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31 Best Things To Do In Galway City, Ireland (For 2024)

There are several things to do in Galway City. Known as one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland, it is known for its urban culture, arts, history, and music. 

This city on the west coast of Ireland never fails to exceed expectations- from its medieval wallsdown to the breathtaking view of the River Corrib.

READ MORE: Best Hotels In Galway City

So whether you’re coming over for a quick visit or longer, there’s just so much to enjoy in this harbor city.

With that, here are 20 things to do in Galway City Museum: All The Things You Need To Know City that you should not miss.

Things you'll find in this article

31 Best Things To Do In Galway City, Ireland (For 2024)

31 Best Things To Do In Galway City, Ireland (For 2024)


1. Meet some marine friends at the Galway Atlantaquaria

The National Aquarium of Ireland is not just Ireland’s largest aquarium but also home to over 150 marine and freshwater species- including Valentine, the only White Skate being publicly displayed in the world.

Other highlights in this aquarium are seahorses, sharks, friendly rays, and a skeleton of an enormous fin whale.

If you prefer, there are also audio presentations to guide you on the tour.

The Lighthouse Gift Shop also has a variety of souvenir items to take home and if you want to take a break after touring the entire aquarium, you can enjoy a good meal at the Royal Villa Restaurant.

2. Learn about Galway’s past in the Galway City Museum

galway city museum

One of the most popular attractions in Ireland, the Galway City Museum is perfect for solo, couple, or group travelers who want to comb a piece of extensive information about Galway’s past.

Galway City Museum, which is located behind the iconic Spanish Arch, has exhibitions that focus on the medieval town, the Claddagh settlement, and Galway’s history from 1800 to 1950. It is one of the top things to do in Galway. 

The Museum also displays a range of exhibits from other museums, galleries, and special interest groups, as well as mounting temporary exhibitions. You can also find a big collection of artifacts and souvenirs from World War I and the Civil/Independence War, Medieval and pre-Medieval era in Galway, and all the way back to its prehistoric times.

The Claddagh, the Spanish Arch, the River Corrib, and Galway Bay can all be seen from the top of the museum building.

3. Enjoy a walk at Kirwan’s Lane

Named after one of the leading fourteen tribes in Galway, Kirwan’s Lane should make it to your list of things to do in Galway City.

This lane is one of the finest medieval lanes in Galway and contains what remains of the 16th and 17th-century architecture of the city.

Truly a great spot to revisit Galway’s rich history.

Enjoy a walk here with many bohemian-style cafes, restaurants, craft shops, and some of the best bars in Galway.

4. Catch sunsets at Salthill


Located at the edge of the city, Salthill is the best place to chase the sun go down over Galway Bay.

Leisureland Galway is also in the neighborhood if you want to treat your entire family for some water adventure.

The facility has a Treasure Cove with a pirate ship, water cannons, and a bubbly pool.

You can also find a lot of restaurants and hotels in Salthill if you want to spend a night or two here.

5. Join the Galway City Riverwalk

Starting from the Spanish Arch, the Galway city Riverwalk is a guided tour of Galway City’s river.

The tour runs all year round but sometimes it also depends on the availability of the guides.

If you have an hour and a half to spare for a stroll along the river, this walking tour should be added to your list of things to do in Galway City.

6. Take a relaxing afternoon in Circle of Life Commemorative Garden

Located in the Salthill area, the Circle of Life Commemorative Garden offers a relaxing atmosphere to tourists who want to take a break from Galway City’s overwhelming charm.

The garden also lets you reflect on the different stages of life as inscribed on each of these 2-meter standing stones- definitely an interesting soul-searching place in Galway.

7. Visit the Galway Cathedral

Galway Cathedral

Galway Cathedral , Image by Christine Rogador


Galway Cathedral is one of Galway’s largest and most imposing structures, situated on the west side of the River Corrib near Salmon Weir Bridge.

The church plays an important part in the history of Galway City with each stone used in building the cathedral was donated by the locals.

Officially known as the Galway Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, it was the last large stone cathedral completed in Europe.

The church boasts of an impressive interior, adorned with stunning art that range from wall paintings, statues, mosaics and stained glass. 

8. Discover Galway City’s Medieval house

Lynch's Castle

Although the Lynch’s Castle is often off the spotlight, it still deserves a spot in your itinerary in Galway City.

This medieval castle embellished with gargoyle statues and ornamental moldings used to be the home of one of Galway’s prominent families.

Presently, it houses the AIB bank. You can also learn more about the architecture and history of the castle if you visit during the opening hours of the bank.

9. Have a sumptuous meal at Quay Street Kitchen

Quay Street Kitchen is one of the best places to enjoy a good meal in Galway City.

