Don’t let anyone fool you – there are plenty of worthwhile things to do in Drogheda!
Drogheda (pronounced ‘draw-ha-da‘) is one of the oldest towns in Ireland. While the majority of Drogheda is located in Louth, the southern fringes of this historic town are in County Meath.
Most of the things to do in Drogheda that you’ll find below are from the Louth side, but one or two from the Meath end may have slipped in.
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The best things to do in Drogheda
Right – below you’ll find a mix of everything from food and drink recommendations to historical sites, unusual attractions and plenty more.
If there are some things to do in Drogheda that you think we should add in here sharpish, let me know in the comments section below.
1. Kick-start your day with a coffee from Moorland’s
Moorland’s Cafe has been keeping locals and tourists caffeinated since the 1940s.
In a time when the Costas and Starbucks of the world dominate, it’s rare (and pretty damn impressive) to hear of a cafe operating this long.
Grab a coffee and a Chester Cake to-go and head off in search of medieval Drogheda.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best things to do in Louth at any time of the year.
2. Have a nosey at St. Laurence’s Gate
St. Laurence’s Gate was built back in the 13th century as part of the walled fortifications of the medieval town of Drogheda.
Originally one of ten gates into the town, it used to lead into the Friary of St. Laurence and it’s now regarded as one of the finest of its kind to be found in Europe.
A lovely bit of medieval Ireland that stands proudly to this day.
Traveller tip: If you’re planning a visit, follow this page on Facebook. It’ll tell you when there are music sessions happening at the gate.
3. Visit the Boann Distillery
If whiskey is your thang (yes, thang…) a guided tour around this place should be on your list of things to do in Drogheda during your trip.
Over the course of the tour, you’ll learn all about the craft of distilling before relaxing in the cosy whiskey snug. There’s also a restaurant en route.
4. Discover the story of Oliver Plunkett (one of the more unusual things to do in Drogheda)
It’s inside the beautiful St. Peter’s Church on West Street in Drogheda that you’ll find the head of St. Oliver Plunkett, a 17th-century Irish saint.
So, what’s the story with himself and how did his head end up in Drogheda?!
Well, Plunkett was accused of plotting a French invasion by the Privy Council of England. He was arrested in Dublin in December 1679 and imprisoned in Dublin Castle.
The saint was falsely accused and tried for conspiring against the state by allegedly plotting to bring 20,000 French soldiers into Ireland.
The trial collapsed after the prosecution’s witnesses, who were wanted men, failed to turn up to court.
Here’s where things get a bit mad
However (and I’m cutting out a lot of history here so do read more on St. Oliver Plunkett before your visit) he was declared guilty of high treason in June 1681 and condemned to death.
Plunkett was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in Middlesex on 1 July 1681 at age 55.
His body was buried in two tin boxes until it was exhumed in 1683 and moved to the Benedictine monastery in Germany.
The head was then brought to Rome. And then to Armagh… It was eventually moved to Drogheda in June of 1921 where it has been since.
5. Spend a night in a medieval tower
Drummond Tower really does look incredible.
You’ll find Victoria Drummond Tower in Monasterboice in Drogheda, less than a 15-minute drive from the centre of Drogheda town and less than 50 minutes from Dublin Airport.
The tower was built way back in 1858 by Victor Drummond Delap as part of Monasterboice House and Demesne. If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Ireland, then this’ll tick all the boxes.
6. Soak up history and views at Millmount Fort
Shortly after Hugh de Lacy was granted the kingdom of Meath in 1172, he constructed a motte and bailey castle on an enormous mound overlooking the River Boyne.
This castle was used to defend the town during Cromwell’s (a right aul prick) siege of Drogheda in 1649. Many years later, in 1808, the old fortifications were knocked down and the present tower was erected.
Millmount Fort received considerable damage in 1922 when it was shelled by Free State forces during the Civil War.
It was restored and made open to the public in 2000. If you fancy diving into the considerable history the area boasts, take one of the guided museum tours.
7. Grab a big aul feed at the Eastern Seaboard
Polish off a days adventuring with a fine feed at the Eastern Seaboard restaurant. Expect stylish interiors, excellent food, and impeccable service.
