Westport Ireland Travel Guide: What to See and Do

Explore the enchanting coastal town of Westport in County Mayo, Ireland, a haven of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re wandering its charming streets or embarking on outdoor adventures, Westport offers a multitude of experiences.

Climb the revered Croagh Patrick for a spiritual journey and be rewarded with stunning coastal and mountain views. For a more leisurely experience, the Georgian elegance of Westport House & Gardens awaits, offering serene beauty in its majestic mansion and lush gardens.

Culinary enthusiasts will revel in Westport’s bustling food scene, from cozy pubs and restaurants serving hearty Irish fare and fresh seafood to the local delights of the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Our journey through Ireland included a memorable day in Westport, but if time allows, delve deeper into this captivating town for an even richer experience.

Places to Visit in Westport, Ireland

Westport is a city filled with interesting places to visit. Here are some of the best, and below I’ll provide a complete list.

  • Westport House & Gardens: This place is a historical gem and an impressive garden worth visiting. You can buy tickets to visit the house and gardens or stroll through the gardens and enjoy the beauty of the place.
  • Croagh Patrick: If you enjoy hiking, you can’t miss the opportunity to climb Croagh Patrick. It’s a sacred mountain for the Irish and offers spectacular views from the summit.
  • The Great Western Greenway: If you prefer cycling, this 42 km route is perfect for you. You can rent bikes in Westport and enjoy a day of exercise and stunning views.
  • The Clew Bay Heritage Centre: This museum will take you through the history and culture of Clew Bay. It’s an interesting way to learn more about the area.

Visit Westport House in Ireland

Westport House is one of the main attractions of this city. The house was built in the 18th century and is an impressive example of Georgian architecture. A visit to Westport House is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the region.

Furthermore, it offers a wide variety of activities for the whole family, such as tours, water activities, and cultural events.

Take a stroll through the Gardens of Westport House


The gardens of Westport House feature a wide variety of exotic plants and flowers year-round. Additionally, you can enjoy a walk along the carefully designed trails and admire the stunning views of Clew Bay and the surrounding mountains.

If you prefer a more tranquil setting, you can visit the Westport Rose Garden. This garden showcases a variety of roses and other flowers, and it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

Climb Croagh Patrick in Ireland

Croagh Patrick is a sacred mountain and a popular destination for pilgrims and hikers seeking spectacular views and a physical challenge.

We climbed a few meters but didn’t reach the summit because we didn’t plan our time well. It’s best to allocate a day to climb Croagh Patrick if you’re like us and don’t have much experience hiking mountains.

Here are some details and useful information for climbing Croagh Patrick:

  • Height: The summit of Croagh Patrick stands at 764 meters above sea level.
  • Route: There is a single route that leads to the top, starting from the car park at the visitor center in Murrisk. The route spans about 7 kilometers and has a moderate to difficult level of difficulty. There are some rocky and steep sections along the route, so wearing appropriate footwear and having hiking experience is recommended.
  • Hiking time: The round-trip hike usually takes between 4 and 6 hours, depending on the hiker’s level of experience and weather conditions.
  • Best time to climb: The mountain is accessible year-round, but the best time to climb is between April and September, when the weather is more stable. During the winter months, the mountain can be covered in snow and ice, making the hike dangerous and more challenging.
  • Preparation: It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes and weather-resistant clothing, bring enough food and drink, sunscreen, a hat, and a fully charged mobile phone. It is also important to be in good physical condition and have hiking experience before attempting to climb Croagh Patrick.
  • Religious significance: Croagh Patrick is a sacred site for Irish Catholics and is believed to be the place where Saint Patrick fasted for 40 days in the year 441 AD. At the summit of the mountain, there is a small chapel where pilgrims can pray and light candles.

Explore National Famine Memorial in Westport, Ireland

National Famine Memorial

The National Famine Memorial is a poignant tribute to the millions of people who died in the Great Famine of Ireland over 150 years ago.

