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I had realized within weeks of living in this charming, vibrant, beautiful city of Galway that this was probably the best decision of my life. Galway is the kind of place that just makes you feel welcomed and homely (if you are a city person that is!). 

It is so easy to make long-lasting memories since most of the things you can do here are so unique and have their charm. Now, because I have been living here for so long now that it only makes sense to write about the city.

Here is a list of things to do in Galway!

Top Things To Do In Galway

You can believe me when I tell you, you can stay in Galway for more than 7 days and still not be able to see everything. There’s just so much to do. So, here are the top things you can do while you’re in Galway.

Salthill Promenade

Everybody has that one place that they go to When they want to hang out with their friends or go on a stroll with their partner or just to pass their time.

Salthill Promenade

For Galwegians, it’s Salthill Prom. This is a 3km 20 to 30-minute walk from the town center, offering some of the most wonderful views of the city. (For all my Indian brothers: it is the marine lines of Galway)

Shop Street

Shop street is Galway’s main thoroughfare and one of the first streets to develop for retail purposes. The street contains numerous stores, pubs, and ancient buildings.

Shop Street

The Street is the perfect place to experience Galway in its prime. You are bound to find musicians and performers jamming out there.

Spanish Arch

The Spanish Arch is on the left bank of the River Corrib and one of the oldest historical gems Galway has to offer. Built in 1584, the arch gave shelter to the soldiers keeping watch and manning roof cannons.

Swans at Spanish Arch

The name comes from the Spanish galleons that often docked near the Arch. The arch has been through a tsunami and housed the City museum which has now been moved. 

Galway Cathedral 

The Galway Cathedral is one of the largest and most impressive pieces of architecture in the city. Built entirely of Galway limestone in the late 1950s, the cathedral has a huge octagonal dome and has taken inspiration from the Renaissance and Gothic styles.

Galway Cathedral

It is beautiful from inside and out.

Barna Woods

The Barna woods are located on the western edge of Galway. Woodlands are generally great for wildlife and birds but what makes these woods special is because it is a city woodland!

Barna Woods

City Woodlands are extremely rare and are a hotspot for nature, they improve the quality of life in a concrete jungle.


It is a district facing the Atlantic. Its coastline offers a national park and fishing villages like the Roundstone. You can also find the ruins of the famous Clifden Castle here.


Click here to get a detailed travel guide on Connemara.

Aran Islands

The Aran Islands are three rocky islands along Galway Bay. All three islands are a great way to experience proper Irish culture and are one of the best things to do in Galway. The article on details of Aran Island is already available on my website.

Aran Islands

Click here for a detailed travel itinerary to Inishmore.

Quay Street

This street is the entertainment and culture hub of Galway. Whether you want to go for a nice dinner, or you just want to window shop, Quay Street is there for you.

Quay Street

The pubs, the restaurants, the shops and the music- Quay street is the perfect place for a fun evening or even a whole day. 

Galway Bay

The mouth of Galway bay is the famous Aran Islands. You can drive along the Bay and get some of the best views of the beaches and scenery around.

Galway Bay

Sunrise and Sunset here are just breathtaking, but there’s so much more to do. There are a lot of sightseeing opportunities, and you can even have a sailing experience. 

National Aquarium

This aquarium houses the largest collection of native species in Ireland. From lakes to canals and oceans to rivers, they’ve got sea life from all over.

Sea Life at National Aquarium

Aquariums are always enchanting and interesting, and the National Aquarium in Galway is no less than that. It is a great place to explore with family too. 

Wild Atlantic way

The Wild Atlantic way is one of the most scenic routes you’ll ever drive through, in my opinion. It runs for 2500 kilometres along the West Coast of Ireland and offers breathtaking views of the beach and colourful skies.

Wild Atlantic Way

Across the Wild Atlantic way, there are about 180 viewpoints where you will be captured by the beauty of this place. 

Rinville Park

This park has actually been made around an ancient castle, which was built in the 16th century. Rinville Park is the perfect place to go for a walk, and to soak in the nature.

Rinville Park

You’ll see otters and ravens, and the variety of flora is widespread too. You can have an afternoon picnic here and just get in touch with nature for a few moments.  

Galway City Museum

One of the best ways to learn about the history of a city is by going to a museum. The Galway City Museum has exhibits that are a testament to Galway’s history.

Galway City Museum

These include materials from areas of art, archaeology, natural history and social and industrial work. The best part is that admission to the museum is free. 

Galway Market

If you really want a taste of the local life, Galway Market is the place for you. Open on the weekends, this marketplace holds several food and craft stalls.

Food at Galway Market

From fresh produce, sushi and crepes, to little knick-knacks and decor items, this market is a great place to shop at. 

Menlo Castle

Located on the banks of river Corrib, the Menlo Castle was home to the Blake family from 1600 to 1910. The castle has actually got a painful history, with a fire destroying the lives of the family in 1910.