Their menu is not favorable to vegetarians though but the dishes are definitely worth a try.

There’s nothing more satisfying than enjoying good food and watching the vibrant city from the inside.

10. Kickstart your riverwalk at the Spanish Arch

spanish arch galway

The Spanish Arch, which overlooks the Claddagh, is located on the Corrib, just outside the city center of Galway.

The Spanish Arch is one of the old city walls’ few preserved structures. In the medieval era, Galway had a wall that kept invading troops from getting in.

Galway’s Spanish Arch is one of the city’s most well-known landmarks.

Owing to its location in Western Europe, Galway has long enjoyed close trading ties with Spain and Portugal.

A large number of Spaniards settled here, which allegedly prompted the ruling class in Dublin to declare that “Galway is more Spanish than Irish.”

The arch was named after the Spaniards as a result of this. Ships and galleons from Spain frequently anchored alongside the Arch.

11. Meet locals at Eyre Square

Eyre Square

Eyre Square remains to be the heart of Galway city. Popular among locals and tourists, Eye Square offers a playground for children and seasonal markets for adults.

You can also find a number of ornate fixtures in the park such as the Browne family mansion doorway and the Quincentennial fountain.

The largest shopping mall in Galway City can also be found in Eyre Square.

12. Visit the old fishing village in Galway

Also known as “The Shore”, The Claddagh used to be an ancient fishing village in the western part of Galway City.

Today, the original village has been demolished and was replaced by council houses, a church, a school, and a community center.

However, the new face of the village did not erase its rich history and the legend of the Claddagh ring still remains alive today.

13. Watch salmons spawn at the Salmon Weir Bridge

Salmon Weir Bridge Galway

If you happen to be in Galway City during the summer season, one of the most interesting things to add in your itinerary is a visit to the Salmon Weir Bridge.

Tourists and locals gather on this bridge to watch salmons spawn in the Corrib river.

Aside from this, you can also enjoy the sight of the Cathedral from the bridge.

14. Grab a drink on the Shop Street

After a satisfying course in the Quay Street Kitchen, why not grab a drink at Shop Street?

The vivid and lively atmosphere of this place will entertain you and will make you grab for a few more Irish drinks.

You can try the different shops as you walk down the street or just window-shop if you prefer.

There are also a lot of street performances so don’t miss it by walking too fast. It pays to just blend in and enjoy a slow walk with a drink in your hand.

15. Be entertained with Galway City’s street performers


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As mentioned earlier, Shop Street has a lot of street performers or buskers and it’s just one of the many streets in Galway City with street performers entertaining locals and tourists.

If you spot a busker on the street, feel free to stay a bit longer, and enjoy good music.

The buskers in this city are one of the most creative and artistic folks.

16. Try the pizza and beer in Monroe’s Tavern

A slice of a gigantic pizza paired with a cold beer is perfect when accompanied with good live music.

If you’re craving for such experience while in Galway city, you might want to visit Monroe’s Tavern.

Whether you come on a mid-week or end of the week, Monroe’s has live music waiting for you.

17. Spill some tea in the Secret Garden

The Secret Garden is one of the best spots in Galway city to enjoy a cup of tea.

If you’re looking for a way to a quiet place to relax and enjoy a few chit-chats with your friends, the Secret Garden is a not-so-secretive place to add in your itinerary.

18. Enjoy the luxurious McCambridge’s


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This household name in Galway offers luxurious treats for tourists who want to splurge every penny they have in the city.

Their range of food choices like their variety of cheese will not disappoint.

Plus, the cafe on the second floor is also a lovely highlight. MacCambridge’s is one of the best restaurants in Galway.

19. Try the pint in Neachtains Bar

Definitely, one of the best Guinness in Galway city, a visit to the Neachtains Bar makes it worthwhile.

This cozy little spot is everyone’s favorite during the winter season where each corner will surely have a fireplace to warm everyone up.

If you’re in the city during these freezing times, you might want a pint and a cozy evening in Neachtains Bar.

20. Check out the pint in Murphy’s Bar too

murphy's bar

A trip to anywhere in Ireland will not be complete if you haven’t tried every single pint in the country.

To add to your list, the pint in Murphy’s Bar is also worth a try.

Check out their delicious food items too! You can never go wrong in this old man’s bar in the heart of the city.

If these are not enough, there are several day trips and hiking trails from Galway that you can do as well. And for the best accommodations in Galway, click here.

21. Watch a Race at Galway’s Greyhound Stadium

Galway Greyhound Stadium is among Ireland’s most prominent greyhound racing grounds. The stadium, which is located a short distance from the center of Galway City Centre, offers a blend of superb food, drink, and thrilling sporting activity from live greyhound races.

