Galway’s glorious location on the western coast of Ireland is without doubt one of the predominant causes for the town’s reputation with guests. With easy accessibility to the perfect seashores and pure landmarks of Ireland, the record of issues to do in Galway is neverending.
I’ve managed to slim it right down to 22 of the perfect sights in and close to the Irish metropolis. From historic landmarks in the guts of city to improbable pure sights simply exterior the town, this record covers all the pieces of curiosity in Galway.
Whether you’re seeking to uncover Irish tradition and legends or spend your journey exploring Ireland’s prettiest landscapes, Galway delivers. And it doesn’t matter if you happen to’re in city for a few days or a few weeks as a result of there’s no manner you may be bored right here!
Best of Galway, Ireland Quick Guide
Must See: Galway Cathedral, Saint Nicholas Collegiate Church, Lough Corrib, Salthill Promenade, Quay Street, Eyre Square Where To Stay: Woodquay Hostel, The Hardiman, Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate – the place we stayed Fun To Do: Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip, Pub crawl, Galway Races, Connemara National Park Day Trips: Aran Islands, Dog’s Bay, Cliffs of Moher Must-Try Foods: Irish stew, soda bread, seafood, Colcannon, Barmbrack.
Best Things to Do In Galway, Ireland
Fabulous seashores, mesmerizing Irish castles, and quaint outdated city buildings are a few of the issues that may enchant you in Galway. I’ve lined all the town’s best-known landmarks and sights, in addition to all of the improbable locations price visiting which might be solely a brief drive away from the port metropolis.
1. Walking Tour of Galway Old Town
A strolling tour of the outdated city of Galway is one of the simplest ways of getting acquainted with the Irish metropolis. Discover the medieval buildings, see the colourful storefronts in the cobblestone alleys, and attempt to spot as many statues as you possibly can alongside the best way.
Guided strolling excursions of medieval Galway are nice for first-time guests as a result of you possibly can study rather a lot concerning the metropolis’s wealthy historical past. Local guides will let you know concerning the tales and legends of Galway whereas taking you to all the perfect spots in the town.
A self-guided tour can be a great way to see the town. You can hit all the principle spots, and if you happen to learn up on the native historical past, it is going to be virtually as if you happen to have been guided round by knowledgeable. The Latin Quarter, Lynch’s Castle, Eyre Square, Quay Street, Shop Street, and Galway Cathedral are sights to not miss in Galway Old Town.
Practical Information: Walking excursions of Galway take between 1 and three hours.
2. Excursion To Aran Islands
Aran Islands are a bunch of three limestone islands simply off the west coast of Ireland. They’re simply accessible by ferries from Galway County, and even by scenic helicopter flights from Connemore International Airport.
Traveling to the Aran Islands gained’t be a chunk of cake if it’s a must to depend on buses to get you round, and I’d suggest arranging a guided tour in case you are in this case. We went to the Aran Islands by aircraft, and that’s the quickest and best. But you possibly can take a ferry as nicely.
Inishmore is the biggest of the three islands, and as such is dwelling to probably the most historic ruins and the perfect dramatic landscapes. Dun Aengus is on this island, the prehistoric ruins that overlook the Atlantic Ocean and which served as one of many filming places for the Banshees of Inisherin movie.
Practical Information: A ferry from Galway City to Inishmore takes roughly 90 minutes. One-way tickets for adults are €35.
3. Tour Galway Cathedral
Galway Cathedral is without doubt one of the metropolis’s most imposing buildings and a worthy cease on any metropolis tour. It’s located on Nuns Island in the River Corrib, simply northwest of Galway’s historic centre. The huge constructing dominates the northern a part of the river island. As it ought to, because it is without doubt one of the most vital landmarks in all the metropolis.
The cathedral’s inside is much more grand than its exterior. With gorgeous stained glass home windows, ornate ceilings, and beautiful work and statues on the partitions, it’s straightforward to see why that is a very powerful spiritual constructing in the Irish metropolis. There’s even a mosaic of John F. Kennedy, who visited Galway for a short while about 5 months earlier than his assassination.
Practical Information: Galway Cathedral is open every day from 8:30 AM till 7-9 PM relying on the day. Entrance to the church is free.
