Castlebar is a busy market town. Northwest of Galway, it originally was a garrison town – meaning that soldiers attached to the local Barra Castle lived here in the 11th century. There are several local attractions including the Foxford Woollen Mills, The National Museum of Country Life – Ballintuber Abby. A college town to students at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Castlebar is a busy place with festivals, market days, galleries, and shopping. There are plenty of open park-like spaces in town. Nearby Lake Lannagh is a popular place with hiking trails all round and plenty of places for a picnic.
The town has train service east to Dublin as well as bus service. About 12,000 people live in Castlebar and the immediate area. We found a two bedroom flat right in town for $900 US a month. There is a commuter airport near town and the big international airport is in Dublin, about 150 miles east. The Mayo General hospital is right in town.
We liked Castlebar! The locals are friendly, the town is easy to navigate, and there is plenty to do in this nice little town. This would be a great choice for someone who wants to live in a smaller community with easy access to larger communities when the mood suits. If you retire in Castlebar you will find a very warm welcome!