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County GalwayIreland

Galway City Museum which includes interior views

With a rich literary tradition, a thriving arts andmusic scene and remarkable architecture, Galwayhas a reputation of being one of Ireland’s cultural hotspots. The city’shistory goes as far back as the Middle Ages, which is reflected in thearchitecture that surrounds you wherever you go in the city. But it’s not justthe city that’s must-see; the surrounding area offers idyllic nature andhistoric castles as far as the eye can see.

Cultural DelightsWith so much to see, it’s worth joining a walkingtour in the city to learn about the main attractions from the experts. Makesure you check out GalwayCity Museum, which contain countless excellent exhibitions spanningas far back as the area’s prehistoric past. Not far away is the Spanish Arch,an extension of the city wall dating back to 1580, while the St. Nicholas'Collegiate Church and Lynch's Castle are both excellent examples of Galway’smedieval architecture.

Even outside Galwaythere’s plenty to see. Visit Kylemore Abbey with its magnificent gardens, orperhaps take a day-trip to the pretty town of Clifden. A 30-minute drive from Galwayis the fabled DunguaireCastle, a 16th Century tower house name after thelegendary King of Connacht.

Nightlife and CelebrationsWhen it comes to nightlife, only a few cities inthe country can compete with Galway. Once theevening hits you will be spoiled for choice by the countless jazz bars, pubs,theatres, comedy clubs and other entertainment venues that crowd the citystreet.

If you can, it’s worth booking your holiday to Galwayduring one of the many events that run throughout the year. In summer, there’sthe Galway Races, Galway Cathedral Recitals and the Galway Arts Festival, toname but a few. Then the foodies come out to play for the Oyster Festival inSeptember.

Thanks to the Gulf Stream on the north Atlanticcoast, Galway maintains a pretty continuous mildclimate. In winter, the average temperature is a balmy 9°C, while the summermonths (when most tourists come) offer a pretty pleasing average of 19°C. Whosaid Ireland was cold and wet?