4. See The Lynch Memorial Window
Legend has it that James Lynch fitz Stephen, the mayor of Galway in the late fifteenth century, hanged his son from a window in his home. Supposedly, the son had killed a Spanish soldier, and when the mayor discovered about this, he hung him from the window.
There is little to no proof to help this story, but it surely’s one of many best-known tales of Galway. The Lynch Memorial Window, which was uncovered at a home on Lombard Street the place the homicide passed off, serves as a reminder of the story.
The stones have been displayed at Dublin’s Great Industrial Exhibition in the mid-Nineteenth century, and after they have been moved to their current location on the boundary wall of St. Nicholas Collegiate Church.
Practical Information: The Lynch Memorial Window is a free attraction to go to at any time.
5. Day Trip to Connemara National Park
Spanning an space of seven,000 acres, Connemara National Park is the perfect vacation spot for all outside lovers in Galway. With mountain climbing paths, scenic views, mountains, and wildlife, that is by far the perfect place for nature excursions near Galway. And when you have a automotive in Ireland, it can take you lower than 90 minutes to achieve the nationwide park.
Connemara is well-liked for birdwatching, principally due to its puffin inhabitants. Their breeding season is from March to August and it provides the perfect possibilities to see the lovely creatures.
The nationwide park has some unimaginable hikes and you may select from quite a lot of trails ranging in problem from straightforward to extraordinarily difficult. Kylemore Abbey is without doubt one of the nationwide park’s finest historic buildings, providing free excursions of its Victorian gardens.
Practical Information: Connemara National Park is roughly an hour and a half from Galway by automotive, however practically 4 hours away by public transport.
6. See The Ruins of Merlin Castle
The jap fringe of Galway City is dwelling to the Merlin Castle ruins. The tower is in an enormous park, which provides a plethora of fantastically landscaped strolling trails. And though the fort tower is the spotlight of the park, the expertise of discovering it whereas weaning via the park’s strolling paths is simply as great.
Come right here to find the pure great thing about Irish landscapes, and roam across the expansive woods so near the town. Merlin Castle itself isn’t an astonishing attraction, however the sight of the historic landmark is rewarding after a few hours of roaming across the forest paths.
Practical Information: Merlin Castle is accessible in roughly 40 minutes by bus from Galway metropolis centre.
7. An Evening At The Pub
Spend a night listening to conventional Irish music whereas sipping on a pint or two of Guinness. It’s virtually a ceremony of passage in Galway and a good way to conclude a day crammed with exploration of the town’s historical past and pure magnificence.
Pub tradition is large in Ireland, so you continue to get to take part in actions conventional in the town. Quay Street homes a few of the finest and oldest pubs in Galway, and it’s an awesome vacation spot for a enjoyable evening out.
Practical Information: Many pubs in Galway are open till 2 AM.
8. Sunset Walk Down Salthill Promenade
Salthill Promenade is a seaside strolling path in Galway Bay. With fascinating views of the ocean on one aspect and Galway on the opposite, it’s one of many metropolis’s most romantic locations. And with loads of alternatives for detours, leisure is considerable alongside the best way.
Funfair and Leisureland are each reverse Palmers Beach on the Salthill Promenade. Leisureland has a mini-golf course and an indoor pool, however Funfair provides theme park rides. A Ferris Wheel journey with scenic views is the right detour throughout walks on Salthill Promenade.
Practical Information: It takes roughly 45 minutes to stroll all the Salthill Promenade, from Claddagh Quay to the Blackrock diving tower.
9. Walk Under The Spanish Arch
The Spanish Arch is a historic metropolis landmark located subsequent to the Galway City Museum. The arch was added onto the Sixteenth-century metropolis partitions in the 18th century, and it’s one in all solely two remaining arches of Galway’s Front Wall.
Although the Spanish Arch stays an vital historic landmark in the town, there’s not a lot else to do right here moreover stroll beneath the arch and perhaps discover the quayside promenade. The Galway City Museum was housed inside part of the Arch for some time, but it surely was relocated to a separate constructing again in 2006.
Practical Information: The Spanish Arch is accessible by public transport at any time of the day, freed from cost.
