Imagine exploring a town where history comes alive in every corner. Ennis, the county town of County Clare, is an island of culture and heritage in the heart of Ireland.
Ennis is both a historical treasure, and also a gateway to the stunning natural beauty of the Burren, a karst landscape that hosts 70% of Ireland’s plant species.
And if you’re looking for some craic, you’ll find plenty of pubs, music and friendly locals to make you feel at home. Ennis is a town that will spark your imagination and warm your heart.
Get ready to uncover the top Ennis experiences that’ll make your visit unforgettable!
What are the top things to do in Ennis, Ireland?
The top things to do in Ennis include visiting Clare Museum, taking the Heritage Trip with Ennis Walking Tour, dining at Brogan’s Bar, enjoying Irish music at Cois na hAbhna, and attending the Ennis Trad Festival.
You can also stroll at the Ennis Farmers Market, shop at the Ennis Bookshop, catch a show at Glór Theatre, go horse riding at Clare Equestrian Centre, and play golf at Ennis Golf Club.
Explore Local History at Clare Museum
- June to September: Monday to Saturday – 9:30 AM to 5 PM
- October to May: Tuesday to Saturday – 9:30 AM to 1 PM & 2 PM to 5 PM
Clare Museum is a cool place that tells the story of Clare from 6,000 years ago to the present day. It’s located in a former convent in the heart of Ennis, a charming town in the west of Ireland.
The museum displays original artifacts from archaeological and religious sites, as well as items related to the culture and heritage of Clare.
You can learn about the themes of faith, earth, power, water, and energy that shaped the history of this region. Some of the artifacts are on loan from the National Museum of Ireland, which is a big deal.
Clare Museum is a small but mighty museum that will give you a glimpse into the rich and diverse past of Clare.
Don’t miss the 1947 Dodge Presidential Car used by Éamon de Valera, a former president and Clare representative, in Ennis. Other memorabilia of his life and legacy are also at the same location.
Join the Heritage Trip by Ennis Walking Tour
Meeting Place: Outside the Ennis Tourist Office
Phone: +353 (0) 87 648 3714
Email: [email protected]
Operating Hours (Public Tours): Selected days at 11 AM from May until October
If you want to learn about the history and legends of Ennis, join a guided walking tour with Dr Jane O’Brien, a local expert and storyteller.
You’ll see the main attractions of the medieval town, such as the O’Connell Monument, the Old Abbey, the Franciscan Friary, and the art and sculpture trail.
You’ll also hear fascinating stories about the people and events that shaped Ennis, from the powerful leaders to the poor and oppressed. For example, did you know that nagging women were punished by being dunked in the river?
This tour, available by booking, will make you see Ennis in a new light and appreciate its rich heritage. The tour lasts about an hour and has 10 stops.
You can book a private walking tour in Ennis and choose between two special interest options.
The Haunted History Tour reveals the spooky secrets of medieval Ennis, while the Gourmet History Tour combines a tasty exploration of Irish food and culture.
Watch a Show at Glór Theatre
- Monday to Friday – 10 AM to 2:30 PM
- Saturday – 10 AM to 3 PM
At Glór, you can enjoy a variety of art and entertainment in Ennis. This modern venue opened in 2001 and hosts theatre, comedy, music, and exhibitions by Irish and international artists.
From watching a play to listening in traditional Irish tunes, or even indulging in a movie night, Glór offers a diverse range of options to cater to your preferences. Additionally, if you’re looking to acquire a new skill, Glór has got you covered.
You can also discover local talent and culture, and join special events like tours, workshops, shows, and family sessions. Glór is the place to be for fun and creativity in County Clare.
Looking for a place to grab a bite and a drink at Glór?
Check out their newly renovated café, serving a delicious menu of locally sourced, healthy food options. From fresh salads to gourmet sandwiches and sweet treats, enjoy your meal in the light-filled foyer or on the sunny outdoor terrace.
Enjoy a Meal and Drinks at Brogan’s Bar
For those who wants a a cozy and authentic pub experience in Ennis, look no further than Brogan’s.
This family-owned gem has been serving up delicious food, drinks, and music for generations, and has recently gotten a fresh makeover by new owners.
Brogan’s is not your average pub. It’s a place where you can enjoy a variety of craft beers, whiskeys, and gins, as well as a perfect pint of Guinness.
It’s also a place where you can savor mouthwatering dishes made with fresh and local ingredients, such as soups, salads, mussels, steaks, and burgers.
Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering Farmhouse Burger made with 100% Irish Beef or the delicious Smothered Chicken at Brogan’s Bar in Ennis, Clare. Pair your meal with a refreshing Bloof Orange Cider for the perfect dining experience.
