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Expat Exchange - The Insider's Guide to Clifden 2024
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The Insider's Guide to Clifden

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Our Guide to Clifden: Top Attractions, Culinary Hotspots, Nightlife, and More. Plus, Tips on Making Connections with the Locals and Finding Fun Recreational Activities

Welcome to Clifden! If you're planning to move to Clifden, congratulations on taking the first step towards a new adventure. While there are many things to think about before you leave, such as visas, housing, and transportation, it's important to remember that once you arrive, the fun really begins. In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the best sites, restaurants, and nightlife that Clifden has to offer, as well as provide tips on recreational activities and making friends in Clifden.

Clifden, a picturesque town located in County Galway, Ireland, is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, there are plenty of sites of interest for visitors to explore. One of the main attractions in Clifden is the Sky Road, a scenic route that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, Clifden Bay, and the surrounding countryside. The 11km loop takes you past some of the most beautiful scenery in the region, including the ruins of Clifden Castle, a 19th-century Gothic Revival mansion.

Another popular site in Clifden is the Connemara National Park, which covers over 2,000 hectares of rugged landscapes, including mountains, bogs, heaths, and woodlands. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, such as red deer, Connemara ponies, and numerous bird species. Visitors can enjoy several walking trails, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, as well as a visitor center with exhibits on the park's history and ecology.

The Alcock and Brown Landing Site is another must-see attraction in Clifden. This historic site commemorates the first non-stop transatlantic flight, completed by British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown in 1919. A monument stands at the spot where their plane crash-landed, and a nearby visitor center provides information on their incredible journey.

For those interested in local history, the Clifden Station House Museum offers a fascinating insight into the town's past. Housed in a restored railway station, the museum features exhibits on the history of the railway, as well as the local area and its people. The Station House complex also includes a theater, art gallery, and craft shops, making it a great destination for a day out.

Clifden is also home to several beautiful beaches, such as Dog's Bay and Gurteen Bay, which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the stunning coastal scenery.

The restaurant and nightlife scene in Clifden is lively and diverse, offering a range of options for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular restaurants in town is Mitchell's Restaurant, which serves up delicious seafood dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The menu includes favorites such as crab claws, mussels, and fresh fish, as well as a selection of meat and vegetarian options.

Another popular dining spot is Guy's Bar & Snug, a traditional Irish pub that offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The menu features classic pub fare, such as fish and chips, burgers, and hearty stews, as well as a range of local beers and whiskeys. Live music is often on offer, making it a great place to spend an evening.

For a more upscale dining experience, visitors can head to the Marconi Restaurant at the Foyle's Hotel. This elegant restaurant offers a fine dining menu that showcases the best of local produce, with dishes such as Connemara lamb, Atlantic salmon, and Irish beef. The wine list is extensive, and the service is attentive and friendly.

Clifden's nightlife is centered around its many pubs and bars, which offer a mix of traditional Irish music, modern tunes, and lively atmospheres. Some popular spots include Lowry's Bar, EJ Kings Bar & Restaurant, and Griffin's Bar. These venues often host live music sessions, featuring talented local musicians and traditional Irish tunes, making for a memorable night out in Clifden.

Recreational activities in Clifden cater to a wide range of interests, from outdoor adventures to more leisurely pursuits. One popular activity is cycling, with several bike rental shops in town offering a range of bicycles for visitors to explore the surrounding countryside. The Connemara Greenway, a dedicated cycling and walking route, is a great way to take in the stunning landscapes of the region.

For those who prefer to explore on foot, there are numerous walking trails in and around Clifden, such as the Diamond Hill Loop Walk in Connemara National Park, or the more challenging Twelve Bens mountain range. Guided walking tours are also available, providing an informative and enjoyable way to discover the area's history and natural beauty.

Water-based activities are also popular in Clifden, with several companies offering boat tours, fishing trips, and watersports such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Mannion's Boat Hire and Clifden Boat Club are two popular options for those looking to get out on the water and explore the stunning coastline.

For a more leisurely activity, visitors can enjoy a round of golf at the Connemara Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course that boasts stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding mountains. The course is challenging and enjoyable for golfers of all levels, and the clubhouse offers a warm welcome and excellent facilities.

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Insider Tips from Expats in Clifden: Making the Most of Life and Connections

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Tripiamo empowers expats & travelers with comprehensive online country-specific driving guides, enabling them to drive confidently abroad from day one. Prepare in advance, stay safe, and cut unnecessary hassle and expenses while moving abroad and exploring new destinations.

TripiamoTripiamo

Tripiamo empowers expats & travelers with comprehensive online country-specific driving guides, enabling them to drive confidently abroad from day one. Prepare in advance, stay safe, and cut unnecessary hassle and expenses while moving abroad and exploring new destinations.
Learn More

TripiamoTripiamo
Learn More

Tripiamo empowers expats & travelers with comprehensive online country-specific driving guides, enabling them to drive confidently abroad from day one. Prepare in advance, stay safe, and cut unnecessary hassle and expenses while moving abroad and exploring new destinations.

TripiamoTripiamo

Tripiamo empowers expats & travelers with comprehensive online country-specific driving guides, enabling them to drive confidently abroad from day one. Prepare in advance, stay safe, and cut unnecessary hassle and expenses while moving abroad and exploring new destinations.
Learn More

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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