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Galway is a vibrant Irish city in the western region of the Emerald Isle. Among the oldest towns in Ireland, Galway surprises visitors with historic landmarks, fantastic pubs, a beautiful bay, and plenty of day-trip options. Galway is the perfect destination for a well-rounded vacation with history, entertainment, and outdoor activities.

Ancient-looking churches, stunning castles that seem to belong to a fantasyland, and the roaring Atlantic Ocean are among the reasons why if you haven’t planned a trip to Galway yet, you should start ASAP. 

This article is your source for the best things to do in Galway. If you are planning an Irish getaway, you will want to include the City of the Tribes, and you will get all you need to know here.

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TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO IRELAND

  • Where to stay – We used Booking.com for all of our stays and is great for finding those charming B&Bs. Alternatively, you can always see if hotel corporate codes might work for you.
  • Car rentals – While Galway isn’t huge and you won’t necessarily need a car to get around, if you decide to check out other parts of Ireland you’ll want to rent one. Save the most money through car rental coupon codes and always start your search with Discover Cars and RentalCars so you know what the best deals are.
  • Flights – International flights are never cheap, but with the Skyscanner “Everywhere” feature you can find the best deals. Check how much it would be for you to get to Ireland!
  • Insurance – Not always required but always recommended! Make sure you’re covered with the best travel insurance.
  • Hottest deals – Never be without our frequently updated travel deals page.

Things To Do In Galway

galway cathedral beyond lake and bridgegalway cathedral beyond lake and bridge
Image via Flickr by William Murphy

From activities in the city center to great outdoor ones, here is a breakdown of the various attractions you can do in Galway, Ireland.

#1 Dunguaire Castle

distant view of dunguaire castledistant view of dunguaire castle
Image via Flickr by Giuseppe Milo

The first activity on this list of things to do in Galway is not in the city itself. However, it’s a magical place that is one of our favorites. 

Just a short 30-minute drive from Galway, you will find the spectacular Dunguaire Castle. Located on the southeastern shores of Galway Bay, visiting this castle will make you travel back to the 16th century when it was erected. Property of the O’Hynes clan, Dunguaire Castle, was recently restored to its former beauty.

Upon arrival, you will immediately understand why Dunguaire Castle has been a beloved getaway for some of Ireland’s most famous poets and writers. The grey-brick building towers on a green hillock landscape surrounded by a creek. The sense of peace and the rise of inspiration you will feel in this place are hard to find elsewhere.   

Dunguaire Castle is the ideal destination for photographers and history buffs, who should plan a road trip here from April to September. Not only are these the months with the milder temperatures, but the castle also offers an incredible experience – a medieval banquet. Feel like a lord or lady for a night, having a four-course meal while enjoying traditional medieval songs and dances.

Moreover, if you’re driving further down the Wild Atlantic Way to the Cliffs of Moher, the Dunguaire Castle is a great place to stop along the way.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

If you want to do it all, but can’t bother renting a car and driving yourself, join this day trip to the Cliffs of Moher with a stop at the iconic Dunguaire Castle, among others.  

Address: Meet up outside the HYDE Hotel, 10 Forster St, Galway, H91 TCP0, Ireland

Hours: The bus tour starts at 9:30 a.m.

Price: Starting from $55.50 USD

Other info: 

  • You need to be at the meet-up point fifteen minutes before the start of the tour
  • Entrance ticket to Aillwee Cave is not included

#2 Quay Street and Latin Quarter

busy nightlife on quay street in galwaybusy nightlife on quay street in galway
Image via Flickr by baranclesdublingalway

The area around Galways is outstanding, but the city itself has interesting places to see. Among the best things to do in Galway is to stroll around Quay Street and the Latin Quarter. 

Walking Quay Street is the quintessential Galway experience. Bustling with lively restaurants and bars perfect for a quick pint, this street is animated by the talent of many street artists who will delight your ears with traditional Irish music while you pass by. If you are lucky, you might catch a street performer singing Ed Sheran’s famous ‘Galway Girl’.