According to the owners, Reuven Diaz and Jeni Glasgow, the restaurant brings you ‘a neighbourhood restaurant with a big city feel’.
A serious spot for a bite to eat!
8. Gawk up at the unusual and beautiful Magdalene Tower
It’s rare that you encounter a structure like this in Ireland.
Drogheda’s Magdalene Tower was constructed in the 14th century and served as the belfry tower to a large Dominican Friary which was founded in 1224 by the Archbishop of Armagh.
It was here that the Ulster chiefs submitted to the King of England in 1367. A magnificently well-kept bit of ‘old-world-Ireland’ that remains intact for all to see.
9. Grab a velvety pint in Clarkes
Clarke’s was built waaaaayyyy back in 1850 and it’s thought that it started its life as a Grocery Store.
50 years later, in 1900, a chap named Thomas Reid transferred his Pub License from Little Denmark Street in Dublin to 19 Peter Street Drogheda and started to trade as a grocer and spirit merchant.
Today, Clarke’s is a no-nonsense pub that serves some of the finest Guinness for miles around (I’m speaking from experience and a mighty hangover).
Related read: Check out our guide to 29 of the best things to do in Meath.
10. Take a spin out to Mellifont Abbey
You’ll find the Cisterian Mellifont Abbey a stone’s throw from Drogheda town. Mellifont, which was constructed in 1152, was the first of the order’s kind to be built in Ireland.
According to Discover Boyne Valley, the Abbey ‘was consecrated in 1157 and from this humble beginnings the Cistercian community spread out throughout Ireland founding other abbeys throughout the country with Mellifont being the model on which these abbeys were based’.
You can nip into the Visitor Centre here and check out an interesting exhibition on the work of masons in the Middle Ages. You’ll also find some fine examples of their craft on display.
11. Get cultured at the Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery
The Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery opened its doors in 2006 to deliver a dedicated visual arts space for Ireland’s north-east.
The gallery has boasts a variety of Irish art from the early 20th century along with a number of important 18th Century works.
You’ll find the gallery in the former Drogheda Franciscan Church and tours here are suitable for groups of all sizes.
12. Drink, distil and bottle your own gin at the Listoke Gin School
Yes, there’s a gin school in Louth… Visitors to the Listoke Gin School are greeted with a Gin & Tonic upon arrival before being given a guided of the distillery.
When the tour finishes, the tastings begin. Once tastebuds have been tantalised, the gin-making class kicks off, with each guest given the opportunity to select their own recipe.
Students then get to distil and bottle their own gin before chowing down on some local produce. This is arguably one of the most unique things to do in Drogheda!
Related read: Check out our Couty Louth guide – it’s packed with things to do and places to visit.
13. Muiredach’s High Cross and a big aul round tower
Monasterboice in County Louth is home to the High Cross of Muiredach – one of the finest pieces of early medieval sculpture in Ireland.
Standing at 5 metres tall, the High Cross is the work of a master stonemason and is believed to have been crafted in the 9th or 10th century.
On your visit, take a stroll over to the enormous round tower.
Standing at an impressive 35 metres high, the Monasterboice round tower was used as a watchtower and refuge by monks during times of Viking attack.
14. Funtasia Drogheda (one of the best things to do in Drogheda with kids)
While there’s plenty of things to do in Funtasia to keep the kids busy, it’s the waterpark that steals the show. The indoor Waterpark is home to over 30,000 sq feet of water, and kids can take part in 200 water-based activities.
From super slides and fun play areas to toddlers splash and an adult-only jacuzzi, there’s a little bit of something for everyone here.
Perfect if you’re looking for things to do in Drogheda when it’s lashing down outside.
15. Round off a day of exploring with food and a tipple in Weavers
Now, I don’t normally recommend this kind of boozer in our guides as I tend to opt for more traditional style pubs over late bars and clubs.
That being said, I spent a night in Weavers a couple of months back and the food and drink were both top-notch.
If you’re fond of a velvety drop of Guinness, this place will make you happy!
What things to do in Drogheda have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that there are plenty of other things to do in Drogheda that we’ve unintentionally missed in the guide above.
Know of a place that needs to be added? Let me know in the comments below!