15 Best Things To Do In Galway, Ireland

15 Best Things To Do In Galway, Ireland

By will

Galway, Ireland is a city that’s full of life. There’s so much to do and see in this amazing town that you won’t ever want to leave. From the bustling city streets to the stunning coastline, there’s something for everyone.

In this article, I’m gonna share some of the best things to do in Galway, Ireland. From exploring the Galway Bay to strolling through the Latin Quarter, you won’t want to miss out on these incredible activities.

So, let’s get started.

Visit Galway Cathedral

Galway Cathedral
Photo by N Chadwick

Nestled in the heart of Galway City, the magnificent Galway Cathedral is a must-visit! Dating back to the late 19th century, this awe-inspiring cathedral is a Gothic Revival masterpiece.

The Cathedral has an impressive spire, which towers above the city and can be seen from miles away. Inside the Cathedral, you’ll discover a breathtaking interior, featuring stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and an impressive pipe organ. It’s easy to spend hours admiring the intricate details of the Cathedral’s architecture.

The grounds of the Cathedral are also worth exploring. You can take a stroll along the tranquil pathways, admire the manicured gardens, and even visit the cemetery, which is home to the tomb of the first Bishop of Galway.

The Cathedral also hosts a number of events, including concerts, lectures, and other special events. Whether you’re looking to take in the beauty of the Cathedral or experience a unique event, a visit to Galway Cathedral is sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Explore Salthill Promenade

Galway Bay from the promenade, Salthill
Photo by Brenton Ashby

Experience the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean as you stroll along Salthill Promenade. The 2 km long promenade is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience.

From the famous Blackrock diving tower to a variety of shops, restaurants, and pubs, there is something to do for everyone. Stroll along the promenade to take in the stunning scenery and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere created by the many visitors.

Salthill Promenade is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a peaceful stroll along the waterfront and be sure to take in the beautiful sunsets and sunrises. This spot is also great for taking pictures of the stunning views.

You can also take a break from your stroll to enjoy some of the many activities and attractions available. From the playgrounds and outdoor activities to the sea-life center, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Take a Trip to the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Embark on an unforgettable journey to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most iconic attractions.

Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher offer stunning views of the wild Irish landscape.

The cliffs are 214m (702 feet) at their highest point and stretch for 8 kilometers along the coast of County Clare.

The Cliff’s of Moher are home to a wealth of wildlife, including puffins, gannets, kittiwakes, and fulmars, as well as a variety of plants and wildflowers.

A visit to the Cliffs of Moher is a must for any traveler to Galway, and visitors can take the ferry from the nearby harbor to get up close and personal with the majestic rocks and crashing waves.

On a clear day, you can even see the Aran Islands from the cliffs.

An incredible experience awaits those who make the journey to the Cliffs of Moher.

Enjoy a Pint at a Local Pub

Settle into the cozy atmosphere of a local pub and savor a pint of the freshest Guinness in all of Galway. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a chilled glass of beer in your hand amidst the lively atmosphere of a warm pub.

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Whether you’re enjoying a pint by yourself or in the company of friends, a visit to a local pub is the perfect way to explore the culture and hospitality of Galway.

Explore the vast selection of beers, ciders, and ales available at the pubs in Galway. From traditional Irish ales to international lagers, there’s something for everyone.

Pair your pint with some of the best pub food around, with dishes like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. Be sure to also try some of the amazing local delicacies, such as boxty and coddle.

Enjoy a proper pint in a proper pub – it’s the best way to experience the culture of Galway.

Admire the Streets of the Latin Quarter

Take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets of the Latin Quarter, an enchanting area of Galway that’ll take your breath away.

Take in the sights and sounds of this extraordinary area, with its narrow alleyways and colorful buildings. The Latin Quarter has been a center of culture and art for centuries.

On the streets, you’ll find street performers, musicians, and artisans. You can wander around and explore the independent shops and cafes, and even pick up a souvenir or two.

The Latin Quarter also has a rich history, with buildings dating back to the 14th century. As you stroll the streets, you’ll find hundreds of historic buildings and monuments, many of which have been well preserved.

