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Located in the very heart of the breathtaking Shannon Region, Shannon is one of the highlights of Ireland and has been popular with tourists for decades as a result. Due to the compact size of the Emerald Isle and Shannon’s central location on the west coast, those with their own transportation can split their time between exploring the town and visiting other quaint Atlantic Ocean coastal towns effortlessly.
Who to Book With
Practically every car hire company found in Shannon is located on the town's industrial estate, which can be found just southwest of the centre. Big names such as Budget, Avis, Hertz and Thrifty all have a presence, alongside locally-run outfits such as 353 Car Rental Shannon and Irish Car Rentals. Looking online in advance for deals on rental vehicles in Shannon can free up time and money on arrival.
Best Time to Go
The summer months of May, June, July and August are considered the best times to visit Shannon. Outside of this period, there is often heavy rainfall and low temperatures, so the area unsurprisingly can become incredibly busy during the peak months. Making accommodation and transportation arrangements in advance comes highly advised in order to avoid disappointment.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting car rental in Ireland, companies ask for the following documents:
- International Driving Permit
- A valid passport
- A credit card
- Printed rental confirmation
As a relatively small town that is famous for being a tourist destination, Shannon unfortunately experiences high volumes of traffic, especially around the centre and close to the lakes. Roads linking Shannon to Limerick, such as the E20, can become congested during peak travel times.
Our Guide to Ireland contains more detailed driving information.
Shannon has a limited public transport network which, despite the traffic, makes it a driver's town. Options for those visitors that choose not to arrange their own vehicle include buses and taxis. No metro, rail or tram networks exist in the town.
Shannon is without its own internal train or tram network. It has no rail station, with the nearest rain hub nearby Limerick. Here, Irish Rail trains serve the likes of Dublin, Cork and Galway.
Bus transport from Shannon Airport and around the area is mainly supplied by Bus Eireann, which has over 136 different services around Cork and nearby towns such as Limerick. Fares typically cost between £5 and £10 depending on the distance involved.
The majorities of taxi companies in Shannon provide transport between the airport and the town centre but they can offer other routes if contacted. A2B Cabs Shannon is based at the airport but offers general transport around Shannon, too.
Shannon is a conveniently located destination in that a series of tourist haunts in the southwestern corner of Ireland can be reached from it. Visitors with their own transportation aren't limited to this particular area of the country, as cross-country trips through the heart of Ireland to Dublin on the east cost are possible.
Cork – Driving along the N20 for 1 hour, 30 minutes leads tourists from Shannon to Cork, the second-largest city of Eire and the third-largest city on the whole after Dublin and Belfast, respectively. Shopping along St Patrick's Street is enjoyable, as are peaceful walks along the banks of the River Lee.
Galway – The town of Galway is only an hour north of Shannon along the M18. The City of the Tribes, as it is known throughout Ireland, is enjoyed for its market, the Eyre Square Centre and its Irish-speaking theatre – which is something of a rarity these days.
Dublin – The M7 provides drivers with access to the Irish capital, which is 2 hours’ drive east of Shannon. The Irish capital doesn't require an introduction for its role as one of Europe's, if not the world's, leading tourist destinations and is enjoyed for both its history and party-atmosphere. Tours of the Guinness brewery are a must for those that enjoy a pint of the black stuff, while the Dublin Writers Museum features high on the lists of fans of Irish literary greats such as James Joyce.