Galway on the west coast of Ireland / Galway Travel Guide / Galway Tips
Galway is a city with wit, a creative and fun-loving vibe. It is the third largest city on the “Emerald Isle” of Ireland. Since about a quarter of the residents are students, the city appears young and lively. The city is characterized by picturesque alleys and warm street music – and that at any time of the year.
Overview / Galway Travel Guide
The city of Galway is situated on the north-eastern shore of the bay of the same name on the west coast of Ireland. If you drive northwest from there, you end up in Connemara National Park. There are mountains up to 730 meters high in this dreamy heath and moor landscape. South of Galway, after about 80 kilometers, you will reach the famous Cliffs of Moher, which enchant with their rough and wild beauty. The idyllic Aran Islands, which can be reached by ferry, lie on Galway Bay.
Galway is also called the “City of Tribes” by many. This designation goes back to 14 medieval trading families, the tribes, which had a dominant position at that time. Part of the original city wall from this period has survived and now borders Eyre Square Center where you can shop to your heart’s content.
The first ascertainable settlement of the place was a monastery in Roscam on the outskirts of the city. This place was sacked by the Vikings in 807. In 1124 a fortification was built near the fishing village. In 1232 it was occupied and enlarged by Richard de Burgh before Richard II granted town rights in 1396. Since then, the 14 Anglo-Norman noble families have controlled trade and other affairs of the city.
As the 2020 Capital of Culture, Galway has a number of highlights and attractions to offer. Informative museums or historic buildings and squares – stroll through the city and discover the most interesting sights!
St Nicholas Church
The historians and architecture fans among you will surely like to see this Protestant church. There is also a legend surrounding the magnificent building, which also cuts a fine figure as a photo motif: the world-famous adventurer Christopher Columbus is said to have attended a trade fair before continuing his voyage of discovery from Galway to America.
If you are in Galway Harbour, a visit to the Spanish Arch is definitely a must-do. This is one of two arches that are part of the former city walls that stretched from Martin Tower along the waterfront. The Spanish Arch commemorates the successful commercial relations between Normans and Spaniards in the 16th century.
Eye Square / Galway Travel Guide
This pretty town square is located near the train station. Thanks to the manicured lawns with shady trees and cozy benches, Eyre Square is a popular meeting place. The atmosphere invites you to linger and play. While taking a little break here, you can also watch skateboarders and jugglers show off their skills. Also exciting – you will find a breathtaking sculpture in Eyre Square! Since 1984 there has been the abstract image of a “Galway Hooker”: This is a type of sailing ship perfectly adapted to the harsh conditions off the Irish coast. An exciting insight into the history of the country!
Galway City Museum / Galway Tips
If you are traveling in the Latin Quarter, you should definitely make a detour to this museum. It is located on Spanish Parade, where a fish market used to be, right by the Spanish Arch. Visitors to the museum can take a journey through the history of Galway and Ireland. After admiring the more than 1,000 exhibits, you can take a break on the museum’s cozy terrace. The view of the harbor and the city is particularly beautiful here.
Marvel at this imposing 16th-century castle and feel transported back in time! Lynch’s Castle is one of Galway’s best-preserved historic buildings. The former patrician house with the magnificent exterior has been owned by the Lynch family for several centuries, from which the following 84 mayors of Galway came since 1484.
Kirwan’s Lane / Galway Travel Guide
This medieval alley in the Latin Quarter of the picturesque old town not only invites you to stroll, but also lets you walk on a real piece of history. Of the original 14 medieval lanes that led through Galway, only five survive today. One of them is Kirwan’s Lane, named after the Kirwan family, who were very influential in the Middle Ages. Cozy restaurants take care of your physical well-being, the picturesque atmosphere is perfect for a romantic dinner. Anyone who is not enthusiastic about something like this might be interested in the traditional handicraft shops that can still be found in the alley today. There is something for everybody!
Whether a day trip to the sea, a shopping spree or a party: Galway has something to offer for every type of holidaymaker. Since the city is quite clear, you can easily combine several activities with each other. Here we go!
Party in pubs
Ireland is famous for its pub culture, which has long since spread to other countries. There are also Irish pubs in many German cities. However, the atmosphere is not comparable to the atmosphere in a real Irish pub. Of course, you will also find a large selection of pubs in Galway, where you should definitely spend a convivial evening. Locals and holidaymakers from all over the world celebrate together with live music and special events. There will be healing, dancing and flirting – pure joie de vivre! Good to know: In addition to the traditional pubs, there are also nightclubs where you can keep partying even after the curfew. You can find several of them in the entertainment district of Salthill.
In the footsteps of Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl”
Galway is filled with music. Listen to talented street musicians or go to a live folk session in a pub! The song “Galway Girl” by the English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is ideal to set the mood. For the video he recorded a night in Galway with a camera strapped to his chest. The song was created together with the Irish folk band Beoga and went straight to number 1 in the Irish charts before becoming very successful in other countries. He skilfully combines the traditional music of Ireland with modern pop music.
The world popular music from Ireland is called Irish Folk or Irish Traditional Music. It consists of rhythmic vocal pieces that are accompanied a cappella. When Irish folk is used in a military context, bagpipes and drums are often heard.
Irish music has been known since the 17th century. Along with folk music from Scotland and Brittany, it is referred to as “Celtic music”. In the 18th century, instruments were added that still shape the sound today.
Celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day / Galway Travel Guide
Every year St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated across Ireland from Belfast to Cork – and even across borders in many major cities around the world. Fun-loving Irish proudly present their culture in the form of music, dance and comedy – preferably in green clothes from head to toe. In addition to the big parade, many events take place in the Festival Quarter. So that everyone can take part in this colorful spectacle, there are also live broadcasts on the television program.