Take a moment to stop and admire the amazing architecture, and don’t forget to look up and take in the stunning views of the River Corrib.

The Latin Quarter is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Galway.

Shop at the Galway Markets

After admiring the streets of the Latin Quarter, I was ready to experience Galway’s vibrant markets!
There are plenty of markets in the city to explore, with something to offer for everyone.
The most popular one is the Galway Market, located near the Eyre Square Shopping Centre.
Every Saturday, Eyre Square is filled with a plethora of colorful stalls, selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
One can easily spend the day browsing the stalls and finding unique items.

The Galway Market is a great way to get a feel for the city’s culture and atmosphere.
It is bustling with locals and tourists and is an excellent place to interact with the locals.
You can sample some delicious local dishes, such as seafood chowder, traditional Irish stew, and of course, a pint of Guinness.
The market is also known for its live music and entertainment, which adds to the atmosphere.
There are also plenty of souvenirs to be found, including handmade jewelry and artworks.
Shopping at the Galway Market is definitely a must-do when visiting the city!

Visit the National Aquarium

Immerse yourself in a world of underwater wonders at the National Aquarium! Located in Salthill, the National Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Galway.

Home to a vast collection of aquatic life, visitors can explore the aquarium’s many tanks and displays, featuring a range of native and exotic species of fish, reptiles, turtles, and more. Each tank is expertly designed to recreate the natural habitats of the animals, with plenty of interesting facts and interactive elements to keep you entertained.

With a variety of different exhibits, the National Aquarium offers something for all ages. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, the aquarium’s knowledgeable staff are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a tour of the facilities and see first-hand the amazing work that the team at the Aquarium do? With a wealth of knowledge and a passion for conservation, the National Aquarium is the perfect place to explore the beauty and mystery of the underwater world.

Take a Day Trip to the Aran Islands

Escape the hustle and bustle of the mainland and explore the natural beauty of the Aran Islands with a day trip! Located off the west coast of Ireland, the Aran Islands are an archipelago of three islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer.

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The islands are a great place to explore and have plenty to offer travelers. The Aran Islands are known for their unique landscapes. Visitors can explore the rugged coastlines, sandstone cliffs, lush grasslands, and limestone pavement.

There are many archaeological sites to explore, including Iron Age forts, ancient churches, and Megalithic tombs. You can also take boat trips around the islands or visit the many craft shops and pubs. There’s plenty of activities to do, such as fishing, bird watching, and horseback riding.

The islands are also home to some of the best seafood in Ireland, so be sure to sample some of the delicious local dishes. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just a peaceful escape, the Aran Islands are a great place to visit.

Enjoy Gourmet Food at Ard Bia

Treat yourself to a culinary experience at Ard Bia in Galway, Ireland! Located in the heart of Galway’s Spanish Arch, this restaurant is known for its modern Irish cuisine. The menu includes local seafood and produce that have been sourced from the best suppliers in the area, and the chefs are experts in creating traditional dishes with a contemporary twist.

The restaurant also prides itself on its extensive wine list, which includes a variety of both Irish and international wines.

The atmosphere at Ard Bia is relaxed and inviting. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and there is an outdoor patio area for those who want to enjoy some fresh air. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and they are always happy to answer any questions you may have about the menu.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a casual night out with friends, Ard Bia has something for everyone.

Wander Through the Burren National Park

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Burren National Park, where you’ll find rolling hills, rugged cliffs, and tranquil lakes. Located in the heart of the Burren region in County Clare, the Burren National Park is a rugged and wild landscape that offers stunning views of its unique natural beauty.

You can explore the park by foot, bike, or car, and it’s a great way to experience the region’s diverse flora and fauna. The park’s highest point is Mullaghmore, with its spectacular views of Galway Bay and the surrounding countryside.

Along the way, you’ll find limestone pavements, glacial erratics, and the famous Burren flowers, including the rare spring gentian and the delicate blue gentian. There are many archaeological sites to explore, including ancient tombs and megalithic structures.

The Burren has a rich cultural heritage, and you can visit a number of traditional Irish pubs and historic sites. Take a leisurely walk along the winding paths and take in the stunning views of the park’s landscape.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a peaceful escape, the Burren National Park is the perfect place to explore and experience all that Galway has to offer.