Quay Street is right in the heart of the Latin Quarter of the city, which stretches from the city center to The Spanish Arch on the left bank of the river Corrib. In the Latin Quarter, you will find many of Galway’s most historic landmarks, starting with the Old City Walls to the oldest seafood restaurant in town

Of particular historical interest are the already-mentioned Spanish Arch. The Spanish Arch was erected in 1584 as a protective addition to the town’s defensive wall. Looking at it, you will see that the arch is damaged – it’s because a tsunami hit the town in 1755! 

More things to see in the Latin Quarter are the City Museum and the Galway Market, which has been open for centuries and is a great venue to shop for local produce and taste hot street food.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

To make the most out of your time in Galway, this walking tour is a fantastic option. You will discover the rich story and cultural heritage of one of Ireland’s oldest cities.

Address: Meet up at the Hardiman Hotel, in Eyre Square, Galway, H91 NFD2, Ireland

Hours: The tour starts at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Price: Starting from $66.60 USD

Other info: 

  • The tour offers discounted tickets to visit the St. Nicholas Collegiate Church
  • This tour is led by a professional guide

#3 Salthill Promenade

When thinking about Ireland, the first image coming to your mind won’t be a sunny seaside promenade. However, you just need to wander just outside Galway Center to find yourself in Salthill. 

Starting from the edge of Galway City, this three-kilometer promenade runs along Salthill and is the ideal spot for a relaxing walk while admiring Galway Bay. Affectionately called The Prom by the locals, the Salthill Promenade is also perfect for those who love to do some sporty activities, like running or cycling. 

The Prom is right along Salthill Beach, which, in the summer months, is frequented by locals and tourists alike enjoying their time sunbathing and swimming. If you are feeling energetic, walk to the Blackrock Diving Tower, where you can jump into the oceanic waters! The tower has three diving boards at different heights, and it was erected in 1942 to replace a former unsafe structure after the near-death of a diver.

Salthill Promenade is also lined with historic bars, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and little trinket shops, so you can spend a whole day (and night) here. Stop off for a pint of Guinness and watch the world go by.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Visit The Prom in good company, you can take this fun e-bike tour from Galway Center.  

Address: Meet up at WeWheel Galway, at Unit 13, The Cornstore, Galway City

Hours: The tour starts at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

Price: Starting from $70.69 USD

Tips: 

  • This tour lasts approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • This tour allows a maximum of 10 people for a more intimate experience
  • This tour is not suitable for people with heart problems, pregnant women, people under 4 ft 8 in (145 cm) and over 275 lbs (125 kg)

#4 Galway City Museum

outside view of galway city museum entranceoutside view of galway city museum entrance
Image via Flickr by connollylouise

If you like a good museum, then you can’t miss the Galway City Museum. A stone’s throw from the historic Spanish Arch, this museum is the ideal venue to dive into the past of Galway. 

Opened in 1976, the Galway City Museum is a folk museum where you will have a closer look at many Irish traditions. The museum displays more than 1,000 objects in its permanent collection alongside temporary exhibitions spread over three floors. 

The permanent collection includes objects from pre-historic and Medieval Galway, World War One, the Easter Rising, the War of Independence, and 19th Century Galway. Among our favorite objects are the oldest Claddagh Ring in existence, the Galway Civic Sword, and the Great Mace – make sure not to miss them!

After you visit the Galway City Museum, you will surely have a well-rounded idea of Galway’s archaeology, history, and sea science.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

To deepen your knowledge of the city even more, consider this unique walking tour to explore the darker side of Galway and delve into its gruesome history.

Address: Meet up at Lally Tours, at Eyre Square Galway, Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland

Hours: The tour starts at 6:30 p.m.

