Galway, a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, sits where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls.
Visit the Spanish Arch
Galway’s famous Spanish Arch is located on the left bank of the Corrib, where Galway’s river meets the sea. The Spanish Arch was originally a 16th-century bastion, which was added to Galway’s town walls to protect merchant ships from looting. At this time, it was known as Ceann an Bhalla (Head of the Wall). Its current name “Spanish Arch” refers to former merchant trade with Spain, whose galleons often docked here. In 1755, the arches were partially destroyed by the tidal wave generated by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In recent times part of the Arch has been converted into the Galway City Museum.
(Photo: The Irish Image Collection)
(Photo: Old Galway Society)
Afternoon tea at Cupán Tae
Step back in time to sip and dine at Ireland’s most stylish destination for Afternoon Tea.
(Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy Connacht Tribune)
A walk along the prom in Salthill
It’s hard to beat Salthill’s location. Situated on the northern inner shore of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands are visible to the right and Galway City ‘The City of the Tribes’ to the left. Directly across Galway Bay is the Burren (County Clare) and to the west are the bogs and mountains of Connemara.
(Photo: Aran Sweaters Direct)
On a clear day, you feel as though you could reach out across the bay and touch the Clare hills though there are also many days when you can’t see them at all. There’s an old expression which goes, ‘when you see Aran and the Clare hills it’s a sign of rain and when you can’t see them, it’s actually raining!
(Photo: Irish American)
Visit Galway Cathedral
Located on Nun’s Island, on the west bank of the River Corrib near Salmon Weir Bridge, Galway Cathedral is one of the largest and most dominating buildings in Galway. Construction of the Cathedral began in 1958 and was completed in 1965.
(Photo Visit Galway)
It is located on the site of the former city jail and features a dome at a height of 145ft. It was the last large church in Ireland to be made from stone and features a huge octagonal dome that complements the skyline of the City of Galway. Inside the visitor will find the rose windows and wall paintings, which echo the broad tradition of Christian art, particularly impressive. For a place that has become so important in Galway, it really is remarkable considering it only recently celebrated its 50th birthday!
(Photo: Robert Murray)
Eyre Square and Shop Street
Eyre Square is the centrepiece of Galway City and was officially presented to the city in 1710 by Mayor Edward Eyre, from whom it took its name. Originally surrounded with a wooden fence, it was enclosed with iron railings in the late 1700s. These were removed in the 1960s, and subsequently re-erected around St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church. In 1965, the square was officially renamed “Kennedy Memorial Park” in honour of US President John F. Kennedy, who visited here shortly before his assassination in 1963. The Browne doorway is another notable feature in Eyre Square as it was originally the doorway of the Browne families home on Lower Abbeygate Street and it was moved in 1905 from Abbeygate street to Eyre Square.
Shop Street is the main thoroughfare of the city of Galway in the west of Ireland. It is pedestrianised. As its name suggests, it is Galway’s main shopping street and contains old brick buildings, bright storefronts, numerous pubs and an array of street performers. Buskers are prevalent.
There is so much to do and see in Galway, it is a city not to be missed!