Stroll Through Eyre Square

Take a stroll through Eyre Square, nestled in the heart of Galway City, and experience its vibrant atmosphere.

The square has been a popular destination since the 1960s, but it’s now one of the most popular spots in the city, thanks to its exciting amenities and activities.

The square is home to many colorful buildings, lush green spaces, and plenty of lively events, including the Galway Arts Festival, Food Festival, and the Galway Races.

You can also find a sculpture dedicated to the poet W.B. Yeats, as well as a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants.

There’s always something new and exciting to discover in Eyre Square, making it a great place to explore and take in the sights and sounds of Galway.

Visit the Galway City Museum

Experience a piece of Galway’s history and culture by visiting the Galway City Museum. The museum showcases artifacts and documents from the city’s past. It offers a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions, providing insight into the city’s cultural heritage.

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From stunning archaeological artifacts to a range of artworks from the 18th century to the present day, visitors can explore the city’s past through the museum’s unique collection. The museum also houses an extensive library and research area where visitors can learn more about the city’s history and its people.

Furthermore, the museum also hosts a number of educational programs and workshops. This makes it the perfect place for families to explore and learn about Galway’s past. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the city’s past, the Galway City Museum offers an immersive and educational experience.

Take a Cruise on Galway Bay

Soak in the stunning views of Galway Bay while taking a cruise aboard a traditional Galway Hooker boat. A cruise on Galway Bay aboard one of these traditional vessels is a great way to explore the beauty and majesty of the area.

The Hookers are an iconic boat, with their distinct shape and bright colors, so a cruise is an iconic Irish experience. The tour will take you along the beautiful Galway coast, allowing you to take in some of the historical sites and breathtaking scenery. You’ll also have the chance to see some of the local wildlife such as seals, dolphins, and whales.

There are plenty of opportunities to take photos, so you won’t miss a moment of the exquisite views. The captain will also provide you with interesting information about the area and its history, as you glide across the peaceful waters.

A cruise on Galway Bay is a must-do for anyone visiting the area, and an experience that you’ll never forget.

Explore the Galway Craft Beer Trail

Discover the unique flavors of Galway’s craft beer scene by embarking on the Galway Craft Beer Trail.

This trail includes visits to some of the best breweries and pubs in Galway, where travelers can sample a variety of beers and ales.

Visitors can also learn about the history of craft beer in the area and the brewing techniques used to create the unique flavors of the region.

Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or just looking for something new to try, the Galway Craft Beer Trail is sure to please.

Many of the breweries offer tours, tastings, and even the opportunity to take home some of their special brews.

So, if you’re looking for an exciting and unique experience, be sure to make the Galway Craft Beer Trail part of your itinerary.

Stop by the Spanish Arch for a Photo

Glimpse the iconic Spanish Arch as you make your way through Galway, a must-see spot for capturing a unique photo.

Built in 1584, this limestone structure was originally part of the city wall which stretched from the River Corrib to the banks of the River Moy. It stands as a reminder of the city’s long and rich history as a trading port for Spanish Galleons.

The Spanish Arch stands at the intersection of two of the city’s main streets, Quay Street and High Street. It is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to take photos and admire the unique beauty of the iconic landmark.

The Spanish Arch is the perfect spot to take photos of the city and its waterfront. From the arch, you can take in views of the medieval walls, the bustling quayside, and the majestic River Corrib. You’ll also have the opportunity to take in views of the nearby Long Walk, which is lined with charming cafes and pubs.

This is a great spot to take a break and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. As you take in the beautiful sights, don’t forget to capture a few photos of the Spanish Arch for a special memento of your visit to Galway.


I had an amazing time exploring all the best things to do in Galway. From the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher to the enchanting streets of the Latin Quarter, there’s something for everyone in this Irish city.

I highly recommend a visit to Galway Cathedral, a cruise on Galway Bay, and a pint at a local pub to get the full experience. You won’t be disappointed with the sights and sounds of Galway.

With its unique culture and friendly people, it’s a city that will stay with you long after you leave. So, take some time to explore Galway and all it has to offer, you won’t regret it!

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.