Free-spirited and fun-loving, Galway is sometimes called "the culture capital" or "the most Irish city" of Ireland
. Located on the famously scenic west coast, Galway has historic relics like Dunguaire Castle, colourful pubs where students go to party, as well as rugged and rocky islands just a ferry ride away. Get a crash course in Irish history (and geography) when you book one of our Galway hotels from our great range.
Galway started as a small fishing village and grew into a walled city in 1232 when Richard De Burgo and the Normans captured it from the O’Flaherty’s. In 1320, St. Nicholas’s Church was built, and today it remains Ireland’s biggest medieval parish. In 1845, Queen’s University of Ireland was the first university to open in Galway, eventually replaced by the National University of Ireland.
Things to do
A visit to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a historic attraction. Dunguaire Castle is a 16th century tower house sitting on Galway Bay’s rocky shores. It’s open to explore during the day, or you can catch a medieval-themed show there at night. Check out a local church or cathedral like St. Nicholas’s or Galway Cathedral, and explore the city’s history at Galway City Museum. While you’re at the museum, take a snap of the Spanish Arch next to it. Constructed in 1584 as part of the city wall, this arch was built to protect the city.
While you’re here, visit the Aran Islands, just a 45-minute ferry ride away from Galway city. These three spectacular islands have sweeping green landscapes dotted with forts and crisscrossed with stone walls. The steep cliffs above the North Atlantic Ocean make this an incredible place for a coastal walk.
Shopping and dining
You’ll have no trouble finding Galway’s main shopping street, because it’s actually called Shop Street! This funky thoroughfare is one of the more scenic spots to shop, with cobbled streets, brightly painted shops and pubs, street performers and buskers, and everything from books to expensive jewellery for sale. Middle Street is parallel to Shop Street (which is handy!) and has small businesses, designers and An Taibhdhearc, Ireland’s national Irish-language theatre. You can find more shopping at Eyre Square Centre, Galway Shopping Centre or the stalls of Galway Market.
Spend your evenings chowing down at a fine restaurant, traditional Irish and seafood, and then hit a traditional music pub or even a centuries-old bar like The King’s Head.
Shannon International Airport is the closest airport to Galway, so book your flight to Shannon
with us and Galway is only one more hour away. If you don’t feel like driving, you can get a bus to Galway from the airport. So pack your camera and get ready to throw back a pint when you take your pick from our Galway accommodation!
Image credit Boomur
under Creative Commons