Navan, situated in the heart of the ancient East of Ireland, is an alluring town that promises captivating experiences for every visitor. Known for its rich heritage, tantalizing cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and welcoming locals, there’s no shortage of things to do in Navan. As you immerse yourself in its character-filled streets, you’ll find it an intimate locale that continually unfolds its vibrant spirit.
Popular Tourist Attractions in Navan
Solstice Arts Centre
Opening our list of things to do in Navan, we delve into the town’s creative pulse, the Solstice Arts Centre. Known as a beacon of art and culture in the region, Solstice brings local and international talent to its contemporary exhibition space. From art shows to theater performances, attending an event here should top your Navan bucket list.
Immerse yourself in ancient Irish history at the Navan Fort, a traditional royal site. Its evocative hills whisper tales of ancient Kings, fostering a surreal connection to Ireland’s rich past. Don’t miss the interactive experience at the visitor center, where historical facts meet fun!
Hill of Tara
Standing proudly just outside Navan, the Hill of Tara bears the weight of Irish history. Once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the site mesmerizes with its fascinating archaeological remnants and breathtaking panoramic views. The hill’s mystical aura is a unique backdrop to numerous legends and tales.
St. Mary’s Abbey
St. Mary’s Abbey, an architectural gem nestled within Navan, is a reminder of the town’s medieval heritage. Wander around the ruins to sense the monastic life of centuries past, or simply admire its resilient structure that has weathered many storms.
Top Things to do in Navan
Navan Adventure Sports
Experience the adrenaline rush at Navan Adventure Sports, a paradise for thrill-seekers. From footgolf and human foosball to obstacle courses and rally racing, it’s a place where adventure meets entertainment.
In contrast to Navan’s bustling streets, Blackwater Park offers a tranquil oasis. Walk the winding paths, enjoy a picnic, or test your skills in the outdoor gym. It’s an ideal spot to reconnect with nature in the heart of the town.
Just a short drive from Navan lies Causey Farm, an immersive countryside experience. Here, you can learn traditional Irish dancing, try your hand at bread-making, or explore the farm on a guided tour. It’s a delightful escape from the town’s hustle and bustle.
Aura Leisure Centre
Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or seeking some relaxation, Aura Leisure Centre delivers. With an Olympic-sized pool, gym facilities, and wellness classes, it serves as a perfect retreat for body and mind.
Must-See Places in Navan
Hidden within Navan’s surrounding countryside, Bective Abbey is a well-preserved 12th-century Cistercian monastery. It promises not just an enlightening journey into Ireland’s ecclesiastical past but also a captivating view over the serene Boyne River.
Follow Navan’s historic town walls on the Ramparts Walk, a peaceful trail flanking the River Boyne. With information panels providing intriguing historical insights, it’s both a scenic and educational excursion.
Navan Town Centre
A visit to Navan wouldn’t be complete without exploring the town centre. Bursting with local shops, restaurants, and traditional pubs, it’s the heart and soul of Navan.
Newgrange and Knowth
In the Boyne Valley, just outside Navan, stand the prehistoric wonders of Newgrange and Knowth. As UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they offer a glimpse into Ireland’s ancient civilization with their intriguing passage tombs.
Best Places to Visit in Navan for First-Time Visitors
Standing majestically near Navan, Slane Castle is a remarkable sight to behold. With its intriguing history, beautiful gardens, and renowned whiskey distillery, it makes for a memorable first-time visit.
Boyne River Valley
Experience the enchanting Boyne River Valley, a landscape steeped in mythology and history. Whether you prefer a tranquil river cruise or an energetic canoe trip, the valley offers unique perspectives of Navan.
Navan Historical Society Museum
A trove of local history, the Navan Historical Society Museum presents intriguing insights into the town’s past. Discover the area’s rich heritage through its varied exhibits, from ancient artifacts to recent historical accounts.
Embark on a short trip from Navan to Loughcrew Cairns, a complex of ancient passage tombs atop the Slieve na Calliagh hills. Not only will you marvel at the carvings within the tombs, but the hilltop also offers panoramic views across the rolling Irish countryside.
