Letterkenny, Ireland
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Letterkenny Introduction

Situated on the River Swilly, Letterkenny is County Donegal's largest and most populous town. It's known primarily as an economic hub, hosting large businesses and retailers, but also offers plenty in the way of natural, historical and cultural attractions. Stately Georgian buildings sit side by side with contemporary architectural structures, family-run shops coexist with modern shopping centres, and local culture is celebrated with festivals and fetes. Letterkenny also boasts a lively nightlife, with plenty of out-of-towners arriving for a weekend of revelry in the city's bars and nightclubs.

Hotels in Letterkenny

Folks looking for an upscale holiday will find several luxury hotels in Letterkenny to choose from. Some 4-star hotels offer guests the option of connecting rooms, along with flat-screen TVs and facilities for coffee and tea. Leisure amenities like indoor pools, saunas and steam rooms are available at some hotels, along with elegant on-site restaurants and bars, and terraces with scenic views. B&Bs and guesthouses provide a cosier, more intimate stay. These typically feature a small number of clean, comfortable guestrooms and offer complimentary perks like breakfast, parking and Wi-Fi.

Where to stay in Letterkenny

One of Letterkenny's claims to fame is its Main Street, said to be the longest of its kind in the whole country. It's a good area to stay in the city centre, where hotels nestle close to charming cafes and restaurants dishing out everything from traditional Irish fare to spicy Indian food. Another option is the Ballyraine district, an area with a rich maritime history. Today it's home to a leisure complex, training centres, and business and retail parks. For a lakeside getaway, consider staying in Ballymaleel, where the scenery transforms from a verdant green to magnificent russets to twinkling white and silver, depending on the season.

Things to see in Letterkenny

The spire of Letterkenny Cathedral towering high over the town is impossible to miss. More formally known as the Cathedral of St Eunan and St Columba, the Victorian neo-Gothic cathedral opened its doors in 1901. Only the best materials were used to create an air of calm dignity – Careera and Connemara marble, ceramic mosaics and Mountcharles sandstone. Religious artwork by Dublin artist Michael Healy and Italy's Domenico Amici line the magnificent interior. The Donegal County Museum, another popular town attraction, is open all year round and charges no entrance fees. The museum is housed in the 18th-century Letterkenny Workhouse, and exhibits and talks here cover the county's fascinating culture and history from as far back as the Stone Age. If you need to catch your breath, Letterkenny Town Park is one of the best places to do just that. Built on the site of an 18th-century woodland, the park features a herb garden, an orchard and scenic walking trails.

How to get to Letterkenny

At approximately 48 kilometres away, the City of Derry Airport in Eglinton is the closest airport to Letterkenny and serves passengers from destinations that include London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Majorca. Donegal International Airport, also known as Carrickfinn Airport, is a 45-minute drive away and is the hub for regional and international Aer Lingus flights. To get into town from the airport, you can hire a car or grab a taxi just outside the terminal. Bus Éireann runs services from early morning to late at night from Donegal International Airport to Letterkenny. The bus service and several private companies also transport passengers to Letterkenny from major cities like Dublin and Galway.

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