Galway is Ireland’s fifth largest city, and is renowned for its vibrant colourful buildings, live music, bohemian culture and street performances. A popular place to take a city break, Galway has plenty of arts and culture on offer and is considered by many to be the “most Irish” Irish city. A popular getaway for young couples, students and those with a solid interest in arts and culture, Galway boasts a truly bohemian spirit. It’s easy to soak up the atmosphere here and be allured by the charms of the city simply by taking a stroll through one of its many streets. There’s also a rich history here for those who like to do plenty of sightseeing, with the remains of medieval towns that lay between the streets lined with bohemian shops and bespoke boutiques. The stunning countryside that surrounds the city acts as a dramatic backdrop where you’ll see rugged landscapes and lush greenery climbing the hillside giving you a true taste of rural Ireland. The weather is generally pretty changeable here and temperatures only ever tend to hit the early 20s even during summer. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year and thunder storms tend to be common during the later summer months.
Galway is less busy than Dublin, but is still highly pedestrianised, and rush hour can be very busy on the roads. A hatchback is fine if you’re looking to stay in the city, but the beautiful Irish countryside is easy to get to, so a more flexible family car is recommended.
Driving in Galway
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Important things to note
Due to the population of Galway largely being made up of students, the city is considered a party town and can be quite lively at night. Be aware of large groups of rowdy people who might have over-indulged after a night of drinking.
There are plenty of parking facilities throughout Galway both multi-storey and pay-and-display car parks. On-street metered parking is also available.
Galway’s roads are prone to congestion and high volumes of traffic during rush hour, so it’s best to avoid driving through the city centre during peak times.
Highlights & Hotspots
James Joyce’s former house that he shared with his wife and muse, Noral Barnacle, has been transformed into a museum. Explore this tiny home and learn the history of the man behind the classic Ulysses.
On a Tuesday night, there’s no place better to go in Galway than Monroe’s Tavern, located in Galway’s West End where you’ll see a range of traditional Irish dances. Usually, audience members like to join in too.
Take a trip to the Bold Art Gallery, where you’ll discover the extensive collection of works that range from the irreverent to the phenomenally beautiful.
For those wanting a true taste of the city’s history, a trip to the Spanish Arch and Medieval Walls is the perfect way to discover it for yourself. Considered an extension to the medieval walls, the Spanish arch once acted as passageway for ships to enter the city.
If you’re visiting Galway during the final week of September, be sure to join in with festivities at the Galway International Oyster Festival where you’ll be able to sample these exquisite delights from the ocean.
Galway Airport is located approximately 4 miles from Galway city centre. Galway Airport has not serviced any flights since 31 October 2011.