Find out more about beautiful Galway!
Things to do
Take a stroll on Salthill Promenade
After a busy day exploring the city, why not enjoy a leisurely stroll along Salthill Promenade. Starting at The Claddagh you can walk by the sea for 4 kilometres without crossing a road. Along the way you’ll pass four fine beaches where you can stop for a paddle and take in the beautiful views of Galway Bay. After 2 kilometres, you’ll come to Salthill seafront which is dotted with lots of cafes, ice cream parlours, pubs and restaurants where you can repose, refresh and watch the world go by. Salthill seafront has seats all along so you can have a welcome break before setting back towards the city centre.
Galway is a popular location for kayaking enthusiasts as there are a number of different kayaking options to choose from. With the River Corrib flowing through the city and a network of canals throughout the town, you have the opportunity to explore the city in a unique way. Sea Kayaking on Galway Bay is also a great option for visitors as you can kayak past the stone walls and old fishing boats of Galway docks and explore Rabbit and Hare Island, Oranmore Bay, Mutton Island Lighthouse while taking in the fantastic views of the Burren, Galway City and Salthill, before you return to join the busy city of Galway once more.
Explore the city streets
There’s always something happening here in Galway. The streets are home to a fine assortment of shops, cafes and pubs. As you stroll through the city, you can enjoy the many street performers playing for crowds. Buskers who we have had the pleasure of watching perform on Shop Street are the likes of Ed Sheeran, Mundy and Sharon Shannon, but there are far too many to mention and you never know who you’ll see. The atmosphere on the streets is like no other city. Galway is also a festival city with lots of free events happening throughout the year such as free talks, fashion shows, markets and family events.
Discover history at Galway City Museum
Overlooking the famous Spanish Arch, where the River Corrib meets Galway Bay, Galway City Museum provides an opportunity learn more about Galway’s history. The museum presents a wide variety of permanent exhibitions for adults and children ranging from Prehistoric and Medieval Galway to the 1916 revolution, The Great War and sporting history through the GAA. Interactive exhibits include Sea Science for Children on the top floor and the 3D Pictorial Map display of Galway in 1651 on the ground floor. Other highlights include the Galway Civic Sword and Great Mace, the statue of Padraic Ó Conaire and a traditional sailing vessel or Galway Hooker, named ‘Máirtín Oliver’, which was specially commissioned for the Museum. The views from the top floor of the Claddagh and Galway Bay alone are reason enough to visit. Opening hours are from Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 until 17:00. Free admission.
Enjoy a lunchtime recital at St. Nicholas’ Church
The Galway Music Residency free lunchtime recitals with the ConTempo Quartet can be enjoyed on the first Tuesday of every month until June each year in the wonderful surroundings of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church. St Nicholas’ Church is the heart of old Galway dates from the 13th century and is named after St Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of children and mariners. Admission to this recurring classical music event is free, and open to all but early arrival is recommended due to its popularity.The church is well worth a visit. Legend has it that Christopher Columbas visited this church before he embarked on his voyage to the Americas.
Enjoy a traditional music session
Galway has a vibrant Irish traditional music scene with sessions nightly across the city. A great selection of bars showcase trad music such as Monroe’s Live, Taaffes bar, The Crane Bar, Tig Choili, The Quays and Tigh Neachtain to name but a few. Sit in on a sessiún and enjoy the sounds of the fiddle (violin) and banjos. If you play an instrument, there is sometimes an opportunity to join in, particularly in The Crane Bar or in Áras na nGael in Galway’s Westend area.
Take a tour of Galway Cathedral
Galway Cathedral is one of Galway’s most distinctive landmarks and a popular attraction for visitors to the city. At approximately 45 metres tall, it is a prominent feature of the city skyline and is actually located on the site of a former gaol. Designed by a prominent church architect, it originally drew ire when first built but has since become appreciated as one of Galway’s most iconic buildings. The wonderful stained glass windows, in particular the stunning Rose Window above the organ by George Campbell are alone worth the visit. Notable other features include the exceptional mosaics, intricate flooring patterns and the hand carved stations of the cross. Visitor are welcome but asked to avoid walking around during services. There is no admission charge but donations towards the upkeep of the Cathedral are welcomed.
Do some shopping at Galway Market
The popular weekend market surrounding St Nicholas’ Church in the centre of Galway is a colourful, aromatic and musical place to indulge your senses when visiting the city. Located by the church for hundreds of years, it promises wall to wall stalls of locally made food, art, crafts and unique bric-à-brac items you may not find anywhere else. It’s also the ideal meeting place to get to know locals and find out what happening in the city. Closer to Christmas, it transforms into a thriving festive market and is a great place to pick up a truly unique gift. Open all year on weekends and bank holidays and all week during summer months.