Price: Starting from $16.65 USD

Other info: 

  • This activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • The tour lasts approx 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • The tour ends at the Spanish Arch

#5 Kylemore Abbey

distant view of kylemore abbey on other side of lakedistant view of kylemore abbey on other side of lake
Image via Flickr by Bernd Thaller

Surrounded by the wonderful Connemara Mountains, Kylemore Abbey is one of the highlights of every Ireland road trip. This Benedictine monastery is technically not located in Galway but is a total must-see. 

Nestled on the shores of Pollacappul Lake, we love visiting Kylemore Abbey for its beauty and history. Hauntingly sad, the abbey was originally a castle. Built in 1868 by Mitchell Henry for his wife Margaret, who had fallen in love with Connemara on their honeymoon but never lived to see the castle’s completion. After World War 1, the castle was turned into an abbey when Benedictine Nuns from Belgium were forced to leave and chose the castle as their home.

There is more to discover about Kylemore Abbey. Its grounds have been the source of many legends, like the Legend of White Horse and the Ironing Stone.

The property gardens and buildings surprise every visitor. For instance, the Victorian Walled Garden is an oasis of greenery, one of Ireland’s last walled gardens. Another surprise of Kylemore Abbey is the Neo-Gothic Church located at its far east. Built to commemorate the death of Margaret Kylemore by her husband, this church doesn’t present typical Gothic features but has decorations in the form of flowers, angels, and birds. Today, the church is a venue for special masses and music recitals.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Embark on this guided tour of Kylemore Abbey and its elegant gardens while enjoying the unspoiled natural beauty of Connemara along the way.

Address: Meet up outside the HYDE Hotel, 10 Forster St, Galway, H91 TCP0, Ireland

Hours: The tour starts at 10 a.m.

Price: Starting from $54.75 USD

Other info: 

  • You need to be at the meeting point fifteen minutes before the start of the tour
  • Entrance fees to Kylemore Abbey & Gardens are included
  • Transportation is operated by air-conditioned bus

#6 Pub Crawl

local pub in galway the kings headlocal pub in galway the kings head
Image via Flickr by Cory Leopold

Whether you decide to pub-it on your own or join a group, you will not be disappointed by Galway’s pub scene. Pubs are among the most fun places to go in Galway, and pub crawling is a must-do while in Ireland. 

Apparently, pub crawl is a historical practice that has been popular since the late 19th century. Never heard of pub crawling before? Well, it consists of moving from one pub to another on foot and stopping to drink beer (or other alcoholic beverages if you are not fond of beer). Pub crawl also has an unwritten rule: the pubs visited must be multiples of three, and for each, you need to have at least one drink.  

Galway is the perfect place for this quintessential Irish experience. It has countless superb pubs, mainly located on Quay Street and around the Latin Quarter. Some of our favorite pubs are Tigh Neachtain, O’Connell’s, and An Púcán.  

Spending an evening in the good company of your travel companions or other travelers who, like you, want to have fun drinking moments is genuinely unmissable in Galway!

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

For an extra great time in Galway, there is this food tour where, besides delicious culinary treats, you will also try artisan beers. 

Address: Meet up at McCambridge’s Of Galway Ltd, at 38-39 Shop St, Galway, H91 T2N7, Ireland

Hours: This tour starts at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 3:30 p.m.

Price: Starting from $111 USD

Other info: 

  • A food tasting for lunch is included in the tour’s price
  • Souvenir photos are available for purchase
  • Service animals allowed

#7 Galway Cathedral

Standing out on the city’s skyline with its striking green-domed roof, visiting Galway Cathedral is among the best things to do in Galway. This imposing church is a popular tourist attraction and for many good reasons.   

Don’t be fooled by its ancient look – Galway Cathedral is not that old. In fact, it only dates back to the mid-1960s, making it the youngest stone cathedral in Europe. The architecture features intricate stonework displaying a mix of styles, mainly Renaissance, Romanesque, and Gothic. 

