Ireland is known for its amazing coastline, great hospitality and rich history which makes it one of the most favorite destinations of visitors. It is one of the most influential countries of the world. An interesting fact is that the national language of Ireland, Irish, does not have the words “yes” and “no”. Ireland is gifted very abundantly by nature with great cities and locations. One of these great cities is Galway, located on Ireland’s western coast. This city has quite a charm that you may not want to leave from here. Galway city was formed from a small fishing village located in the Spanish Arch where the River Corrib meets Galway Bay. The city almost got vanished in 1649 when Bubonic plague was introduced into the city and killed more than 3500 habitants and most of the residents abandoned the city temporarily. But the city prevailed and today it is one of the most visited cities in Ireland.
The climate of Galway is temperate maritime climate and is modified by the warm North Atlantic Current which keeps the winters quite mild. Winters are moderately wet and summers are not very hot here. The temperature rarely goes over 20 degrees during the year and goes down to 1 degree sometimes in January. The best time to visit Galway is during spring when the temperature hovers from 12-15 degrees.
How to get here?
Ireland West Airport, situated in Charlestown, is just 1 hour from Galway City and has daily services to all major UK cities along with chartered flights. Shannon International Airport is also 1 hour drive from Galway City which receives a wide range of flights from Dublin, UK and North America. There is Galway Train Station, known as Ceannt Station, which receives trains daily from Dublin.
Accommodation and Food
Galway has a wide range of hotels, hostels, apartments, suites and resorts to offer. In five stars there is famous Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa which is just 650 ft from Eyre Square. There is Jurys Inn Galway, The Connacht Hotel, Pillo Hotel, Jameson Court Apartments, Flanner’s Hotel, Eyre Square Hotel, The Victoria Hotel, Hotel Meyrick, Spanish Arch Hotel, Menlo Park Hotel, Salthill Hotel, Harbour Hotel, Forster Court Hotel, Amber Hill B&B, Galway Bay Sea View Apartments and many more which offer every kind of accommodation, from luxury to budget.
The Irish food is famous all around the globe and Galway maintains that standard. For a light lunch or snack you can get to any Galway Café you want. Aniar Restaurant is also famous for its innovative terroir based dining in Dominick Street. They offer great salt beef, Kohlrabi and Hazelnut including seabuckthorn pannacotta and caramel for dessert. In more options, there is Kai Café and Restaurant with its genuinely tasty food, White Gables with its fillet steak and t-bone and Ard Bia with its roast shallot potato cake.
Eyre Square, also known as John F. Kennedy Memorial Park is a public park of Galway. It was officially presented by Mayor Edward Eyre in 1710 to the city and finally it was named after Mayor’s name, Eyre Square. There is a famous statue of Padraic O’Conaire, the author of Field and Fair and other tales in the center of square. It also has a fountain which is a great example of Galway’s architectural excellence.
There are two large cast iron cannons placed at the top of Eyre Square beside the Browne Doorway. They look quite impressive and are the oldest memorial in the whole square. These cannons were presented to the Connaught Rangers because they played a major part in the Alma Valley Battles in 1854.
Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas is located on the banks of the River Corrib in Galway. It was designed by J. J. Robinson and features different styles and periods of architecture. Its ceiling was made with American wood and the towers are said to be Renaissance in nature. There is famous mosaic of the crucifixion by Patrick Pollen and beautiful stained glass windows everywhere. This cathedral was the last large church to be made by stones and has a big dome complimenting the skyline.
The Dunguaire Castle is a tower house located on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay. It is admired by people because of its magnificent architecture. It was built in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan and now it is one of the most visited castles in the West of Ireland. The castle is maintained by Shannon Heritage and remains open 365 days a year.
Galway Arts Festival
Galway Arts Festival is leading festival of theatre, dance, visual arts, music, literature and comedy. It was founded in 1978 and now it has grown into an event with great reputation. The main highlights of the festival are Primal Scream, Philip Glass, New York Dolls and artists like David Gray, David Byrne, Brad Mehldau, Blondie, Brodsky Quartet, Joni Mitchell and others. Next Arts Festival will take place from 14th to 27th July and will feature over 500 writers, artists, performers and musicians from all over globe.
There are many other places to visit in Galway like Aillwee Cave, Galway Aquarium, Brigit’s Garden, Prey Centre and many more. In Galway, you will find every taste of life you are looking for.