During the 19th century the town grew as a leading industrial centre which included brewing, distilling, corn and cotton milling. Today Bandon continues to act as an important commercial centre for the south west as well as a thriving town. In addition to a well equipped shopping centre, there is a large variety of excellent shops including two renowned butchers, a gourmet store, a health food shop, two bookshops and an art gallery. Pubs, restaurants and coffee shops abound. There is even a small country market which operates on Fridays and Saturdays.
The weir in Bandon was built in 1625 and has changed little over the years. Salmon can sometimes be see jumping from the weir. A riverside walk now runs from Bandon bridge on one side and over a footbridge to the outskirts of the town behind the shopping centre on the other. Ducks and herons are much in evidence along the banks. Just two miles out of town is another fine river walk along part of the former West Cork Railway line which was closed in 1961. A newly built and well equipped playground has been erected behind the town hall on the banks of the river.
Bandon Golf Club is a full 18 hole parkland course with practice area.
There are many famous Bandonians in the history books. Bandon, Oregon, USA was founded by George Bennet from Bandon, Cork and Bandon, Canada was settled by Bandon Methodists from the town here. The first governor of the Irish Central Bank was Joseph Brennan who grew up in Bandon.
The town is twinned with Guer, Britanny.
- The Shambles built in 1810 as a meat market.
- The West Cork Heritage Centre (Christchurch) – one of the first protestant churches in Ireland built around 1625
- St Patrick’s Church. The west facing window was designed by the famous stained glass artist, Harry Clark.
- St Peters Church built in 1847 as a replacement for an older church dating back to 1614.
- The Methodist Church (1821)
- The old town wall
- Old Railway station