Galway is a small beautiful city of Ireland. The dense city is incredibly gifted with numerous things to do. The old churches, historical buildings, natural sites, Cliff of Moher and the Aran Island are the main attraction of this city. If you plan a trip to Ireland, you can easily spend more than half of your trip time in this city.
Galway has something to do for everyone. The best time to visit Galway is summer season. The months of July and August are the most crowded and the costliest.
The trip to Galway can be on your budget if you planned it well, drink less, and take a free walking tour. “The things to do in Galway” list has a wide option range to select from. You can start your day by sightseeing, spend the day in Churches, Sanctuaries, Cliff of Moher, ride on the horse in the evening and end your day with a delicious Irish cuisine and drink.
There are a lot more things that are unexplored yet. You need at least a week to explore Galway. Don’t dare to miss to buy a beautiful ring for your beloved if you are in Galway.
Galway is the most charming city of Ireland. The city has old-fashioned pubs, excellent modern seafood cafes. Galway was awarded as “The UNESCO City of Film”. This city has the biggest and the longest Film running the society of Ireland.
You will love Galway in a single day. The charm of the city’s architecture, natural untouched beauty, and the fabulous Irish cheese is all that you need.
Table of Contents
- Things to do in Galway
- 1. Explore the Aran Islands
- 2. Feel the Air on Cliff of Moher
- 3. Meet the Untouched Natural Beauty
- 4. Take a walking tour of the city
- 5. Enjoy the beaches Activities
- 6. Visit the Coole Park
- 7. Go Hiking
- 8. Spend some time in a Castle
- 9. Admire the Art Gallery
- 10. Visit the Galway Cathedral
- 11. Learn some History
- 12. Visit the Arch
- 13. Cinema and Theatre
- 14. Galway Oyster Festival
- 15. Buy Beautiful Handcrafted Gifts
Things to do in Galway
You will have scores of things to do in Galway. The city has music, food, nightlife, drink, natural scenic beauty, museums, Castles and what not. You can’t count the surprises of Galway on fingers. This small calm city came alive at nights with decorated lights and old-fashioned pubs. The things to do in Galway depend on your taste and interest. Don’t think much; explore every little thing that Galway offers you.
You can find the couple of things that you like to do in this city. Here are my personal favorite things to do in Galway.
1. Explore the Aran Islands
The Aran Islands is the perfect example of Irish cultural heritage to visit in Galway. The Aran Islands is a group of three small islands. The tradition of Ireland is preserved in these islands. The largest among these is Inish Mor Island that has a population of around 1000 people.
The famous historic fort Dun Aengus is situated on the island. It is an ancient stone fort built at the top of the 100-meter high cliff.
Aran Islands have beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear blue water, and green fields that attract tourist from the length and breadth of the country. The natives of this island are mainly do fishing and rear sheep for their livelihood. You can enjoy the ferries that take 30 minutes ride across three islands.
You can enjoy the adventurous activities like Hiking, Diving, and Surfing. You can easily explore the islands on foot. Horse and carts are also available there for the month of May to September.
2. Feel the Air on Cliff of Moher
The perfect picturesque location of Cliff of Moher is the topmost attraction of tourists in Galway. The panoramic views from 214 meter above the oceans left you spellbound. The Cliff of Moher has Brien’s Tower that is one of the beautiful landmarks of Ireland. You can feel the air on your face. The photographers got their heaven here.
You can enjoy the extraordinary experience of massive waves. Cliff of Moher is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. You have a lot more to explore there from Kinvara fishing village to Dunguaire Castle. You can make a mesmerizing sunset experience at the stunning site of the Cliff of Moher.
3. Meet the Untouched Natural Beauty
Connemara – the real unspoiled beauty of Galway is waiting for you. It is at the North West corner of the city. The natural landscapes and beauty of this site will sublime you. You can explore this place in a car, or cycle bike. The Connemara has beautiful rivers, lakes, and dramatic mountains to attract the tourists.
You can enjoy activities like fishing, golfing and water sports. Don’t miss the Kylemore Abbey and Gardens when you visit Connemara. This is beautiful location at the foot of the 12 Pins Mountains.
The Abbey is the most exquisite fairytale castle with modern style exteriors. You can also visit the admirable Victorian Walled Garden.
4. Take a walking tour of the city
A walking tour is the best way to explore a city full of cultural heritage sites and picturesque landscapes. The guides are available but if you want a self-guided tour, take a good Galway Map with you.
And don’t forget to explore Lynch’s Castle, Quay Street and the Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral and Churches. The best thing about a walking tour is that you can stop anywhere and explore almost everything comes your way.
You can also take a cycle ride.
5. Enjoy the beaches Activities
You can relax yourself after sightseeing and adventurous activities. The Salthill Beaches are a group of small beaches. You can enjoy swimming and sand activities during the summer season.
This is also popular as the Blue Flag Beach that means that the beaches follow the environmental safety measures. There are various other beaches in Galway to enjoy like An Tra Mor, Cill Muirbhthe Beach.