This monument is located at the foot of Croagh Patrick Mountain.

The monument consists of a series of bronze figures depicting a family suffering during the famine.

The figures are situated on a hill overlooking Clew Bay, making the visit even more impressive. Additionally, there are informational panels explaining the history behind the monument and the famine itself.

Take a Stroll or Ride along the Westport Greenway

The Westport Greenway is a 44 km hiking and cycling trail that encircles Clew Bay in the eastern and northern parts of the county. It is one of the best things you can do in Westport.

Start your journey in the beautiful town of Westport and head north. You can rent bicycles at various shops in town.

As you progress along the trail, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the bay and the surrounding landscapes. Pass through the picturesque villages of Newport and Mulranny and savor the natural beauty of Ireland’s west coast.

If you prefer walking, you can also traverse the trail on foot. Take your time to relish the views and the tranquility of the natural surroundings. The trail is well signposted and easy to follow.

Go Kayaking in Clew Bay Near Westport Ireland

Sunset slippers

Clew Bay is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland and an excellent choice for kayaking or paddleboarding.

Exploring the 365 islands of Clew Bay by kayak is a unique experience you shouldn’t miss if you enjoy kayaking. You can rent one and spend a few hours in peace and tranquility.

If you prefer paddleboarding, you can also do it in Clew Bay. It’s an exciting and fun activity that allows you to enjoy the bay’s views from a different perspective.

We have our inflatable kayak, but you can rent one in the bay area.

Visit Matt Molloy’s Pub in Westport Ireland

The best thing you can do in Westport, Ireland is to visit Matt Molloy’s Pub and enjoy Irish music and dance. This pub is famous for live traditional music every night, making it a unique experience.

You can enjoy a pint of Guinness while listening to live music at the pub

Additionally, the atmosphere is very cozy and pleasant. If you’re a lover of Irish music, this is the perfect place for you.

At Matt Molloy’s Pub, you can also catch live music bands.

Horseback Riding in Westport Ireland

If you’re looking for a unique experience in Westport, don’t miss the opportunity to go horseback riding in the countryside. There are several equestrian centers in the area that offer guided horseback rides through the beautiful Irish countryside.

One of the popular places for horseback riding is Clew Bay Horse Riding, which offers a variety of guided horseback rides for all levels of experience.

Visit Achill Island

Achill Island in Ireland

Two of the popular islands to visit are Achill Island and Clare Island.

Achill Island is the largest island off the coast of Ireland and boasts some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. You can take a guided tour of the island to explore its rugged coastline, stunning beaches, and picturesque villages, or you can do it on your own.

Some of the main attractions on Achill Island include Keem Bay, the Deserted Village, and the Great Western Greenway.

Clare Island is another great option to visit. This small island is located just off the coast of Westport and is home to a rich history and culture.

You can visit the 16th century Clare Island Castle, hike to the island’s highest point, or enjoy a pint at one of the island’s traditional pubs.

Several tour companies offer guided tours of Achill Island and Clare Island. But you can also explore them on your own.

Clare Island Castle

Visiting Connemara National Park

If you’re on a road trip to Ireland, you have to include Connemara National Park in your itinerary.

This impressive park is just an hour’s drive from Westport and offers a wide range of outdoor activities for the whole family.

There are several hiking trails to choose from, ranging from short walks to full-day hikes.

If you’re a nature lover, you’ll definitely enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains, lakes, and forests. In addition to hiking, you can also enjoy a picnic in the park.

There are several designated picnic areas where you can enjoy an outdoor meal surrounded by the park’s natural beauty. You can also rent bicycles and explore the park by bike.

If you’re interested in history, be sure to visit the Connemara National Park Visitor Center. Here, you can learn about the park’s history and the wildlife that inhabits it.

There is also a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and mementos of the park.

Enjoy Fresh Seafood at Westport Restaurants

If you’re a seafood lover, Westport is the perfect place for you. The coastal town offers a variety of fresh seafood dining options that you can’t miss. From upscale restaurants to fast-food stalls, there is something for every taste and budget.