10. Explore Saint Nicholas Collegiate Church
Saint Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is the biggest medieval parish church nonetheless in use in Ireland. The church is known for an area legend, which states that Christopher Columbus worshipped there throughout his go to to Galway in the fifteenth century.
Anyone can go to this church for a small entrance charge. Go inside to see the gorgeous stained glass home windows and exquisite paintings. Also, the church units up a farmer’s market each Saturday, which is a superb alternative to purchase some native souvenirs to take dwelling.
Practical Information: Saint Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is open from 10 AM till 4 PM. The entrance charge is €5 or €4.
11. Visit Galway City Museum
Galway City Museum is the perfect place in city to study concerning the historical past and custom of this Irish metropolis. The museum displays inform the story of Galway from prehistoric to trendy instances, with a particular exhibit on the town’s historical past throughout World War I.
Another a part of the museum’s assortment is devoted to Pádraic Ó Conaire. The Irish author was born in Galway and his novel Deoraíocht is acclaimed because the earliest piece of contemporary fiction in Irish.
Come to this museum to study vital metropolis occasions, notable individuals, and the lives of locals via the ages. What’s most spectacular is that there’s no entrance charge for the Museum, however guests are inspired to go away a small donation (not more than €5) in the event that they benefit from the exhibit.
Practical Information: Galway City Museum is open from 10 AM to five PM, Tuesday to Thursday. It’s free to enter.
12. Cross The Mutton Island Causeway
The Mutton Island Causeway connects mainland Galway with Mutton Island in the Atlantic Ocean. You can’t really make it onto Mutton Island as a result of there’s a locked gate on the finish of the causeway, however the views alongside the best way are completely definitely worth the stroll. Especially in good climate.
Mutton Island is dwelling to Galway’s sewage remedy plant, which is without doubt one of the the explanation why it’s off-limits to most people. But the causeway remains to be extremely popular for strolling, biking, and even proposals and dates!
Practical Information: Walking the Mutton Island Causeway could be carried out at any time, freed from cost.
13. Stroll Down Quay Street
Quay Street stretches via the Latin Quarter in Galway’s historic centre and it’s one of the crucial vital streets in the town. Lined with eating places and pubs on both aspect, it’s the perfect place in Galway for procuring, drinks, and people-watching.
Any tour of Galway’s outdated city will take you thru Quay St., but it surely’s a spot you must go to greater than as soon as. Come right here at evening for a relaxed night at an Irish pub, or in the afternoon to see the road performers and uncover the road artwork on the medieval buildings.
Quay Street turns into High Street, which turns into Shop Street, which then turns into William Street main onto Eyre Square. Walking all the size of this cobbled road is a should and one of many highlights of journeys to Galway.
Practical Information: It is accessible at any time freed from cost.
14. Excursion to Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher is without doubt one of the most well-known pure landmarks on Ireland’s west coast. Together with Burren, the 2 landmarks type the Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, which spans an space of greater than 530 sq. kilometers.
Come right here to admire a few of Ireland’s most breathtaking surroundings. On clear days you possibly can get pleasure from views of Aran Islands in the gap. Walking paths in the world will let you expertise a number of views on the Cliffs of Moher, however the viewpoint close to O’Brien’s Tower is without doubt one of the finest.
I like to recommend combining this go to with the journey to the Aran Islands as a result of the ferry at Doolin Pier is simply a 15-minute drive from the UNESCO website. This extremely rated journey from Galway takes you to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren which is a panoramic vacation spot in Ireland.
Practical Information: Cliffs of Moher are 90 minutes by automotive or two and a half hours by bus from Galway.
15. Attend Galway Races
Galway Races are the preferred occasions in all the County Galway in the summer season. Galway’s Ballybrit Racecourse is dwelling to the longest horse-racing competition in Ireland, which kicks off on the final Monday of July.
This is an iconic occasion in the town, which attracts as many outsiders because it does locals from Galway. Wednesdays and Thursdays are notably busy days on the monitor; Wednesday for the Galway Plate, and Thursday as a result of it’s Ladies’ Day.
Practical Information: The Races are accessible in 45 minutes by public transport from the town centre.
