Written by 7:31 am Best Places to Live in Ireland

Living in Sligo: Sligo Small Town Living for Outdoorsy Foodies

Sligo is the 24th biggest town in Ireland with a population of a little under 20,000. Although it’s the capital of Sligo County, it’s still a rather small town in comparison to the rest of the country.  In terms of population, it’s a similar size to Greystones, Letterkenny and Wexford.  Nevertheless, living in Sligo is one of the best places to live in Ireland.

History & Location

In spite of its small size, Sligo has a big history. People have lived in the area of the city for 10,000 years. As a consequence, Sligo and its surrounding county are known for the many prehistoric archaeological sites. However, Sligo became famous not only for its ancient history but also its stunning nature. W.B. Yeats immortalized the area in many of his poems, which still draw in tourists. More recently, Sligo has also enjoyed some increased popularity because the TV adaption of Normal People, Sally Rooney’s famous bestseller, was filmed there. Apart from its literary and historical connections, Sligo is also popular with tourists since it’s situated along the Wild Atlantic Way. 


According to myhome.ie, more than half of houses were built after 1980. Almost all buildings are houses, with only 6% being apartments. When we checked on daft.ie (in September 2021), there were only five places available for rent in the whole county. We compared that to the number of listings on AirBnb and found 300+ results. Even Sligo is being affected by the housing crisis in its own way. 

However, if you’re looking to buy there are many more options. At the time of checking (September 2021), there were several older houses with BER ratings G or F for around €100-130,000. Of course, you would also need to calculate in the necessary renovations. But even if you prefer a property, which you can move into the way it is, prices aren’t as high as in the rest of the country. When we checked, we found houses with B rating starting from €200,000. 

Activities To Do

Although Sligo is such a small town it has a very vibrant city centre. There is a pedestrianized area along the riverside with a wide range of shops, restaurants and cafes. Aside from the rich archaeological and literary history, there are also many events around the year to keep you entertained. 

As part of the Wild Atlantic Way, Sligo is, of course, also famous for its gorgeous nature spots. As you approach the city you’ll notice the many hills, in particular Benbulbin, which can be seen almost everywhere around the city. There’s also Knocknarea, which is a popular hiking spot thanks to the Queen Maeve’s Trail. It’s also easily accessible from the suburb of Strandhill. Strandhill itself is well renowned for its seaside town charm. There are more walking trails and surfing spots. Close to the waterfront, there are also many restaurants, cafes and surfing schools.  We’ve also written an article on more things to do in Sligo.

Final Thoughts

Sligo may be one of Ireland’s lesser-known cities, but it deserves more recognition. Whether you’re going on holiday or to live there, it has a lot to offer for a varied lifestyle. It has some downsides like limited public transport and bad traffic but if you can get past that, it’s one of the best places for living in Ireland.  

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Tags: , , Last modified: February 25, 2022