Visit Galway during festival season and you will be exposed to the city’s reputation as a party town. Every summer, the city comes alive with festivals that draw the very best of local and international talent. The European Capital of Culture has so much to offer, be amazed by the Galway International Arts Festival (July), Galway Film Fleadh (July), Galway Races (July), see something unique at the October Macnas Parade, join in on the European Capital of culture festivities throughout the year or find out why the Galway International Oyster Festival (September) has been called one of the greatest events in the world.
Galway City has one of the liveliest pub scenes in Ireland. Step inside the warm wooden nooks and crannies of Tigh Neachtain’s on Cross Street and you’ll happily lose hours gazing at the knick-knacks and memorabilia while sipping a glass of Galway Hooker craft beer. Other great spots in the city include Murphy’s, Garavan’s, John Keoghs and O’Connells.
The laid-back and vibrant vibes of Galway are best experienced at the weekend market. There are many colourful stalls and plenty of incredible flavours, all in the shadow of St Nicholas’ Medieval Church. As well as local cheeses and sea food, international influences come through with curries and Mediterranean favourites.
With its location right on the Atlantic Ocean, Galway has an intimate relationship with the sea. Nowhere is this more clear than at the seaside suburb of Salthill. Here, locals take to the 2km-long promenade for seaside strolls, and even a swim if you’re feeling brave! Tradition dictates that you should “kick the wall” at the end of the promenade for good luck. Finish up the evening with a pint or two in O’Connor’s bar, filled to the brim with trinkets.
Galway is home to many more adventurous walks, explore the sights of the city with Galway Walking Tours and taste the flavours with Galway Food Tours. If you want to get out and active there are plenty of adventure's waiting for you like Barna Woods, Diamond Hill, Tra Mor in Invern, An Doilin and Roscahill Woods.
Galway has to be one of the best places in Ireland to visit for a traditional music session. Galway is a city that lives and breathes music, from the talented street buskers to the endless trad sessions all over the town. Check out the best trad sessions in the City in pubs such as Taaffes, The Crane Bar and Tigh Cóilí.
6. Take a day trip to remember along the Wild Atlantic Way
Galway has some of Ireland’s most thrilling attractions right on its doorstep. From the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, the Aran Islands to the wild beauty of Connemara, Galway city has it all. Explore the one day 'Into the West' trail along the Wild Atlantic Way. Heading out from lively Galway City past Salthill, this one-day (152 KM) route first takes you to Spiddal, a village in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht area of Connemara. Then to the charming village of Roundstone, popular among Irish artists over the years. A short drive to Clifden and the beautiful wetland of Derrigimlagh blanket bog beyond. From music and art to history and nature, the Bay Coast captures much of what people love most about Ireland.
Whether a weekend, a week or an epic road trip, take the time to go explore the Wild Atlantic Way.
Galway offers a great choice for shoppers with many shopping centres packed with famous fashion outlets such as Brown Thomas, New Look, Penny’s and the Kilkenny Shop to countless small independent boutique stores where you are sure to find that perfect piece to complete your perfect look.