16. Christmas at Eyre Square
Visiting Galway in the winter means that you can expertise the Galway Christmas Market. The predominant space for the occasion is ready up at Eyre Square in the town centre, remodeling the Irish metropolis right into a winter wonderland.
William Street to Quay Street is embellished all through, showing much more magical than it normally does. Christmas is really a particular time in Galway, and visiting the town through the holidays provides a singular perspective on native traditions, one which can make you wish to come right here each following December.
Practical Information: Eyre Square is on the middle of Galway’s outdated city, accessible by strolling paths and public transport.
17. Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip
Wild Atlantic Way is without doubt one of the world’s longest coastal highway journeys. Stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula all the best way to Kinsale in Cork County, the epic route follows everything of Ireland’s western coast. If you’re staying in the nation for some time and Galway is simply one of many locations you’re visiting, discovering even a piece of this route is an epic expertise.
Towering cliffs, unimaginable seashores, and lighthouses are a few of the prime sights of Ireland’s finest highway journey. Galway is on the midway level of the route with easy accessibility to a few of the prime sights alongside Cliff Coast. Read extra: Where to Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way
Practical Information: Wild Atlantic Way is a highway journey route 1600 miles (2600 km) lengthy. It’s divided into 14 levels, and levels 8 and 9 could be carried out from Galway. Compare automotive rental costs right here.
18. History Lesson at Dunguaire Castle
Set on the rocky shores of Galway Bay, Dunguaire Castle is a historic constructing in Kinvarra. The O’Hynes clan ordered the development of the fort in the Sixteenth century, and it comprised a defensive wall and a tower.
The tower and the wall have since been reconstructed and opened to the general public. Dunguaire Castle is open for visits in the summer season, and it’s even potential to attend a banquet dinner contained in the fort. It’s a wonderful manner of experiencing this Irish historic landmark with its picturesque environment.
Practical Information: Dunguaire Castle is accessible by bus (60 minutes) and boat (half-hour) from Galway. Tickets begin at 6€ for adults.
19. Sail on Lough Corrib
Lough Corrib is the biggest lake in the Republic of Ireland. The southern shore of the lake could be very near Galway and simply accessible by strolling paths from the city. In the summer season, it’s even potential to ebook a river cruise from Galway to the lake.
But the higher elements of the lake are much more enjoyable, which is why I like to recommend happening correct excursions of Lough Corrib. See the castles on the northern lake shore, boat to the island with a temple, and go to one of many equestrian facilities for horseback driving on the shore.
Practical Information: Public transport from Galway to Lough Corrib is proscribed. Driving is the perfect and quickest mode of journey.
20. Swim at Dog’s Bay
Dog’s Bay is one in all Ireland’s finest seashores and it’s solely an hour and a half exterior Galway. The horseshoe-shaped seashore is thought for pristine white sand and a relaxed sea. It’s appropriate for swimming, and a preferred spot for some water enjoyable in the summer season. Because there aren’t any large waves right here, Dog’s Bay is nice for youngsters and freshmen at swimming.
The seashore is most simply accessible by automobiles and excursions from Galway due to restricted public transport entry, so it’s hardly ever very crowded. And smaller seashores in the world are accessible by way of mountain climbing paths, the place you possibly can have a complete slice of paradise all to your self.
Practical Information: Dog’s Bay is a 90-minute drive from Galway. The closest bus cease is at Ballinafad, a 20-minute drive from Dog’s Bay.
21. Tour Glengowla Mines
Just half-hour northwest of Galway you’ll discover the Glengowla Mines. The deserted silver and lead mines are on a farm, and open to the general public for excursions in the summer season months. A small museum with mining instruments can be accessible on-site.
This is without doubt one of the most fascinating excursions to be carried out from Galway. In addition to the strolling excursions of deserted mines, guests to the household farm may also witness demonstrations of conventional Irish turf chopping and sheep herding.
Practical Information: Glengowla Mines are accessible by automotive and bus from Galway.
22. Marvel at Menlo Castle
Menlo Castle is a 10-minute drive from Galway metropolis middle and the most effective close by historic landmarks. The riverfront fort ruins are lined with ivy in pristine pure environment. If you ever really feel like you’ll want to escape the town crowds, Menlo Castle is a superb vacation spot for a break.