The beach activities are only enjoyed during summers in Ireland. So the best time to visit Galway is the summer season. You will love the calm and clean beaches of Galway. You can find a number of cafés and pubs nearby.
6. Visit the Coole Park
The Coole Park is 1000 acre natural heritage park of Galway. This was once known as the Lady Augusta Gregory who was the co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.
Tourists admire the beauty of the estate, the lakes, the walled gardens and many more. You can find a large copper beech tree or “the Autograph tree” that has the initials of many legends.
The Coole Park has a specialty that it has disappearing lakes. This park is a sanctuary for a lot of birds. This park is open for visitors throughout the year.
7. Go Hiking
The Burren is a unique botanical region where the rare alpine and Mediterranean trees grow. The beautiful scenic landscapes attract a lot of visitors here from the month of June to August.
The National Park of Burren is leading limestone area that makes it unique. The Rocky land of Burren has a wide range of flora and fauna. You can visit the Archeological sites and mysterious caves.
The crystal clear waters, Ancient Castles, and lush green hill areas are the special attractions of this region. You can enjoy the outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and Kayaking. This place is best known for the wonderful experience of Hiking. Remember the Rain is constant in Galway. Be prepared for the seasonal rains.
8. Spend some time in a Castle
You can find the stunning Portumna castle at the edge of Portumna town. The Castle is a large rectangular house. It has beautiful interiors with rich cultural history. The surroundings of the Castles are a wildlife sanctuary with an array of wild animals.
You can easily avail the tickets for the Castle; this is open for tourists from March to October. The Castle has Irish towers at the top of it. The Aughnanure Castle is an ancient castle of Ireland in Galway.
The Dunguaire Castle is a beautiful tower house situated on the Southeastern shores of Galway Bay. This is a perfect lavish banquet during the summer months. Imagine your dream wedding in a fairytale castle. You will feel out of the world. If you are in Ireland, your imagination can get converted into reality. This is serendipity for some couples.
9. Admire the Art Gallery
Kenny Gallery is the extensive art gallery that showcases the work of local and international artists. You can easily find plenty of food for your thoughts. Art is present everywhere in Galway.
The Whitethorn Gallery located in Connemara hub is a mainstream art location in Galway. There you find fine work of art from across the country.
If you are an artist, you will love the Artist Run Gallery and the Vanda Luddy Art Gallery. The Kenny Gallery is a dramatic spot for art lovers. You will find the latest paintings by world’s famous Artists. You can be a part of Art Exhibition.
10. Visit the Galway Cathedral
A visit to a beautiful architecture of Galway Cathedral is a must thing to do. You could hear the choirs rehearsing the traditional Irish melodies.
This Cathedral is famous for its full name that is Cathedral of our lady assumed into heaven and St. Nicholas.
It was originally a site of jail. This is possibly the most beautiful cathedral in the world. The building presides over the Corrib River.
11. Learn some History
You can visit the City’s famous museum that offers an insight into the history and culture of Galway. This is situated on the banks of the famous River Corrib. You can be a part of frequent exhibitions. These exhibitions are showcasing the evolution of the city. The culture of the West of Ireland is a perfect mix of unique flavor and modern art.
You will find the objects of Irish cultural heritage. You will get inspired by the war stories and the evolution of modern Galway.
You don’t need to pay any fee for this great place to visit, learn and inspire.
12. Visit the Arch
The Spanish Arch is the most admirable building of Galway. This Arch acts as the defensive wall to protect from the enemies. This is also known as the Blind Arch.
Through the arch, you will lead to the storage room. It is not just a passage. This is one of the historical buildings that significantly preserved in Galway.
The passage is beautiful. You can also enjoy the colorful shops around.
13. Cinema and Theatre
If you are a fan of latest movies or opera performances, there is something special for you. Visit the Wellpark Centre. The Eye Cinema is located in here. The cinema is open all days of the week. Booking is advanced and online. You will find live performances of theatre plays, ballet, and Opera.
It is a magnificent building where all latest movies and live Opera are screened. The Townhall Theatre is a fantastic place. You can enjoy the drinks at the Bar upstairs.
14. Galway Oyster Festival
You can be a part of the most waited Oyster Festival in the month of October. The Galway Oyster Festival is the longest European Seafood festival. You can enjoy this delicious festival with street parades, fun flowing Champagne and creamy stouts.
The delicious and most awaited colorful Oyster Festival is quite welcoming. You can enjoy the best seafood, oyster washed with champagne.
15. Buy Beautiful Handcrafted Gifts
Galway tour is incomplete without shopping. You will love the beautiful marketplace and the street performers on your way.
You can buy craft goods from the pottery studio near Kirwan’s Lake. The wonderful woolen market is waiting for you on the high street of Galway City. You will find authentic handmade Irish woolens here.
You can buy the souvenir from the Wooden Hart. This a beautiful place for handcrafted gifts and toys.
