At the beginning of each year most of us make a plan of where we want to visit for the year ahead. Have you considered a visit to Galway City?
Galway is the 2nd most visited city in Ireland, second only to Dublin and attracts 1 million visitors each year! If you've got just 24 hours in this gem on the Wild Atlantic Way, we've got you covered with an itinerary of how to spend 24 hours in Galway City that'll make you fall head over hiking boots in love with Galway.
So the first thing you’ll want to decide is where you want to stay. And you’ll be spoiled by the choice of places to stay in Galway City. We recommend The Skeffington Arms Hotel right on Eyre Square. Eyre Square is the hub of the city and its prominence dates to the 18th century.
How amazing would it be to start your day with a dip in The Atlantic Ocean at Blackrock Diving Tower. And the best part about sunrise at this time of year is you won’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn because sunrise as of February 12th is 8am. We’re sure you’ve heard of Salthill, made famous by Mundy and Sharon Shannon. Salthill Promenade is a 3km stretch of pedestrian walkway. You’ll have stunning views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands.
No visit to Galway is complete without wandering through its vibrant streets. Shop Street is arguably the liveliest street in the city and you’re sure to be serenaded by a chorus of buskers and street performers. Of course, you need to visit High Street where you’ll find amazing Italian coffee and pastries served in Ciarlatini. And directly opposite Ciarlatini is Portwest – The Outdoor Shop. While you’re wandering around the city it’s a great idea to pick up comfortable walking shoes and a waterproof rain jacket so your adventure can continue regardless of the weather.
What do you fancy for lunch? Head over to McDonagh's for the best fish and chips in town, or if you fancy something a bit more upscale, the seafood at Quay Street Kitchen is divine. The local catch is always fresh – after all, the ocean is just a stone's throw away.
Post-lunch, take a walk to the Galway City Museum, situated right by the Spanish Arch. The Arch is undergoing refurbishment right not but the museum is still open. Medieval Galway was almost completely enclosed by huge walls and while it’s hard to pinpoint the origins of the Arch, it’s believed they were built around 1584 to protect merchant ships from looting. And the museum is free to enter.
If you’re looking for food on the go Galway Market is a fantastic place for choice. The market is open all year round on weekends. You’ll find everything from sushi, crepes, Vietnamese sandwiches and donuts.
For sunset there is only one place in Galway City, Mutton Island. Where you can walk the iconic 1.5km causeway with sunset and the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop.
By now, you've probably worked up an appetite for dinner. You’ll have so much choice at your fingertips from Michelin-starred restaurants like Loam and Aniar to cozy Re Nau and Asian Tea House if you fancy Asian cuisine. Try some local oysters or Galway Bay prawns – they're a must! If you ask a local for recommendations they'll likely point you in the direction of The Skeff on Eyre Square.
As your day draws to a close the ideal way to end your day is with a traditional Irish music session. Head to a traditional Irish pub like Tight Coilí, Monroe’s or The Crane Bar for some live traditional music. The atmosphere is electric, with musicians often gathering for impromptu sessions.
So there you have it – a whirlwind 24 hours in Galway City. This vibrant, charming city will capture your heart, leaving you planning your next visit before the first one even ends. So, pack your bags, and your raincoat and get ready for an unforgettable visit to Galway! And if you’re in Galway be sure to visit us on High Street.