What to see in Galway in 3 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Galway (Gaillimh in Irish) is a wonderful university city in the Republic of Ireland and capital of the homonymous county. Located between the bay and the Corrib river, Galway is characterized by its purely lively and typically Irish soul, perceptible in every corner of the city, from its narrow streets full of pubs, boutiques and restaurants, to its corners of spectacular solitary nature. Between a dinner of delicious local oysters and a pint of fresh Irish beer, you will never forget this pure and evocative corner of Ireland, like few in the world. Let's find out together what to see in Galway in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Galway cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning. breakfast, Lynch Castle and Museum

Let's start with a rich breakfast at Pascal Coffee House (Edward Square, William Street) with pancakes and coffee (cost approximately € 10,00).

We continue for about 1 minute on foot towards one of the major attractions of the city: the Lynch Castle in Shop Street. This is the residence that belonged to the most powerful family in Galway, an example of intact medieval construction dating back perhaps to the th century. It is one Irish Gothic style. Over the centuries it has undergone several restorations. Note the facade decorated in Spanish style with the coats of arms of the families who lived there, those of Lynch family and King Henry VI. You can also visit the museum inside, only and exclusively during the opening hours of the Allied Irish Bank, became the owner of the Castle in 1930 and author of its best restoration. With the purchase, a stone portal decorated by the architect Campbell was also introduced. Admission is free.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch and Long Walk

We wander a bit in the center of Galway even if we do not delve into the visit. We look for a good place to have lunch and we come across Mccambridge's of Galway (also in Shop Street). We opt for smoked mackerel with aubergines (about € 12,00 per person).

After lunch, we head in about 6 minutes on foot towards the Galway City Museum. The museum houses a number of very interesting collections concerning the political, artistic and industrial history of the city. Do not miss the room with the agricultural tools of typical Irish rural life (DJ Murphy Collection); the medieval stones of the th and th centuries; there Galway Militia Artefacts with objects owned and used by the inhabitants of Galway during the Crimean War and in the 1st and 2nd World Wars; there Maritime Collection; The Collection of objects from ancient Galway Artistic Collection with a painting of the Madonna and Child by Clare Sherdian; finally, the Photographic Collection by Derek Biddulph which tells the story of Galway life from the 50s. Admission is free, open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00.

Leaving the museum we can only take a nice walk at sunset under the Spanish Arch (dating back to the 500th century) and along the Long Walk with a beautiful view of the sea. Do not miss the typical houses and the characteristic colored boats of the fishermen.

3 - Evening: dinner, Naughton's Pub

We always stay in the same area of ​​the Spanish Arch and we choose to dine at Quays Bar Galway in Quay Lane. We cannot resist the temptation to taste the famous ones Galway oysters with crunchy fish and chips. The bill in this case rightly rises a bit, but it is definitely worth it, about € 40,00 per person with wine.

We conclude the evening in a typical Irish style pub, Naughton's Pub (o Tigh Neachtain), very close to the restaurant. We order a nice mug of beer for around € 5,00 and then straight to the hotel.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,2 km / 15 min
  • Places visited: Lynch Castle and Museum, Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch, Long Walk
  • Galway: hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour
  • Breakfast at Pascal Coffee House (Get Directions), Lunch at Mccambridge's of Galway (Get Directions), Dinner at Quays Bar Galway (Get Directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: breakfast, St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, Salmon Weir Bridge

The second day in Galway begins with a good cappuccino and a slice of cheesecake at Cafe Express on Shop Street (around € 9,00 each).

Adjacent to the bar we find the Collegiate Church of San Nicola, the first attraction to visit. There Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, patron saint of children and sailors, dating back to 1320, is considered the largest church still active in all of Ireland. It has a purely medieval style with magnificent sculptures that immediately catch our interest: two mermaids, a dragon, a monkey and a lion, and decorations with human, horse and lion heads. Over the years it has been extended several times. Inside you can admire the baptismal font and the tombstone of the crusader Adam Bures. There are two interesting curiosities: Christopher Columbus will be in this church to pray during his visit to the city in 1477, and in 2002, also in this church, the Ireland's first same-sex marriage. Admission is free, open every day.