Galway Cathedral sits in the center of Nuns Island, on the west bank of the River Corrib, and it is as impressive from the inside. The stunning stonework continues in the interior, with majestic arches sweeping up to the high ceiling and stained glass windows shading lights across the entire venue. 

As you walk around, you will come across impressive artwork, including carvings, statues, and mosaics dotting the walls and floors. Galway Cathedral also features a beautiful pipe organ and outstanding acoustics, so we suggest catching a Sunday mass or one of the concerts in the cathedral during summer.

#8 Connemara National Park

If charming woodlands, slow-running rivers, and dramatic mountainous backdrops are your thing, then you need to take a trip to Connemara National Park. 

Historically, most of the 3,000 hectares of the Connemara National Park were used for grazing cattle and sheep and growing vegetables in the lower, more fertile lands. In the park, there are also remains of past human presence, including megalithic tombs that are around 4,000 years old

You might wonder what there is to do in the Connemara National Park – well, plenty of things! The Connemara National Park is a true paradise for outdoor lovers, from relaxed activities like birdwatching to more athletic hikes.

Among the many hikes you can do, the very best is the one that takes you to the magnificent Diamond Hill. You can choose two different trails: one (the lower), which is easier and shorter, and the other (the upper), which is more challenging. Whichever you decide to hike, once you reach the top, you will be treated to beautiful views of the islands of Inishturk, Inishbofin, and Inishshark, and several mountains, including the Twelve Bens and Kylemore Lough.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Leave Galway City Center and get ready to explore this magical corner of Ireland with this full-day tour at the Connemara National Park. 

Address: Meet up outside the HYDE Hotel, 10 Forster St, Galway, H91 TCP0, Ireland

Hours: The tour starts at 10 a.m.

Price: Starting from $44.40 USD

Other info: 

  • You need to be at the meeting point fifteen minutes before the tour starts
  • The tour lasts approx 7 hours and 30 minutes
  • The tour is operated by an air-conditioned vehicle

#9 St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church

Galway boasts several landmarks that are too iconic to miss. One such building is St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church. Dating back to 1320, it is Ireland’s largest medieval parish church. Still hosting services, St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is a great place to learn more about Galway’s history and heritage. 

Tradition tells us that St. Nicholas Church was built upon the ruins of an older structure and that it was extended during the 16th century by the will of two of the most powerful families of Galway at the time. Interestingly, each family built a new side aisle to the nave, resulting in the unusual three-roofed profile and an almost square interior.

From the outside, you can admire gorgeous stone gargoyles on the roof edge, but it is on the inside that St. Nicholas Church gives its best. Don’t expect rich décor and outstanding art pieces; on the contrary, this church is simple. But it speaks loudly about the area’s cultural heritage, which is why it is among the best Galway city centre activities.

Among the notable artifacts are the baptismal font, which is over 400 years old, the signs of the heresy of the soldiers of Oliver Cromwell, and the standards of the “12 Tribes”, the prominent Galway families. 

Rumors also say that Christopher Columbus visited the church to pray when he visited Galway in 1477 before sailing away on one of his attempts to reach the New World.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Discover more of the secrets that St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and Galway hide by joining this popular walking tour

Address: Meet up at the Browne Doorway monument, at Eyre Square Galway, Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland

Hours: This experience starts at 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Price: Starting from $22.09 USD

Other info: 

  • This tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • This tour will have a maximum of 15 people

#10 Irish Dance Experience

Have you ever thought of learning how to do the Irish dance? Well, if not, let us tell you that it is one of the best activities in Galway!

Irish dance is a traditional dance that originated in Ireland, likely dating back to Celtic times. One of the main characteristics of Irish dance performances is the intricate footwork, which may have been influenced by the Quadrille

In terms of music, the instruments used during the Irish dance are the Irish Bodhran (drum), Uiliean pipes, Celtic harp, tin whistles, and banjo, among others, making up this unique traditional music. Another typical feature of Irish dancing performances is the costumes worn by the dancers, which have changed over time. Traditionally, women performed with ankle-length dresses or skirts, while men wore a kilt. Today, the female dancers wear beautiful short dresses in bright colors, and male dancers perform in trousers and a shirt with a colorful sash tied at the waist.

