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20 Best Things to do in Galway, Ireland

20 Best Things to do in Galway, Ireland

In search of one of the best issues to do in Galway, Eire? This Irish metropolis is the fifth largest within the nation and a serious trip vacation spot for these visiting Eire. It’s drawn us again 3 times and we all know we shall be again once more sooner or later.

Whereas many guests flock to Dublin I a lot favor the vibe of Galway. It’s often known as “The Metropolis of the Tribes” and feels far more Irish to me than the capital. There are such a lot of issues to do in Galway Metropolis middle and even some epic day journeys could be had right here. It shouldn’t be missed on any Eire itinerary.

The Spanish Arch & the Galway Metropolis Partitions

It goes with out saying that historic cities include historic buildings, and each include wealthy and intriguing histories. Galway, courting from 1124, reveals a lot of this historic structure and makes for a notable attraction when visiting this metropolis. Galway’s unique settlement was encased in notorious partitions, lots of that are nonetheless standing as we speak – some in very peculiar locations, such because the citadel and wall part round which a shopping center was constructed.

Additionally among the many record of issues to do in Galway Metropolis is the Spanish Arch, which was inbuilt 1584 as an extension of the town partitions. It shortly turned extra of a defensive technique as a consequence of its location; constructed on the financial institution of the River Corrib the place the latter meets the ocean, it helped to stop overseas ships from passing by means of and looting retailers. Alongside notable factors within the wall and the Spanish Arch, you’ll discover informative plaques giving context and knowledge on the traditional stonework.

Eyre Sq.

Eyre Sq. is a public park situated within the coronary heart of Galway Metropolis. It’s among the best free issues to see in Galway and being in a bustling a part of city, it provides vibrant nightlife and a wide selection of outlets, eating places, bars, and cafes. The sq. was constructed over what was generally known as “The Inexperienced” in medieval Galway, situated in entrance of the town gate. Townsfolk would congregate right here to move the time, a lot as they do at present.

The park has undergone a number of redevelopments all through its lifetime, full with identify modifications. Whereas it’s extensively often known as Eyre Sq., it was formally renamed as John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, because the US President had made a speech there throughout his time period in workplace.

The Sq. is residence to statues, public artwork (there’s a lovely sculpture of the Galway Hooker boat on show), and was even the location of the third longest Occupy Camp motion on the planet, at 216 consecutive days.

Purchase a Claddagh Ring

In case you are nonetheless questioning what to do in Galway why not take a look at a Claddagh ring store? A spotlight of our journey to Eire was studying how one can make the Claddagh Ring, a standard Irish ring, which represents love, loyalty, and friendship!  The guts represents love, and the crown represents loyalty. The ring originated in Galway and has produced there because the 1700s. You will discover outlets promoting the ring across the metropolis middle, and typically you’ll be able to even discover them making them.

Claddaugh Ring

St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church

Church buildings are all the time on the prime of the listing when visiting new cities, notably these with a various and prolonged previous. The St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is a medieval Anglican church within the middle of the town. It’s steeped in almost 800 years of historical past, making it a must-see on the countless listing of issues to do in Galway Metropolis.

As a church, its hallowed interiors have seen many sides of life within the metropolis. In the course of the reign of the 14 tribes of Galway, it was the situation for mayoral election deliberation and voting. There’s even a widely-circulated perception that Christopher Columbus prayed right here throughout his stopover in Galway en path to the New World.

Although Sunday Mass will not be for you, there’s no denying it’s a part of life and tradition in Galway; this church’s mass typically welcomes as much as 300 churchgoers for the 11 am service.

Quay Road

That is your greatest guess in case you’re on the lookout for issues to do in Galway Metropolis which are a mixture of fast-paced and laid again. Quay Road is ideal for a day wander via the most effective combine of outlets, eating places, cafés, and pubs (it’s Eire, in any case). In case you’re hungry, the world boasts wonderful native oysters; you’ll be able to wash them down with a pint from a bar (or two!) that comes extremely advisable, reminiscent of Tig Coili or O’Connell’s Bar.

