Galway is a holiday city in the west of Ireland.
Galway, Ireland is the administrative center of County Galway, the main Atlantic port of the Republic, the gateway to Gaeltacht and Connemara. The city is located in the west, at the mouth of the River Corrib. It is considered the cultural capital of Ireland, where pubs buzz relentlessly and the atmosphere is relaxed.
Good to know! Every year about 2 million tourists come to Galway. The city is especially crowded during the festival season, which takes place from early spring to mid-autumn. During this period, booking lodging as well as buying tickets for events and excursions is recommended in advance.
Galway is the fifth largest city in the country and quite large (by Irish standards), although it can be covered on foot in three and a half hours. It is home to 79,504 people (2017), who have no time to be bored because Galway hosts international festivals every year. For example, at the end of July, there is an arts festival with two weeks of musical performances, plays, and art exhibitions.
Good to know! The Irish National University in Galway plays a major role in preserving the Gaelic language and folk traditions. Its campus comprises around a hundred buildings, including catering, art gallery and theater, and it’s here that the lion’s share of the city’s events take place.
Galway owes its name to the small but rushing River Corrib. In Gaelic they call it Gaillimh, meaning ‘stony river’. The city was built around the castle, erected in 1124 by order of the king of Connacht (the Irish western kingdom). The fortunate location of the settlement attracted many people to it and made it a welcome prey to conquerors. In the 1230s the town was conquered by the Anglo-Normans, led by Richard More de Bourgh.
Fort Galway quickly became prosperous, as merchant ships from France, Spain, Italy and the Middle East rushed here. All power was concentrated in the hands of local merchants, until Cromwell’s troops conquered the city during the 1639-1651 war after months of siege. At the end of the 17th century William III exterminated the merchant dynasty of Galway, after which it gradually fell into decline and only began to recover at the end of the last century.
The people of Galway cherish the sights, rightly considering them a treasure of Ireland. This is especially true of Lynch Castle, which today houses the bank. This is the same Lynch who in 1493 sentenced to death his own son. This is the one we are referring to when we say “Lynch’s Law.”
Not to be ignored are such sights as Kylemore Abbey, built in 1871, and the magnificent Ashford Castle, which is among the most famous in Ireland. The first mention of Ashford dates back to the beginning of the 13th century, and today everyone can spend a few days at the castle. And be sure to visit Eyre Square, named after Galway’s mayor.
Quay Street is a narrow cobblestone street that offers entertainment to suit everyone’s taste. You can practice your dancing skills in one of the bars, have dinner in a modest café or upscale restaurant, or just stroll around admiring the huge and almost doll-like stone houses. Most of the houses were built hundreds of years ago. They beg the lenses of cameras, tempting picturesque arches, cornices with flowers and lanterns.
The first houses here began to appear in the XIV century. At first the street was taken over by the workers, and in the 19th century – by the noble families of the city. As early as the last century, Quay began to draw in all sorts of attractions and entertainment venues frequented by locals and travelers alike.
The Salthill Promenade is a popular pastime for Galway residents and visitors alike. The two-kilometre-long promenade is wonderfully lit, making it ideal for leisurely walking, jogging, and cycling at any time of day. In good weather, you can find half of the city here – some breathing the salty air, some going to the beach, some admiring the waves, the flight of seagulls, or the sunset. Keep in mind that it usually blows hard from the ocean, so you should bring a jacket.
The view of the Latin Quarter opens just beyond Eyre Square, attracting attention with colorful Victorian-style houses. Each lures you in with signs of clothing stores, souvenir shops, jewelry stores and pubs. There’s a wonderful mixture of antiquity and youthful nonchalance in the air, which is what tourists come here for, and they’re happily entertained by street performers – musicians and circus artists whose performances draw crowds of onlookers.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas, whose green dome, more than 40 meters high, can be seen from afar, gives the impression of being ancient, although its construction began in 1958 and was consecrated in 1965. Galway Cathedral is located in the center of the city and is one of the brightest attractions.
The youngest cathedral made of stone, not only in Ireland but in all Europe, was erected on the place of the prison, which had a bad reputation because of its ruthless wardens. And if formerly this point was bypassed, now the landmark attracts thousands of people.
Architect D. Robinson chose for the cathedral the traditional Irish-Romanesque style of the XI century, which existed before the invasion of the Normans. The interior of the cathedral is decorated with delightful stained glass windows, paintings and carvings, a close look at which can take several hours.
The Galway Cathedral Choir performs not only church songs, but also Irish folk songs. Often organ music is played within the walls of the church. The elaborate acoustics make the choral and organ concerts unforgettable. In addition, they are free, but small donations at the entrance are welcome.
The cathedral is open to visitors from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm; on religious holidays it closes earlier.
As you stroll along the Salthill waterfront, be sure to reach another attraction that not only County Galway, but all of Ireland, is proud of. The National Oceanarium strives to show visitors the aquatic world in all its diversity and beauty through vibrant displays, interesting live presentations, experienced staff and interaction sessions with the aquarium inhabitants.
