Car rental Shannon
Rent a car in Shannon

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On the banks of the River Shannon, there is no better way to explore Shannon and western Ireland than by driving. Rent a car in Shannon and you can begin to discover that there is more to this part of the country than just an airport. Be wowed by the dramatic rugged Atlantic coastline, experience the warmth of the local people, taste traditional food and join in with the unique craic of the towns of County Clare.

It's your choice: Where to go in Shannon

Flights to Shannon arrive at Shannon Airport (SNN), which is around a 10-minute drive from the town. The airport is Ireland’s third largest and serves a number of international destinations, flights to Shannon from London take around 1 hour and 30 minutes. From the moment you arrive in the town, you are transported back in time to an Ireland of ancient times. While Shannon itself may only be a couple of decades old, you can travel to attractions such as Bunratty Castle and Craggaunowen and discover the Celtic customs that helped to shape this land. You can also visit the nearby city of Limerick, another of Ireland’s understated destinations. See the colourful murals, the wealth of art galleries and imposing castles that gaze over the River Shannon.

Things to do in Shannon

If you’re visiting Shannon, the first place you need to see is Bunratty Castle. Dating back to 1425, this medieval castle, which is a designated National Monument of Ireland, is the perfect portrayal of Irish life in the 15th century. Walk through the dungeons, marvel at the great hall and even stay for a medieval-style evening banquet. There are many pretenders when it comes to Irish pubs but not many can match the heritage of Durty Nelly’s. Tucked away in the Bunratty Folk Park, it has been serving up traditional food and keeping the Guinness flowing since 1620. Continue your historical tour of County Clare at the Craggaunowen Prehistoric Park and Castle. This excellent open-air museum takes you through over 1,500 years of Celtic history. Visit the 16th century Craggaunowen Castle to see panoramic views of the countryside.

Important info about Shannon

Shannon is West Ireland’s gateway to the world. Established as the country’s only ‘new town’ in the 1960s, it welcomes people from every corner of the globe thanks to Shannon Airport. As the final stopping point before crossing the Atlantic, the airport provides the town with a key link to the world. Opt for car hire from Shannon Airport, and you will find yourself in one of the most picturesque parts of Ireland. Shannon is in County Clare, an area blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. The county is home to the oldest known evidence of human activity in Ireland believed to date back to 10,500 BC. When you rent a car, Shannon becomes the starting point for exploring County Clare and the serenity of this quaint part of Ireland. Don’t forget to bring your coat because even in the summer months, the wind can feel quite chilly and, of course, it rains a lot.

Weather in Shannon
Country Republic of Ireland
Language English and Irish (Gaelic)
Currency Euro
Time-Zones Greenwich Mean Time
Country Code +353

Good to know

Driving in Ireland is a pleasant experience thanks to the sprawling countryside and relatively small cities. When you rent a car in Shannon, you need to be aware that the driving regulations are similar to those in the United Kingdom. You drive on the left in Ireland and you will require either a full national driving licence or international driving permit to legally use the road. Each passenger is required by law to wear a seat belt at all times while there are strict drink driving laws, only allowing 0.8 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood. The speed limit is 50 km/h in built-up areas while this is increased to 100 km/h on open roads and 120 km/h on motorways. When driving through Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas, you will notice the signposts are also written in Gaelic.

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What to taste in Shannon

Whenever you visit Ireland, you can expect to sample some proper, hearty meals. Exposed to the wild Atlantic wind, Shannon and County Clare is known across the island for its seafood. Mussels are among the most popular delicacies here with many of the pubs and restaurants creating incredible dishes with this locally sourced produce. On those chilly afternoons, there is nothing better to warm your soul than a bowl of Irish stew. This traditional comfort food has been eaten on the island for generations pairing lamb or beef with bacon, root vegetables and pearl barley to create a knock-out dish. Feel free to mop up the leftover broth with a slice of soda bread. You wouldn’t be in County Clare if you didn’t sample the seafood chowder. A recipe as old as time uses freshly caught fish to create a beautifully decadent chowder and served, naturally, with soda bread.

What to bring your friends from Shannon

The weather in Shannon can be pretty unforgiving so if any of your friends are planning a trip, then prepare them with an Aran sweater. Named after the small islands off the western coast of Ireland, this traditional jumper uses complex textured stitch patterns and a wool that is even water-resistant, something you will certainly need in Shannon. Irish music is known across the world so why not peruse the myriad of artists who specialise in traditional folk music. Take home a CD or vinyl of favourites such as Matt Molloy, Jimmy Power or Yvonne Casey and fill your next get-together with the sound of the Irish. If all else fails, you can of course pick up a couple of bottles of Guinness direct from the Emerald Isle. You could even choose from the wealth of Guinness-related souvenirs from chocolate to barbecue sauce to earrings (seriously).