Best Places to Visit in Navan for Families
Puddenhill Activity Centre
With a variety of activities to entertain children and adults alike, Puddenhill Activity Centre is a family-friendly haven. From bouncing in the inflatable park to racing in the go-karting track, it guarantees a fun-filled day.
Navan Library is more than just a collection of books. Offering regular workshops, storytelling sessions, and craft activities, it’s a stimulating and educational experience for children.
Whether your family loves bowling, arcade games, or laser tag, The Zone has you covered. It’s a one-stop entertainment hub that ensures a day of family fun in Navan.
Just a stone’s throw from Navan, Tayto Park, Ireland’s only theme park, offers thrilling rides, a zoo, and the chance to see how the famous Tayto crisps are made. It’s a must-visit for families seeking adventure and excitement.
Best Places to Visit in Navan for Couples
Navan Farmers Market
Stroll hand in hand through Navan Farmers Market, where local producers display their fresh produce and artisanal goods. It’s a delightful culinary journey and a charming way to spend a morning in Navan.
Enjoy a romantic dinner at Zucchini’s Restaurant, a local favourite known for its innovative, mouthwatering dishes and intimate setting.
Nestled in the scenic grounds of Slane Castle, the distillery offers guided tours that reveal the art of Irish whiskey-making. Complete your visit with a tasting session – a toast to your shared adventures in Navan!
Boyne Valley Vineyard
Yes, you read it right. The lush, verdant landscapes of Boyne Valley are home to an award-winning vineyard. A visit here promises wine tasting, vineyard tours, and a memorable day in Ireland’s wine country.
Best Places to Visit in Navan on a Budget
Kells Heritage Town
Step back in time in Kells, a heritage town close to Navan. Admire the intricate Celtic crosses, the ancient round tower, and the historic Kells Abbey. It’s a rich cultural experience that’s absolutely free.
Ardmulchan Church and Graveyard
Delve into Navan’s history without breaking the bank at Ardmulchan Church and Graveyard. The atmospheric ruins offer a glimpse of Navan’s past, surrounded by the peaceful Irish countryside.
Take a leisurely walk along the Navan Ramparts, a free activity that combines history, culture, and natural beauty. You’ll enjoy the tranquil setting and panoramic views over the Boyne River.
The Spire of Loyd
A short drive from Navan takes you to the Spire of Loyd, an intriguing folly offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Climb to the top without spending a penny, and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular vista.
Best Day Trips from Navan
Just an hour’s drive away, Dublin offers a bustling cityscape with historical landmarks, vibrant shopping districts, and numerous cultural institutions. It’s a worthwhile day trip for a change of pace from Navan’s charming tranquility.
Trim Castle, Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman castle, stands as a testament to the area’s historical significance. Its imposing walls, detailed history, and movie fame (Braveheart was filmed here) make it a top pick for a day trip from Navan.
Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre
This visitor centre serves as a gateway to the archaeological wonders of Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth. Here, you can learn about these ancient sites before exploring them first-hand.
The Wicklow Mountains
Escape to Ireland’s scenic natural landscapes with a day trip to the Wicklow Mountains. Enjoy hiking, bird-watching, or simply marveling at the breathtaking views.
Hidden Gems in Navan
Experience the old-world charm of Martry Mill, a fully operational watermill just outside Navan. Witness how grains are milled into flour using traditional methods and feel transported back in time.
The Ramparts Canal Walk
This offbeat trail along the Boyne Canal offers a serene retreat from the town’s hustle. Enjoy the beautiful views, birdlife, and calming rhythm of the flowing water.
A picturesque spot, Bellow’s Bridge, offers a serene setting perfect for relaxation, reflection, or a romantic walk away from the crowded tourist areas.
The Lime Kilns
Tucked away from the main paths, the Lime Kilns are remnants of Navan’s industrial past. This hidden gem allows you to explore a lesser-known aspect of the town’s history.
Off-The-Beaten-Path Places in Navan
Embark on a journey through the art of craft brewing at Brú Brewery. This microbrewery in the outskirts of Navan offers guided tours, ensuring an enlightening and enjoyable experience away from typical tourist trails.
While many tourists stick to the town centre, a canoe trip down the River Boyne offers a unique perspective of Navan. It’s a peaceful yet exciting excursion that’s often overlooked.