Excellent music and costumes aside, Irish dances are all about the performance. Solo or in groups of up to twenty, dancers do not move their arms or hands, so the footwork is the star of the performance. In Ireland, Irish dance is a social and culturally relevant event, and there are six different styles of this dance.

#11 Gin-making class

Ireland is known for its beer and whiskey, and when in Galway, we are sure you will go out and about to drink these delicious beverages. However, you might not know that the country is famous for two other alcoholic drinks, gin and poitín.

Something fun and creative that you can do while in Galway is joining this Gin-making class. Enter the Tribe Gin School, Ireland’s largest gin school, and learn all the secrets behind how gin is made and distilled. The school features an apothecary-style botanical area where participants can pick up their preferred herbal ingredients to make their own gin bottle. 

Traditionally made from juniper berries, gin was invented as a medicinal liquor and was made by monks and alchemists across Europe. Today, many different ingredients go into making gins, giving rise to distinct styles and brands. Besides juniper, gin tends to be flavored with herbs, spices, flowers, and fruits. 

In the two-hour class, you can decide the unique flavor of your gin, create the personalized label of your bottle, and taste some fantastic gins throughout the class. It really can’t go better than this!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Tribe Gin Scool, at 139 Upper Salthill Rd, Galway, Ireland

Hours: 

  • Thursday – Friday, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, from 06:30 p.m. to 09:30 p.m. 
  • Sunday, from 3 p.m. 6 p.m.

Price: Starting from $105.45 USD

Other info: 

  • This experience lasts approx 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • The menu offers meats and local cheeses
  • This activity will have a maximum of 22 travelers

#12 The Aran Islands

If you are like us and love a good going off-the-beaten-path adventure, visiting the Aran Islands on the west coast of Ireland is one of Galway’s best things to do. Towering cliffs, the roaring Atlantic Ocean, green fields, and historic landmarks make the Aran Islands a true wonder.

At the Aran Islands, you will find three islets to explore: Inis Mor, Inis Oirr, and Inis Meain. All three have something unique in store, so we recommend to take advantage of all.  

Inis Mor is the more famous island, first and foremost because it has been used as a filming location for the movie “Banshees of Inisherin”. While on Inis Mor, rent a bike and venture around to stop seals, reach the other-worldly-looking hole known as the Wormhole, and check out the fort at Dún Aonghasa cliff.

Inis Oirr, the smallest of the three islands, boasts some of the area’s top attractions, including the MV Plassey Shipwreck and O’Brien’s Castle. This islet can be explored on foot (if you like walking) and by bike. 

Inis Meain is the quieter and less frequented of the Aran Islands but a beautiful one with things to see nonetheless. With glorious coastal sceneries and fantastic trails, get to Conor’s Fort on this island, the largest stone fort on the Aran Islands, constructed during the first or second millennium.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Reachable by plane or ferry, this tour combines a cruise to the Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher with plenty of free time to discover these splendid sites at your own pace.

Address: Meet up at Kinlay Hostel, at Merchants Rd, Eyre Square, Galway, H91 F2KT, Ireland

Hours: The tour starts at 9 a.m.

Price: Starting from $77.70 USD

Other info: 

  • The entrance fee to Cliffs of Moher is included in the price
  • The tour also includes the ferry to/from the island

What to Pack for Galway

If you are visiting Galway as part of a road trip then you will have the luxury of having a car to store things as you go, so you can prepare a little more than you might if you were dragging a backpack around the country on public transport.

However if you are stopping in Galway as part of a wider trip that requires public transport then there are still some items we recommend making sure there is space for in your luggage.

