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Things to do in Galway

130 contributors

The top 65 attractions in Galway

Bays in Galway
Galway
(28)
Galway City is know for its leisure offerings, and its pubs and cafes are very popular in ​​Ireland. Students make up a quarter of the total population and you can see remains of the medieval walls between the shops selling Aran sweaters, handmade rings, and books. The bridges form arches over rivers full of salmon, and a long walk down to the town of Salthill in Galway Bay lets you see the source of the region's famous oysters. One thing that surprised me a lot was the breakfast. On several posters in a couple cafes, we saw the typical Irish Breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, etc, but in Galway, the breakfast is...oysters!
Historical Monuments in Galway
Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas
(8)
I could not resist staying longer than planned just to visit this cathedral. In summer you can find someone playing the organ. The cathedral itself has no altar, but it has spectacular arches and paintings surrounded by purely Irish architecture. Admission is free.
Markets in Galway
Galway Market
(6)
This is a small market that is located in the old town of Galway. Galway itself is very small but the most interesting part of the city is the old town. Right next to the collegiate church of St. Nicholas is a small market where you can find a little bit of everything, from paintings to handmade jewelry.
Of Cultural Interest in Galway
The Spanish Arch
(9)
The Spanish Arch is what is left of the ancient city gate of the wall that protected the city docks. It owes its name to the important trade with Spanish ships, before the Armada, that landed there. Right next door is the Galway City Museum.
Nightlife Districts in Galway
Pubs in Galway
(6)
Róisin Dubh - Dominick Street. It is a big pub where you can hear live performances. McSwiggan's - Eyre Street. Pub with many floors. The place has an old décor and full of little corners. It also has great cuisine. King's Head - High Street. Pub where you can listen to music. Tigh Neachtain - Quay Street. The Quays - Quay Street. Tomas O'Riada - High Street. Taylor's Bar - Dominick Street. Monroe's Tavern - Dominick Street Upper.
Beaches in Galway
Burren Beach
(3)
The good thing about renting a car is that you can stop where you want, as we did making the tour of the Burren, a place with wonderful scenery. The narrow road runs along the coast, passing through some villages. We stopped at this beach, where thanks to the low tide we could walk on the rocks and look at the variety of shells and marine species. I loved this area.
Lakes in Galway
Loch Na Fooey
(1)
This is one of the stops on our tour of Connemara. It's a lake with stunning views as you can see in the photos, but the road is an absolute horror: a very narrow, bumpy mountain road where you constantly feel like you're in danger of falling at any swerve.
Roads in Galway
Sky Road
(1)
The very name of this road Sky Road lives up to its name This is a narrow road of the town of Clifden, in Connemara County, and is apart from the ocean. Going up and discovering the views that take your breath away : the meadows are studded with wildflowers in summer down a gentle slope to the ocean. There are lonely houses and sheep scattered as if they were painted in the landscape of a painting, and stone fences "decorate" this incredible island that is Ireland and that remind us that even the most unthinkable lands have an owner. Then sea and islands greet us on the horizon. I think the best is to go walking as long as the weather is good and you have time. However, rare is the day that a strong wind blows from those that force you to work hard twice, that do not let you hear any more, and that at any given time can put you in danger if you get too close to the edge. You can also go by car, but not many places to park (there are some viewpoints), and the road is quite narrow and winding so you have to go watch who may appear in front.
Bars in Galway
Richardson's
(1)
This is a typical Irish pub in the heart of Galway called Richardsons and located at number 1 of the square, the corner house. The walls were full of license plates, shields of policemen, firemen, etc. and souvenirs of all kinds. I would recommend it to have a quiet beer while you admire the memorabilia on the walls. We signed the guest book and we left with good memories of the place.
Streets in Galway
Latin Quarter
(1)
After traveling throughout Ireland, it feels like a picturesque fantasy full of green and the ocean and little pubs everywhere, so when we ended our trip in Galway it was like a breath of fresh air. Especially the Latin Quarter. My mom and I drove into the city centre from our little B&B on the outskirts and randomly found a parking garage to pull into. We just wanted to park anywhere so we could get out and walk around freely. Little did we know that we parked right in the Latin Quarter in the heart of Galway! When coming out of the garage it was as if we stepped into another time. We of course found ourselves in the famed Kirwan's Lane with Judy Greene's fantastic shop that has been there for decades! There are a million really amazing restaurants and it is just full of souvenir shops for loved ones back home. The best part of the Latin Quarter in Galway though are the performers on the street. There were people with harps, guitars, magicians, and singers. It felt as if we had stepped into a talent show and were viewing all of the finalists for the finale. I felt very much at home on this street even though I am not a musician. It just felt very free spirited!
Of Cultural Interest in Galway
Crane Bar
Located in the nightlife zone, this bar is one of Galway's most famous pubs for the traditional music (folk) that is played here. It offers nightly music on both floors. The upstairs has capacity for 70 people and the atmosphere is intimate and quiet. Below is an authentic traditional bar featuring live performances every night . Sometimes the charge for attending concerts is €10. The group Kangaroo Moon, from Australia, played there recently and the sound was really good. If you like traditional music, then come here to drink beer and enjoy the music.
Churches in Galway
St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church
(3)
This is the oldest parish church on the island, topped by a pyramid-shaped spire. It's on Market St, next to the craft booths selling everything from jewellery to paintings, with a stone plaque in the Lynch Memorial Window, telling its story.
Castles in Galway
Leamaneh Castle
(3)
The ruins of the castle of Leamaneh are in the vicinity of the Bruren in County Clare, Island. The castle was originally a base with a tower house of several floors, built around 1480, probably by Turlogh Donn, one of the last Kings of Ireland and a direct descendant of Brian Boru. The name of the castle "Leamaneh" is believed to be derived from the Irish "Leim one Eich" which translated into English means "horse jumping". On our tour we could not go down to visit, we saw it on our way to the Cliffs of Moher, and the driver told us a bit about it.
Streets in Galway
N67 Road
The N67 leads from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher. We followed it along the coast until we turned inland to visit Gragan and Corkscrew Hill. It's part of the Burren, an unusual, windy limestone landscape. In the south, where the limestone is replaced by black shale and sandstone, you can find the Cliffs of Moher.
Bars in Galway
The Kings Head
(2)
The pub "The King's Head" is quite popular with students and tourists ve frequent Galway and they can enjoy especially in the summer. The clientele is almost entirely young, and especially on the weekends. Food is served all day and at a reasonable price.. They have a good selection of traditional Irish food like homemade pizzas and a good selection of coffees. Do not miss an opportunity to visit this place if your are in the area. You will enjoy it.
Rivers in Galway
Corrib Princess River Cruise
This is a tour on a small cruise that departs from the dock at Woodquay near Galway Cathedral. It runs down River Corrib to Lough Corrib, the largest lake in Ireland, offering a different way of looking at the country's famous green landscapes.
Gardens in Galway
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
(2)
This is a bit different from the castle. There's a free bus that takes you every 15 minutes, but you can also walk, which takes around the same time (we had to do it a few times as the bus was very full), and gives you the chance to get a good look at the landscape, like Lake Maladrolaun and the Grotto, with its figure of the Virgin Mary. It is the only formal walled garden in Ireland that sits in a bog. There are flowers and plants from the Victorian era. The garden is vast, built at the same time as the castle, with lots of greenhouses, garden seating, and kitchens separated by a mountain stream. There are hundreds of thousands of exotic and native trees. The water separates the gardens into two distinct areas, the vegetable garden and the flower garden. There was a small greenhouse with thousands of pots, and a tea house open from May to October, where you can enjoy the views of Diamond Hill and Connemara National Park.
Of Cultural Interest in Galway
(4)

