15 Best Things To Do In Clare {Ireland} Complete Travel Guide

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
January 17, 2022
Clare is home to the amazing Cliffs Of Moher, cute Doolin, wondrous castles and much more, find out the best things to do in Clare Ireland here...
clare ireland

County Clare is one of the greatest areas in Ireland.

It’s absolutely bursting with great things to do and see and it’s certainly a spot you cannot miss on an Ireland roadtrip.

So, keep reading to check out my guide to the best things to do in Clare.

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1. Explore Bunratty Castle and it’s awesome folk park

Bunratty Castle is a pretty cool one and Bradley and I did visit, we just didn’t get past the gift shop.

Basically, we arrived just as the last entrance has closed, so we couldn’t get in.

It is pricey at over 20 euros in, but this does include entrance to the pretty awesome folk park too. 

If you’re looking for things to do in Clare with kids, then this is it!

They also have a brilliant gift shop selling all sorts of great things and an on-site cafe that does a great looking Irish coffee. 

We ended up having a late (Very late) lunch outside the castle grounds in the sunshine which was nice. 

So yes, this is definitely one of the top things to do in Clare, just make sure you get there before 4!

Read Also: The Best Things To Do In Northern Ireland

2. Visit the beautiful Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle

This is a castle hotel and if I had the spare cash, I’d definitely book a stay here because it looks amazing.

The outside and the surrounding grounds are also beautiful and amazing. It’s worth driving, parking up and simply having a walk around. 

It’s one of the most beautiful castle grounds out of any castles to visit in Ireland.

3. Have Ice cream at Kilkee

klkee baech

Killkee is a coastal town in Clare and it’s a brilliant place to spend some time when the sun is shining in Ireland.

You can swim in the water if you’re brave enough and there are lots of ice cream shops, cute cafes and much more. 

This is one of the nicest places to visit in Clare with kids! 

4. Visit the coastal town of Lahinch

Lahinch, Ireland

If you’re a golf fan then you probably already know about Lahinch.

It hosted the Dubai Open and it’s one of the top 100 best golf links courses in Ireland. 

As well as that, it’s a lovely little coastal town with a great beach, lots of pubs and souvenir shops. 

When Bradley and I visited, it was during the open, so the traffic was crazy and everything was full, so basically we didn’t hang around. (Even though Brad is a big golf fan!). 

Read Also: Our Ultimate 16 Day Ireland Road Trip Itinerary

5. Catch sunset at the beautiful Doonagore Castle

doonagore castle

Doonagore isn’t a large castle and there is no entrance fee or tourist centre.

But what it does offer is an amazing drone opportunity and a stunning backdrop for the sunset.

As you drive down towards it, you can pull into the side and get your pictures and enjoy the sunset. 

It really is beautiful and one of the top things to see in Clare!

The cover image of this post is the awesome beginning of the sunset with our Spacespaces Campervan.

P.S. You can check out our full Spaceships Campervan Rentals review here.

6. Explore the cute town of Doolin

Quaint Village Doolin, Ireland

Doolin is one of my favourite places to visit in Clare and Ireland in general.

It’s such a small, cute, typically Irish town and it’s a great base for exploring the Cliffs of Moher and other brilliant spots in Ireland. 

We stayed in a campsite in Doolin that offered an amazing sunset and we had a delicious dinner in the local pub which also had irish traditional music playing.

It’s a great place and there is a pier in which scenes of Father Ted were filmed (if you’re interested).

Read Also: The Best Things To Do In Belfast, Ireland: Complete Travel Guide

7. Explore the best islands of Ireland with an Aran Islands day trip

Aran Islands, Ireland

There are 3 Aran islands located off the coast of Galway (and easily accessible from Clare).

The smallest of them is  Inis Oirr which is well known for its Irish charm, and the largest is Inishmore which is well known for its ancient sites. 

This is a unique experience that will allow you to see another, unique and beautiful side to Ireland and it’s one of the most popular things to do in Clare. 

You can DIY the trip over yourself by getting the boat from the pier at Doolin, or you can take a pre arranged tour if you prefer organisation and convenience.

This is a well priced tour from Doolin that lets you explore them all.  

Once you get on the islands, the best way to explore them is via bike rental which you can arrange on the island itself. 

Bradley and I cancelled our trip to the Aran islands last minute because we were running out of time.

