Galway is the liveliest and most populated city on Ireland’s west coast. Galway is both the county and city name, the administrative capital of the county of Galway and the main religious centre of Connach.
Galway, situated on the Atlantic, has a marvellous setting. It lies on the banks of the River Corrib and is in part medieval and in part 15th century. The city streets are narrow and lined with old stone façade shops. Galways pubs are swarming with adventurers, musicians, artists and intellectuals, thanks above all to University College Galway, one of the main centres for the promotion of the Gaelic language. The city centre is compact and spreads along both banks of the river Corrib. The zone to the east of the river, contains Galway’s main shopping area. Eyre Square, the heart of the city, has maintained its medieval appeal and today houses numerous cafés and quality shops.
Eyre Square is the site of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Park, built in honour of the President’s visit in 1963, when he was made an honorary citizen of Galway.The Collegiate Church of St Myra is located in Market Street. The church ,with its unusual pyramidal spire, dates back to 1320 and is the largest parish church in Ireland. The church houses some particularly interesting tombs. The colourful open-air Fowl and Butter Market, takes place every Saturday morning in the square in front of the church.
There are many fine stone buildings in Galway including Lynch’s Castle in Market Street, a part of which dates back to the 14th century and the Spanish Arch, all that remains of the ancient city wall.
Galway’s artistic and theatrical culture is very evident, there are traditional pubs with live music to suit all tastes, fine restaurants and a rich calendar of festivals and events: The Arts Festival in July, the A.T Cross Literature Festival in April, the Galway Races in July and the Galway Oyster Festival in September. Galway offers many possibilities for sports enthusiasts: golf, fishing, horse-riding, tennis and badminton.
Hotels and lodging
Dun Aoibhin House is a period restored Guesthouse 5 minutes walk from Galway City Centre. Recommended by Lonely Planet Ireland Edition 2008
Hidden Ireland, a unique collection of historic private houses which offer stylish accommodation and great Irish hospitality www.hidden ireland.com
Desota House is a modern high spec Bed and Breakfast located a 5-minute walk from the City Centre, NUIG and the University Hospital.
Asgard Guesthouse A family run Galway Bed and Breakfast with free wifi and 3 minutes walk to Eyre Square in the heart of Galway city centre.
- University College is situated in University Road. The building in Tudor style, dates back to 1849 and is set in pretty, carefully maintained gardens. The university houses a Unesco section, set up to study the Celtic culture and language. Courses in Gaelic are regularly held every summer.
- Galway City Museum, the regional museum, is in Spanish Arch and houses displays about the history of the city. The museum, open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm, has a terrace from where the visitor can admire the port of Galway.
Galway - Walks and tours
- Galway introduces the visitor to the west of Ireland and to the large expanse of land known as Connemara. The County of Galway stretches from Ballinasole in the central counties, crosses Connemara and arrives at the craggy Atlantic coast of Clifden. This splendid landscape includes sheer coastal cliffs, the mountainous region of the Twelve Pins to the east, beaches, waterfalls, peat bogs and nature in its purest state.
- Galway Tours provide guided walking tours of Galway City daily.
- Clifden is the departure point for a bicycle tour across this varied land. The cyclist passes through barren and arid peat bogs dotted with lakes, among fields ringed with stone –walls, where the people, proud of their roots, still speak their ancient Gaelic language. A boat service connects Galway to Inishmore and the Isles of Aran, situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Galway.
- Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer, are among the most evocative and wild regions in Europe. A two-hour bicycle tour of Inishmore, the largest of the three islands, allows the visitor the possibility of seeing Dun Aengus. This prehistoric fort, perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest prehistoric stone fort in Ireland. The fort, surrounded by three enormous dry stone walls, is situated about 900 metres from the information centre and is reached by means of an uphill path
Maps and transportation
Getting to Galway
Galway is a city of relatively small dimensions and is very easy to visit on foot. The bus service, operated by Bus Eireann, is very efficient and serves both the city centre and the out-lying residential areas. Bus stops are located throughout the city. The main bus and train stations are situated in the same building, located in Eyre Square. The main taxi ranks are located in front of this building.
Practical information and resources
Currency : Euro
Electric supply: the standard electricity supply is 220 volts A.C. An adaptor may be necessary.
Climate: the temperature rarely drops below freezing in winter and rarely exceeds 25 °C in summer. Rainfalls are frequent. May and June are the sunniest months.
Language : English, Gaelic
Opening hours : Shops are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30/6pm. The post offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30pm. The banks are open from 10am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30pm to 3pm.
Galway City Pub Guide  is a good resource for those trying to get a feel for what the pub scene in Galway is like
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