Whether you are an experienced racegoer or a new visitor, Galway Greyhound Stadium will not disappoint. During Friday and Saturday nights, greyhound racing is held at Galway Greyhound Stadium.

You may choose from a range of packages and specials to fit your budget and tastes, as well as group rates for parties and celebrations. You may also place bets on the races for a chance to win cash prizes.

Galway Greyhound Stadium is the best place to go if you want a fun night out with a twist. As you witness the speed and talent of the greyhounds on the racing course, you will feel an atmosphere and a rush unlike any other.

22. Visit Saint Nicholas Collegiate Church

Saint Nicholas Collegiate Church

St. Nicholas is Ireland’s biggest medieval parish church still in use as a location of worship in the center of Galway. A tour of the Church will give you a taste of its rich history. Visitors are invited to visit the church at any time of day.

Apart from the church gates, the lively Saturday market is an excellent place to browse a plethora of colorful and scented stalls where you may locate a one-of-a-kind gift or memento to remember your time at Galway.

23. Indulge in Shopping at Galway Market

Galway’s famous vibrant street market has been running on Church Lane for years. Hundreds of merchants sell fresh fruit and other items manufactured locally.

There is a wide range of cuisine available, like Crepes, Sushi, and mouthwatering handcrafted pastries, or you may purchase everything you need for a delectable gourmet picnic.

Saturday is the ideal day to come if you need bread, veggies, or plants. Every single day the market is open, and there are craft and takeout food vendors.

To book this tour click here.



24. Explore the Barna Woods

Barna Woods galway hiking trails

Barna Woods, located near Galway City, is a broadleaf forest park that claims to include the last naturally grown oaks in the west of Ireland.

The natural area is home to a rich assortment of flora and fauna, as well as a network of trails that snake through the woods, resulting in a great site for a leisurely stroll among the trees.

There are just a few parking spaces at the entrance, however, there are many at Rusheen City Park across the street. The woods may also be reached via Cappagh Park, which has ample parking.

Any forest in autumn is beautiful, but Barna Woods is something unique. Because of the rain, the path was rather slick and mucky, necessitating the use of a strong buggy.

25. Attend a Live Trad Music at The Crane Bar

The Crane Bar

The Crane is a well-known Irish traditional place in Galway’s West End. Seven evenings a week, traditional music appears on the menu.

It has been for years a favorite hangout of musicians and people who like listening to them. The Crane Bar, located in Small Crane Square, has live music every night, both upstairs and downstairs.

Each night, an Irish Trad performer may be found in the bar downstairs, where amateur musicians come in for spontaneous jam sessions.

The basement pub offers plenty of robust seating and a great ambiance, while the upper area is an open-plan space with a stage and seats along the walls.

26. Observe the Medieval City Walls at Eyre Square Shopping Centre

Medieval Wall

The merchants’ taxes were used to pay for the construction of Galway City’s Medieval Walls. It was constructed of locally available stone and had multiple mural towers and gates that controlled entry to the settlement.

The Eyre Square Shopping Centre has a sixty-metre curtain wall as well as two of the medieval towers, Penrice’s Tower along with Shoemaker’s Tower, which are still standing. The narrative, purpose, and significance of the city wall over the ages are highlighted on information boards.

27. Show Off your Talents at Pure Skill

This facility is the first of its sort in the world, and it has been a thriving recreational facility in Galway for over a decade.

In an indoor tournament arena with ten primary sports, you compete against coworkers, friends, or family. Because of the cutting-edge ball-gathering mechanisms in each location, you may fill your precious time with as much action as desired.

Each station is outfitted with cutting-edge technology, such as interactive displays, motion sensors, as well as pressure pads, to put players’ abilities and accuracy to the test.

28. Engage in Fun Activities at Galway City Karting

Galway City Karting

Galway City Karting is a great place to go if you’re seeking an enjoyable and thrilling way to enjoy the day. Galway City Karting is a leading indoor karting facility that provides a variety of services for people of all ages and ability levels.

Galway City Karting provides something for everyone, whether you want to arrange a business event, enjoy a birthday, or simply have some fun.

Galway City Karting prioritizes safety; before taking to the track, all karters get thorough safety training. Galway City Karting provides 15 and 25-minute karting sessions for fees ranging from 27.37 USD to 60.22 USD.

29. Enjoy Traditional Music at the Tig Choili

With 14 sessions every week, this bar serves as a meeting place for local and visiting musicians. The walls of the tavern are covered with photos of local and renowned performers who have performed at Tig Choilis throughout the years.

Tig Choili is situated in Galway City’s Latin Quarter. A rural tavern in the heart of Galway, you have some of the best Traditional Irish Music the city has to offer. Traditional music is performed twice daily.

