A Dozen Things to Do in Galway

Galway is lively little town on the Irish west coast, located at the mouth of the River Corrib and Galway Bay. It used to be a walled medieval city and it’s steeped in history. Additionally, it has a vibrant nightlife, it’s compact and easily walkable, and the surroundings are gorgeous. There are many things to do in Galway  and it is a city where you should stay at least a week – it’s a great base to explore the rest of the west coast as well.

Top 12 places to visit in Galway

1 The Claddagh

The Claddagh area is situated on the southwest bank of the River Corrib’s mouth. It consists of a stony beach and has been a place where people have fished and gathered seafood for thousands of years. The area is most famous for its ‘Claddagh Rings’, traditional jewellery that is now worn by people around the world.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: Mouth of the River Corrib
Mouth of the River Corrib

2 Galway Cathedral

By far the largest building in the city, Galway Cathedral is as striking on the inside as it is on the outside. It is free to visit and the interior is absolutely impressive.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: Galway Cathedral
Galway Cathedral

3 Galway Museum

The excellent Galway Museum is located behind the Spanish Arch and houses exhibitions on the history of Galway and Claddagh Village. It also hosts a wide variety of temporary guest exhibitions from other galleries and museums.

4 Eyre Square

Eyre Square lies in the center of the city and is a popular hang-out place. This green space has pathways, sculptures and flags representing the fourteen merchant families that ruled the city in the Middle Ages.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: Eyre Square
Eyre Square

5 Spanish Arch

The Spanish Arch stands on the northeast bank of the River Corrib and is a remainder of a 16th-century fortress. That fortress was added to the city walls to protect against looting. The name ‘Spanish Arch’ refers to the former merchant trade with Spain.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: The Spanish Arch
The Spanish Arch

6 Kirwan’s Lane

This is one of the most beautiful medieval lanes in the so-called Latin Quarter (Old City Center) in Galway. It is named after one of Galway’s original fourteen families, has been beautifully restored and is now home to many cafés, craft shops, bars and restaurants.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: Kirwan's Lane
Kirwan’s Lane

7 St Nicholas Church

The St Nicholas Collegiate Church is one of the oldest parish churches in Ireland. Having been a place of worship since as early as the 14th century, it still lies in the middle of the city’s activities. A weekly farmer’s market is held around its gates, and the church also hosts concerts throughout the year.

8 Shop Street

Shop Street is a pedestrian – you guessed it – shopping street in the heart of Galway, in the middle of the Latin Quarter. It is lined with stores, restaurants, dozens of pubs, nightclubs, hostels, souvenir shops and so on.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: Shop Street
Shop Street

9 The Bridge Mills

This is an impressive building on the banks of the River Corrib. More than 400 years old, now it’s a hub of culture, crafts and art. Inside you can buy clothing, handicrafts, gifts and works of art.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: The Bridge Mills
The Bridge Mills

10 Nora Barnacle’s House

Nora Barnacle was the wife of write James Joyce and this is where she grew up. The house is a private museum, nicely restored and open to the public in summer.

Top 12 places to visit in Galway:  Nora Barnacles House
Nora Barnacles House

11 Salmon Weir

The Salmon Weir is located just east of Galway Cathedral and spans the River Corrib. The weir’s purpose is to control water levels of the fast-flowing river. In season – between March and August – you can see huge shoals of salmon and trout rushing up the weir to spawn upstream.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: Salmon Weir
Salmon Weir

12 Hall of the Red Earl

Before the fourteen families took over, the de Burgo family ruled Galway in the 13th century. Richard, also known as the Red Earl, had a large building constructed to use as his seat of power. This was where locals would come to beg for favors or mercy. When the family lost its power, the hall fell into ruin. Now you can see the foundations, artefacts and interesting displays. The Hall of the Red Earl is located on Druid Lane and is free to visit.

Top 12 Places to visit in Galway: Hall of the Red Earl
Hall of the Red Earl

About Bram

Website: http://www.travel-experience-live.com

Bram is a Belgian guy who's currently living in the USA. For over four years now, he has been wandering the globe, with jobs here and there in between. So far, his travels have taken him to four continents and twenty-two countries. Bram likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpacker and adventurer to tourist and local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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