  • Columbia Women’s Outdry Ex ECO Tech Jacket – Whether it’s this or another waterproof jacket, the key is to have a light and durable outer layer that will at least keep your upper body dry.
  • Helly Hansen rain pants – We were lucky enough to never needs these on our trip but have learned from Iceland, it is always good to have pants that you can slip on.
  • Columbia Conspiracy Titanium OutDry Trail Running Shoe – To round out the waterproofing gear, having good shoes that perform well during hikes, walks, and rain is so important.  We love these shoes because they’re breathable, low profile which is good for summer, and very comfortable.
  • Travel towel – B&B’s are great at providing amenities like towels, but the one instance for us where we needed this was at Galway Glamping.  Whether you need it or not, these are super compact and can be useful in other scenarios like if you get wet from the rain, decide to go to the beach, or do surfing lessons.
  • Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube Set – These are awesome for any travel you do.  We’ve been using this set for awhile to keep our shirts organized, underwear together, and all our random loose cables and chargers in one spot.
  • Victorinox Travel Organizer – Ireland was so safe that we didn’t feel the need to travel with a money belt so organizers like this were perfect to keep my passport and travel papers nice and tidy.
  • Toiletry kit – The hanging toiletry organizer is a must for any traveler.  We’re a big fan because the hook allows you to hang this off of a vanity mirror or towel rack in a hotel/hostel and gives you counter space.  Kits like this are small but surprisingly allow you to pack a ton of things inside.
  • Travel power bar – Surge protectors such as this that take 1 outlet into 3 is helpful especially if you have to charge a bunch of things at night. You never know how many outlets your B&B or hotel is going to have so this is super handy.
  • Cigarette USB adapter – USB plugs in cars are notorious for being slow charging.  Get one of these chargers for the cigarette adapter to allow two USB devices to be charged at the same time and at a faster rate.  The one we used was unfortunately a slow speed one.
  • Power bank – If you have more devices you want to charge on the go and you’ve run out of ports/adapters in the car, it’ll be smart to have a basic power bank as your back up.  This Xiaomi one has a ton of capacity (10,000 mAH) and is super light.
  • Car phone holder – If you’re going to be using your phone as your GPS, don’t forget to bring a holder. Our favorite are these magnetic ones which clip to an air vent.  The unfortunate thing for us was that we didn’t account for our rental car to not have a regular air vent which made it near impossible to mount.  We eventually found a way but it was at a weird angle and the phone would periodically fall off.  The kind of things you don’t really think about when you’re packing right?

Where to Stay in Galway

We suggest checking out these four properties for your next trip to Galway that have been selected considering different budgets.

MID-RANGE

luxurious indoor pool in the connacht hotelluxurious indoor pool in the connacht hotel

The Connacht Hotel

Offering bright and modern rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi, a daily newspaper, and a tea/coffee station, The Connacht Hotel has much more in store for its guests. The hotel has a leisure center with a pool, sauna, hot tub, and gym. Moreover, at this property, you will find a restaurant where you can enjoy daily breakfast and dinner. Lastly, the hotel has a bar serving lunch and with evening live music entertainment.

BED & BREAKFAST

large bedroom with view at sea breeze lodge b&b galwaylarge bedroom with view at sea breeze lodge b&b galway

Sea Breeze Lodge B&B Galway

A five-star bed and breakfast overlooking the beautiful Galway Bay, Sea Breeze Lodge B&B welcomes guests in a charming and luxurious venue. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, featuring wooden floors, central heating, and tea/coffee-making facilities. Furthermore, the B&B serves a delicious Irish breakfast in the property’s garden and provides free parking.

GUEST HOUSE

main dining area at corrib house guest accommodationmain dining area at corrib house guest accommodation

Corrib House Guest Accommodation

This four-star bed and breakfast is beautifully located along the River Corrib, which you can admire from inside the accommodation. All the rooms feature a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. In addition, selected units have a fireplace. Corrib House Guest Accommodation also features an on-site coffee shop and a garden where guests can relax.

