Galway seduces. Those who visit the city end up repeating, or dreaming of doing so. Considered the one of the most vibrant cities in Ireland, Galway is an explosion of tranquillity, beauty and peace.
Its proximity to the Cliffs of Moher makes it a must-see. It is the third most populous city in the country. It still has the charm and essence of a village. This makes it easy to get around on foot.
From Galway, you can visit other places such as Connemara or the Aran Islands.
Galway can be reached by public transport from Cork or Dublin.
In this article, I’m going to tell you about the must-see places to visit in Galway.
🗺 Things to do and see in Galway in a day
During my experience as an au pair in Ireland, domestic trips were an energy boost to face the routine. Galway was one of those holiday breaks.
I visited in December, the best time of the year to enjoy its Christmas market and festive atmosphere. Everywhere I went, Galway fascinated me even more.
Most visitors to the city spend only a couple of hours in the city centre because they usually come on a tour to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway from Dublin. If you get the chance, I encourage you to spend a full day and discover the Irish essence of the place.
These are the places you must visit in Galway 👇
📍Lago Corrib and Galway bay
From Gladdagh Quay or Father Griffin Road you can access a short walk with beautiful views of The Long Walk, one of the most emblematic places in the city.
Its picturesque and colourful waterfront houses have become Galway’s most Instagrammable spot.
To get to the very spot where this tourist icon is located, we must cross the Spanish Arch, which I’ll tell you about below. But first, let me give you a piece of advice, try not to leave the city without seeing the sunrise from the Bay or South Park.
📍Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum
The Spanish Arch refers to the remains of an ancient wall that protected the city’s docks. Although there are now only two of them, in the past there were four.
Its name is a tribute to the fruitful commercial relations between the Spanish and the city of Galway.
Next to the Spanish Arch, you have the Galway City Museum. It houses exhibitions on the history of the city and admission is free. From its top floor you can enjoy spectacular views of the sea.
📍 Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter is the liveliest part of the city. It’s home to Shop Street, the city’s shopping hotspot, and a wealth of pubs and restaurants.
Shop Street and High Street are the two streets you’ll walk down most often. On Shop Street, the sculpture of Tiiu Kirsipuu does not go unnoticed. The two seated men are the Irishman Oscar Wilde and the Estonian Eduard Vilde. The sculpture is a gift from Estonia to Galway City after joining the European Union. On the same street, you’ll also find Lynch Castle, a former castle that has now been transformed into a bank.
Latin Quarter is the best place for a pint. Some of the places I recommend are: Tig Cóili, The King’s Head and The Quay’s Pubs.
📍 Eye Square
This is Galway’s main square.
Its official name is John K. Kennedy Memorial Park. In 1965 the city named it after the president after his visit to the city. In mid-November, it hosts the Galway Christmas Market. Christmas is a magical time to visit the city.
Next to the square, there is a shopping centre of the same name.
📍 Galway Churches
There are two cathedrals in the city: one Catholic and one Protestant. St. Nichola’s Collegiate Church is a medieval, Protestant cathedral and the site of the creation of the Great Book of Irish Genealogy.
Adjacent to the cathedral is the farmers’ market. In Ireland it is very common to see a food market in every town and city. Similar to the ones we have in Spain, but more oriented to food and crafts.
Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas is the Catholic cathedral. Admission is free. Its building is one of the most spectacular in the city and is built on the site of a former prison.
📍 Galway markets
Next to St. Nicholas Cathedral, we have the first market. Here you’ll find local produce and crafts such as Irish-related figurines and home décor. Tiny traders village is the second market. Here you can sample a range of sweet temptations and marvel at a mini caravan converted into a cafe.