The pedestrianised streets of Galway City Centre take visitors on an alluring journey through old-world Ireland. Laced with colour and a vibrant atmosphere, this is an excellent place to explore Ireland's traditions. Visit castles and churches that have preserved their original design, enter the iconic low-roofed pubs that are dotted across Galway City Centre, and wander past terraced houses that are painted in contrasting hues. The main part of Galway City Centre is located on the eastern bank of the River Corrib, although the modern boundaries of the area also incorporate the cathedral and Nun's Island on the western side of the water.
Much of Galway City Centre isn't open to vehicle traffic, and it's a delight to walk along Quay Street, High Street and Shop Street. All the major visitor attractions are within walking distance of these central streets, including the attractive Eyre Square, Lynch's Window, Nora Barnacle House and The Spanish Arch. The 12th century Lynch's Castle is extremely impressive and rivals the Cathedral of Our Lady as Galway's premier attraction.
A couple of self-guided walks are an excellent way to get immersed in Galway City Centre's history. Medieval houses line Kirwan's Lane and are the starting point of a popular walk through Galway's historic streets. Running from Wolfe Tone Bridge to Salmon Weir, the Riverside Walk takes in the sights along the Corrib River. The closest airport to Galway City Centre is Shannon Airport, where there's a direct bus service to the city's central bus terminus. National bus services also arrive at Galway Coach Station.
In the 15th century, Galway was ruled by 14 merchant families, leading to its nickname as the “City of the Tribes”. An insight into this history can be found at Galway City Museum, which has intriguing narratives on Celtic and Norman tribes quarrelling over control of Galway.