Ennis, whose name comes from the Irish words 'Inis Cluain Ramh Fhada' meaning "long rowing meadow island" is located on the River Fergus in County Clare, in the province of Munster, Ireland. With over 24,000 residents, this town is the largest in the whole of Munster and the sixth largest in all of Ireland.
Many of those who visit County Clare to see The Burren or the Cliffs of Moher, often stay overnight in Ennis as there are a number of pubs and B&Bs here allowing much-needed relaxation after a long day of sightseeing. If you're looking for things to do, Ennis packs a punch offering a true Irish experience for visitors.
Shopping in Ennis
Ennis is a popular shopping destination for those who live or visit western Ireland. There are many amazing shops which include the independent bookstore, Ennis Bookstore, on Abbey St.
The Ennis Gourmet Store on Old Barrack Street is a great place to purchase Irish delicacies such as cheese, soups, wine, preserves, and even sandwiches to enjoy at the tables outside the shop. Ennis Town Centre Mall is another great shoppers locale with its Dunnes Stores.
An intriguing highlight among both locals and tourists in Ennis is Custy's Traditional Music Shop on Cookes Lane. Here you can purchase nearly any instrument that makes up traditional Irish music as beautiful as it is: bodhrans, Irish flutes, concertinas, accordions, and more. The shop also has many books and movies related to Irish music.
Ennis Market Square
Ennis has a rich history as a market town and still is known for its market square where local farmers still bring their goods to sell. Shoppers can buy organic fruits and vegetables, locally made textiles, home hardware, cheese, and more.
The Farmer's Market is held every Friday at the Upper Market Streetcar Park from 8 am to 2 pm. There are also general markets which are held on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The Ennis market is an event that is not only popular with tourists but also local Ennis residents and is not to be missed.
Market Day in Ennis
Ennis Pub Locations
Pubs in Ennis
Looking for a bite to eat or want to throw down a few drinks? There are several amazing traditional Irish pubs in Ennis. Some of the best pubs bringing traditional Irish food, drink, and entertainment include:
- Tailor Quigley's
- Brandon's Bar
- Quilty Tavern
- The Usual Place
Each pub has their own atmosphere and style, making Ennis the perfect place to go pub crawling.
Just outside of Ennis in the tiny village of Inagh is the Biddy Early Brewery, Ireland's first pub brewery. This is a great place where visitors can enjoy a pint or two while learning about beer brewing in Ireland and listening to the legend of Biddy Early. The brewery also sells souvenirs and merchandise.
Historic & Cultural Sites
The Glor Theatre in Ennis is one of the best entertainment venues on the western side of Ireland and is a great place full of entertainment, music, food, and theater. Since its opening in 2001, this establishment has welcomed thousands of guests who enjoy the many workshops, festivals, and shows that are offered.
If you're interested in the history of the area, head out to Clare Museum. Here, visitors can learn about the geology of the area, as well as the history and culture. There are a variety of items on display that share everything there is to know about County Clare and the surrounding area. Special events are held at the museum throughout the year, so it's important to keep a lookout for those dates, as visitors to the museum during these events often see additional displays that are not available at Clare Museum year round.
Those who cannot get enough of the music scene that Ennis offers, should head out to Cois na hAbhna which is not just your ordinary performance hall. Cois na hAbhna features classrooms, music archives, a pub, a restaurant, and even a shop. Those who would like to hold an event here can also make use of the conference rooms here.
Traditional Irish Music in a Pub
Fleadh Nua Traditional Irish Music Festival
Many people visit Ireland to come to the music festivals where they can hear traditional Irish music. The undisputed best Irish music festival in all of Ireland is the Flead Nua Traditional Irish Music Festival which takes place each May in Ennis Ireland.
Thousands of visitors head to Ennis for this festival to enjoy concerts, social gatherings, workshops singing, classes in traditional Irish dancing, street entertainment, parades, and even pageants. Anyone heading to Ireland in late May should make their way to Ennis for this festival as it is not to be missed.
The LEAP man from Limerick Ireland on February 20, 2011:
Hi Melba Thanks for the comments on Kerry my weekend home at the moment. I work just 15minutes down the road from Ennis at the Limerick Institute of Technology. I run a course where several of the participants live in Ennis
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on January 27, 2011:
Thank you for voting this up! I appreciate it! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, hopefully it has offered you some tips on places to see!
amybradley77 on January 25, 2011:
Voted up! Love this I would just adore the chance to visit the Country one day. Thanks so much for the possible tour spots. A.B.
Chicbrand from US on January 25, 2011:
Funny and chic life.Hope I can have a chance to visit there!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 25, 2011:
Everybody talks about Iewland and now I know why. Thank you for a most informative hub.
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on January 24, 2011:
I'm glad you enjoyed my hub! Thank you for the wonderful comment!
mwatkins from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC on January 24, 2011:
This looks like a lot of fun! I have always wanted to go to Ireland! It seems like a beautiful place to visit! I am always looking for other people's insight on their travels - thank you for sharing yours!