However, we fully intend on visiting in the future alongside some of the other islands off the coast of Ireland! 

8. Awe at the amazing Cliffs of Moher

cliffs of moher

The Cliffs of Moher have been on my bucket list for years.

The are the most famous tourist attraction in Clare, and (according to official Irish tourism statistics) they are the second most popular paid attraction in Ireland.

Every year, millions of people flock to see them.

Well, I can tell you, they do not disappoint. 

The Cliffs of Moher are stunning; widely regarded as one of the best bucket list destinations in Ireland.

We visited as soon as it opened at around 8 am and there were no crowds, so I recommend you visit before 8.30 in order to enjoy all the views and the walkways without lots of people. 

When you enter the official site, there is a charge.

But it’s 4 euro charge online and 8 in person, so book online. 

This includes your parking and entrance to the visitor centre.

Now, the “official” area has walls that help prevent you from falling over the cliffs. 

But, when you walk outside of those areas, you need to be super careful and it is 1000% possible you could fall over the edge.

Do not go near the edge if it’s windy!

The walks around the cliffs are beautiful and we were super lucky and got there on a clear blue sky, sunny day!

It was amazing! 

You can go up the O'brien's tower to get a lovely view of the cliffs and it’s only a couple of euro.

But it wasn’t open when we visited, but perhaps it was still too early.

If you’re doing it via a tour, you can get tours from all over the country, some of which I’ve listed below! 

Read Also: Where To Go In Ireland

9. Take a Ferry around the Cliffs

cliffs of moher picture

From Doolin you can actually take a little ferry around the Cliffs of Moher and I think it’s a unique way to see the sights and gain a different perspective. 

It’s also not very expensive.

I didn’t realise you could do this until I saw a ferry in the water and googled it when I got back. So now you know!

I found this awesome cruise that’s less than 15 Euro. 

Definitely one of the more unique things to do in Clare. 

10. Explore the unique Burren National Park

burren national park

The Burren National Park is one of the best things to do in Clare, Ireland, simply because it’s so beautiful and so unique! 

I don’t even know how to describe it other than a lunar/space type landscape, which is pretty cool to drone too! 

If you go to the Burren National Park information point in the little town, you can park your vehicle and then take the free shuttle bus into the national park.

Basically there isn’t a lot of parking up near the park, so they encourage you to take the shuttle bus which is only about 15 minutes. 

There are a variety of walking routes available and you can do as little as 30 minutes, up to a couple of hours and go higher and higher.

So depending on your time constraints and fitness level there is something for everyone. 

I thought this area was really cool and you should definitely put it on your clare itinerary! 

A lot of inclusive tours will include the Burren alongside a trip to the Cliffs of Moher. 

Read Also: The Best Things To Do In Donegal, Ireland: Complete Travel Guide
bus to burren national park

11. Tea at Father Ted’s House

Father Ted fans, rejoice!

You can have a cup of tea in the Father Ted house.

So, the inside of the house wasn’t actually used, just the exterior and it’s a private house so you can’t just wander in at any time.

But you can pre arrange a private afternoon tea at the house for only €10 per person.

It’s closed on Monday and Tuesday and you can find out more about arranging a visit here. 

One of the more odd things to do in Clare, but if you’re a fan, then you’ll love it! 

12. Explore The Burren Perfumery

Why not stop by The Burren Perfumery, a little-known rustic shop near Burren National Park. This family company creates organic perfumes and cosmetics influenced by its surrounding landscape.

Not only is this charming headquarters the first Irish-based perfumery, it is one of its most alluring. I recommend touring the site where you can see the Blending Room and Herb Garden. These are well intimate batches of perfume, lotions and candles are made from native herbs.

Oh, there is also a Tea Room to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery, where seasonal drinks like the Elderflower Cordial usually steal the spotlight. They even offer a range of sumptuous cakes and scones.

If you come during the summer season, there may even be talks on perfume-, cream-, and soap-making.

13. Visit Aillwee Cave

Another essential Clare destination is Aillwee Cave, a stunning caves system in the Burren’s karst landscapes. It extends more than a kilometre into the depths of the mountains. Inside, you can come across an underground river and waterfall.

Exploring the massive stalactites and stalagmites, I imagine it’s hard not to be impressed! This is also believed to be Ireland’s last bear den and one of the county’s oldest caves.

