Chowder, succulent Fish and Chips, delicious Beef & Guinness Stew, Lamb Shank, beef burgers and much, much more tasty Irish pub food for you to enjoy in the friendly atmosphere of our pub.

You can view our menu here.

Watch the Sunset at Doolin Pier

The coast at Doolin Pier is spectacular and there’s no better time to experience it than sunset. With incredible views of the Cliffs of Moher and the limestone pavement of the Burren, this is a unique location for taking great pictures while enjoying the fresh air of the Wild Atlantic Way. And for the most adventurous, make sure to take a dip at the Pier!

Sunset Swim at Doolin Pier
Sunset Swim at Doolin Pier, photo by Kevin Smith

Meet the friendly locals

One of the reasons why Doolin is such a popular destination is the warm welcome that visitors experience from the local community. Call into the local shops (check out Irish Crafts for an incredible selection of products made in Ireland), chat with the musicians, ask questions to the friendly staff and simply strike a conversation with the people you meet, you are guaranteed to make new friends here in Doolin!

Take your time and enjoy Doolin’s warm welcome

If there is one advice we would like to share with our visitors, it is to take your time. We often hear that people wish they had more time to spend in Doolin, as they didn’t realise how much there is to see and do in the area. So make sure to book one of Doolin’s fine accommodation for a few nights (we recommend at least 3 nights!).

For a list of great accommodation providers, make sure to visit Doolin.ie.

McGann's Pub Doolin - A Few Words from Tony McGann

A Few Words from Tony McGann

Learn about the early days of McGann’s Pub and what makes Doolin special by reading a few words from Tony McGann. “My brother Tommy and I came home on holidays from America in 1975. Our sister Brid and Helen Brown were running a restaurant next door to the pub…”

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10 Things To Do in Doolin - McGann's Pub

10 Things To Do In Doolin

There is so much to see and do in Doolin! From breathtaking landscapes to exciting adventures and cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of our recommendations for things to do while in Doolin.

Read More »