Until the 1970s, Doolin was just a typical Irish village, but then Irish folk music became more and more popular all around the world, and one of the best Irish whistle players, Micho Russell, lived in Doolin. During the times that he was not on US tour or in the studio, he could often be found at the O'Connor´s Pub in Doolin playing with his two brothers. This attracted an increasing number of tourists to the village, which in turn lead to more pubs offering Irish music sessions. Even though Micho Russel died in 1994, Doolin has retained its reputation as the unofficial "capital of Irish traditional music".
Although the village is full of tourists during summer, it is not like other tourist destinations in Ireland. Some who visit do not just take a few photographs and move on, but get involved. They explore the local the culture and participate in the music scene. Consequently, the atmosphere is very friendly.
The village is just one street, Fisher Street. This is where most of the shops and pubs are. Beyond that, there is a wide net of small roads that consists of the residential area. There is very accommodation in the village.
There are no ATMs in Doolin.
- From Lisdoonvarna: Follow the R478 and the signs to Doolin
- From Ennis: Take the N67, direction Lisdoonvarna and turn left after 5km, follow signs to Doolin
- Coming from Galway on a clear day you might also consider taking the R477 route along Black Head and Fanore, which takes a bit longer but you have a beautiful view over Galway Bay
The Bus Éireann 350 service between Galway and Ennis passes through Doolin several times per day.
Doolin is a small village, easily navigable on foot.
North Clare can be a great place to cycle and Doolin is the start of 4 cycle routes.
Bikes can be rented from a few places in Doolin. There are plenty of nice quiet roads to cycle on although it can be a bit hilly.
- Doolin Rent-a-Bike, ✉ email@example.com.
- Both Rainbow Hostel and Doolin Hostel have bikes available for hire.
- 1 Doonagore Castle. Doonagore Castle is a 16th-century tower house. It is a private holiday home and not open to the public. However, there is a wonderful view of the town from the road that runs by it.
- 2 Doolin Cave, ☏ .
- Visit the Aran Islands. There are multiple daily sailings to the Aran Islands from Doolin during the summer months. It is about 30 minutes ferry ride to the closest and smallest island, Inis Oirr, and 1 hour 15 minutes to the furthest and biggest island, Inis Mór. There are two companies that operate ferry services to the islands from Doolin:
- Visit the Cliffs of Moher, 5 km to the south of Doolin. There are a number of ways to visit the cliffs from Doolin:
- Doolin is also a perfect starting place for visiting the Burren.
- Celtic jewellery made in Doolin.
- The Traditional Music Shop. Bodhrans and other Irish instruments, but also CDs with Irish music.
- The Village Crafts Shop. A variety of crafts and souvenirs.
Food is served at all the pubs, and there is a small grocery store on Fisher Street.
- 1 Roadford House Restaurant, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Traditional Irish restaurant close to the Cliffs of Moher.
- 2 Cullinan's Restaurant, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 3 Stonecutters Kitchen, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Family-oriented restaurant on the road between Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher.
- 1 O'Connor's Pub, Fisherstreet, Doolin, ☏ . Which made Doolin famous for its traditional music sessions.
- 2 McGann's, Roadford, Doolin, ☏ . It's a bit smaller but also has excellent sessions.
- 3 McDermott's, Roadford, Doolin, ☏ . Has live music most nights and good home cooked food.
- 4 Fitz's Pub and Eatery.
- 1 Sea View House Bed & Breakfast, Fisherstreet, ☏ . Sea View House in Doolin village is the home of the Hughes Family. It is a unique and luxurious bed and breakfast superbly located in its own grounds on a hillside overlooking the Atlantic ocean, the Allie river and the beautiful Doolin countryside. €39.
- 2 Roadford House B&B, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Bed and Breakfast in Doolin, close to the Cliffs of Moher.
- 3 Doolin Hostel, 1 Fisherstreet, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the centre of Doolin and within 10 minutes walking of all music pubs and restaurants, overlooking Fisherstreet, the sea, Doolin Pier for trips to the aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher cruises in season. The Cliffs start 250 m from the door. Bus Eireann buses daily from the hostel. Doolin hostel is spacious has dormitory rooms up to 8 persons, but mostly private rooms with shower and toilet. There is a small shop on site, Bureau de Change, large fully equipped kitchen, dining room and sitting room. From €16pps.
- 4 Aille River Hostel, ☏ . Beautiful small hostel situated at the river, very friendly staff!
- 5 Fisherman's Rest, Fisher Lane (off Fisher St), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Quiet central location, good small but clean rooms with en suite bathrooms. €30 per person with very good breakfast. Friendly, colourful host.
- Craggy Island B&B, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A bit away from the town centre but excellent breakfast, nice rooms and very friendly service at €32- 35 per person sharing.
- 6 Daly's House B&B, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A nice, good quality B&B near O'Connors Pub. €35-38 pp.
- 7 Riverside Cottage, Fisherstreet, Doolin, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Renovated 1850 cottage in the hearth of Doolin. €38-€45.