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What are the best things to do in Galway, Ireland?

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What are the best things to do in Galway, Ireland?

Discovering what to do in Galway is easy with the Emerald Isle’s stunning landscapes, lively culture and bustling city centre. From a tour of its renowned Cliffs of Moher to an exploration of the bustling food culture and quaint streets of its historic city centre, no trip to Galway is complete without experiencing its unique character.

1. Tour The Cliffs Of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most iconic destinations for travellers in Ireland. Located about 45 minutes southwest of Galway, these dramatic headland cliffs offer stunning views of the Atlantic coastline. The observation platform at the Visitor Experience Centre at the top offers panoramic views of the cliffs and their surroundings. In the summer, many visitors choose to take a boat tour from Doolin or stay overnight in one of the area’s many small villages. In addition, the Burren National Park, nearby, offers visitors plenty of activities such as kayaking, cycling, and nature walks.

2. Explore the City Centre

Galway’s colourful city centre is a world of its own – packed with live music, art galleries, cafes, and fantastic restaurants. The narrow lanes in Galway’s Latin Quarter are home to street performers and artisans selling their wares. The city also hosts a number of popular festivals throughout the year, including Galway Arts Festival and the Galway International Oyster Festival. For those looking to soak up some culture, be sure to visit Tig Cóilí, a traditional Irish pub in the centre of town which hosts traditional music sessions regularly.

3. Sample Local Cuisine

Galway has a thriving foodie scene and is known for its fantastic seafood, especially during the summer months when fresh oysters are plentiful. For those craving something less fish-focused, the city is home to an abundance of pubs, restaurants and cafes offering something for everyone. Popular dining spots include Ard Bia at Nimmo’s for contemporary Irish cuisine, Italian restaurant Da Roberto’s for Italian classics, Milano for delicious pizza, and Lavelle’s Taphouse for rustic pub food.

4. Visit Connemara

Connemara is one of the most beautiful corners of Galway and is famous for its wild beauty and awe-inspiring landscapes. In addition to exploring its wide open wilderness and breathtaking scenery, guests may choose to visit the Connemara National Park, go horseback riding on one of its many beaches, or venture onto the Killary Fjord via boat or kayak. Sites not to miss include Ashford Castle– a 13th century castle set on 350 acres – Kylemore Abbey and Gardens – a former Benedictine monastery – and the 19th century Oughterard Railway Station.

5. Take a Day Trip to the Aran Islands

The Aran Islands are a group of three small islands located off the west coast of Ireland in Galway Bay. Famous for their unique landscapes, stunning rocky beaches, and ancient ruins, these islands offer visitors a chance to explore a forgotten corner of Ireland. Popular activities on the islands include cycling around Inishmore and touring Dun Aengus – an Iron Age fort situated on the brink of a dramatic sea cliff. Visitors may also choose to visit the islands’ many traditional pubs or take part in one of their many cultural festivals.

Galway is bursting with things to do and see from private walking tours with local experts to outdoor activities like kayaking or cycling – or if you want you can just sit back and relax in one of the many pubs or restaurants scattered throughout Galway city and country side. There is something for everyone in this part of Ireland and no matter how long your visit is you won’t be able to take it all in. So much history, wonderful musical experiences and so many friendly people make this corner of Emerald Isle truly special.
Visit Galway Tourism for more information about things to do in Galway!

An Insider’s Guide to Exploring Galway, Ireland

Galway is a city that buzzes with life and has a rich history and culture to explore. Of course, visitors may have heard of the Cliffs of Moher, the Wild Atlantic Way, and Galway Bay. But if you want to experience a side of Galway that only locals know, then try out some of these hidden gems.

Local Attractions

One of Galway’s lesser known but impressive attractions is the historic St. Nicholas’ Church. A church has stood on this site since the 13th century, and it is steeped in history with unique architecture, tombs, and stained-glass windows.

The beautiful sight of birds gliding over boats can be seen just off of the docks, known locally as Claddagh Basin. Sitting alongside the docks having local fish and chips from McDonagh’s, a traditional fish and chips shop, is a great way to experience some of Galway’s local cuisine.

A lesser-known gem is the beautiful Rose Garden at Merlin Park Hospital. It is the perfect place to relax and escape the city’s bustle, and the fragrance of the blooms will enchant your senses.

Dining Spots

For a more authentic experience, try out some of Galway’s local cuisine, such as a traditional Irish breakfast at Ard Bia at Nimmo’s. Another must-try is a pint of creamy ‘black stuff’ (Guinness) in one of Galways many cosy and authentic Irish pubs, such as Tigh Neachtain on Quay Street.

Galway is known for its seafood, with fresh fish caught daily just off the coast. One of the best places to indulge in this delicacy is Klaw, a seafood restaurant that serves lobster rolls and crab claws in a warm, friendly setting.

Cultural Experiences

Galway is home to many cultural delights, from traditional Irish music in local bars and pubs to the Theatre Festival in July; there’s something for everyone. One of the city’s highlights is Galway International Arts Festival, where world-class theatre, music, and dance take place every summer.

The historic Lynch’s Castle on Shop Street is a must-visit site in Galway. The castle has been there since the 16th century, and it now houses Bank of Ireland.

If you’re lucky enough to visit Galway during September and October, you can witness one of Ireland’s most awe-inspiring customs, the Galway International Oyster Festival. It’s one of the biggest seafood festivals in the world and attracts more than 40,000 visitors every year.

Local History

One of Galway’s interesting local histories is the Spanish Arch. The city was a vital port for trade with Spain in the 16th century, and the arch was part of a fortification built to protect the Spanish from British invasion. The arch is a perfect spot for taking in the views of the River Corrib.

The legend of the Claddagh Ring is another fascinating story to be explored in Galway. The ring is an Irish symbol of friendship, love, and loyalty, originating from a fishing village in Galway. The story behind the ring and how it became popular worldwide is one for all romantics.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

For the adventurous, a hike to the top of Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park is a must-do. The trail is well maintained, and the views are fantastic.

A different way to see Galway is by bike. Hiring a bicycle is simple, and you’ll be able to explore places not reachable by car. The Salthill Promenade is an incredibly picturesque place to go for an easy cycle.

In conclusion, Galway is a city full of history and culture, and there is no shortage of things to do. By choosing some of the lesser-known attractions and experiences, you’ll be able to see Galway from a unique perspective that goes beyond the usual tourist trail.

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What are the best things to do in Galway, Ireland?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!