Tucked away from the popular paths, Bective Mill, a charming 18th-century mill, offers a glimpse into Navan’s industrial past. It’s a tranquil spot where the past mingles with the present.
Blackwater Open Farm
A visit to the Blackwater Open Farm, just outside Navan, offers a delightful rural experience away from the crowded town centre. Interact with friendly farm animals, explore the lush fields, and savour the fresh air in this often-overlooked location.
Best Places to Eat in Navan
Satisfy your palate at Crave, a chic restaurant in Navan serving up mouthwatering contemporary Irish cuisine. Each dish is a culinary masterpiece that blends traditional flavours with modern twists.
Experience the vibrant flavours of Asian cuisine at Lemongrass. With a menu that spans across several Asian countries, it’s an ideal stop for foodies seeking international flavours in Navan.
This intimate cafe and restaurant offers a selection of delectable dishes, all crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Room 8 promises a gastronomic treat.
The Central Bar and Restaurant
The Central Bar and Restaurant in Navan combines traditional Irish fare with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Try their Guinness pie or locally sourced steaks for an authentic taste of Ireland.
Must-See Sporting Teams in Navan
Navan Rugby Club
Witness the fierce passion of Irish rugby at Navan Rugby Club. Attending a match here is a thrilling experience, even for those unfamiliar with the sport.
Navan O’Mahonys GAA Club
Delve into Ireland’s beloved sports – Gaelic football and hurling – at Navan O’Mahonys GAA Club. The spirited matches are a true spectacle of Irish culture and camaraderie.
Night-Life in Navan
The Palace Nightclub
Get a taste of Navan’s vibrant nightlife at The Palace Nightclub. With its upbeat music, lively crowd, and friendly atmosphere, it’s the go-to place for a fun night out.
For a quieter evening, visit The Central. With live music and a broad selection of craft beers, whiskeys, and gins, it offers a more laid-back nightlife experience.
Smith’s of Navan
Serving up a mix of traditional Irish music, modern tunes, and a warm atmosphere, Smith’s of Navan is a beloved local spot for an evening of entertainment and enjoyment.
Brews Cafe and Bar
Brews Cafe and Bar combines the comfort of a cafe with the liveliness of a bar. Enjoy their selection of craft beers, artisan coffees, and tasty bites in a cozy setting, ideal for a relaxed evening.
Things to Do in Navan – Conclusion
In conclusion, Navan’s diverse attractions cater to a variety of tastes. Whether you’re a history buff, food lover, thrill-seeker, or nature enthusiast, Navan’s eclectic charm will captivate you. So why wait? It’s time to uncover the many fascinating things to do in Navan and create your own unforgettable Irish journey!
Frequently Asked Questions For Things To Do in Navan
What is Navan famous for?
Navan is known for its rich heritage, vibrant culture, and serene landscapes. It’s home to historical sites like the Navan Fort and Hill of Tara, has a thriving arts scene with the Solstice Arts Centre, and is close to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Newgrange and Knowth.
How can I reach Navan?
Navan is easily accessible from Dublin by car or bus. It’s approximately an hour’s drive from Dublin along the M3. Regular bus services also connect Navan with Dublin and other major Irish towns.
Is Navan suitable for families?
Absolutely! Navan offers numerous family-friendly attractions like Blackwater Park, Aura Leisure Centre, and Puddenhill Activity Centre. Plus, Tayto Park, Ireland’s only theme park, is just a short drive away.
What is the food scene like in Navan?
Navan boasts a thriving food scene with diverse offerings. From contemporary Irish cuisine at Crave to the Asian delicacies at Lemongrass, the town caters to a variety of culinary preferences. It also hosts a delightful farmers market where local producers showcase their fresh produce and artisanal goods.
Can I explore Navan on a budget?
Yes, Navan offers several budget-friendly attractions. You can explore historical sites like Kells Heritage Town and Ardmulchan Church and Graveyard, or enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the Navan Ramparts and the Spire of Loyd, all without spending a penny.
Are there good day trips from Navan?
Navan’s central location makes it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding areas. Notable day trips include the bustling city of Dublin, the historical Trim Castle, the archaeological wonders at Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre, and the scenic Wicklow Mountains.