Experience Irish Music at Cois na hAbhna
Cois na hAbhna is more than just a concert and events venue in Ennis. It’s also the heart of Irish culture and heritage in the Meitheal region.
As the regional base of Comhaltas Ceoiltóirí Éireann, it promotes and preserves the music, song, dance and language of Ireland.
Whether you want to enjoy a lively session, a céilí dance, a drama performance or a concert, Cois na hAbhna has something for everyone.
You can also learn Irish dancing or music at the venue, or explore the Comhaltas Regional Archive in the Sean Reid Library. Cois na hAbhna was built by local volunteers in the early 1980s and reopened in 2009 after extensive renovations.
Aside from watching performances at Cois na hAbhna, you can also learn some traditional Irish music and dance skills yourself.
They offer classes for beginners and advanced learners in instruments like the fiddle, flute, accordion and more. You can also join the céilí dancing sessions and have fun with other enthusiasts.
Stroll at the Ennis Farmers Market
Every Friday, you can find the best of local food and flowers at the Ennis Farmers’ Market. You can browse the stalls and buy fresh, organic and delicious products from the people who grow, rear, bake or make them.
Whether you’re looking for bread, cheese, meat, eggs, vegetables, pesto, wheatgrass or pies, you’ll find something to suit your taste. You can also enjoy a hot drink and a snack while admiring the beautiful plants and flowers on display.
The market only sells produce from within 30 miles of Ennis, so you can be sure you’re supporting the local community and the environment.
For a delicious and hassle-free snack, try the ready-to-eat pies from Pie Man at Ennis Market. With options like salmon & broccoli or goat cheese & veggie, they can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Attend the Ennis Trad Festival
Another music celebration in the town is the Ennis Trad Festival, a yearly event that showcases the best of Irish traditional music, song, and dance.
The festival attracts thousands of performers and fans from all over Ireland, who come to enjoy the lively sessions, concerts and workshops.
Ennis has a rich history of Irish music, and the festival is a chance to meet, play and learn from some of the most talented musicians in the country.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you will find something to suit your taste and skill level at the Ennis Trad Festival.
Any visitor to Ireland at this time is strongly advised to get to Ennis for at least a day or two of this festival and even those with only a passing interest in Irish music will have the time of their lives.
Shop at the Ennis Bookshop
Hey, bookworms! You’ll not get enough of the amazing books at Ennis Book Shop, a family-owned business that started in 1970 by Mary and the late Michael Evans, and now their daughter Dervilla is in charge.
They have books for all tastes and interests, from the newest releases and popular memoirs to historical accounts and sports stories. They also have some lovely gifts, cards and crafts made by local artists.
Ennis Book Shop is not just a store, it’s a community. You can chat with the friendly staff, get recommendations from other readers, or just relax with a good book.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the books? Check out their Staff Picks shelf near the entrance for some great recommendations from their team.
Go Horse Riding at Clare Equestrian Centre
- Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 6:30 PM
- Saturday – 10 AM to 5 PM
- Sunday – 10 AM to 6 PM
Are you a horse lover? Do you want to learn how to ride, jump, dance, or even buy and sell horses?
Then you should check out the Clare Equestrian Centre, one of the best places for horse activities in Ennis. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something fun and exciting to do with their friendly and experienced staff.
You can also enjoy the beautiful countryside on horseback, or take lessons from Marie Burke, a famous rider. The Clare Equestrian Centre is approved by the AIRE, which means they have high standards of quality and safety.
Stay tuned for their upcoming Show-Jumping Events by visiting their events page.
They organize SJI (Show Jumping Ireland) Affiliated Events for 8 weeks followed by a final, and also host Non-Affiliated events during summer and winter months, including Jump-Cross, welcoming new riders.
Play Golf with Ennis Golf Club
- Monday to Friday – 10 AM to 10 PM
- Saturday to Sunday – 8 AM to 10 PM
Ennis is a charming town surrounded by rolling hills and scenic landscapes. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to explore the beauty of this area, why not try one of the golf courses nearby?
Ennis Golf Course offers a well-maintained, 18-hole, Par 70 course that suits golfers of all levels. You can enjoy the views from the modern clubhouse, which has a cozy lounge bar, a dining room, and all the facilities you need.
The course is 5,724m long and has a fairly flat terrain, making it perfect for a leisurely round of golf.
- Visit the Ennis Golf Club Pro Shop for a wide range of top-quality golf equipment, apparel, and accessories at competitive prices.
- Additionally, you can rent caddy cars and golf buggies, and the staff can assist with green-fee bookings.