One of the popular restaurants is The Helm, which offers a wide selection of fresh seafood, including lobster, crabs, shrimp, mussels, and more. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxed, perfect for a romantic dinner or a fun night out with friends.

Another place not to be missed is An Port Mór, which specializes in fresh seafood and fish from the west coast of Ireland. The menu changes daily based on the day’s catch, ensuring that you always enjoy the freshest and most flavorful seafood.

If you’re looking for a more casual experience, visit The Creel, a fast-food stall that offers delicious fish and chips, lobster sandwiches, and other seafood delights. The service is fast and friendly, and the prices are very reasonable.

Have Fun at the Pirate Adventure Park

If you’re looking for an exciting activity for the whole family, don’t miss the Pirate Adventure Park in Westport. This theme park offers a wide variety of attractions for kids and adults of all ages.

The little ones can enjoy boat rides, swings, and slides, while the older ones can experience the thrill of the Cannonball Run roller coaster, the Pirate Queen ship, and the free fall of the Pirates Plunge roller coaster.

If you’re looking for something more relaxing, you can take a ride on the Swan pedal boats or the Westport House Express train around the lake. There are also attractions for the little ones, such as the Mini Ferris Wheel carousel and the Kiddie Zipwire zipline.

The Pirate Adventure Park at Westport House is an excellent choice for a fun-filled day with the family. Don’t miss it during your visit to Westport.

Ballycroy National Park Tour

Westport Sheep

If you’re looking for an adventure in nature, Ballycroy National Park is an excellent choice. This park is one of the largest wetlands in Europe and features a wide variety of flora and fauna.

One of the best ways to explore the park is by hiking along one of the trails. There are trails for all levels, from short walks to multi-day hikes. The trails are well-signposted and offer stunning views of the landscape.

If you prefer a more guided experience, you can visit the Ballycroy Visitor Center. Here, you can learn about the park’s history and ecology through interactive exhibits and audiovisual presentations.

Another option is to take a bike tour of the park. There are several routes to choose from, and you can rent bikes at the visitor center.

Regardless of how you choose to explore Ballycroy National Park, make sure to wear appropriate clothing for the weather, bring enough water and food, and follow the park’s safety guidelines.

Watch Shows and Musicals at the Town Hall Theatre

If you’re a theater and music lover, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the Town Hall Theatre in Westport. This modern and well-equipped performing arts center hosts a program of theater and artistic events throughout the year, offering something for all ages and tastes.

From dramas and musicals to dance, film, children’s events, and concerts of traditional, classical, and popular music, the Town Hall Theatre has something for everyone. Whether you want to enjoy a night out as a couple or with your family, this place is ideal for a pleasant and entertaining time.

In addition, the Town Hall Theatre is a perfect place to appreciate the local culture and artistic creativity of the region. Many of the events are organized by local theater and music groups, allowing you to experience the passion and talent of Westport’s artists firsthand.

The best thing about Westport is that there is always something to do. If you’re looking for a way to immerse yourself in the local culture, don’t miss the events held in County Mayo.

County Mayo Events

There is a wide variety of events throughout the year, from music festivals to bike races and sports events.

One of the most popular festivities is the Westport Harvest Festival. This festival takes place in September and celebrates the region’s harvest.

There is live music, delicious food, and activities for the whole family. There is also a farmers’ market where you can buy fresh local produce.

If you’re a music lover, don’t miss the Westport Music Festival. This festival takes place in June and features a wide variety of local and international artists.

There are also plenty of bars and pubs in Westport that offer live music throughout the year.

If you’re into sports, don’t miss the Westport Bike Race. This race takes place in May and is one of the most popular bike races in Ireland. The race starts and ends in Westport and takes you through some of the region’s most beautiful landscapes.

When is the Best Time to Visit Westport, Ireland?

Westport Ireland-Bridge

Westport is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, but the best time to visit Westport depends on your personal preferences and what you want to do during your stay in this charming town.

