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A day in the City of the Tribes
Culture, Heritage & Sightseeing - visit Galway City Museum and take a walking tour or an open top bus tour.
Shopping - Treasure Chest for gifts ; Judy Greene’s on Kirwin’s Lane for Irish hand made goods ; Cobwebs for jewellery and antiques ; Charlie Byrne’s for books. Don't forget that the Galway Market takes place on the weekends.
Lunch time - McCambridge's on Shop Street, McDonagh's on Quay Street, Kirwin's Cuisine in Kirwin's Lane or Oscars Seafood Bistro in the West.
Bars & Pubs - Freeney's and Murphy's on High Street, Tigh Coili's on Mainguard & Shop Street, Naughton's on Cross & Quay Street....to name but a few.
And the detail to plan out your day!
Galway is a medieval city made up of winding streets and greatly influenced in structure by the River Corrib and Galway Bay. Known as the City of Tribes, Galway was ruled for centuries by 14 families or tribes, who were the ruling class made up of a mix of Norman and Irish heritage and they formed the pillars from which this great city has evolved into today. It is a beautiful, bohemian destination known for its arts and culture where spoken Irish is the norm on its streets.
There is so much to do in Galway and whether its culture, sight-seeing, activities or shopping, we can guide you to the best that Galway has to offer.
Cultural & Heritage Galway
Visit Galway City Museum where you will be transported back over the centuries to the Iron Age and how the settlement of Galway came to be. The Galway City Museum is perfect for families and individuals alike where the young and older can learn in a fun and educational way. Located just behind the Spanish Arch and on the Long Walk, it is open daily but check opening times as they may differ during the year.
Walking Tours of Galway
Walking tours of Galway available right throughout the year and we would recommend galwaywalks.com who have an abundance of knowledge and story telling about the people and place that is Galway. Galway has been influenced greatly by time and its visitors and its well known that Galway too is known as the ‘place of the foreigners’ due to its trading of fine goods with continental Europe, but especially Spain.
DIY walks of Galway
Galway is a very small, compact city where it is difficult to get lost and there is always a friendly face to help you if you do. That is the thing about Galway, its friendliness and casual, laid back way of life where nothing is or should be a problem. The touting of car horns is even frowned upon on a busy day. Walking maps are available online but also at tourist offices and kiosks situated in and off Eyre Square, which is city central beside Ceannt Train Station.
Festivals of Galway
In these Covid times, festivals and events are seeing difficult times but Galway has an abundant of festivals right throughout the year. Famous festival celebrations include, Galway Film Fleadh, Galway International Arts Festival, the Galway Races and many more and when restrictions start to lift, we look forward to a normal Galway of fun, festivities and celebration. For more information on any festival, check out galwayfestivals.com
Green spaces in Galway
Galway is very connected to Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and many of our amenity green spaces are located on or with a view of the seascape. For families, ‘The Prom’ or Promenade in Salthill is a must to visit. A walk or run on the Prom is a normal everyday activity for locals, so let yours be part of it and ‘kick the wall’ at the end of the Prom beside Blackrock Diving Tower. Salthill Park is another beautiful park with views of Galway Bay and the Burren. This lovely green space is adjacent to Leisureland, a multi-purpose facility that includes swimming pools, gymnasium and some outdoor pursuits including the summer carnival that arrives every year.
South Park or locally known as the Swamp is another green space which is connected to the Prom via its own walkway and skirts alongside the famous and ancient fishing village of the Claddagh, where the famous Claddagh ring comes from.
Sightseeing and things to see and do
Along with walking tours, it is possible to take a Hop On/Hop Off bus from Eyre Square which will bring you onboard a double decker bus all around the city. There is a running commentary on board where areas of interest are pointed out. The Galway Tourist Train is another amenity which is really popular with the younger members of the family and this too meanders around the city and finishes at the Galway Atlantaquarium, what better way to finish a great family outing. The Corrib Princess is another fantastic thing to do with all the family. From a neighbourhood called Woodquay in the city, you can board a double deck lake boat called the Corrib Princess which will take you out along the River Corrib and into the lower Lough Corrib. Fantastic commentary onboard along with beautiful views of the surrounding area and Connemara to the west, really makes this an outing to enjoy with all the family.
There is a multitude of activities that you can enjoy in the city whether you’re travelling alone or as a couple or with your family. Golf and fishing can all be organized with ease. Sea swimming is very popular in Galway and the main activity for this is between Blackrock Diving Tower and Ladies Beach. Galway has hosted many different types of sporting events that include fun runs, long sea swims and races, cycling races and outings to name just a few disciplines. The Ironman has even come to Galway in the past as the topography and landscape plus the access to the ocean is so obvious. Other water sports that are easy to enjoy include canoeing on the inland waters, sea kayaking in the bay plus a windsurfing school between Salthill and Barna. All the major sports like GAA football & hurling, rugby, soccer, hockey have fabulous facilities in and around the city and its easy to find a facility where you can kick a ball with family or friends. Other pre-planned activities include go-carting and fully kitted out centres which offer a multitude of activities all under the one roof and we can assist you here, so just ask.
Shopping & Eating
Much of Galway City is pedestrianized which makes for easy and fun shopping where you can zip in and out of brand name stores to bespoke craft shops, boutiques and well known Galway retail institutions. For great shopping check out, Treasure Chest on Williams Street which is the beginning of the Shop Street area ; Judy Greene’s on Kirwin’s Lane is a lovely store filled with Irish hand made goods ; Cobwebs for jewellery and antiques ; Charlie Byrne’s for books ; McCambridge’s for fine wines and foods but they also have a great eatery upstairs, so perfect for lunch. Don’t forget the famous Galway Market which is positioned around the ancient St. Nicholas Collegiate Church on Market Street. Here you will discover real Galway, with its people doing their veg and fish shopping whilst picking up fresh flowers and locally hand made pottery, jewellery and art. Other restaurants definitely worth trying are Kirwin’s Cuisine which is opposite Judy Greene’s and McDonaghs Fish where the freshest catch of the day can be enjoyed. For light bites and pick me ups, try Goyas for cakes and good coffee. In what's fondly known as The West, there are some great bars and restaurants, namely Oscars Seafood Bistro, Massimos Bar and The Crane, where traditional Irish music is an every day habit.