When you’ve had your fill of meals & bevvies, slightly buying could also be so as. Should you’re extra of a take-it-all-in sort of individual and like to people-watch, simply wandering via the winding cobbled streets is all the time a good way to spend time on this a part of city. Stay music, road performers, and buskers could be discovered throughout, giving this little gem within the coronary heart of Galway a beat and character all its personal.

Lynch’s Citadel

In a metropolis as previous as Galway, structure stays from many various eras of design, type, and development. The Lynch’s Fort is one such edifice, erected in a basic Irish gothic type that, regardless of its predicted age of round 500 years, seems deceptively unassuming from outdoors. It even homes a financial institution in a becoming unity of previous and new.

Lynch’s Citadel was as soon as house to probably the most highly effective households within the space; one among 14 tribes who dominated the area. The fort was their refuge from raids and options many architectural intricacies, corresponding to gargoyles, window carvings, and detailed moldings. The Lynch household crest options prominently on the outer facade. One in every of just a few secular treasures from Galway’s previous nonetheless standing immediately, it’s a constructing value seeing, although solely the primary of its 4 flooring are open to public perusal.

Menlo Fort

Should you’re into castles with a aspect of thriller and people magic, then Menlo Fort is a must-visit. It was house to the rich and highly effective Blake household, who owned land in lots of areas. The ivy-ridden, overgrown ruins that stay at this time are a glimpse of the grandiose construction that when stood.

Its historical past is shrouded in lore, with tales of faerie rings and lights being noticed by a midwife shortly earlier than the hearth that overtook the Lord and Woman’s daughter’s bed room, presumably claiming her life (although no stays have been ever discovered). Some years later, the Blake baronet who inherited the land was discovered lifeless.

This spot on the record is extra of a self-service visiting level, because the fort is now merely ruins and no museum nor guided excursions function on the grounds. Nevertheless, it does make for a stunning stroll (or bike experience) and a few lovely footage, notably with the greenery overtaking the crumbled stone.

Barna Woods

Whereas most European cities are thrilling in their very own proper, with a various array of museums, eating places, bustling neighborhoods, and vibrant metropolis streets, typically the only joys of touring come from the quiet days the place you’ll be able to sluggish your tempo.

Barna Woods – situated solely three miles from Galway’s metropolis middle – gives a respite from the town’s quick tempo. With creeping moss, oak timber, previous stone bridges, and a forest flooring carpeted with fallen leaves, Barna Woods provides off an aura of historic magic and lore—how very Irish!

It’s an exquisite spot for a day bike journey, a picnic, and even only a leisurely stroll, however you’ll want to deliver boots as there’s typically mud.

Mutton Island

No have to hop on a ship to entry this island; Mutton Island is related to Galway Metropolis’s South Park by an extended causeway of a few mile and presents some fairly spectacular views the entire approach there. Bonus: you’ll be able to start your stroll alongside the banks of the River Corrib by South Park earlier than turning onto the causeway; this beautiful path is lined with previous homes and delightful greenery.

Mutton Island has no everlasting residents, although being the bottom of a sewage remedy plant, it hosts plant staff each day. There’s a path that follows alongside the perimeter of the plant, with sweeping views out to sea. This magnificence makes the causeway and the island a well-liked spot for marriage proposals, so if there are any women touring with a associate in tow, cross your fingers!

Galway Bay

With Eire being well-known for its shorelines, it’s no shock that Galway Bay is on the record of issues to do in Galway Metropolis. Deliver your digital camera, as a result of the views you’ll see from listed here are amongst a number of the most lovely within the area, notably in the event you seize the brightly coloured homes dotting the shoreline. The bay can also be well-known for the Galway Hooker, an all-red conventional crusing craft from the years main as much as the Nice Famine.

things to in Galway City Ireland

Go to the Aran Islands

If in case you have a spare day or a bit additional time, Galway isn’t too removed from the bay to the Aran Islands, that are well-known for his or her pure magnificence and their historic buildings. The island’s 1200 inhabitants, whereas fluent in English, converse primarily Irish Gaelic, because the area is part of the Gaeltacht. Should you occur to be desirous about brushing up in your Irish Gaelic, this might be an excellent place to take a fast lesson!

