Galway Travel Guide

  • Quirky looking shopfronts in Galway
    Quirky looking shopfronts in Galway
    by slothtraveller
  • Corrib estuary
    Corrib estuary
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  • Galway
    by Auburnfemirish

Galway Highlights

  • Pro
    BillNJ profile photo

    BillNJ says…

     Fun and Lively City; Very Walkable; Transportation Hub 

  • Con
    RhineRoll profile photo

    RhineRoll says…

     gets quite crowded, terrible traffic jams in the centre, impossible parking 

  • In a nutshell
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    sabsi says…

     Perfect base to explore Connemara or The Burren 

Galway Things to Do

  • Archaeology, castles and ruins

    This arch is one of the oldest buildings in Galway, dating back to 1584. Although the name suggests a connection to Spain, no real link has been ascertained. It was originally known as the 'head of the wall' or 'ceann an bhalla' in Gaelic so I can understand why the name 'Spanish Arch' became more popular.

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  • Public Buildings and City Landmarks

    Still widely known as Eyre square and used on most maps (and Google) the square was re-named in 1965 in honour of the American president, assassinated in 1963 a few months after his visit to Galway in June the same year. The Saturday we were there the pubs were full, loads of Mums pushing prams, it seems that the locals enjoy the spot and use its...

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  • The Burren

    We drove from the Cliffs of Moder up to Galway and without a doubt it was the most spectacular drive I have ever made in my life. It is just GORGEOUS. And it changes every 10km from moonscape, to pastureland and many other landscapes that I can't even describe. I only wish we had a week just to explore ever nook and craney of the Burren.

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Galway Hotels

See all 142 Hotels in Galway

Galway Restaurants

  • Fish'n'Chips, Fast Food

    My 18 yr old son and I ate at McDonagh's while in Galway as it had been recommended to us. When talking to the locals, several people had asked if we had been there yet. The line up was long and both sides of the restaurant and patio were packed solid. A testament to the good food. We were more determined to wait in line and get ours. Service was...

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  • Irish Traditional and Galway Seafood

    Very disappointing! I ordered the 'fresh' seafood platter and got a basic and not very tempting selection of salad ie., lettuce, coleslaw, pasta and mainly salmon salad. No oyster, tho the unfriendly waiter said there would be. 3/4 tiny mussels, a scoop of indescribable seafood salad (could have been crab meat), mash poatoes (what for???)...

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  • Posh Nosh and Big Menus

    Greatest Restaurant in Ireland. Chef/Owner John will dazzle you with his exotic tales of fast cars, luxury travel and hunting trips that provide the fresh game for many of the specials. One might say that he is larger than life, all the while managing the kitchen and staff to culinary excellence. Gordon Ramsay step aside, John is here to stay. His...

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Galway Nightlife

See all 59 Nightlife in Galway
  • Night Clubs

    So who can help? For a lads' trip (in their mid-20's) to Galway on April 26th for four days where would be good places to visit, hang out and drink. Places where it won't feel like we're in a German susage party (i.e. a pub or bar full of men standing around sipping their pint of Spitfire ready to pounce on the sight of any fillie that happens to...

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  • Pubs (general)

    This is a big place with six different bar areas. The Whole place was re-fitted a couple of years back and is now a multi-leveled fun palace. You get the very crowded areas and quiter corners too. The Guiness is fine and they do coffee's and food as well. What makes the place is the mix of people - all ages and styles, locals and tourists. none

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  • Pubs with Traditional Music

    Came across a brilliant session here on Thursday (18/1/2007), eleven or so musicians, great acoustics and ambience. Fast reels and jigs, but also ballads, slow airs, even some blues thrown in. Recommended listening! Apparently its on every Thursday, 9.30. See http://godel.nuigalway.ie/opentrad/

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Galway Transportation

  • Long Distance Travel

    On Internet I had seen that there were a few buses daily from Clifden to Dublin and I decided to take the 9:15 bus. The bus stop in Clifden is on Market Street, not even a minute away from Clifden Town Hostel where I stayed. The bus arrived in time and I left my luggage in the compartment below (large bags must be put there). On the bus I paid...

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  • Getting in from Shannon airport

    The cheapest flights are often into Shannon Airport. By bus (Bus Eiraan), there is a bus about every hour which takes just over two hours. You normally have to change at Ennis. The Bus that currently leaves at midday is however a direct service. (service 51).