Menlo Castle

Today, the ruins of the castle with the ivy-covered walls stand in all their glory, providing gorgeous scenery for riverside walks. 

The Medieval City Walls

These walls were built in 1270, to protect the city of Galway from external attacks. A huge section of these walls is contained in the Eyre Square Centre. In fact, the Spanish Arch was also a part of this these defensive walls, although it was added a few centuries later.

A Part of the Medieval Walls

These walls are actually considered a hidden gem, and those who find them, are intrigued by their impressive structure and architecture. 

South Park

South Park is a popular starting point for many walks around Galway city. In the park itself, you can relax on the many benches, admiring the flora around. Rugby pitches, soccer pitches and a playground are also there to provide entertainment to the kids.

South Park is also bordered by Nimmo’s Pier, which provides picturesque views as you walk along. I’d recommend you visit South Park for a bit of nature and some wonderful views. 

St Augustine’s Church

Perhaps one of the most popular churches in Galway, St Augustine’s Church is a beautiful and vibrant parish church. It was built in the 19th century. The inside of the church is just as magnificent as the outside.

Stained Glass Windows at St Augustine's Church

With stained glass windows created by George Walsh and the shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel, this church is one you should definitely visit. 

Galway Racecourse

During the last week of July, one of the biggest and most famous events in Ireland is held at Galway Racecourse. It is located about 5 kilometres from the city centre. Over 100,000 people attend every year to watch the Galway races.

Horse Race at Galway Racecourse

This is a week-long event, so it is almost like a festival. If you’re in Galway during the summer, I think you should consider attending the races at the Galway Racecourse. 

Eyre Square

This historic square has a story that goes back to the medieval times. Located in the heart of Galway, Eyre Square is a popular place for people to come together.

Eyre Square

From playgrounds to seasonal markets, and high street brands to bustling cafes, Eyre Square is one of the most happening places in the city.

If you want a proper insight into Galway city life, I’d definitely recommend you visit Eyre Square. 

Galway Christmas Market

Christmas markets are one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit, and the Galway Christmas Market will do just that. With stalls selling gifting options to food stalls making festive dishes, this is the place to be during the holidays.

Galway Christmas Market

The Carousel, Santa’s Grotto and the Big Wheel will only make your experience more fun. If you’re in Galway during the holidays, Galway Christmas Market is a place I would strongly recommend. 

Tigh Neachtain Pub

Founded in 1894, Tigh Neachtain Pub is one of the most popular pubs in Galway today. Live music is played throughout the week, and this is a great way that the pub supports local talent. They’ve also got a wide variety of craft beers, scotch and whiskey.

Drinks at Tigh Neachtain Pub

When it comes to food, the menu is curated with ingredients that are locally sourced. If you want a great combination of music, drinks and art, Tigh Neachtain Pub is the place you should go to.

Corrib Princess

This luxury cruise ship offers some of the most beautiful dinners and sightseeing tours you can have on the water. It is a great way to experience the Corrib river and the wild Atlantic way.

Corrib River

If you want an understanding of Galway’s ancient past, a sightseeing tour on the Corrib Princess will give you just that. They also offer a selection of wines and some of the best Irish coffee in the country. 


With the many coastlines and bays around Galway, kayaking is a popular water sport that many take part in. If you’re one for a bit of adventure, kayaking is a fun, but not too thrilling sport to try out.


There are some sunset kayaking tours available in Galway too, to add to the beauty. 

Kai Restaurant

The mission of Kai restaurant is to create dishes that use ingredients which are locally sourced, fresh and high-quality. Passion is something that is translated through the food and the ambience.

Kai restaurant

The interiors of the restaurant give you this bohemian feel. When it comes to food, pork schnitzel, crab and monkfish are highly recommended. They’ve got vegan and vegetarian options too, as well as some delicious cakes and coffee. 

Accommodation In Galway

Accommodation is the first step when you come to any country. It may be your initial days before starting Uni or the few days you are in the city, but you need a reliable hotel with the best ratings that feel like home.


Standing pompously in the heart of the city from the year 1852, the Hardiman Hotel is one of the oldest in the city. With the best hospitality in the business, the Hardiman is the perfect blend between Victorian elegance and luxurious living.

It is perfectly positioned in Eyre Square and is just a short walk away from the best facilities available in the city. If luxury is your number one priority and you are not on a tight budget then Hardiman should probably be your first option.

You can visit their site and avail of some of their special offers.

Galway bay hotel

This award-winning 4-star hotel is your next best bet for good, comfortable, and perfectly situated accommodation for staying in the city. The Hotel is just 5 minutes away from Galway City Centre and has a gorgeous beachfront location.

Offering amenities like a fine dining restaurant, a café, an indoor pool, a spa, and a steam room, Galway bay hotel is the best for a relaxing and chill experience.

G Hotel

Perched along the Wild Atlantic Way and just a five-minute walk away from the city, the G hotel is a glamorous 5-star location. If your idea of a vacation is a stunning view and relaxing then The G is going to be your best decision.

