10 Best Things To Do In Galway
Are you thinking of spending your time in Ireland in the upcoming holiday season? If so, then you just landed on the right post. Ireland has many impressive attractions that would leave you enchanted. Galway is one of the Republic’s most captivating destination full of amazing attractions to see. Adorably referred to as the “City of Tribes,” it is the cradle of Irish music, where you’ll wake up to jaunty musical hymns from street buskers and club dancers.
You may be asking yourself where to begin your memorable tour in Galway, Ireland. Relax! This post has been precisely written to assist guide you on things you can do while here. It is essential to have some background information about this location and its attractions before hiring a reliable Galway Tour Company. Thus, here are the ten best things you can expect to do while visiting Galway.
- 1 Visit the Latin Quarter
- 2 Visit the Eyre Square Park
- 3 Saunter on Quay Street
- 4 The Salthill Promenade
- 5 The Galway Cathedral
- 6 Trek Down the Wild Atlantic Way
- 7 Visit the St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church
- 8 Attend the Galway International Oyster Festival
- 9 Visit the Galway City Museum
- 10 Visit the Spanish Arch
Visit the Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter is a hook-shaped district found at the heart of Galway with streets made of cobblestone. While here, you'll come across a host of friendly pubs, restaurants, gallery shops, and bars. If you are an art fanatic, Latin Quarter will offer you classical Irish arts and impeccable crafts. The Galway Woolen Market has an abundance of pure woolen knitwear you can purchase cheaply. Enjoy the folk music performed by street buskers as you window shop or bar-hop.
The Latin Quarter also features the Kirwan’s lane that has some of the most remarkable medieval heritage. For many years, this lane had been standing in ruins but has been renovated and restored to its 18th-century grandeur. It is said that Richard Martin constructed a 100-seat theater in the 18th century as a gift to his wife. Many novel performances were acted in this theater, and Rebel Patriot was among the first to tread the boards. It is worth to mention the presence of a couple of nunneries along the lane too. Other notable gift shops along Kirwan’s Lane include Tempo Antiques, Judy Greenes Pottery, and Cloon Keen Ateliers, etc.
Visit the Eyre Square Park
The Eyre Square is Galway’s primary public space located a stone-throw away from the Latin Quarter which initially served as the city’s marketplace. However, a complete overhaul saw it renovated and completed in 2006 to the modern plaza it stands today. You’ll be able to see the impressive Quincentennial Fountain that represents Galway’s ancient sailboats. Additionally, there is a majestic bronze statue of Ireland’s native writer, Pádraic Ó Conaire.
Eyre Square dwells in the heart of Galway City, whose history dates back to the 17th century. In honor of the late American president, it was officially renamed as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park after his visit to the city in 1963. However, visitors and locals have maintained referring to the park as Eyre Square.
Saunter on Quay Street
Quay Street slopes down towards the river next to Latin Quarter and has friendly arteries bearing colorful storefronts, restaurants, bars, and trendy shops. Whether it rains or shines, this street is always abuzz with harmonious tunes. Local bars and clubs offer live bands, dance, and cheap drinks. Furthermore, you'll find stores such as Nice and Twice located between the bars and eateries. Here, you'll find traditional and vintage goods you can buy and take home.
The Salthill Promenade
Take a trip southwest of the city center to discover the Salthill Promenade that spans 2km long, with a stunning perspective from the northern bayside. Experience staggering outline of The Burren down in County Clare and the Peaks of Connemara up in the northwest. The terrain behind this incredible promenade was specially reserved for farming until the 19th century when the Great Famine struck.
Consequently, it was converted into a tourist attraction in 1860 after reopening of the Eglinton Hotel that currently operates. Alternatively, you can pass by Ireland’s National Aquarium, go for yachting, or drop by Galway Atlantaquaria to discover more. You can enjoy great meals and seafood in the promenade’s cafes and restaurants.
The Galway Cathedral
This limestone building can be easily confused to be several centuries old due to its frayed appearance. However, its official construction began in 1958 and was completed seven years down the line. The cathedral's architecture is clattered with Romanesque designs. The windows were designed by Patrick Pollen, a famous British glass artist. Pollen created the mosaic portraying crucifixion of St. Joseph the Worker. Additionally, the sculpture of The Virgin Mary was designed by a German-Irish sculptor called Imogen Stuart.
