There are so many great things to do in Galway city. It is an absolutely wonderful place to spend some a few days and couldn’t be any further removed from Dublin city and the east coast.
Galway will be the European Capital of Culture in 2020 but you don’t need to wait until then to plan a trip!
Here is our list of 23 things to do in the city itself.
- Visit the Spanish Arches
The Front Wall used to protect the quays of Galway and there are only two arches left. They are nearly 500 years old and nowadays they are a place where the young people of Galway sit out and drink in the sun. It’s still illegal to drink outside but usually the Gardai turn the other cheek and allow it, once you are respectful!
2. Get your hair cut in one of the oldest barbers in the country
Ireland is OLD… Don’t forget that. There are many shops, restaurants, pubs and barbers have been around for a very long time. Healy’s is no exception. It has been operation since 1939!
If you want to eat in a bustling location where you can sit outside and watch the vibrant city pass by then The Quay Street Kitchen is for you. It’s not got a lot for vegetarians but as you can see here I had the rib with a side of truffle mac and cheese and it was BEAUTIFUL! The main course mac and cheese was a bit overpriced though.
4. The Galway International Arts Festival
Galway city has a fantastic array of different festivals and performances so keep your eyes peeled!
This place is funky and eccentric, it’s a great find if you want to be transported to a completely different place. It’s a great location if you want somewhere to relax before hopping on the train or bus. It has a great vibe.
An Púcán is a fantastic bar for a big crowd. It has live music and a massive beer garden out back which is perfect to dance the night away in this lovely pub.
Charlie Byrne’s is one of Ireland’s most famous independent bookshops and has well over 100,000 books available for you to buy. It also won best bookshop in Ireland back in 2014…It’s a must see if you need a good book during your trip!
McCambridges is a household name in Galway and offers a range of luxury foods and vegetables. I couldn’t tear myself away from the stunning cheese section but there is much more to choose from here. They also have a lovely cafe upstairs that is well worth a visit.
Nimmos ain’t cheap, but it’s very good. The food in Nimmo’s focuses on flavour… They aren’t pretentious and have a great range of food for vegetarians. It is well worth checking out!
The Roisin is almost a right of passage for most people. It is a great venue for a dance in the dark with some friends. I’ve been to a headphone disco there before and have also seen a few bands… It is one of the most famous venues in Galway city and loads of bands will play there and nowhere else.
Directly across from The Roisin Dubh is a little chipper called Vinnies. This place is absolutely perfect for when you stumble out of the Roisin after a couple of pints and want a delicious salt and vinegar flavour sensation!
This place is the perfect choice for someone looking for a bit of quiet time to relax, drink a cup of tea and read a book or two. They have an amazing selection of teas and a lovely little outdoor garden to boot.
Kai is a very unique restaurant in Galway where you never know what to expect when you go, except that you will be eating excellent quality food. Their menu changes every other day. They have a phenomenal wine selection as well and Kai is regarded by many as one of the best restaurants in the city.
Monroe’s is another music venue in the city (in Ireland, nearly every pub is a music venue!) They have live music seven nights a week and their pizzas are HUGE and delicious… They also have a fantastic selection of beers too.
This pub has the best Guinness in the city. Trust me, I’ve sampled a lot of them! Come for the pint, it’s worth it.
Galway has the best buskers in the country… It’s that simple. They are fantastic, artistic, creative and a credit to the city. These guys were probably my favourite. They played some gorgeous jazz and Spanish guitar mixes that really got the crowd going.
Murphy’s Bar is a well known bar for regulars… They have a great pint of Guinness and delicious menu items, especially the oysters. It’s a real old man’s bar.
18. Experience Shop Street
Shop street is the perfect street to amble down if you want to drink in this beautiful city. It is so rich, vivid and alive. I actually went up and down about five times… There was too much to see and enjoy. I couldn’t get enough of all of the amazing street performances.
19. The Pie Maker
Sweet or savoury? Either way The Pie Maker has you covered with a fantastic selection of delicious pies to choose from. The food is hearty and will fill you to the brim! As well as that the decor is really quirky. This one is definitely worth checking out.
20. Explore Galway’s many canals
Rivers and canals act as the veins of this city, they are all over the place and usually some gorgeous quiet spots to relax with you friends. It is always possible to find somewhere quiet near the canals.
21. Visit the National University of Ireland in Galway
NUI Galway is a very magical place… It is a cross between modern day Galway and something out of a Harry Potter set. It is stunning… Particularly when the vines turn from green to red. This campus is a lot of fun to explore.
22. Take a boat out
If you ever wanted to try your hand at a bit of fishing or explore some of the islands why don’t you hire a boat for a few hours? It’s not that expensive and offers some unique views of the coastline.
23. Jump off Salthill Pier
This is one not to be missed out on. When the tide is high and the weather is warm the people of Galway flock to jump off this pier. It is incredibly exhilarating and a beautiful thing to watch or take part in (I know which one I’m doing).
23. Galway City Museum
The Galway City Museum is a wonderful way to look into the past of such a historical city. They run many different exhibitions each year. You can see the weapons and armor that Irish people used back in ancient Ireland.
So there’s are list. If you have anything to add please shoot us an email and we’ll add it to the list!