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  • From Clifden to Galway and on to Dublin

    On Internet I had seen that there were a few buses daily from Clifden to Dublin and I decided to take the 9:15 bus. The bus stop in Clifden is on Market Street, not even a minute away from Clifden Town Hostel where I stayed. The bus arrived in time and I left my luggage in the compartment below (large bags must be put there). On the bus I paid for...

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Galway Shopping

See all 16 Shopping in Galway
  • Buy some crystal

    Galway Crystal makes some nice nice products and since my wife's family lives about 15 minutes away from the factory we have a nice collection. The factory store is in Merlin Park in Galway and the buliding has free parking, and features a modest showroom, a museum, and a cafe upstairs. What else... crystal! They also sell china products. They...

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  • The Claddagh Ring

    A good selection of Claddagh Rings The Claddagh Ring is a typical souvenir from Galway. It comes in a gold or silver band made of two hands clasping a crowned heart and symbolizes friendship, fidelity, and love. The ring is often used as a wedding ring in Galway.

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  • Premier Shopping District in Galway City

    In the Galway city centre, there is a large pedestrian zone where motor vehicle traffic is restricted. This pedestrian zone includes William Street, Shop Street, High Street, Mainguard Street and Quay Street. There are a wide variety of stores, restaurants, and pubs in this area -- and the atmosphere is also great for people-watching.

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Galway Local Customs

  • Smoking.

    Basically, you can't smoke in any 'workplace'. So that includes pubs, cafes and restaurants. Some pubs have set up smoking areas outside, and you can smoke at cafe tables on the pavement. I liked the 'smoking station' at Galway airport (see photo).

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  • Smirting & The Smoking Ban

    Smirting is a combination of the words smoking + flirting, geddit? It started when people had to go out for a ciggie after the ban was enforced, and got chatting to fellow smokers outside on the street, eyes meeting across a cloud of blue nicotine... ;) So you may just meet a local hottie in this way!!REMEMBER - Since March 2004, you CANNOT smoke...

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  • Make a bet

    Bookmaking is legal in Ireland and we found bookmaking places everywhere. You can bet of football, hurling, GAA games, and horses, dogs.

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Galway Warnings and Dangers

  • Be Careful Not to Fall Over the Cliffs...

    The Cliffs of Moher are massive -- and, in the event of a fall, death is almost certain. Indeed, there are a number of deaths each year after a visitor falls off the edge of one of the cliffs. To protect the safety of tourists, walls have been erected a few feet from the edge in the busiest areas. Also, there are warning signs indicating the fate...

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  • Be Careful Not to Fall Into the River...

    The River Corrib is a very fast-flowing river, and drowning deaths occasionally occur. Along the paths near the river, there are life preservers in case of an emergency. Visitors to Galway should be extra careful when walking near the river -- especially after a night of drinking in one of the pubs.

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  • No free parking in Galway !

    I thought I had found the perfect parking spot in Galway. There's this little tri-angle at Wood's Quay where there are about 50 parking spaces ,essentialy, in between three streets. All around are signs with large "P"s surounded by circles. My American Mid-Western oriented mind read "P = Park Here". Trouble is, in Ireland, or at least in Galway, P...

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Galway Tourist Traps

  • (not so)Ancient Statue of Connemara...

    Wandering along backroads and looking for obscure historical markers is my idea of a great time, so I must confess, I actualy enjoyed this spot . Hope you do too. The "trap" is a large stone statue, across the road from "Joyce's Craft Shoppe" on The Connemara Penninsula. Hey, just look at the pictures..... Might as well try to enjoy it. The statue...

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  • The Irish seem to be very...

    The Irish seem to be very proud of their Aquarium in Galway city. Don't bother, I've seen much better.

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  • The biggest mistake that we...

    The biggest mistake that we made, was to arrive without booking accomodation. Hoardes of tourists landed up, every possible hotel/ hostel, B&B was packed. After checking out every possibility, and just when it seemed that we would spend the night on the street... we got to share a little room with 4 others!So, make your bookings in advance as far...

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Galway What to Pack

  • Galway Tourist Guide

    Pick up this fee copy of the Galway Tourist Guide at the tourist office on Forster Street. It is very small and easy to carry, and has a wealth of information about all different things that will help you for your stay in and around Galway City.

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  • Packing List

    Luggage will depend upon whether you are hiking or driving. As we were driving we took suitcases but those on coach or hiking tours will need a decent backpack. The weather is very changeable and you will need to take some light clothing and some warmer clothing such as a fleece. Good strong walking shoe is necessary. A waterproof is also a good...

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  • Packing List

    Don't forget to bring a camera while visiting Galway. Couldn't resist taking a photo of this beautiful swan which was swimming around in the harbour area near The Old Quays Spanish Arch.

