Special props to Caitríona Ní Laighin for this post. We go to our local groups to ask for tips but she wrote almost this entire piece! It’s edited a little and we’ve added in other members tips too but what a gem! Thanks Caitríona!
According to one of the girls in our local crew, the best time to explore Galway is in the Summer with lots of different festivals ( like the upcoming Galway Arts Festival in July) there is lots of theatre, concerts, street performers and events and it’s amazing how much is free. They have great film and comedy festivals too so look those up to see if they overlap with your visit. As great as the summer is though, I personally love Galway in the winter too. There’s something about ‘real Irish’ weather that makes me feel grounded and at peace in rain and wind in the west of Ireland. Bring a waterproof jacket and find somewhere nice to warm up after. Galway has been voted as one of friendliest cities in the world so why not come and check it out for yourself. Whether you’re moving there or visiting, there is SO much to choose from to keep you busy and having a great time with all your new pals in tow!
Day Activities in Galway City
Galway Museum, like most of Ireland’s major museums, is free and a great insight into Galway and it’s history. But walking through the city itself brings you close to the history of the city too, take in The Spanish Arch and a stroll down the Long Walk, as sang in “Galway Girl” by Steve Earle. Across the river from the Long Walk is also the old famous fishing village of the Claddagh. And if you do venture towards the Claddagh you might as well just keep going and take walk on the Salthill Prom! There are lovely cafes in Salthill to give you some sustenance if you’re walking around all day too. The Circle of Life garden is worth a visit too if you walk the Prom. It’s really pretty and in memory of organ doners, it’s located between the Salthill hotel and Galway Bay hotel. If the weather’s nice you might even want to jump off Blackrock!
Step Out of the City
Take a trip to scenic Connemara for its rugged beauty and beautiful mountains. On a clear day take a drive up Sky Rd in Clifden, or a trip to Roundstone & Dogs Bay for stunning beaches and crystal-clear tropical looking water. Thirsty for more of this Irish beauty’s charms, hop on a short boat ride to one of the Aran Islands.
Gorgeous shots of Galway via GirlCrew member Maria Rice
Galway is also home to one of Ireland’s most popular events on the racing calendar. People come from all over Ireland to The Galway racing festival to experience the madness and mayhem of Race Week.
A Great Night Out
Galway knows how to have a good night out. Head to Quay Street/Latin Quarter and West End. There are actually too many great bars to know where to start listing them but you’ll find the one that’s right for you, or find one with a nice trad session on. Maybe head to Tigh Neachtains and if the weather is right grab a seat outside, a pint of Guinness (or a mug of tea and a bag of crisps) and watch the world go by. Or see some of Ireland’s best bands and musicians in the Roisin Dubh. Check out Oslo in Salthill or The Salthouse in town for brilliant craft beers. The benefit of Galway venues is they’re often more intimate than the places you might catch the same acts in bigger city spots and it adds to how special Galway always feels. Galway’s a big student city too and NUIG’s student union often post upcoming events in the city on their page here, if you want to check in for tips of what’s hot closer to the time.
Some great spots include Ard Bia down at Nimmo’s Pier is fabulous food with views overlooking the rapid flowing Corrib. For something more casual and equally satisfying, get yourself some Fish and chips in McDonaghs on Quay St.
Take Something Home
If you want a genuine Galway souvenir perhaps you might pop into Thomas Dillion’s jewellers @ top of Quay St which is home to the famous Claddagh ring and they also have a little museum in back of shop.
Making Friends in Galway
GirlCrew was set up to make a few new friends for nights out on the tiles but it quickly evolved into the place to go for some female pals for any kinds of social activities. It started in Dublin, Ireland but there’s a really active amazing group running in Galway and many other cities around the world now. The group is open to all women over 25 , with no upper limit for age, and there are always newbies joining so don’t worry about being a newbie arriving to a gathering. We were all a newbie once! Hit the link below to join the crew and find yourself some amazing summer adventures.
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