Situated on the beautiful west coast and fondly referred to by natives as the Cultural Capital of Ireland, Galway has long been a place to experience Irish culture at its best. The Irish language is alive and well in the county of Galway, and you’ll find that the city is verging on the Gaeltacht region (these are areas where Irish is spoken fluently and is the passionately preserved). Traditional Irish music fills pretty much every pub in Galway and you’ll be overwhelmed by the local talent, playing bodhrans and fiddles and singing with voices that fill the room....it’s a real Irish experience.
Nightlife aside, Galway is also home to some of Ireland’s most magnificent tourist attractions. The Spanish Arch situated at the bottom of Quay Street is one of the symbols of Galway and also a beautiful place to sit and have a bite to eat while taking in a little bit of history (the arch was built in 1594). The Aran Islands are situated in Galway Bay and are amongst the most magnificent sites in all of Ireland. Ancient ruins and sheer cliffs – there is so much to do here.
Can’t Beat Culture
Discover the three islands Inis Mor, Inis Meain and Inis Oirr and you'll experience a slice of West-coast life at its most picturesque. Back in Galway city, the Galway Cathedral on University Street is one of the largest and most dominating buildings in Galway. Construction of the Cathedral began in 1958 and was completed in 1965. It is located on the site of the former city jail and features a dome at a height of 145ft. Eery legend creeps in and around Galway at Lynch's Window, Market Street (side of St.Nicholas' Church). As myth has it, this window is the spot where the Mayor of Galway hung his son in the early 16th century. It is claimed that he did this after his son murdered a visiting Spaniard and it is said that this was done to show that the enforcement of the law was more important than that of the bonds of family.
A Real Find for Foodies
Food and drink is in abundance in Galway, as you would expect with a city with such a cosmopolitan feel. Famous eateries include Mc Donagh's, a family restaurant that has been providing fish and chips to Galway and its beloved inhabitants and visitors for four generations. With all sorts of seafood on offer, you’ll be overwhelmed by the varied collection available and even better –it’s famed for its affordable cod and chips, which have always been a local favourite. Failing fish and sea food – try Mocha Beans or the Cellar Bar, both serving delicious food approved by locals. The city also hosts many popular food festivals throughout the year for the food lovers among you.
Feel the Festival Spirit
Whatever your plans for visiting Galway, you’ll be delighted to know that whatever the season, Galway is a hub for festivals. So plan your trip with that in mind and consider the many great festivals on offer with highlights including the St. Patrick’s Day parade (March), Cuirt International Festival of Literature (April), the July - Galway Film Fleadh and Galway Race Week at the beginning of August.