The best things to do in Galway

If you're wondering where to find the best Galway attractions, the answer is easy: Shop Street, the main artery of the city. Walking along the kilometer-long pedestrianised street is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable Galway activities, but here is also where you'll find some of the best things to see in Galway.

Look at the Spanish Arch, where the remains of two stone arches of the old Norman city wall can be seen. In this part of the street you'll also find the Latin Quarter, one of the liveliest places to visit in Galway with its numerous pubs.

If we go north on Shop Street, the pubs give way to commercial shops and two of the most famous buildings in the city, Lynch Castle and St. Nicholas Church, the Protestant cathedral. Add this to your list of what to do in Galway, as it has hosted many other famous visitors, among them Christopher Columbus in 1477!

For more religious things to do in Galway, the Catholic cathedral, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Nicholas, is located a few hundred meters from the Protestant cathedral, across the River Corrib. It opened in 1965, and is the newest Catholic cathedral in Ireland. The tour of Shop Street ends at Eyre Square, with gardens for sunbathing when the sun shines! The square also holds 14 flags of the family tribes who once ruled the city of Galway.

If you visit during the summer, you'll find so much more stuff to do in Galway, like the beaches near the city, Dodge's Bay and Gurteen Beach. And from here you can take trips to other attractions in Galway, the famous Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.