If you prefer warmer weather and longer days, then the best time to visit Westport is during the summer months, from June to August. During these months, the average temperatures range from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, which is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and boating.

If you prefer to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices, then the best time to visit Westport is during the autumn months, from September to November.

During these months, the temperatures are cooler but still pleasant for outdoor activities. Additionally, many restaurants and tourist attractions offer discounts and promotions during this time of year.

How to Get to Westport from Dublin

To get from Dublin to Westport in Ireland, there are several transportation options available. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. By Car: You can rent a car in Dublin and drive to Westport, allowing you to explore the beautiful west coast of Ireland. The journey takes approximately 3.5 hours, and you can follow the M4 motorway westward until you reach the M6 motorway, which will take you directly to Westport.

2. By Train: Irish Rail operates train services from Dublin to Westport with several departures per day. The journey takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, and you can book your ticket online or at Dublin’s train station.

3. By Bus: There are several bus companies that offer services from Dublin to Westport, including Bus Éireann and CityLink. The bus journey takes approximately 4 hours, and you can book your ticket online or at Dublin’s bus station.

4. By Plane: If you prefer to fly, you can take a flight from Dublin Airport to Knock Airport, which is about 50 kilometers from Westport. Then, you can take a taxi or a bus to Westport. The flight takes approximately 1 hour.

Where to Stay in Westport Ireland

When it comes to finding a place to stay in Westport, Ireland, let me share my personal recommendations from Booking.com. For affordable comfort, Clew Bay Hotel offers a central location and friendly service.

The Westport Plaza Hotel is perfect for a mid-range experience with its spacious rooms and rooftop terrace. If you’re looking for luxury, indulge in the Westport Coast Hotel‘s elegant rooms, spa, and stunning bay views.

Trust me, Westport’s charm will leave an imprint on your heart no matter which option you choose. Get ready for a remarkable stay in this delightful Irish town.

Frequently Asked Questions about Westport, Ireland

Croagh Patrick in Westport Ireland

Is Westport Ireland Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Westport, Ireland is a charming town nestled amid breathtaking landscapes. Its warm-hearted locals, vibrant culture, and stunning views of Clew Bay make it a must-visit destination.

What County Is Westport Ireland In?

Westport Ireland is located in County Mayo, a picturesque county on the west coast of Ireland. Prepare to be captivated by its rugged beauty and friendly atmosphere.

What Is Westport Ireland Known For?

Westport Ireland is renowned for its lively spirit, traditional Irish music, and the imposing beauty of Croagh Patrick, a sacred mountain attracting pilgrims and hikers alike. Don’t forget to explore the Great Western Greenway, a scenic cycling route.

How to Get from Dublin to Westport?

Traveling from Dublin to Westport is a breeze! Hop on a train from Heuston Station for a comfortable journey or take a bus from Busáras. Both options offer picturesque views of the Irish countryside.

Is There a Beach in Westport Ireland?

While Westport is not directly on the coast, it’s just a short drive away from some stunning beaches, such as Bertra Beach and Old Head Beach. So, pack your beach essentials and enjoy the refreshing Atlantic waters nearby.

Where to Eat Westport Ireland?

Westport offers a diverse culinary scene with something to satisfy every palate. From traditional Irish pubs serving hearty dishes to award-winning restaurants showcasing local seafood, you’ll find an array of dining options to tantalize your taste buds.

We arrived as part of our road trip through Ireland in a camper van. Without a doubt, a place I recommend visiting.

Plan Your Trip to Ireland

Westport Ireland Why Visit and What to See

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Author: Veronica

Vero, a seasoned traveler, has explored 25 countries and lived in five, gaining a rich perspective and fostering an infectious passion for travel. With a heart full of wanderlust, Vero uncovers the world’s hidden gems and shares insights, tips, and planning advice to inspire and assist fellow adventurers. Join Vero and let the shared passion for travel create unforgettable memories.


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