A Local’s Guide to Galway City

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With everyone getting vaccinated, travel is beginning to open for many countries. We’re starting back up our travel guide series.

We’re starting with a local’s guide to Galway city.

Galway is a magical city in the wild-west of Ireland encompassing both the Celtic-rustic feel of the emerald isle with all the underpinnings of a bustling city. 

The city has an untouched feel about it – there is freedom in the ocean air that blows in from the Atlantic that laps against its shores.

The 78,000 strong population is known for being friendly and don’t be surprised if you find that everyone knows everyone – because they do.

Renowned for their laid-back and leisurely lifestyle – Galway is perfect for those who wish to take a lazy vacation. You’ll not be pushed out of the way on the street by swift passersby – you’re more likely to run into a sudden crowd of people packed around a street musician (known locally as buskers.) The buskers are a must-see in Galway, they are often well-known around the city and can provide florid background noise for your travels throughout the winding streets of the city.

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Galway is small but rich in variety – considered by the locals to be a gem. You’ll not have to walk very far to get to the main attractions and the locals would only be delighted to give you directions.

There is, however, a bus service that runs out from the cities iconic center – Eyre Square – to all surrounding suburbs. The buses don’t run as frequently as they might in bigger cities so be sure to check the timetables! 

One place you should definitely not traverse solely on wheels is Salthill. With its quaint cafés, ever present view of the sea and immense aquarium, how could you say no to a walk down the famous and well-trodden ‘Promenade’? (Be sure to kick the wall at the end of it if you want to hide your tourist side.)

A slang word for Galway is “the Tribescounty”, having been mainly composed and built by 13 tribes during the medieval ages. The remnants of these tribes can still be seen to this day in lynch’s castle and various other constructions in the city. Keep a lookout for them! 

Be sure to check out the Galway museum where you will find all of Galway’s history on exhibition which will even illuminate your discovery of the City as it is now, and as it’s free entry it would be a mistake not to pop in! 

You can even pop into the city’s emblematic cathedral that can be seen from various parts of the city center. 

There’s no shortage of high-quality hostels such as ‘Snoozles’ (yes, that really is its real name,) and ‘Sleepzone’ if you wish to rest your head economically. There is also a wide range of hotels catering for your every need from the central ‘Jury’s in’ located right on the Spanish Arch and ‘The Galway Bay Hotel’ in Salthill.

Trying the nightlife in Galway is an absolute must! The ages you will see out and about are relatively varied in comparison to other European cities which means there is something for everyone. It won’t be hard to find a beautiful pub at random in Galway but I will give you some names to go off to get you started.

Photo by Ruby Doan on Unsplash

Monroe’s pub – Where you will find traditional music and delicious food.

The king’s head – Fantastic atmosphere, Live music every night – mainly playing the classics.

Tigh cóilí – sit outside this pub with a lovely pint in hand and you will be witness to some of Galway’s finest.

There are also Nightclubs such as ‘DNA’ or ‘Halo’ for those who wish to party into the wee hours of the night?

If you’re looking for something to delight your taste buds you’ll find it in Galway. Dela and Aniar are two stellar restaurants just waiting for you to try their dishes! Head to McDonagh’s for a scrumptious fish & chips while overlooking the Spanish arch.

So what are you waiting for? Galway is easily accessible by train from Dublin city, you can even fly into Galway airport! Galway certainly a gem that you’ll cherish.


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