LUXURY

natural lit dining area with lots of windows in the galmont hotel & spanatural lit dining area with lots of windows in the galmont hotel & spa

The Galmont Hotel & Spa

Just 200 meters from the very central Eyre Square, the Galmont Hotel & Spa location is stunning. Overlooking Galway Bay, this four-star hotel is the perfect stay if you are looking for a relaxing and luxurious vacation. With large rooms equipped with top-notch amenities, like beds with Egyptian cotton sheets and goose feather pillows, this hotel offers much more to its guests. At Galmont Hotel & Spa, you will find a full-service spa, an indoor pool, and a health club. Moreover, guests can enjoy their time at the award-winning restaurants and the lounge bar.

Galway Highlights Map

To help plan your trip to Galway in Ireland, this map identifies all of the locations mentioned on this guide.

HOW TO USE THE MAP: You can use the Galway Highlights Map as is but if you’d like to do more with it, expand the map and create a copy in your logged-in Google account. With this copy, you’ll be able to access it in your Google Maps app under the Saved tab. Scroll to the bottom and look for the “Maps” button. Keep in mind that you need data to access this map. For an offline solution, use the offline Google Maps feature and individually save location pins on your primary map.

Closing Thoughts

As one of the most beautiful cities in Ireland, Galway is well worth a visit. Strolling around this medieval city centre with cobbled streets lined by iconic landmarks, enjoying street music, and having fun inside traditional Irish pubs, are just a couple of the reasons that make Galway such a great destination. And there is more to explore when leaving the city behind, from awesome national parks to stunning islands to incredible castles. Galway is the ultimate Ireland travel inspiration.

With this article on the best things to do in Galway, we hope to have convinced you to choose Galway for your next Irish trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit Galway?

The best times to visit Galway, and Ireland in general, are June, July, August, and September. Summer is when you will find less rain, so you can enjoy the outdoors. However, If you don’t mind the rain, fall, and spring are also great times to visit.

Which is the ideal way to get around Galway?

While in the town center, you can easily walk everywhere. When the weather isn’t at its best, you can always take the city bus. Lastly, if you have a car rental, just be aware that they drive on the opposite side of the road in Ireland.

How long do I need to visit Galway?

To explore Galway properly and take advantage of its beautiful surroundings, you should stay around four days.

What are the best things to do in Galway?

Although it all depends on where your interests lie, among the best things to do is visit Kylemore Abbey and the Aran Islands. Plus, don’t forget to take a traditional Irish dance class!

What is Galway best known for?

The town is famous for its lively pub scene and location in the breathtaking Connemara region, which boasts cliffs, islands, and castles to explore.

Is Galway, Ireland, worth visiting?

Absolutely yes. Galway is a beautiful corner of Ireland, with many things to see. You could easily spend a week exploring the city and the Connemara region.

What you should read next

Travel Resources For Your Next Trip

If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.

Credit cards: Don’t get burned by hidden fees on top of terrible exchange rates. When we travel now, we use the Wise Card. Simply load it with the currency you need before you go and use it as a regular VISA or their digital wallet card. Use their free app to track how much you have and top up when you need to.

Flights: Of all the booking search engines, Skyscanner is the most helpful and easy to use thanks to their Everywhere feature. Kayak is also another that’s we will often check as well.

Car Rental: If you’re looking to save money, these car rental coupon codes will be a true game-changer. Otherwise, DiscoverCars and RentalCars are great places to start.

park sleep fly airport parking discount codepark sleep fly airport parking discount code

Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.

Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.

Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.

Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.

Tours: When planning our trips, we always check both Viator and GetYourGuide to at least see what’s out there in the destination that we’re going to. They often have different offerings and prices so check both.

Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.

  • Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
  • RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
  • SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
  • Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
  • InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.

If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.



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