Donegal Town is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. It has recently been bypassed by the N15 road linking Sligo to Letterkenny. It is situated on Donegal Bay and is at the base of the Bluestack Mountains, making it a good base for touring south County Donegal. Donegal Town is charming and picturesque, with a small harbour where the Eske River enters Donegal Bay and a pleasant town centre, known as the Diamond. The Diamond is a spacious, open pedestrian area surrounded by hotels, shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee houses. It is the fifth largest town in the county.
 Get in
Bus Éireann's  buses stop at the town center, "The Diamond", outside the Abbey Hotel. They provide direct bus service to Dublin, Derry, Sligo, & Galway, and connecting service to numerous locations in the country & Northern Ireland. The nearest train station is Sligo which has trains to and from Dublin. There are two regional airports, the closest is Sligo Airport, Donegal Airport  in the North-West of the county is further away. There is also an airport at Derry (Londonderry) which is approx 1 hour drive from Donegal Town.
 Get around
Donegal Town is small enough to walk almost everywhere.
If you need to go further afield, you will need to either use Bus Éireann's buses, use a taxi, use a bike, hitch a lift or hire a car (the nearest car hire is at Sligo Airport), or bike. There is also a local bus service to Killybegs, Glencomcille, Ardara and Glenties.
[add listing] See
The Tourist Office is in the car park beside Quay Street. While down there walk down to end of the quay (pier) and visit the "Old Graveyard" which is housed in the ruins of "The Old Abbey" which was a Francisian Friary where the medieval beautifully decorated bible "The Annuals of the Four Masters" was crafted. Donegal Abbey was built in 1474 in this beautiful location at the waters edge of Donegal harbour. The ruins that have survived the centuries are a popular tourist attraction and provide a Gothic backdrop to many a visitor's photographs.
The center of town is dominated by the "Diamond", with "The Monument" in the center. "The Monument" is dedicated to the four authors of "The Annuals of the Four Masters".This interesting obelisk is often the center-point of a few skateboarders. Near the Diamond is the "Old Castle". Donegal Castle is the 15th century seat of the O'Donnell chieftains, and was recently and magnificently restored. It is open to public viewing from March to October and its great hall hosts recitals and other cultural events on winter evenings.
A pleasant walk near the center of town, is the "Bank Walk" (approx 2 miles/3km). To find it, walk down Bridge Steet (follow the signs to Mountcharles/Killybegs). After Dunnions Pub, you will cross a bridge and take an immediate left and will see a tree-lined path in front of you. The end of the walk has a bench that is a scenic place to enjoy the view and relax for a few minutes. To return, either retrace your steps back to town or walk back half-way and take the side road that connects to Main Killybegs road.
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There is a "Waterbus" from the harbor that gives 1 hour tours on the bay, €10. The Captain, Billy Bustard, provides a great narration for the duration of the trip detailing the history of many of the sites.
Lough Eske is one of Ireland's loveliest lakes. Lying beneath the Blue Stacks, it gives rise to the Eske River, which enters the bay at Donegal harbour. The roads that encircle it are safe to walk, cycle or drive and provide striking views of the lake as it reflects the changing moods of the mountains and sky. Angling for salmon, sea trout and brown trout is available in both Lake and River.
Some of the best angling in the country is available within the locality. Access to the Eske, Eany, Drowes and Finn systems for substantial runs of salmon and sea trout is readily available. Sea angling for numerous species of sought after fish including cod, bluefin, tuna, bass, pollock and plaice is easily accessible from shore in addition to licensed angling boats from Killybegs, Teelin and Creevy.
There are two equestrian centres in the area, providing both indoor and outdoor arenas, cross country rides, trekking, pony rides and tuition there. Also, the surrounding countryside and beaches are aptly suited to horse riding.
Murvagh Golf Club is an 18 hole championship links course, situated along the shores of Donegal Bay, just 6 miles outside of Donegal town. Membership costs approximately 350 annually.
[add listing] Buy
The town is serviced by four banks, with ATM machines available.
Donegal Town has superb shopping facilities. There are all types of shops but especially notable are the clothing outlets, with a strong tradition in this trade from the days of hand weaving. The town is home to Magee of Donegal, which offers a large selection of finely tailored clothing.
The town is an important and vibrant retail centre, serving as a catchment of almost five times its population. Two of the major Irish stores are present in the town, namely, Super Valu, in the Donegal Shopping Centre and LIDL. There is a craft village 200 meters out of the town, that includes a wonderful coffee shop. There is a good bookstore, with local publications, located on The Diamond. Donegal's Hanna's Hats are world famous and available in the shops here.
There is also the Mill Court Mews, The Diamond Centre and the Castle Centre, all of which accommodate many services and retail outlets.There are many art and crafts shops, which stock indigenous designs from Donegal. The town also has numerous food and hardware stores, clothing shops, health food shop, and a sports shop.
[add listing] Eat
There are a number of excellent restaurants and pubs within walking distance in town. Toni's Bistro which serves the best coffee in town, The Blueberry, The Abbey Hotel, The Central Hotel, Dom's Pier One (which has the best views of Donegal Bay), the coffee shop in Magee's Store, and "Chandpur Indian Restaurant/Take-Away" has great food and a lovely atmosphere. "La Bella Donna" is an Italian restaurant on Bridge St, The Harbor Restaurant & a Chinese Restaurant both on Quay Street.
 Take-Away Foods
There are several other takeaways which provide reasonably priced food and all of which are close to the centre of town. For a late night snack or cheaper fare these are open late at the weekends, one on Bridge Street, and another on Quay Street near the Garda (Police) Station. But if you want the best fish'n'chips in town go to "Duffy's" on Upper Main Street, it's closes at 11.30PM or midnight (take-away only).
 Other Restaurants
If you're looking for fancier fare, Harvey's Point by Lough Eske provides a good food & service, with great views of the lake. A recent disputed addition to their group of buildings has somewhat reduced the charm of Harvey's. Further afield is Coxtown Manor, between Laghey & Ballintra villages, which no longer does food but you can still stay in an authentic old Irish Manor. All the food is organic & as locally sourced as possible. Castle Murray guesthouse on Saint John's Point, between Donegal Town & Killybegs, has great food with lovely views. It is in a new modern building, but the food, views, & friendly staff make this a place to savor dinner.
[add listing] Drink
There are seventeen licensed premises in the town, which cater for all. Traditional music is provided almost every night during the Summer months, with live entertainment at weekends. Cabaret and concerts are held regularly. Other pubs have regular entertainment schedules, including pub quizzes, sporting events and karaoke. There are also two night clubs in the town, with regular discos.
The Abbey Hotel has a disco at weekends that goes on till after 2AM. It is often very, very busy, and attracts bus-loads of revellers from miles around. Be careful of the drunken crowds late in the night, and on the Diamond afterwards.
[add listing] Sleep
 Guesthouses and 'Bed and Breakfast'
Donegal Town has over 30 'Bed and Breakfast' guesthouses, the details of which can be obtained from the Donegal Town Tourist Office at +353 749721148.
There are two hostels near Donegal Town.
 Get out