Trek Down the Wild Atlantic Way
Galway is strategically positioned on a busy tourist trail attached to Ireland’s west coast 2500km from the nation’s northernmost point, the Malin Head. The Wild Atlantic Way also stretches as far as Kinsale Harbor in the southernmost part. In other words, Galway is in the midst and provides breathtaking trips to the south as well as the north.
Additionally, you can choose to visit The Burren located in County Clare to experience the unworldly glaciated karst landscapes. This place is filled with photogenic rocks forms and underground drainages. Journeying up the coastal strip leads you to the beautiful Connemara National Park featuring more than fifty peaks on four mountains. You can also choose to have fun on Ireland’s best hiking site, Diamond Hill in Letterfrack village. Before you can enjoy the rewarding oceanic views on the hill’s summit, you must hike past the 5-century old tomb.
Visit the St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church
This church dates back to 1320s, and it is the most prominent prehistoric parish church that hosts regular services to date. It was built using Galway’s traditional grey limestone in dedication to St. Nicholas of Myra, who was seafarer’s patron saint. This church also witnessed the writing of the most extensive Irish genealogical mythology (Leabhar na nGnealach) in the 17th century. It was built using the 14th and 15th-century architecture during the church expansion. Inside the church, there are pieces of evidence from the 17th century explaining iconoclasm by Puritan Oliver Cromwell’s mercenaries.
Attend the Galway International Oyster Festival
This four-day festival is held annually on the last weekend of September at the heart of Galway city. It broke the record as the world’s longest oyster festival and the leading globally recognized Irish festival. The 2019 festival is set to be held at the Nimmos Pier Marquee from 27th to 29th September. This festival is like no other where you’ll be treated to a variety of tantalizing seafood, oyster opening tournaments, food talks and tastings, and much more. Additionally, you’ll participate in a variety of historic food tours, sample local delicacies at the Festival Marquee, and attend a Mardi Gras Gala Event in the city’s streets.
For the three days, you’ll enjoy various events such as the World Oyster Opening Championship, the festival’s Pearl beauty contest, Guinness & Oyster reception, Champaign Party, and thrilling performances from top-notch artists. Later in the afternoons, you’ll be treated to a Marque Reception as you await the Gala Ball grand finale. This festival has been in existence since 1954 and has attracted more than 500,000 visitors. Furthermore, more than three million oysters have been consumed and washed down with beer and champagne. You certainly won’t get enough of this, and you’ll wish the festival continues for a few more days.
Visit the Galway City Museum
A new building was opened in 2007 by the Galway City Museum, and it is adjacent to the Corrib River. The multi-faceted site is open to all visitors and features Galway's history and archeology. It also features the "Great Mace" which was Galway's traditional sailboat designed in Dublin in the early 18th century. Fragments collected in the 16th and 17th century are also featured in the 'Medieval Stone Category’ including items like plaques, chimney fragments, corbels, and 16th-century fireplaces. Furthermore, there is an ancient photography gallery highlighting events from the 1950s. There are also artifacts from the 19th and 20th century collected from Galway pubs such as bottles, tins, and pipes.
Visit the Spanish Arch
Before we forget it, it worth to mention the remarkable Spanish Arch that was built in 1584. It was constructed originally to offer additional defense to the city walls. Also, it prevented potential looting of the quays. Initially, it was referred to as "the Blind Arch" by the locals until the arrival of Spanish traders who frequently used it, thus earning its current name. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake had a catastrophic impact on the arch which led to its partial damage. However, it remained intact to date and has turned out to be an iconic historical attraction in Galway. You’ll be amazed by the spectacular “Madonna of Quays” wooden sculptor created by Claire Sheridan, a celebrated local artist. The Spanish Arch plays host to the Galway City Museum.
These are the ten best places to visit and things to do when planning your trip to Galway. This destination has countless and exciting attractions than you can ever imagine. If you love day trips, use this guide to explore some of the most thrilling tourist attraction sites in Galway.
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