Swim and play at Leisureland
A trip to the water world Leisureland is fun for young and old, especially when the weather is bad. It’s the perfect place to swim and let off steam in the water. In addition to the three large swimming pools, there is also a 65 meter long water slide and a pirate ship that makes the hearts of little adventurers beat faster. There is also a sauna and steam room for the adults.
Theatre / Galway Tips
In the theater “Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe” the Irish culture and language are cultivated and cherished, so that a very special experience awaits you here if you want to experience Irish traditions up close. An alternative to this is the Town Hall Theatre, which offers a varied programme. The Town Hall Studio, on the other hand, is a stage that offers small ensembles and solo artists in particular the opportunity to present their performances to an audience.
The best way to discover the regional delicacies is to stroll through the colorful weekly market, which takes place at the church of St. Nicholas. Be inspired by the delicious scents and the wonderful sight of fruit and vegetables, fish and meat and other regional products! It makes you want to cook a traditional Irish dish yourself!
Shop Street lives up to its name, because you can shop to your heart’s content in the lovingly decorated shops. Galway’s main shopping street is now a pedestrian zone, so you can stroll from one shop to the next in a relaxed manner. How about, for example, typical Irish clothing or an original souvenir for family and friends? You will definitely find what you are looking for in Shop Street.
Relaxation & Recreation
After an exciting shopping spree through Galway, relax in the Circle of Life Garden. In the seaside suburb of Salthill, the pretty promenade invites for a relaxing stroll by the sea. With a view of the water glistening in the sun, holidaymakers can let go and enjoy the fresh air. Thanks to the magnificent view, it is also a nice place for a picnic on sunny days, where you can just relax and unwind.
see schools of fish / Galway Travel Guide
Schools of salmon can be seen making their way into the River Corrib from mid-April through July. The best way to do this is from the Salmon Weir Bridge, which is near the courthouse and gives you a good view. The bridge itself is also the perfect place to take some nice photos for your holiday album.
This exciting day trip shows the Emerald Isle from a different perspective. The Corrib Princess takes you on the Corrib River to Lake Corrib. From the boat you can look at the surroundings while you glide relaxed through the water parallel to the shore.
Trip to the Atlantaquaria / Galway Tips
In this 2,000 square meter seawater center visitors immerse themselves in the Irish underwater world. Fish and other fascinating sea creatures can be admired there, which are sure to arouse the interest of children and adults alike. A special experience, however, is a simulated diving trip in a submarine, which you can experience in the Atlantaquaria.
Festivals & Events
Galway is known for its colorful and inspiring festivals. There is a suitable event for every taste. The Galway Art Festival makes the hearts of art lovers beat faster, while the Galway International Oyster Festival offers culinary delights. Everything revolves around a very special shell: the oysters. Of course there is also beer! A popular event for animal lovers is the greyhound race, which takes place mostly on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Galway Greyhound Stadium. Those who are more enthusiastic about entertaining films will find what they are looking for at Galway Film Fleadh.
Travel Info / Galway Travel Guide
Are you planning a trip to Ireland? In addition to Cork and Dublin, would you also like to get to know Galway from its most beautiful side? In order to be able to really enjoy your time in Ireland, it makes sense to prepare well for your trip. Here are our tips for holidays in Galway!
Ideal travel time
Ireland trips are particularly nice from May to September. Then it is warm and the sun shows up more often. Therefore, these months are best suited for exploring the multifaceted landscape. The rest of the year it’s cooler and rainier – but also very romantic in a rustic cottage with a hot tea.
Galway is suitable for both short trips and longer holidays. The numerous sights and diverse activities provide enough variety. Anyone who thinks they’ve seen it all: Thanks to the cordial and humorous Irish, every evening in the pub is unique and the view of the sea is always different. Ireland is always reinventing itself.
travel preparation / Galway Travel Guide
For German nationals, a holiday in Ireland is uncomplicated. Entry is possible with a passport or identity card. Temporary passports are also usually accepted. Children need a valid child passport.
getting there / Galway Tips
Holidaymakers arriving in Ireland by plane land at Ireland West Airport or Shannon Airport. Cork and Dublin are the best ports for those arriving by ferry. Otherwise, access by car is via several National Routes. In the north there is the N17, while in the south the N18 is available. Holidaymakers travel from the east via the N6. Those coming from Dublin should take the M6 Motorway. Note the tollbooths on this route.
locomotion on site
Galway is predestined to be explored on foot or by bike. There is also a regular bus service that ensures the connection between the big cities and the airports. In addition, two train lines can be used, which go to Dublin and Limerick.
language & understanding
Although Irish was the dominant language in the first half of the 20th century, English later became increasingly important. When traveling to Galway, traditional school English is a good basis for communication. Socializing with locals in the pub is a great way to pick up the Irish accent.
Food & Specialties / Galway Travel Guide
The world-famous Fish & Chips are simply part of a trip to Ireland. The quick and tasty snack has cult status. A delicious alternative are Irish pizzas or rustic dishes. In order to get to know the local farmers, brewers and chocolatiers for yourself, there are also guided culinary walks in Galway for those who are interested.
Hotels & Accommodation / Galway Tips
Galway welcomes everyone. That is why there is suitable accommodation for every budget. From the typical Irish B&B to classic or modern hotels to lovingly furnished cottages with nostalgic charm, everything is there. Many accommodation options are in or near the city center. Those who would like to walk to the sandy beach can book a room in the Salthill district. Since Galway is a popular travel destination, especially during the holiday season, accommodation should be booked in good time. Good Trip!