To end the morning, we decide to admire the Cathedral from the Salmon Weir Bridge (about 6 minutes on foot), where, in the lifts season from February to September, you can admire hundreds of salmon and sea trout swim in the River Corrib. An exceptional show not to be missed.

2 - Afternoon: lunch, Salthill

Let's go back to the more central area to have lunch at McSwiggans restaurant (Eyre St), about 4 minutes walk from the bridge. We order the typical homemade soup and the classic toast with ham, cheese, tomato and onion, served with chips and salad (cost of lunch around € 18,00).

From Eyre Square we take bus n ° 401 which takes us to Salthill in 15 minutes, marine suburb of the city. Her long promenade on the Ocean is truly spectacular, one tourist resort really full of colors and surrounding lush nature. In the area you will find many bars, pubs and hotels. Don't miss the famous Aran Islands in the distance. Salthill it is the ideal place to stroll in total relaxation and enjoy breathtaking views. The sunset is just the icing on the cake of another wonderful night in Galway.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Latin Quarter

Let's go back to town to have dinner at McDonagh's on Quay St. We take the same bus from the Salthill Rd Lwr stop and get off at Eyre Square Galway stop. In about 5 minutes on foot we arrive at the restaurant, where we order delicious local oysters with grilled organic salmon. The cost of the dinner is about € 25,00 per person with drinks.

We decide to spend the after dinner in the characteristic Latin Quarter, just 5 minutes walk from the restaurant. A pure concentrate of entertainment with numerous restaurants, pubs and shops. There is no shortage of talented street artists who animate the cicostanti streets. The murals are also not to be missed colorful and stalls where you can buy some souvenirs.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,7 km / 58 min
  • Places visited: Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, Salmon Weir Bridge, Salthill, Latin Quarter
  • Galway City & Salthill: Segway Fun-Glide Experience Galway Food Tour
  • Breakfast at Cafe Express (Get Directions), Lunch at McSwiggans Restaurant & Café Bar (Get Directions), Dinner at McDonagh's (Get Directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Menlo Castle

Our last day in Galway begins at Elles Cafe on Shop Street, where a breakfast of muffins and coffee awaits us (€ 5,00 in all).

We expect a trip out of town that will occupy us all morning, direction Menlo Castle. We take the bus from the Eyre Square stop and in about 25 minutes we get off at Clifton Park; we walk for about ten minutes in the midst of spectacular natural scenery. It is a wild landscape, practically abandoned, where to admire the splendid ruins of this magnificent castle dating from the th century and wrapped in some mysterious stories. The castle it was the home of the Blake family, the richest in Galway in 1952. It is said that one day a midwife of the family saw fairies dancing to soft music in a field near the castle. Not only that, in 1910 a fire devastated the castle where two waiters and the disabled daughter of Lord and Lady Blake lost their lives, the body was never found. The Castle today is covered with ivy leaves and in a fantastic panoramic position on the Corrib river. A part of Galway immersed in silence, away from the typical noises of the city.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Shop Street, Cross Street, William Street

The visit is quite quick, so we prepare to return to the city center from the Thomas Heynes Rd stop to the Francis Street Abbey Opp Church stop, then continue for 6 minutes on foot towards the Busker Brownes restaurant in Cross Street Upper. We have lunch with a tasty creamy fish soup with dessert and we spend about € 15,00 each.