If you want to buy something different and precious, Tempo Antique is there for you. It is a shop with antique engagement rings. Don’t miss the Eyre Shopping Centre. The most prestigious place for shopping in Galway is Corbett Court Shopping Mall.
16. Enjoy the Galway Racing
Galway is also known as Horse Racing Island. The Galway race course is situated at the border of the city. People who love race from all around the world visit Galway for Races Summer Festival.
A 7-day world-renowned race festival is going to be held this year on 30th July to 5th August. You will experience a fantabulous horse racing. The live music, entertainment, fun and stunning fashion any much more are waiting to welcome you to this festival.
You have to book your tickets for the race day and for hospitality package. You can find luxurious packages that offer delicious food, awesome drinks and a lot more. You can also visit Galway Greyhound Stadium. You can get a plenty of surprises from the Galway racing festival.
17. Visit the National Aquarium of Ireland
Galway Atlantaquaria is the national aquarium of Ireland. This is a beautiful place with vivid crystal clear displays, and animal interaction sessions.
You will find a wide range of marine species like Conger Eel, Seahorse, Bass, and the Shark species.
Galway Aquarium is located in front of the mountain streams of Connemara and near the Corrib River. You can explore the modern submarines here. If you are with your family or little brats, this place is the best for you. You can easily get the tickets, and the tickets are valid for the whole day. You can come back any time to interact with your marine mates.
Locals are celebrating their birthdays here. The school trips are frequent in this Aquarium to learn new things.
18. Take a Princess River Cruise
The Corrib Princess is a passenger boat that sails from Woodquay to the Lough Corrib. The Lough Corrib is the largest Lake of Ireland.
You can enjoy a relaxed river cruise time here with your family or friends. You can capture a lot of perfect pictures of the lake and scenic views. You can a book a special party cruise or a private romantic evening river cruise trip.
19. Spend a day in Rural Farm
You can run away from the city and spend a day peacefully at the Rathbaun Farms in Galway.
This is a house of Fintan Connolly family. You can explore the real tradition and culture of the Irish people.
You feel more than relaxed with animals and sheep farms. Have you ever feed a lamb?
This farm has a lot more to offer you. You will feed the lambs, take a Farm tour, and do scone making activity. The deliciously baked food scone can be enjoyed with tea.
20. Do some pedaling
If you feel relaxed after the river cruise or day spent with farm people, here is something adventurous for you. Pedal Power a 6 seater bike for a tour around the Galway City. You can stop at the cafes and bar on your way to Salthill. You can get two free shots at the Bar on the route and discount on the food.
The bikes are either 15 or 6 seaters. You can enjoy the power peddling in your group of friends and family. You will love this ride.
If you are an experienced surfer and you like to go windsurfing, Galway is the best place for you. You can enjoy WindSurfing on the beaches of Salthill and Connemara.
The shallow water and atmospheric conditions are ideal for the beginners. The ideal time for adventure activities in the summer months are July and August.
Galway has a lot more to explore underwater. Your water adventure starts with surfing, swimming and ends with a perfect diving. Galway beaches have an abundant marine life as you see in the national aquarium of Ireland.
The best location for diving is Connemara at Carraroe and The Coral Beach. If you are a beginner you can try diving with your instructor at Killary Harbour. The Killary Harbour is a well-known diving site with a wide range of marine life.
Galway is a perfect location for the lovers of Kayaking. You will find a plenty of options to choose from. The Connemara cave is a unique coastal area for the spellbound experience of Kayaking in Galway.
The Sea Kayaking on Galway Bay is the best option. You will explore the Rabbit and Hare Island on your old fishing boat of Galway Docks. The fabulous sea curves and crystal clear blue water will take you to the heavenly sites in Galway. Don’t dare to miss this one.
24. Wild Atlantic Adventures
If you are an avid adventure lover, this is your cup of tea. Galway’s wild Atlantic Adventures are the most sought after activity for youth.
Youth around the world immersed themselves in sailing the Galway Hooker that is also called as Flower of Youth. You can explore these in summer seasons. You will get a 2 hour round trip of sailing out into Galway Bay towards Salthill.
This activity is awarded among the top 10 activities of the world by National Geographic. Make sure you are there at the best time.
Galway is a little town but it is jam-packed with a bucket full of things to do. The locals are friendly and eager to help. This is indeed a perfect place for a weekend trip. You can explore the city in your own way by a walking tour to the city. The main attractions of this city are the cliff of Moher, Castles, Cathedrals, Aran Islands, Connemara, and the Barren.
You can enjoy the outdoor things to do here in Galway like cycle riding, hiking, biking, horse riding, swimming and much more in the summer months. The temperature of Ireland is chilly cold in winters. The best time to visit Galway is during summer. You can enjoy the romantic boat tour of the Corrib River during the summer season. The cafes, pubs, bars, and restaurants are awesome. You can’t resist eating or drinking here. You will love the adventurous activities of Galway.
I hope you have the craving to go to a dense city full of interesting things to do. This is your cup of tea. Plan a trip and explore your best things to do in Galway.