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Are you looking for a place that makes you feel alive? The Spanish Arch is one of those places that makes Galway so unique and full of life. There’s always something happening there, whether it’s the sound of buskers and musicians, or just people coming together to enjoy the atmosphere.

I’ve been lucky enough to call the area near the Spanish Arch in Galway home for the past year and a half, and it’s been an incredible experience for me to explore it and immerse myself in its lively and vibrant atmosphere. Spanish Arch is always full of gatherings and is a popular place for tourists and locals alike.

You’ll often find it alive with the sound of buskers and drummers, and the lawns and riverside are just perfect for a relaxing stroll in the evening. It’s got such a great vibe, and there’s always something interesting happening around there.

It’s a great spot to meet friends, have a picnic, or simply take in the surroundings.

Here you can discover more about its history, things to do and restaurants to enjoy in Spanish Arch.

Tsunami Story Behind The Spanish Arch

The Spanish Arch in Galway, Ireland, is a historic landmark with a rich and diverse history. It was built in 1584 as an extension of the 12th-century Norman-built town wall. The arch was used to house soldiers who kept watch cannons on the roof to protect the city’s quays.

The name “Spanish Arch” might be a reference to the former merchant trade with Spain, as Spanish galleons often landed at the arch to sell wine, spices, and other goods. However, The arch was partially destroyed by a tsunami in 1755, and until 2006, it housed the Galway City Museum.

The tsunami caused ten-foot waves to hit the Galway coastline, entering Galway Bay and damaging the Spanish Arch. Nowadays, the Spanish Arch is a popular tourist attraction and a significant part of Galway’s history.

Things To Do In Or Near Spanish Arch Galway

The Long walk

The Long Walk is a walkway that runs alongside the Spanish Arch, offering a picturesque view of the arches and the surrounding area.

Spanish Arch

This calming path is situated alongside the Spanish Arch, a great site to walk away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the county Galway. You can enjoy different colorful facades of Corrib River and the classic sunset with your friends. 

If you are looking for strolls, I highly recommend you to visit here.

Visit the Galway City Museum

The Galway City Museum is a fascinating attraction that offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Galway.

Galway City Museum

This welcoming Galway City Museum is open for all folks to unearth the heritage and historic glory of Galway City. Amazingly, the museum building provides one fantastic view of River Corrib, the Spanish Arch and the Galway Bay.

There is a music exhibition at the Galway City Museum that if you’re a music enthusiast, I highly recommend you visit. It won’t disappoint you.

Explore the Famous Galway Cathedral

The Galway Cathedral is a stunning architectural gem that captivates you with its spiritual and grandiose atmosphere.

As we step in to experience the Catholic culture of Galway, we also get to witness one of the awestruck architectures of Galway.

It was the last large church to be made from stone with a dome at a height of 145 feet. You will be fascinated by the rose windows, and wall paintings which speak about the rich Christian traditional art.  

The cathedral also hosts sacred music, hymns, and psalms that created a relaxing and spiritual experience for me that I will never forget.

Enjoy the beauty of the Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter is truly the beautiful and vibrant part of the city with colourful and lively shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s a perfect place for strolls and taking amazing photos.

Latin Quarter

As we walk through the Latin Quarter, we can witness the fine details of Galway’s medieval heritage. From small unique shops selling knits and pottery in the Heritage Lane.

Don’t hesitate, the Latin Quarter is a picturesque and inviting part of Galway where you can enjoy a wide range of dining and entertainment options and explore unique shops, all preserved with historic settings which is truly captivating.

Discover the Salthill Beach

Salthill Beach is a stunning scenic attraction with lots of amazing recreational activities.

Salthill Beach is a sandy and pebbly destination where one can go to relax and enjoy themselves to the fullest. Stroll along the promenade for a mesmerizing time at this beach and make some unforgettable memories.

The atmosphere of Salthill Beach is beyond relaxing and you just need to immerse yourself in its beauty to fully enjoy your visit.

Explore the West End

The West End is a beautiful and vibrant part of Galway with lots of shops, restaurants, and bars. The thing that you’ll enjoy a lot about this part of the city is its cultural diversity.

West End

You will be surrounded by the best locals, who will make you feel welcomed and you are bound to discover some great shops, which will leave you giddy and eager for shopping.

