Galway is a small city on Ireland’s west coast, packed with activities and rich history. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, Galway is a must-see.
It’s a great place to immerse yourself in Irish culture, from tasty Irish cuisine to exploring the great outdoors. If you can, plan your trip to Galway during the summer months so you can fully enjoy the great wonders of the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher.
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Amazing Things to Do in Galway Ireland
Whether you’ll be in Galway for 24 hours or longer, you’ll find a few things to add to your Galway Itinerary here.
These are some of my favorite things to do when staying in Galway city.
The Aran Islands lie off the Galway coastline and are a group of three islands, found at the mouth of Galway Bay. From Celtic churches to dramatic cliffs, the Aran Islands are rich in culture and natural beauty. You can enjoy various activities from hiking, cycling, swimming, and more.
The most famous cliff on the islands is probably the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dún Aonghasa.
The island’s largest prehistoric stone fort stands on these fantastic sheer cliffs. This fort is found in the most spectacular setting on a breathtaking cliff.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are one or Ireland’s most beloved landmarks and are truly loved by tourists. They are not technically in Galway county, but are easily reached from there.
If you’ve never visited the Cliffs of Moher, then, believe me, they are indeed an awe-inspiring site. They are completely breathtaking, especially on a clear day when the sun is shining.
Latin Quarter and Quay Street
This is a must-see for anyone visiting Galway. Full of bright colors, music, and delicious restaurants, the Latin Quarter is a perfect spot to grab a bite and absorb the wonders of Galway city life.
In this little cobblestoned section of the city, you’ll find yourself surrounded by many of Galway’s best pubs, restaurants, and shops! Take the evening to immerse yourself in this friendly, iconic piece of Galway—you won’t regret it.
Quay Street is a pedestrian artery packed with colorful, trendy shops. This is a fun spot to enjoy the scenery and shop!
Galway City Museum
The Galway City Museum is a great spot to learn about Galway’s history, archeology, folk, and art history. The best part is this attraction is completely free!
Be sure to stop by if you get the chance. The museum is complete with a photo gallery depicting Galway from the 1950s onward.
If you want to learn more about Galway’s history and culture, there’s no better place to do it than the Galway City Museum.
The museum is one of the best free things you can find to do in Galway. It’s perfect for families and anyone traveling on a budget.
Corrib Princess River Cruise
Another great activity to catch in Galway is the Corrib Princess River Cruise. You can board this relaxing 90-minute cruise from May through September, plus you’ll have a beautiful view of the green countryside and bog.
This is an excellent option if you would like to sit back, relax and take in the beautiful sights of Ireland. You’ll also pass the remains of Menlo Castle, which burnt down in 1910, and today, the 16th-century mansion is covered in ivy.
Lynch’s castle is a limestone house situated on the corner of Shop Street and Abbeygate Street, sticking out from the buildings around it—you can’t miss it.
Lynch’s castle could date back to the 14th century but got its current design in the 16th century. You’ll feel as if you have been transported back in time as you explore the castle.
It’s home to a bank today, but the building is well worth seeing.
This is said to be the most picturesque castle in all of Ireland—it may be the most photographed castle of all. Half of it is surrounded by water making its reflection perfect for photos.
During the summer, you can attend a banquet at the castle, feasting on the medieval fare and enjoying live entertainment! If you happen to be visiting during the summer months. Attending a medieval banquet will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss.
What better way to enjoy your stay in Galway than to experience medieval times in the form of a feast?
After walking through the Latin Quarter, you can make your way toward the city center toward Eyre Square.
The square is well-known for its Quincentennial Fountain with an abstract depiction of one of Galway’s typical “Hooker” sailboats.
You can also sit beside a statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire, located in Eyre Square. The current statue is a replica of the original, which was damaged by vandals in 1999. The original statue was repaired and removed to the Galway City Museum. Pádraic was an Irish writer and journalist, who primarily wrote in the Irish language.
This is the perfect plaza for shopping and enjoying a range of various eateries. You can spend the day shopping and grab lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Salthill is a part of Galway city, boasting an ocean front promenade. This beautiful walk, with amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay, is about 3 kilometers long.
Beginning beside the Spanish Arch on the Claddagh Quay, it stretches all the way to the Blackrock diving tower.
Salthill Promenade is a wonderful spot for a stroll or a jog along the coastline. The views of the County Clare and the hills of the Burren across the bay, are amazing.
if you would like to sit and soak up the views, then there are plenty of benches to be found all along this stretch of seafront.
Lastly, you can admire the beautiful architecture of the Galway Cathedral. The architecture of Galway Cathedral draws on multiple influences.
The dome and pillars mark the renaissance style, and the rose windows and mosaics are influenced by Christian art. Consider stopping by during your time in Galway to take in the stunning architecture. It’s definitely worth visiting.
Galway – A Wonderful Tourist Destination
Whether you make a day trip to Galway or plan on staying for a significant amount of time, there is a popular spot on this list that’s just perfect for you. Choosing a few attractions on this list is a great way to enjoy the whole experience of Galway.
Aside from attractions, Galway is home to many excellent pubs and restaurants. There’s no shortage of delicious cuisine and beverages in this beautiful city.
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Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad –Irish American Mom
Pronunciation – slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad – rhymes with parade
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