Hiring a car from Shannon airport

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Hiring a car from Shannon airport

Pick up your hire car at Shannon airport and get ready for some serious culture and breathtaking views.

60-second guide to Shannon airport

in its own head

"We're the real Ireland - the gateway to County Clare! Dublin may have the prestige and the Guinness but if you want to find out what this country is all about you have to travel further west."

but more realistically

There's nothing much to see in Shannon itself - it's an airport town - but it is indeed the gateway to County Clare, which boasts incredible countryside and some of Ireland's finest outdoor pursuits opportunities.

the vibe

This is rural Ireland: things don't have to happen at 1000 miles per hour, there is plenty of space for everyone and the surrounding scenery is truly memorable.

the natives

They are friendly, to be sure, and you will definitely receive the warmest of welcomes. But that does not necessarily mean you'll understand all you hear.

the weather

Ask yourself why County Clare is so green and then pack your brolly!

the local speciality

Try Irish root soup, a County Clare favourite. It's a puree of sweet potatoes, carrots and leeks.

the celebrity

County Clare man Paddy Hannan went over to Australia in the late 19th century and set off a gold rush after discovering the precious metal near Kalgoorlie. There's a statue of him in the town to this day.

did you know?

Awarded town status on New Year's Day 1982, Shannon town was originally designed to provide housing for the people working in the area's newly created airport.

they say

"What will really get into your soul is that County Clare carries a song in its heart." - Lonely Planet

Shannon airport Q&A

Where are the car hire desks?

All of the Shannon Airport car hire desks are located on the ground floor of the terminal building.

What should I buy at duty free?

The first duty free shop in the world was opened at Shannon airport in 1947. Back then, it only sold cigarettes and whiskey, but now you can get a whole range of souvenirs including jewellery, ceramics decorated with intricate Celtic knot patterns and traditional shortbread.

Are there any cashpoints?

Cash machines are available in the arrivals hall.

Where's the best place to eat?

It would almost be rude to visit Shannon Airport without calling in to the Sheridan Food Pub located in the departures lounge. This bar and restaurant is named after Joe Sheridan, inventor of the Irish Coffee and it still serves up his original recipe over 60 years after its creation.

The secret tip

Although you’ve got a rental car to cruise around the emerald isle in, don’t forget to pack your umbrella. And your kagool. And your wellies. This part of Ireland receives a lot of rain.

5 to see in town...

1. The Clare Museum, Ennis

This former school and chapel in the town of Ennis is now home to a small but fascinating museum that recounts the history of County Clare, dating back as far as the Bronze Age.

where to park?

You can park in the public car park which is at the back of the museum, next to the Temple Gate Hotel.

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2. The Dolphin and Wildlife Centre

This research centre in Kilrush educates visitors about the local marine life and wildlife in an involving way, mixing information on conservation with a dollop of fun - dolphin sounds and skeletons for starters.

where to park?

There is a public car park in the town centre near Vandeleur Street.

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3. Lahinch Art Gallery, Lahinch

A trip to the handsome town of Lahinch is worth it for this lovely gallery alone. Local artists exhibit their work, which is inspired by the Ireland around them.

where to park?

There is parking on Main Street, where the gallery is located.

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4. University of Limerick Activity Centre

Daring types looking for adventure can get their adrenaline rush at the university in Killaloe. Everything from kayaking to archery is within a short distance of the campus.

where to park?

There is a public parking area two minutes' walk from the entrance gate.

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5. Glor Irish Music Centre, Ennis

A holiday in Ireland wouldn't be complete without some kind a jig. Irish musicians regularly perform here in Ennis, but for those less willing to bust a Gaelic move, there are films and exhibitions too.

where to park?

There is a local authority car park immediately adjacent to Glor where you can park your hire car.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Cliffs of Moher

This is one of Ireland's top tourist attractions, but there's plenty of room for everyone on the five-mile stretch of coast where the Atlantic Ocean crashes spectacularly into cliffs that rise up to 214 metres above sea level.

how to get there?

Follow the N18 to Ennis and from there take the N85 heading to Ennistymon. Take the N67 towards Lahinch and follow signs for the Cliffs.

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2. Doolin

Sitting very prettily on the northwest coast of County Clare, this seaside village can be whatever you want it to be - either your tranquil retreat, your party town or something in between.

how to get there?

Doolin is situated just six miles north-east of the Cliffs of Moher - follow the R478.

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3. The Burren

The name Burren is Irish for 'stony place', which is appropriate for this vast and unspoilt area of limestone. It's beautiful, in a dramatically bleak sort of way, and has some great tombs and relics.

how to get there?

Take the R471 out of Shannon before joining the N18. Join onto the R473 which will take you all the way there.

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4. Scattery Island

Although now uninhabited this island, which lies at the mouth of the River Shannon in Kilrush, has had its fair share of destructive visitors, from Vikings to Tudors. It boasts monastic ruins and some gorgeous scenery.

how to get there?

Head out on the N19 until you get to the N18. Take the N68 before joining the N67 to Kilrush. It's then a short boat trip from the marina.

Book car hire shannon airport