Drinking at Ireland’s Oldest Bar, Athlone, Ireland

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Ireland has a lot of attractions that aren’t always top of mind. Today’s visit to Athlone, Ireland had us inspecting Athlone’s waterway locks and Ireland’s oldest bar. We would end up spending the day walking through Athlone’s town taking in the sights and experiencing life in a charming recreational town.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity City Visit: Drinking at Ireland’s Oldest Bar, Athlone, Ireland

We spent the morning driving in from Dublin and getting settled into the Sheraton Athlone Hotel. After we had settled, we headed out for a walk around town. The city of Athlone, Ireland is a charming summer side resort on the River Shannon. It is a boating gateway to much of central Ireland.

Walking Athlone’s Left Bank:

The town of Athlone is divided into two by the Locks from the River Shannon. We crossed the river and headed over to the Left Bank. It’s the home of some quirky streets, in addition to the town Castle. Unfortunately, we did not visit the town castle on this trip.

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Inspecting Athlone’s Lock’s:

We wandered down to the water and the locks. Athlone was a charming “sleepy hollow” town that was easy to wander around in. It was also a boating centre for many travellers and it was clear that there was quite a boating community that was set up for this town in central Ireland.

Visiting Ireland’s Oldest Bar:

After that, we headed to WT73Jr”s main attraction on his Ireland’s list; “Sean’s Bar””. It’s reportedly the oldest bar in Ireland, along with an undergoing assessment for the world’s oldest continuously operating bar. It has apparently been continuously operating since 920 AD.

With sawdust on the floor, and a ground surface that was slanted to prevent lock flooding, we set up shop inside the ancient facility and along with an Ohara IPA, and a Coke for junior, we hung out for an hour enjoying the place. There was terrific old school ambience in this place and it was an essential place to visit if you ever happen to pass through this town.

From there, we headed over to Murphy’s Law, a gastro pub that had been reviewed by the Lonely Planet. Dinner was 24 € and featured chicken strips for junior along with a Texas burger for me. The food was reasonably tasty and the place was quite busy despite it being a small restaurant.

After dinner, we returned to the Sheraton Athlone Hotel for a much needed night of rest.

My Thoughts on Our Time in Athlone:

All in all a great day and a charming small town to visit. Athlone was a very easy stopover for a mid way trip through Ireland with enough attractions there to keep you entertained for a least a day or two while you are passing through.


If you have visited the Locks of Athlone, did you manage to get out boating during your visit ?

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