Aillwee Cave is privately owned and also home to the Birds of Prey Centre. Here, you can see birds such as eagles, falcons and hawks fly against the beautiful Burren background.

Opening Times: 10am - 5pm (Birds of Prey Centre)

14. Witness the The Bridges of Ross

The bridges of ross, Ireland

Once a trio of breathtaking sea arches, the Bridges of Ross showcase some of Ireland’s impressive natural feats. Even though only one such bridge still stands today, the plural name remains. 

This extraordinary rock sculpture is the result of pummeling from the raging Atlantic waves. You can find it near Kilbaha Village and is quite easy to find. There’s also a free car park area just a few hundred metres off the view point.

Not only that, I recommend visiting this place if you want to get some birdwatching in too. Especially in autumn, this area will be flocked with thousands of exotic seabirds during their migration. From Little Auks and Storm Petrels to Manx Shearwater.

15. Water Sports at Lough Derg

Lough Derg, Co Clare, Ireland

What better way to immerse in the natural landscape than by having as much fun in it? If you thrill-seeking activities are your thing, I suggest doing some water sports out at Lough Derg.

It is located a bit inland and might take you 1 hour 20 minutes by car. However, if you have the time to spare, this is definitely an experience you shouldn’t miss! This beautiful paradise offers many different outdoor activities.

You can kayak and canoe around the lake as you drink in the picturesque scene. Not to mention organized group trips where you can meet other solo or couple travelers. Not a bad way to make new friends!

Additionally, I think this is a great way to really connect with the serene natural charms of Irish countryside. You can even enjoy a nice picnic or BBQ in this area.

Planning what to do in Clare (Ireland): All common questions answered

When is the best time to visit Clare?

The best time to visit County Clare is in the months of June, July, August and September.

This is the best chance to get decent weather in Ireland.

Of course, you can visit outside of these months, but be prepared for rain! Some areas may not be open either as some tourist spots in Ireland close for the winter season.

Getting around Clare

There are a few options to get around Clare.

Firstly, if you have a car then you can create your own Clare itinerary and get from A to B with ease. 

However, if you don’t have access to your own wheels, then  you can easily take tours around Clare that will take you to the major tourist spots.

I talk more about arranging tours in Ireland below. 

Read Also: Best campervan rentals in Ireland

How long do you need in Clare?

Clare has lots of great spots to visit, including day trips to other islands, so you will probably need at least 4 days to see everything comfortably.

Of course you can do it quicker and you can do it slower, but that’s my recommendation to really see it all properly! 

Where to stay in Clare?

During our road trip around beautiful Ireland we actually decided to rent a campervan with the awesome Spaceships Rentals and it was amazing. You can check out  our in-depth review of them here.

Because we had our own transport and place to sleep, we spent most nights either wild camping in Ireland or staying in campsites.

But, if you need hostels, hotels, b&bs or a good homestay, then there is plenty on offer in County Clare. We recommend you use the following sites to get a great deal on accommodation in Clare. 

  • Airbnb - We use this for all of our homestays in Europe [Get money off when you book through our link]
  • Booking.com - We use Booking.com for all of our hotel bookings
  • HostelWorld - Great for finding cheap deals on the most popular hostels
  • Couchsurfing - The cheapest way to find places to stay in …

Can you book tours in Clare?

You absolutely can! Thanks to the popularity of the Cliffs Of Moher, tours run to Clare and its top tourist attractions from all over Ireland. 

Whether you’re heading from Cork, Galway or Dublin!

If you prefer not planning your own Clare itinerary, then opting for an organised tour is your best bet. And I think they are great value in Ireland. 

Whenever we book tours, we always use these 2 sites:

Useful tools for planning your visit to Clare 

If you need great value flights to and from Ireland wherever you are in the world, we suggest using Skyscanner.

Don’t forget to make sure you have insurance for your trip to Ireland. A good place to start is World Nomads for great value. 

If you’ve been tempting at creating your own awesome Irish road trip then look no further than Spaceships Rentals to get excellent campervans and motorhomes for your adventure. 

And, if you’d just like a car, then try RentalCars.com for a great range and price. 

Other useful posts for planning your trip to Ireland

If you need some further inspiration for planning your trip to Ireland, then check out these useful posts. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide on the best things to do in Clare.

If you’ve got any more places to visit in Clare that you think I should add to the list, then please do drop me a comment below and I can pop it in! 

Happy travels! 

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Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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