You can spoil yourself in their 5-star spa, some great cocktails, and amazing delicacies. Luxury did right!

Jurys Inn Hotel

Jurys Inn is a hotel group operating all over the United Kingdom, Ireland, and 37 other locations. The one in Galway is situated in Quay Street overseeing Galway Bay.

Equipped with a friendly staff, Wi-Fi, a work arena, and the cleanest rooms, the hotel has everything you need for a comfortable time.

Jameson court apartments

If you are one of those people who would prefer to stay at a place that makes you feel a lot more like home then this is the one for you. Jameson court apartments are properly furnished apartments that are an amazing, luxurious alternative to hotel rooms. Just 15 minutes away from the city and equipped with Wi-Fi, TV (with Netflix), and beverages!

The apartments are also cheaper than other deluxe hotels. From a single bedroom to an entire floor they offer it all!

Top 5 Pubs/Bars In Galway

If you visit Ireland but not once go for a drink, did you truly visit Ireland?

Tigh Neachtain

Tigh Neachtain was founded in 1894 and is located on the corner of Quay Street in the center of Galway City. The pub has always believed in local arts and music and has provided a stage for the most talented Irish musicians.

From beers to whiskey and vintage scotch to home-brewed beers I am sure you will find anything and everything you want here. They also serve a lunch menu and light snacks that go perfectly with your drink.

The Quays

One of Galway’s most famous and award-winning drinking establishments, the Quays is THE spot to grab a drink and enjoy local talent.  Bands from all over Ireland come to The Quays for a 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll jam out session every weekend. Many TV music specials have also been filmed in the pub.

So, if you are tired from your day and just want to relax while drinking a beer and listening to some good Irish music, the Quays is there waiting for you!


O’Connell’s is a traditionally styled pub in Eyre Square. The interior makes you feel like you are a part of history with antiques all over the place.

My favorite part about the interior is the wall-to-wall whiskeys on display and the beer garden outdoor. It’s like having a picnic! Fun Fact: This is where Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl MV was shot.

The Front Door

Looking for a late-night out? The Front door offers some of the best food, live music, amazing ambiance, and of course a huge pint of beer. You can even book a place for hosting a party.

King’s Head

This medieval 3-floor pub still stands in the Latin Quarter from 1649. Owned and handled by the Grealish family for over 25 years, the King’s Head knows the true meaning of service.

From live music to stand-up comedy and weekly football matches there is something here for everyone!

Here’s a list of the 7 best pubs in Galway, click here to get to my blog.

Top 5 Cafes In Galway


McCambridge’s is a family-owned deli that is located on the main street of Galway. Starting their business in 1925, they have a perfect mix of a grocer, coffee shop, a pretty casual restaurant, and a deli.

They offer the freshest and the finest local Irish food. One of the unique things they offer is a range of Hampers that are a perfect gift for your loved ones.

Jungle Cafe

Perfect for a tropical, chill time out, the Jungle café is situated on 29 Forster Street. Serving some of the most delicious food, the team makes sure you have a great time with your family/friends. It is one of the best cafes in Galway.

Good food and location are key when it comes to relaxation and the outdoor café does just that for you.

Corrib House Tea Rooms

The Corrib House is an award-winning café and restored Georgian townhouse. With a spectacular view of the river Corrib, the house offers a delicious range of breakfast and lunches.

It also offers a great location for staying with four boutique guestrooms that take you in the 1800s.

Temple Cafe 

This cute social café boasts an impressive healthy menu that is made entirely of using the best local suppliers. Even their profits go to local charities.

Especially opened to focus on improving the community, Temple Cafe’s food ranges from sandwiches, buckwheat pancakes, porridge, and great salads.

Here’s a list of the 7 best cafes in Galway, click here to get to my blog.

Frequently Asked Questions About Galway

How To Get To Galway?

There are three airports near Galway: Shannon, Knock, and Dublin. Shannon Airport is closest to Galway. After getting to the airport, you can rent a car that will take you directly to your hotel or even take a bus or train to the city center.

Click here to check the bus timings

Click here to check the rail timings

There’s also an option of the direct bus from Dublin and Shannon’s Airport, click here to check out.

How To Get Around Galway?

If you’re here just for few days then you should rent a car and travel to the tourist spots at your convenience. You can even travel by bus, which is very easy, but keep track of the bus timings and bus stations.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Galway?

Galway is best to visit between July and October, as the rains and weather both are pleasant at this point of time in the city.

Still, be precautions, and don’t forget to carry umbrellas and rain boots anywhere you go.


Galway was deemed as the Cultural Capital of Europe for the year 2020. The city is such a great place to be and one of the most enjoyable destinations in Ireland. So, would you rather sulk at home and watch your favorite show over and over again or would you like to plan this trip and make some of the best memories of your life?

If you’re planning a weekend trip to Galway, then I have made a travel itinerary for you that will cover all the popular things to do in Galway, click here to get to my blog.

25 Best Things To Do In Galway In 2023

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