The medieval university city of Galway is an animated trading post, with a hearty social, musical and artistic life. There is an array of tourist attractions not to be missed and many tourists are enchanted by this vibrant, fun loving city’s narrow, winding streets and Gothic charm.
Eyre square, a former jousting ground, has recently been redeveloped, with many imposing, predominantly nineteenth century buildings and is a good starting point to explore this compact city. The city centre lies on the River Corrib with the main tourist area being the Latin Quarter comprising William Street, Shop Street, High Street and Quay Street. The pedestrianised streets are lined with restaurants, pubs and entertainment galore, from organised concerts to a gaggle of buskers, taking on a very continental feel. One great tourist attraction is Lynch’s Castle, once the home of the most powerful family in Galway, and although today it is used as a bank, it still houses the Lynch Family Coat of Arms, and a framed panel at the front of the building shows the arms of King Henry VII, King of England from 1484 to 1509.
Another of the things to do in Galway is the 16th Century Spanish Arch, built in 1584 as an extension of the City Walls, it was designed to protect the quays. Today, The Spanish Arch houses The Galway City Museum. Ten minutes from Galway lies the Claddagh, one of the oldest former fishing villages of Ireland, and is today part of this bustling city. There are many restaurants and bars to choose from, offering cuisine to suit all tastes. For something a little different and just a stone’s throw from Galway city, visit The Twelve Hotel, Bearna, where you will find fine Gourmet dining at its best. For further information contact The Twelve Hotel
The Galway Races Summer Festival, held each year in July/August, is another of the things to do in Galway. Attracting thousands of visitors every year, it is for young and old alike. For great value accommodation close to the racecourse contact The Claregalway Hotel
Salthill, just one kilometre along and southwest of the city, is Galway’s own seaside resort. The beaches at Palmers Rock and Grattan Road are always popular and it awakens the senses just to stroll along the famous promenade. This is a very popular resort and a great place to go with all the family. Further information can be found on the Galway County Council Website
The Arran Islands lie just off the coast and can easily be added to the things to do in Galway. Inishmaan, Inisheer and Inishmore attract around a quarter of a million visitors each year. Ferries run from Rossaveal, a small fishing village 40 kilometres West of Galway City, and Aer Arrann operate daily flights. The main attractions are the austere landscape, stunning coastal views and prehistoric stone forts. Traces of the ancient Gaelic culture still remain within this predominantly farming and fishing community.