County Galway combines enchanting landscapes with centuries of history and culture. In Galway City, you’ll be energised by live music, street theatre and a flourishing culinary scene. Destinations like the Connemara Peninsula and the Aran Islands immerse you in the wild, untamed landscapes Ireland is famous for.
Things to do in Galway
Liberal and free-spirited, Galway is one of the most captivating cities in Ireland. While the city dates back to medieval times, a large population of artists, musicians and students give it a contemporary feel. Stop to watch a street theatre performance before settling into a pub for Guinness and live music. The Galway City Museum features exhibits on everything from the local fishing industry to the Easter Rising. The café serves delicious cakes coupled with excellent views over the centuries-old Spanish Arch.
Stroll along the seaside promenade to Salthill, a lively village set on Galway Bay. The village is fringed by a rocky beach and boasts beautiful views over the Aran Islands. Discover Ireland’s diverse underwater ecosystem at the Atlantaquaria aquarium and tee off on the historic 18-hole course with sweeping views over the bay. The village is home to great restaurants where you can enjoy world-famous Galway Bay oysters.
The Connemara Peninsula juts into the Atlantic Ocean and combines dramatic seascapes with rugged mountain scenery. Narrow roads meander along the peninsula and take you past white-sand beaches and heather-strewn hillsides. Stop at Connemara National Park to hike through picturesque valleys and visit ancient megalithic tombs. If you’re lucky, you could spot Connemara ponies grazing in the grasslands. Clifden, one of the prettiest towns in Ireland, is a great base to explore the region.
Ferries whisk you across Galway Bay to the Aran Islands. Wild and remote, the islands are speckled with tiny villages where you can discover the rich history, culture and traditions of Ireland. The islands offer some of the most scenic walking and cycling trails in Ireland.
Getting around Galway
County Galway is easy to get around by car, bus and train, while Galway City is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The city is a one-hour drive from Shannon Airport and 2.5 hours from Dublin Airport.