Galway Cathedral of Our Woman Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas

Although not notably previous, the Cathedral of Our Woman Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas (generally known as the Galway Cathedral) is among the many prime issues to do in Galway Metropolis. Apparently, it was initially the situation of the town jail. Upon its completion in 1965, it turned the final stone cathedral to be inbuilt Europe.

Mass is carried out on the every day; the within of the cathedral is value seeing for its stone partitions, rose and glass mosaic home windows and spectacular dome and pillars accomplished in Renaissance type. Should you occur to be close to the Spanish Arch, it’s not a lot farther to stroll right here.

Things to do in Galway City

Salthill Seashores

One other one for the listing for these in search of outside actions, the Salthill Seashores are one of many prime outside issues to do in Galway, regardless of the climate. Made up of a number of seashores that vary in sort from sandy to rocky, Blackrock Seashore and Women Seashore are the highest ones to go to. When you’d quite hold your distance from the chilly water, there’s a stunning promenade winding alongside the shoreline that’s in style with runners and walkers.

Whether or not you’re there for a wintry stroll or plan to unfold out and luxuriate in a summer time day, the ocean breeze and excellent beachcombing make the Salthill Seashores a memorable option to spend the day.

Day journey to the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren

It will be a disgrace to go to Eire and never pay a go to to the well-known Cliffs of Moher. To get to the Cliffs of Moher from Galway will take you lower than two hours drive. It’s an ideal day journey alternative and you can see many tour corporations that provide this service.

The Cliffs themselves are astounding. From walled areas for these afraid of heights to un-walled areas for thrill seekers, the views you’ll get of the crashing sea under, the countless skyline, and the famed Irish shorelines are amongst a number of the most lovely you will notice in your lifetime.

All the area surrounding the cliffs is called the Burren; taking a scenic drive via this area will present you the fascinating bedrock formations that coat the bottom. Left over from the final Ice Age, they’re now completely part of the surroundings right here. Moreover, this area was as soon as house to Mesolithic and Megalithic peoples, the latter having constructed many tombs which might be nonetheless standing (and visitable) as we speak.

what to pack for Ireland

Day journey to Kylemore Abbey & Connemara Nationwide Park

Solely an hour and a half drive from Galway Metropolis is Kylemore Abbey, a ravishing and stylish property residence inbuilt 1868 for a rich household and based as a Benedictine monastery in 1920. Situated on the sting of Pollacapall Lough and backdropped by a wealthy inexperienced hillside, it’s a well-known landmark within the area (and makes for some lovely images). Right now, its neo-Gothic church, Victorian walled gardens, and historic mausoleum are amongst a few of its hottest options.

It’s also situated simply minutes from Connemara Nationwide Park, which boasts almost three,000 hectares of grassland, forests, bogs, and mountains – good for all you hikers and outside lovers. Moreover, it homes remnants from early human civilization, together with megalithic tombs over four,000 years in age, and a 19th-century cemetery.

Galway Metropolis Museum

Museums are sometimes a promising means of spending a day, however particularly so in a metropolis comparable to Galway, the place the historical past is so numerous. The Galway Metropolis Museum, situated proper beside the Spanish Arch, gives a mess of fascinating reveals, each everlasting and short-term. Among the many everlasting reveals provided by the museum are the historical past of prehistoric Galway and Medieval Galway, offering fascinating perception into how tiny historic settlements develop into thriving cities over many a whole lot of years.

With a rustic so steeped in historical past as Eire, you’ll be able to guess that every metropolis’s historical past is simply as enchanting, and Galway is not any exception. The museum is comparatively new (solely open since 2006) however its collections and reveals are completely value a go to.

Corridor of the Pink Earl

That is undoubtedly one for the historical past buffs visiting this metropolis. The Corridor of the Purple Earl is likely one of the most original issues to do in Galway. Richard the Pink Earl had his corridor constructed within the 13th century to entertain friends; whereas a lot of the corridor was misplaced over time, the foundations stay. Much more fascinating is that these stone foundations lay undiscovered till the 1990s once they have been discovered unexpectedly throughout an enlargement of the primary constructing.