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Galway Off The Beaten Path

  • In the City

    A rather strange thing has happened near the Spanish arch in Galway. A very smart and well made plaque has appeared on a wall proclaiming the founding of the GDR - the Galway Democratic Republic. I strongly suspect that it is an art school stunt of some kind. The GDR seems to be absent from the internet or anywhere else. The 'prank' status is...

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  • Inland

    The beautiful village of Leenane, snugly situated at the head of Killary Harbour, is often aptly described as the 'Gateway to Connemara'. The roads from Maam, Clifden, and Westport meet at this point. Killary Harbour extends ten miles inland and with the mountains rising steeply on either side provides what is probably the best scenery in Ireland....

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  • On the Coast

    Cleggan is a small fishing village nestling at the head of Cleggan Bay, on Connemara's Atlantic Coast. This village is the departure point for ferry services to the islands of Inishbofin and Inishturk.

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Galway Sports & Outdoors

  • Galway United Football Club [ S O C C...

    Go see Galway United at their home ground TERRYLAND PARK on every second Friday night at 7.30pm. The supporters are great fun. The pitch is one of the best soccer pitches in Europe...seeing is believing. You can also visit the stadium most days between 9.30am and 4.30pm. Hot food and Galway United merchandise are on sale on match days. The Irish...

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  • Lose your shirt on this one !

    The Galway races are one of the major events of the horseracing calendar.They usually take place the last week in July(in 2004 they will finish on Sunday 1st August)They are unusual in that they last for a full seven days, with some evening, and some full-day events.The course itself is quite hilly, but compact with a ruined castle in the middle...

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  • Galway Hotels

    142 Hotels in Galway

    1429 Reviews and Opinions

Galway Favorites

See all 32 Favorites in Galway
  • City walks and Towns worth visiting

    I recently spent a week-end in Galway with my partner. We took the train from Dublin to Galway. We stayed at Lynfield Guesthouse in College Road. It was just a two to three minute walk from the train station. The B&B was wonderful, warm and well furnished. The breakfast was top quality with a choice of full Irish of continental. There were about...

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  • Music, Dancing, Ceol agus Craic

    I walked down Shop Street which as usual was full of buskers. There was one that made me smile: He was standing on a litter box singing "My lovely horse" (Famous from the Father Ted Eurovision episode). Everybody who passed by him sang along and had a smile on their face - including me!

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  • Island hopping, Irish style

    These three islands lie across the mouth of Galway Bay, about 30 miles out to sea. The Aran Islands consist of Inishmaan, Inisheer and the largest, Inishmore, which is about 8 miles long and 2 miles wide. These are Irish-speaking islands, and old traditions and folklore still persist here. Improved education, transport and communication have...

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Explore Deeper into Galway
Beaches and shorelines
Things to Do
Religious buildings
Things to Do
Music, dancing and beer
Things to Do
Hills and Mountains, Islands and Rivers
Things to Do
Pubs with Music other than Trad
Nightlife
Festivals
Things to Do
Amusement and leisure
Things to Do
Hot and Spicy
Restaurants
Pizza and Pasta
Restaurants
Leisure activities
Favorites
Mountains, Woods and Bogs
Favorites
Rivers and Fishing
Favorites
Pubs and Inns
Favorites
Cliffs of Moher and Burren Tour
Off The Beaten Path
Galway Cathedral
Things to Do
Collegiate Church of St Nicholas of Myra
Things to Do
Galway to Letterfrack in Connemara
Transportation
From Dublin Airport to Galway
Transportation
Follow your nose around Galway.
Things to Do
Take in the market.
Things to Do
Walk the riverside, Galway.
Things to Do
Eyre square - John F Kennedy square, Galway.
Things to Do
Great Fish & Chips - no heavy greasy taste.
Restaurants
Drive along the Coast
Things to Do
Dublin airport to Galway
Transportation
Best pizza in Galway
Restaurants
French Fare
Restaurants
Below the Great Southern Galway Hotel
Restaurants
Live Music in a Castle
Nightlife
fun & friendly open session
Nightlife
Big pub - big fun
Nightlife
Great live music at An Pucan pub
Things to Do
Visit a pub
Things to Do
Straight out of the sea
Restaurants
The Spanish Arch
Things to Do
The River Corrib
Things to Do
Sit with the Wildes- Wilde/Vilde sculpture
Things to Do
Great food in a cosy local
Restaurants
Visit Connemara with Healy
Things to Do
Visit the Burren and Cliffs of Moher with Healy
Things to Do
Map of Galway

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