Pack a picnic basket and are available right here for a relaxed afternoon in lush greenery. Enjoy the sounds of the speeding river and chirping birds, whereas admiring the Sixteenth-century fort and its ivy-covered partitions.
Insider Tip: Feel free to leap the fence to get nearer to the fort if you need, everybody does it.
Practical Information: Menlo Castle is accessible by automotive and bus from Galway City.
Is Galway Worth Visiting in Ireland?
Yes, Galway is price visiting in Ireland. The medieval metropolis provides historic landmarks, a wealthy historical past, and a few of the finest surroundings on the western coast of Ireland.
What is Galway in Ireland Famous For?
Galway is known for its vigorous nightlife, glorious tradition, and gorgeous landscapes. With easy accessibility to the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands, Galway is the gateway to a few of Ireland’s prettiest nature.
How Many Days in Galway is Enough?
Three days needs to be sufficient for Galway. It’s sufficient time to see all the highest sights in the town and make a fast day journey to the close by landmarks.
Why is Galway City so Popular?
Galway City is well-liked for its distinctive tradition and glorious location on the western coast of Ireland. Some of the nation’s best-known sights are most simply accessible from Galway.
Tips and Information For Visiting Galway
Best Time To Visit
Any time of the 12 months is an efficient time to return to Galway. Summer is the perfect season for heat climate and the Galway Races, however winter is most magical because of the Galway Christmas Market and snow-covered enchanting landscapes.
Spring and autumn are each equally nice for delicate (however moist) climate and fewer vacationers. Early fall is an efficient time for heat climate, the Galway races, and gorgeous autumnal landscapes.
As it presently stands, flying to Dublin after which taking a bus to Galway is the most suitable choice. There are 4 predominant airports in Ireland, and the one in Dublin has probably the most worldwide connections, so likelihood is you’ll land there. A bus will take you from Dublin Airport to Galway in roughly two and a half hours.
Trains run from Dublin solely and are an choice provided that you intend to remain in the capital metropolis for a day or two. Additionally, Shannon Airport northwest of Limerick is nearer to Galway, but it surely’s serviced solely by Ryanair and Aer Lingus.
The finest approach to get round Ireland is by automotive. You can examine care rental costs right here. Ireland has an honest railway community, but it surely’s not that useful for exploring Galway and its environment. It’s not an enormous metropolis and far of it’s walkable, with buses to take you to the sights exterior the town middle.
However, if you wish to go on day journeys and discover extra of Ireland’s west coast, renting a automotive is the perfect answer. Sure, organized excursions to close by sights are at all times an choice, however driving is healthier for exploring at your most popular tempo and having the final word freedom.
How Much Time Do You Need
How a lot time you want for Galway relies upon tremendously on what you wish to do. If you wish to go to the town landmarks and do one or two day journeys, three days is loads of time.
On the opposite hand, if you wish to discover extra of the west coast of Ireland and presumably even attempt to comply with the trail of the Wild Atlantic Way highway journey, you possibly can keep in Ireland for 2 weeks or extra. Five to seven days is the candy spot for seeing the perfect of Galway and discovering all the perfect sights on the western coast of Ireland.
Where To Stay In Galway
Stay in Galway metropolis middle for straightforward strolling entry to the entire metropolis’s finest landmarks. For an extended keep in the town and entry to different areas of Galway County, think about staying on the shore of Lough Corrib and even nearer to Connemara National Park.
Some of the perfect accommodations in Galway for all budgets are:
Woodquay Hostel is a funds hostel near the outdated city of Galway. The Hardiman is a cultured 4-star resort set in a Nineteenth-century constructing on Eyre Square. Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate is a high-end resort in an 18th-century abbey, nearer to Lough Corrib than the Galway metropolis middle. We stayed at this resort and it was merely divine.
So, there you could have it. All the knowledge you’ll want to plan a visit to Galway in Ireland. This is really a magical vacation spot that may be a trip by itself or on a extra intensive Ireland highway journey.
Plan extra of your Irish trip with these detailed journey guides