Galway is one of the most beautiful cities in Ireland. Its atmosphere and its colorful streets with a medieval air will not leave you indifferent. And it is that You won’t be short of things to do in Galway! From walking through its beautiful Latin Quarter to falling in love with the surrounding landscapes. We believe that it cannot be missing from your route through Ireland! Personally, it is a destination that positively surprised us. So in this post we tell you 15 things to see in Galway so you can enjoy it to the fullest.
Contents of this article
15 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN GALWAY
1. Get to know the Spanish Arch, one of the best things to see in Galway
Galway is a city that has a very recent medieval past. Although practically nothing remains of its walls, we can still appreciate this treasure. These arches, which were part of an extension to Galway’s walled enclosurewere built between 1584 and 1588 to protect ships docked at the docks.
As a curiosity, It was partially destroyed in 1755 after the Lisbon Tsunami. When we visited it, it was undergoing renovations, even so we believe that It is one of the essential visits to do in Galway.
2. Relax in Eyre Square
Eyre Square is Galway’s main square and one of the meeting points for locals. Although today we can see modern sculptures and local surroundings of large multinationals, This green space has many years of history. In fact, in the medieval period there was already talk of an open green space where markets were held. We thought it was super pretty!
Sitting on a bench on a sunny day and enjoying the atmosphere is one of the best things to do in Galway. The square is officially called JF Kennedyin honor of the one who was once president of the USA. But… why does it receive this name? Kennedy traveled to Galway in 1963 and gave a speech in this square in front of more than 10,000 people. And the name stayed forever!
3. See the majestic Galway Cathedral
This religious building is one of the most beautiful to see in Galway. It’s amazing both inside and out! It is a relatively new building.
Construction began in 1958, where the city prison previously stood. It was completed in 1965, making it the last major stone cathedral built in Europe. Admission is free but a donation of €2 is appreciated to maintain the building.
4. Be amazed by the beautiful colorful facades in the Latin Quarter, one of the best things to do in Galway
The Latin Quarter of Galway is its main attraction. Is beautiful! Walking up and down its streets and falling in love with its colorful facades is something highly recommended to do in Galway.. In fact, When you walk through the Latin Quarter you have the feeling of returning to its medieval past. Its decorated shops, the cobblestones, its buildings…
It’s beautiful all hours of the day. But If you visit at night, With the lights on, it is a very nice experience. Don’t miss it on your list!
5. Photograph the beautiful Quay Street
Of all the streets in the Latin Quarter, Quay Street was the one we liked the most. It’s super authentic! There are also plenty of pubs with a great atmosphere. If you like photography, on the corner where you will find the Wooden Heart and Twice as Nice stores, you have a good photo 🙂
6. Have a drink at An Púcan and enjoy the atmosphere, something very fun to do in Galway
Pubs are part of Irish culture and this is one of the most famous places in Galway. If you like crowds, sports and a good atmosphere, you can’t miss going there. You can enjoy live music while you have a beer in this beautiful pub.
It has a very interesting outdoor part, especially if you like sports. Whenever there is a special match they put it on the big screen. Don’t leave Galway without visiting this place!
7. Visit the medieval Church of St. Nicholas and follow in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus
In the Latin Quarter of Galway you will find this treasure. This medieval church is the largest in Ireland still in use. It was built in 1320 and hides a quite interesting history.
Legend has it that when Christopher Columbus visited the city in 1477 during his visit, he went to pray there. Whether you are a believer or not, it is worth knowing this unique building, one of the most beautiful things to see in Galway.
8. Approach Dunguaire Castle
On the outskirts of Galway you have the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. There’s a reason it’s the most photographed! It was built in the 16th century as the residence of the Hynes family.
However, it is now owned by a company that manages several monuments in the country. And thanks to a major restoration, the castle is open to the public. The entrance fee is €6.
On some nights a medieval banquet is held with costumed performers reciting Irish literature and performing Irish music. If you have the opportunity to enjoy it, you can’t miss it! Knowing the interior doesn’t hurt, but what’s really beautiful are its exteriors. So if you don’t want to go in, The landscape surrounding the castle is beautiful.
9. Eat a delicious pizza at The Dough Bros, one of the best things to do in Galway
You can’t leave Galway without trying The Dough Bros. pizzas. They are very good! You just need to see their place: it is always full of people. And that is an unmistakable sign that the food is really good there. They have quite a variety of pizzas and what we liked the most is that they are very original. That is, they are not the ones you see on the typical menus of Italian restaurants. They are more fun! If you like the Italian foodespecially the pizzas, you can’t miss it.
You order the one you want, you pay a little more than €10 for each one and you wait at the table for them to bring it to you. And once there, enjoy!
10. Unwind (or take shelter from the rain) at the Eyre Square Shopping Center
In Ireland it rains a lot. So it is likely that during your visit to Galway you will have a few hours of rain. If you don’t know what to do, One of the best things is browsing the Eyre Square Shopping Centre. There you will find plenty of shops (more than 70) to entertain you. From the best known to other local ones.
11. Visit the Charlie Byrne Bookstore, one of the most attractive things to see in Galway
We love bookstores. And Charlie Byrne never disappoints! It is one of the most famous in Ireland and has, nothing more and nothing less, than more than 100,000 books. So if you like literature or want to improve your English, buy a book. There is nothing more beautiful than complementing a trip with a reading!
12. Visit the Galway Museum, one of the best things to do in Galway if it rains
You will notice that it rains a lot in Ireland. So if time is not with you, One of the most curious visits to do in Galway is to discover the city Museum. It’s right next to the Spanish Arch, so you’ll have no excuse! We believe that It is a perfect way to learn about the history of this beautiful city. There are several different exhibitions throughout the year that will allow you to get to know Galway in detail.
Admission to Galway Museum is free and the visit is very interesting. Especially if you have to endure some rainy day.
13. Spend a beautiful day at Kylemore Abbey and Connemara
North of Galway is the beautiful region of Connemara and the incredible Kylemore Abbey. It is one of the best-known castles in Ireland! It was a wedding gift from Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor, to his wife. The setting is idyllic!
But more than Kylemore Abbey, the beautiful thing is the Connemara region. It is probably the most beautiful in Ireland. If you like nature, you will come back in love. Connemara National Park is a delight for our retinas. You can even enjoy Ireland’s only fjord!
We did this excursion from Galway and we enjoyed it even though the day was not good.
14. Hike the Cliffs of Moher, one of the best things to do in Galway
The Cliffs of Moher are the main tourist attraction in Ireland. And it is no coincidence. They are spectacular! It was what we liked most about the country. These cliffs, which in some parts are more than 200 meters high, are relatively close to Galway. It will only take you 1:30h by car.
If you do not plan to rent a car, It is best to book an excursion. They will take you to the Cliffs of Moher, to the Burren (a beautiful rocky landscape) and back to the city. Getting to know these landscapes is one of the best things to do in Galway and surrounding areas.
15. Visit the Aran Islands and their cliffs
Finally, to finish this list of best things to do in Galway We couldn’t forget to mention the Aran Islands. They are three small islands that are just 45 kilometers from the city. Going there is like going back in time. Irish culture and traditions are very well preserved. And apart from that, you can enjoy spectacular landscapes.
The best thing to visit the Aran Islands is hire an organized excursion, which is usually combined with the Cliffs of Moher. Although if you want to save, you can also go on your own.
We hope you enjoy Galway!
MAP WITH THE BEST THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN GALWAY
On this map you will find all the things marked What to see and do in Galway.