  •  Monday – Thursday: 6:00 PM and 9:30 PM.
  •  Friday and Saturday: 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM
  •  Sunday: 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM

30. Check out Galway’s Fisheries Watchtower Museum

he Fishery Tower, Galway

The Fishery Watchtower is a valued architectural element in Galway and one of the city’s most identifiable historic structures. The structure, constructed by the Ashworth Brothers, is the sole structure of its sort in Ireland and was initially intended as a draft netting station.

Draft netting was the method of netting fish with a row boat and a long net attached to the beach at one end. The structure is also used as an observation tower for fisheries staff monitoring fish populations and illicit fishing along the river.

The Fishery Watchtower Museum, which provides amazing views of the River Corrib, is currently one of Galway’s smaller museums. It houses an amazing collection of fishing gear and antique images. Admission is free, and guided tours are provided.

31. Discover Hall of the Red Earl

The Hall of the Red Earl, a magnificent medieval archeological site in Galway’s center, is today one of the city’s most popular visitor attractions.

Galway’s earliest municipal building was utilized to collect taxes, administer justice, and host banquets. It essentially served as a tax office, courtroom, and town hall all in one! It was named after Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster.

Following an extensive excavation, more than 10,000 artifacts were discovered on the site, and objectives were made to protect the hall with glass paneling, add an observation gangway, and conceptual boards that will clarify the significance of both the area itself as well as the many artwork replicas that have been prominently displayed inside.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists have visited Druid Lane in the years since it was turned into a fascinating tourist attraction, hoping to catch a peek of Galway 900 years ago.

Where to Stay in Galway City

Kinlay Hostel Eyre Square

Location: Merchants Road, Eyre Square, Galway, Ireland

Kinlay Hostel, a budget-friendly hotel, situated at Eyre Square in Galway City, is a one-minute stroll from rail terminals. This hostel is rated as a Top Choice in the most recent version of Lonely Planet’s guide.

Kinlay Hostel offers both private rooms and dorms. A common area featuring a pool table and TV, a fully furnished self-catering kitchen, and a dining room are available to guests.

Guests may enjoy complimentary breakfast and high-speed WiFi, in addition to free computer use, baggage storage, and city maps.

Price per Night:

  •  $43 – $175


  • Non-smoking rooms
  •  Facilities for disabled guests
  •  Parking
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Family rooms
  •  24-hour front desk
  •  Very good breakfast

Bed in 6 Bed Male Dormitory Room En suite For 1 (1 night): $43 Price (Includes taxes and fees)

Notable Inclusions:

  •  1 bunk bed
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Shower
  •  Toilet
  •  Linen
  •  Socket near the bed

Ardawn House

Location: 31 College Road, Galway, Ireland

Ardawn House, located just seven minutes from Galway city center, provides high-quality en suite accommodations and a comprehensive breakfast selection. This exquisite guest home on Ireland’s western coast offers parking for free and Wi-Fi.

Each room offers a TV, a closet, and ironing facilities. Each room has an en suite shower and complimentary amenities.

A complete Irish breakfast is offered with delicacies. There is a breakfast buffet including fresh fruit, cereals, oatmeal, and baked bread plus preserves.

Price per Night:

  •  $191- $246


  •  Non-smoking rooms
  •  Free Parking
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Family rooms
  •  Exceptional breakfast

Triple Room For 3 (1 night): $246 Price (Includes taxes and fees)

Notable Inclusions:

  •  1 single bed
  •  1 double bed
  •  Private bathroom
  •  Flat-screen TV
  •  Free WiFi

Galway City Travel Tips

Visit Between July and October

Not only is the temperature ideal for exploring the city’s outdoor activities but there’s also a packed event schedule. Expect moderate highs in the mid-60s, and dress in layers if you want to visit the area’s coastline attractions. Spring and October are generally the peak seasons for tourism, and travelers will find fantastic deals on lodging.

Check the Current Exchange Rates

The euro (EUR) is the Republic of Ireland’s recognized currency. Because the euro to US dollar conversion rate swings often, be certain you verify the current currency rate before you leave. Most restaurants and businesses allow major credit cards.

Get Around Galway by Foot

There are several little streets and pedestrian-only sections, making it simple to move around the core business center on foot. The city’s bike-share program is another practical and economical choice.

Eat Pub Food and Drink Less to Save Money

Galway is teeming with pubs of various kinds and sizes, so wander about until you find a place with a decent vibe and an excellent crowd.

Ireland’s bar culture might drain your bank account. Reduce the expense by going to happy hours or making a pint last all night. Because Galway is a student town, there are many bars and happy hours to help you save money.

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