Galway Atlantaquaria houses about 200 varieties of deep sea inhabitants. A contact pool gives you the opportunity to touch some of them, feed the smaller fish, and watch the giant ones being fed. If you get hungry yourself, stop by a local restaurant or coffee shop.
- Galway Atlantaquaria, at Seapoint Promenade, Galway, H91 T2FD.
- Open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Adults ticket will cost 12 euros, children from 2 years – 7.50 euros.
Almost 3,000 hectares of pristine nature are located on the Connemara Peninsula. In the recent past, this area was used for grazing cattle and other agricultural purposes, but since 1980, the unique landscapes belong to the state and are diligently protected.
Connemara’s small parkland has become a super-popular destination for hikes, horseback rides and romantic picnics. The park offers a variety of natural landscapes to admire: mountains and hills, meadows and forests, heathlands and marshes, fast and deep rivers, breathtaking waterfalls and golden beaches. The area is considered home to the Irish red deer and Connemara pony, as well as peregrine falcons, meadow pipits, quail hawks and chequers.
For the needs of tourists in the park there is an Assistance Center, a hotel, a cafe, an exhibition center and a whole range of activities for the little ones. All of Connemara’s trails are neatly mapped on an intuitive map, which helps hikers considerably. One can choose from four trails, each taking anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours to complete. The most coveted destination is Diamond Hill. From its summit, you can see the ocean, Inishbofin and Inishark Islands, and Killemore Abbey in clear weather.
The park is open daily. Admission is free . When you go here, bring sneakers, a raincoat, and sunscreen. The main entrance to Connemara is just outside the village of Letterfrack (along route number 59), with bus services available from Galway, Clifden, and Westport.
Traveling along the Wild Atlantic Way is a chance to thoroughly explore the nature of Ireland. More than two thousand kilometers of roads stretch along the west coast of the Republic and four counties. From the Inishowen Peninsula to Kinsale in County Cork, over 150 strategic points of interest offer a delicious Irish cuisine, horse riding, surfing, fishing and rolling hills dotted with lush emerald grass.
Holidays in Galway
Galway offers its guests a variety of accommodations. The choice of accommodation depends only on your budget and personal wishes, because in the city there are no “good” and “bad” areas. Most often tourists stay in the center, where the main attractions are concentrated.
- Double room in a three-star hotel will cost 90-140 € in the summer period.
- A room with similar conditions in a four-star hotel costs 120-160 € on average.
- The cost of renting an apartment varies greatly, the minimum cost per night is 90 € during the summer.
It’s hard to go hungry in Galway. The city, officially recognized as the culinary capital of Western Ireland, is home to an array of food establishments, from restaurants and pubs to pastry shops and grocery stores. Fans of gastronomic tourism will appreciate the hearty dishes of meat, seafood and potatoes, as well as Irish coffee with a dash of aromatic whiskey. The rates are as follows:
- A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs from 13€ per person;
- three-course dinner for two people – 50 €;
- A snack at a fast food restaurant – 7 € per person.
How to get to Galway
Shannon airport is only 78 kilometers from the city center. The second farthest is Ireland West Airport Knock, 87 kilometers from the center. Both cope with local and international flights. Most often tourists from the CIS fly to Dublin Airport and then get to Galway.
You can get to Galway from the capital of Ireland by taking an “hourly” express bus of Bus Eireann, Go Bus or City Link directly at the capital’s airport. Buses leave from 6:15 to 00:30. The trip takes 2.5-3 hours. The arrival point is the train station or the new bus station of Galway (they are very close).
It is possible to buy a ticket for 18-21 € online on the websites of the carriers – www.gobus.ie and www.citylink.ie.
Travelling in a modern train with free wi-fi can be very pleasant. In the cabin you will be offered coffee, tea, water and snacks. One disadvantage – trains run less frequently than buses. For example, from Dublin Heuston Central Station to Galway the train leaves every two hours from 7:35 to 19:35. The trip takes 2 hours. 20 min.
To save money you should buy the ticket online a few days beforehand and get the original from the ticket order number at the special terminal in the station. Another option is to buy a ticket at a regular ticket office directly at the station. The cost of travel – 16.99-18.99 €. The point of arrival is the railway station in Galway.
You can check the current schedule and prices on the website of the railroad of Ireland – journeyplanner.irishrail.ie.
You can easily drive around Ireland by car. The only obstacle can be a strange left-side traffic. You can rent a car at Dublin Airport. On your own you will reach Galway in about 2 hours, covering a distance of 208.1 km and spending 17 liters of gasoline.
The prices on this page are for June 2018.
Seasoned travelers know that the weather on the Emerald Isle is equally unpredictable at any time of year. Galway falls under this characteristic; Ireland is a small country, so the weather in its parts is almost the same. The port city with its temperate maritime climate can offer average temperatures of +10°C, but can spoil the mood with strong winds and drizzle. Raincoat and rubber boots are a must for everyone who is going to visit this city.
Author: Antonina Ivanko
Updated: 24 Feb, 2020 Zugdidi (Georgia) is a picturesque town located in the west of the country,…
Updated: 28 Jun, 2018 Ancient cities invariably attract tourists from all over the planet….