The stays are encased in glass for guests to admire. A few of the most fascinating artifacts additionally discovered among the many ruins are displayed as nicely (these embrace gadgets similar to pipes and gold cufflinks). Entry is free, so it’s a great spot to go to in the event you’re feeling a bit of extra frugal in the direction of the top of your journey

Benefit from the Galway Oyster Fest

The native Galway Flat Oyster comes into season each September via April. There’s no higher or Irish strategy to rejoice this wild Atlantic and salty oyster than with an enormous pageant, a number of pints of Guinness, and reside Irish music in Galway Bay Harbour. In celebration of the season, the Galway Oyster and Seafood pageant occurs on the final weekend of September yearly and has for the final 64 years.

It might have began as a humble collect of a pair dozen individuals, however since has grown to incorporate a number of thousand individuals and truckfuls of oysters. When you can take pleasure in oysters all yr, like Oyster Pacific Oyster or Giga, the pageant highlights the native flat and is sort of the social gathering!

Head Out to Cnoc Suain

That is perhaps the most effective cultural expertise you’ll be able to have within the Galway area. And that’s in an space that’s brimming with cultural experiences! Cnoc Suain is a set of small cottages set on on prime of a hill. This all performs nicely to the identify since Cnoc Suain means “restful hill” in Irish, though we nonetheless can’t pronounce it!

Your hosts Dearbhaill and Charlie couldn’t be extra welcoming and keen to show extra concerning the historical past of the property and Irish tradition. The 2 train you about Irish meals, historical past, music, and the encompassing panorama.

Take pleasure in a Pageant!

The town of Galway has been dubbed “Pageant Metropolis” and is properly often known as the pageant capital of Eire. All year long the town attracts in guests from everywhere in the world for world-class occasions, like St. Patrick’s Day in March, the Galway Races in the summertime, Galway Jazz Pageant, the Comedy Pageant, and Galway Worldwide Arts Pageant in October. There’s lots occurring on this little Irish metropolis and that extends past the track “Galway Woman” and engaging pubs they’re world well-known for. Apart from the Galway Oyster Fest we have been capable of go to the Halloween Pageant and see among the best Halloween Parades on this planet!

The place to Keep In Galway?

Jury’s Inn

It’s robust to get a greater location that the Jury’s Inn. It’s situated smack dab in the midst of Galway just a few minutes stroll to only about the whole lot.

The Galmont Lodge & Spa

A complicated waterfront lodge that’s set on the Lough Atalia. It solely 230 m from the Galway railway station and a 5-minute stroll from Eyre Sq..


We frequently choose to remain in Airbnb whereas touring because it permits us to prepare dinner and chill out within the comforts of a house. We didn’t keep in a single for the pageant as so as to add to rising lease costs within the metropolis, however we did keep on this pretty residence on the coast after the festivities.

If you wish to know extra study our greatest Airbnb ideas or need to decide up a coupon learn our publish about Airbnb.

Irish Countryside

Plan your journey to Eire!

We depend on a couple of trusted web sites that assist save us time and cash when reserving our journeys. Take a look at a few of our most popular companions under

You by no means know what can occur overseas, and that’s why we all the time journey with journey insurance coverage with World Nomads. Their plans are versatile and reasonably priced.

We like to drive ourselves round Eire. We’ve accomplished it each time, simply keep in mind they drive on the left. Examine costs right here!

We discovered the faucet water in Eire greater than high quality to drink, if you would like additional assurance then we love touring with our Lifestraw Go Waterbottle. Greater than something it’s about decreasing plastic waste. Learn extra about that in our greatest water bottles publish.

Keep in mind that Eire makes use of the three-prong British plug. Ensure you have one for visiting!

They’re the rationale we made this journey to Eire and we like to have a bodily copy of a guidebook. Decide up  Lonely Planet’s Eire guidebook.

It doesn’t matter what time of the yr you visiting Eire you must pack a rain jacket and good strolling footwear. See our full Eire packing record right here. 

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