For me the West End is a vibrant part of Galway with lively arts scene, live music, and a variety of festivals and events throughout the year and every time that I seek creativity or a place to find myself explore it. Trust me, you’ll also have an unforgettable time there.

Discover the Fisheries Watchtower

The Fisheries Watchtower in Galway is a gem, offering a unique blend of history, heritage, and stunning views.

A legendary building is a charming architectural marvel.

Enjoy the beauty of Mutton Island

If you’re a nature enthusiast, Mutton Island will be your haven. It is a relaxing place where you can immerse yourself in its beauty and also offers you stunning views that is a great spot for photographers.

Mutton Island is most popular as a wedding proposal destination. Many couples over the years have embarked on their journey together standing atop this Island.

The Island offers some mesmerizing views which ensure your memory of visiting this place is permanently etched in your minds.

Whether you’re looking to explore the island’s history, enjoy a leisurely walk along the causeway, or observe its diverse wildlife, Mutton Island is a must-visit destination in Galway.

Shop Street

Shop Street is always bustling with activity, and its friendly locals, shops, restaurants, and bars add to its beauty.

This popular destination is adorned with some of the finest shops you will find in Ireland. This street is always alive with performers, hawkers and shoppers, making this one of the most lively destinations in Galway. You are bound to find something for yourself in this amazing market.

Don’t miss the opportunity of visiting this vibrant street.

Restaurants and Pubs Near Spanish Arch Galway



A perfect place to hang out with your friends, Kirby’s specializes in serving the local cuisines of Ireland with surprising twists.  

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a night out with friends, Kirby’s Restaurant is a must-visit destination in Galway.



A one-of-a-kind Galway restaurant, BóTOWN symbolizes the motto of “Dream Big and Never Give up”. The amazing beef burgers and chicken wings are served here to just prove this point. 

BóTOWN Restaurant is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, so I highly recommend you to enjoy this nice restaurant.

Queen Street

Queen Street

A place to eat food cooked with the freshest elements, this Gastro Bar is a wonderful combination of lively atmosphere and finger-licking meals.  

Amazing to know that this restaurant serves a new lunch menu every day from 12 pm to 4 pm with live music that adds to its beauty.

Spice India

Spice India

A fantastic fusion of quality Irish ingredients as well as Indian cooking methods, Spice India’s cuisine will make you swoon with delight because of its finger-licking food.

Spice India is a great choice for anyone looking to experience the rich and diverse flavors of Indian cuisine.

Handsome Burger

Handsome Burger

Voted as the best burger place in Ireland, Handsome Burger will provide you with some delicious hamburger options. So if you are someone who fancies a little bun and ham, Handsome Burger is the place to come with your friends and family.

In addition to these, you have Boojum, Monroe’s and Eastern Tandoori, where you will be served with some more delicious offerings to relieve your hunger.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to reach the Spanish Arch?

You get frequent bus services and train lines to reach the Spanish Arch from Galway City. This landmark is not far off from the city centre and thus one is prone to get many travelling options as mentioned above. 

The best bet for one would be to take a bus or a train from the city and then take a short walk to the Spanish Arch from there. It’s not a long distance, and this short walk will give you a much-needed introduction to this historic landmark.

How old is the Spanish Arch in Galway?

The Spanish Arch in Galway is over 400 years old, having been built in 1584 as an extension of the 12th-century Norman-built town wall.

Who built the Spanish Arch in Galway?

It was constructed by Wylliam Martin, the 34th mayor of Galway, and was originally known as Ceann a Bhalla which means “the head of the wall” in Irish.

What are the facts about the Spanish Arch in Galway?

The Spanish Arch is a historical landmark located in Galway, Ireland. The Arch used to house soldiers who kept watch and manned cannons on the roof to protect the city’s quays, which were in an area once known as the Fish Market.

The Spanish Arch was partially destroyed by a tsunami generated by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Until 2006, part of the Arch housed the Galway City Museum.


A place rich with splendid history that has witnessed the changing tides of Galway City, The Spanish Arch is a remarkable milestone etched in the heritage of this wonderful city.

From experiencing a lively view by the side of the River Corrib to the vibrant culture witnessed in the City Museum and the famous Cathedral, there’s something for everyone in the Spanish Arch.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the history, things to do, and restaurants to try in or near the Spanish Arch. If you have a plan to visit the Spanish Arch anytime soon let me know which parts or activities are the most appealing to you.

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