Our last afternoon in Galway is all about shopping and relaxation among the characteristic streets of the center that we have already seen before, yes, but not in depth as we will do today. Along the way between Shop Street and Cross Street we find many shops, boutiques, various stalls and many street artists, a truly lively and surprising atmosphere. Do not miss the wonderful showcases of the jewelers where the wonderful ones are exposed irish engagement rings, the famous "claddagh ring". Between a purchase here and there we arrive to the equally picturesque William Street. The whole historic center is pedestrianized, so we can walk without problems with total carefree and fun.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Eyre Square

We then come to Eyre Square, la most important square in Galway. We have already been there in the previous days but in this last evening in the city, we would like to visit it better with all its details, like the beautiful park dating back to 1631. In 1965 it was renamed from "The Green" to "John F. Kennedy Memorial Park", in honor of the then American president who went to the city to give a speech in 1963. Precisely for this reason, in the center of the square is a bust of Kennedy; also unmissable statue of the writer Pàdraic O'Conaire and guns dating back to the Crimean War. You will also notice the front door of the Browne family residence, the brings Browne precisely. Magnificent also Quincentennial fountain, built in 1984, to remember the 500th anniversary of the constitution of the city and, still in the center of the square, the remains of walls dating back to the thirteenth century.

Continuing for about 2 minutes on foot, we arrive at An Pùcàn, pub-restaurant in Forster St. A characteristic traditional Irish pub where we have dinner with a delicious beef burger, fries and excellent beer (total cost about € 20,00)

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 7,6 km / 1 h 33 min
  • Places visited: Menlo Castle, Shop Street, Cross Street, William Street, Eyre Square
  • Half day guided bicycle tour of Galway city
  • Breakfast at Elles Cafè (Get directions), Lunch at Busker Brownes (Get directions), Dinner at An Pùcàn (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Galway cost

Galway looks like one very cheap city for tourist attractions, in fact, they are all free, including the museum, the Castle and the Cathedral. You can move comfortably on foot therefore there is a considerable saving on public transport, to be used only for trips outside the city and for transfers to and from the airport. Food is a bit more expensive than in other cities like Cork, but still in line with Irish and Italian prices. The least economical aspect is definitely the overnight stay: it is better to book in advance, especially if you intend to stay in spring, summer and the proximity of some of the most important events in the city.

  • Costs to eat: about € 48,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: free following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 20,00 per person (costs for public transport, any taxis and transfers to and from the airport)
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: starting from € 70,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 80,00 per person (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, shopping)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Galway: from € 450,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Galway: between May to October, where the maximum temperatures are 16 °. The climate is generally mild, but often characterized by sudden rains and strong gusts of wind. Numerous events take place throughout the year such as the famous Oyster Festival in September, the Galway Arts Festival and Galway Races in July, and the Galway Jazz Festival in November. Of course, don't forget St. Patrick's Day in March - find out more
  • the nearest airport, Galway Airport (GWY) does not fly to and from Italy. The alternatives are landing at West Ireland Airport (NOC) or Shannon Airport (SNN) making stopovers very often. From West Ireland Airport you can reach Galway by bus with the Eireann company (approximately € 13,00) or by train (approximately € 16,00) in 2 hours (90 km). Approximately same distance for Shannon: from the airport to Galway you can also take the bus of the Eireann company with a cost of about € 10,00. Flights to Shannon from € 50,00 -
  • you will not have any kind of problem if you choose to stay near Eyre Square, High Street, William Street and Shop Street, central areas where you will find many hotels, b & bs and hostels. The Spanish Arch area is also excellent. Hotel and b & b starting from € 70,00 per room -
  • Getting around: the ideal is on foot or by bicycle. But beware of some exclusively pedestrian areas. Eireann company buses depart mainly from the Eyre Square or Spanish Arch area and run from 06:00 to 23:30 (cost € 2,40 per adult, € 1,40 for children). You can also buy a rechargeable card, the Leap Card, with discounts of up to 30%. The cost of the taxi is € 1,20 per km + € 5,10 for the start of the journey. Find out how to get around Galway
  • Other: the official currency is the euro (€). There is an hour behind Italy. It is advisable to buy a power adapter (the plug has a rectangular section with 3 poles)

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