Updated: 13 Sep, 2019 Cork Ireland is not only quiet streets, rugged…
Updated: 28 Jun, 2018 Killarney, Ireland is a small town located in a picturesque area…
Galway’s activities, entertainment and nightlife. Where to go for a cultural break
Galway is an ideal destination for all kinds of vacationers. There are many historic sites, excellent entertainment venues, and a wealth of shopping and hiking opportunities. A great attraction is the Galway Atlantaquaria Aquarium, where visitors can see a rich collection of exotic fish, stingrays, actinids, jellyfish, and other deep sea creatures. Although the aquarium is small, its collection of marine life is interesting and varied.
If you want to buy memorabilia in Galway, you should head to Eyre Square. From there, the city’s main shopping street goes on to the Corrib River. Most of the local stores are in … Discover
Eco-tourists from all over the world are drawn to the picturesque Connemara National Park. Fabulous lakes rich in fish, densely forested hills and pastures with typical local farms, you can enjoy this natural splendor and harmony endlessly. There are several attractive hotels and special camping areas in the national park, so travelers can linger in the picturesque places for several days.
A pleasant surprise awaits the fans of water entertainment, they will have the opportunity to relax in a modern water park Leisureland . It is housed in a large-scale pavilion with panoramic windows and a glass roof, visitors to the water park can enjoy a huge swimming pool with a variety of slides. There are several playgrounds for the younger guests and the water park has a fully equipped gym. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Galway is an ancient port city and the administrative center of the county of the same name located in the western part of Ireland. The history of the city begins in 1124, at the beginning of the 12th century there was … Open
The modern casino at Claude’s is in demand among gamblers and offers a decent selection of slot machines in addition to classic games. There is also a wonderful karting center in the city – Galway City, where every visitor can hone his driving skills in comfortable conditions and enjoy his favorite entertainment. The entertainment complex Planet Entertainment invites its guests to play bowling and billiards. There are several attractive cafes and specially equipped playgrounds for children of different ages on its territory.
The stores and shopping centers of Galway deserve special attention. The best bookstore in the city is considered to be Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, it pleasantly surprises visitors with a chic assortment. Here you can buy not only favorite books and beautiful gift editions, but also souvenirs – calendars and postcards with images of local attractions. If you’re looking for a commemorative gift, check out Fallers Jewelers. It has been welcoming its visitors for more than a century, and a huge range of exclusive gold and silver jewelry for every taste and purse is available.
Holidays with children in Galway will be comfortable regardless of the age of the child. Here you can find entertainment for the kids, and for younger students and teens. There are playgrounds in the city … Open
Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold jewelry store also has a rich history and offers interesting jewelry with national symbols. Candy lovers will love The Chocolate Box, the name of the store speaks for itself, and the Vanda Art Gallery offers sumptuous paintings. At night many locals and visitors head for the pubs, and the real local landmark is the O’Connors Pub. The selection of drinks here is simply huge, and the pub is distinguished by the original interior design in the best national traditions. The Taaffes pub is popular with beer lovers and often has live music in the evenings.
This article about recreation and entertainment in Galway is protected by copyright. Full reprinting is permitted only if the source is cited with a direct link to www.orangesmile.com.
Map of all water parks
Water parks near Galway ♥ Waterpark ‘Bay Sports’ Hodson Bay, Roscommon., 73.7 km from the center. Map Photo ♥ Water park ‘Aqua Dome water park Tralee’ County Kerry, 120.9 km from the center. Map Photo ♥ Waterworld’ Bundoran, Co. Donegal., 143.3 km from the center. On the map Photo
Map of all Michelin restaurants
Michelin Restaurants Galway ♥ Restaurant ‘Vina Mara’ Galway. Type – Contemporary Cuisine. 0.4 km from the center. Map Photo ♥ Restaurant ‘Cava Bodega’ Galway. Type – Spanish cuisine. 0.4 km from the center. On the map Photo ♥ Galway ‘Latin Quarter’ Restaurant. Type – Regional cuisine. 0.4 km from the center. On the map Photo ♥ Seafood Bar @ Kirwan’s’ Galway. Type – Seafood. 0.5 km from the center. On the map Photo ♥ Galway ‘Lime’ Restaurant. Type – Thai food. 0.5 km from the center. On the map Photo
Points of interest in Galway and surroundings
View on map: Distance from Galway city center – 33 km.
The luxurious hotel now impresses with its exquisite interiors, it has preserved the most beautiful decoration of natural wood, you can see everywhere chic carpets, antique chandeliers and priceless works of art. The chic castle-hotel offers its guests 89 exquisite rooms, decorated in individual style. The hotel has its own spa, and two restaurants serving Irish delicacies. There is a golf course in the vast grounds surrounding the hotel, an equestrian center and a picturesque lake where you can go boating. … Read more
The tower at Clonmacnois monastery
View on map: 65.1 km from Galway city center.
Only the tower, despite the huge tilt, managed to survive perfectly, no special strengthening works and reconstructions were carried out in it. The exact purpose of the Clonmacnois Tower is unknown; some speculate that it served as a kind of bell tower from which people were summoned to prayer. All similar towers which today it is possible to see on territory of Ireland, are necessarily located near churches and monasteries. … Read all about it