12 Reasons You Must Visit Galway Before you Leave Ireland

view of Galway city and bridge

If you’re visiting Ireland, then you must go to Galway. It’s the oldest city in Ireland and has a lot to offer its visitors. Here are just some of the best things to see and do in Galway!

1. The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ireland. They are located in County Clare, in the western part of the country. They are a World Heritage Site and they attract thousands of tourists each year. They have been providing stunning views since they were formed over 700 million years ago!

The Cliffs of Moher consist of limestone stacks that rise vertically up to 702 feet (214 meters) above sea level at their highest point. They are famous for their cliffs, which drop abruptly into the Atlantic Ocean below them creating dramatic views.

If you visit Ireland then it is well worth stopping off here for an afternoon so that you can take some photos from these incredible heights – there’s nothing quite like seeing these cliffs from below!

2. Galway Cathedral

The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas is the oldest cathedral in Ireland, built in 1193. It is also one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals in Europe. The structure was built during a time when Romanesque architecture was popular, but still retains many features that can be traced back to Anglo-Norman times.

You’ll notice this as soon as you enter the cathedral: there are no pillars separating each of its three sections—the nave (where people sit), chancel (where priests stand) and transepts (where side chapels are located). This was done so that everyone would be able to see one another clearly during service at Mass, which has been going on here since 1192!

3. Salthill Promenade

The promenade is one of Galway’s most popular attractions. It’s a great place to walk, relax, and enjoy the views over the sea. The view from here is incredible at sunset, particularly when you have a beer in hand and can watch the waves crash onto rocks below.

4. Galway City Museum

The museum is located in the center of Galway City and is open every day. It’s an easy walk from your accommodation and definitely worth a visit if you have time. There are plenty of things to do here, including taking part in a workshop or activity, doing some research, or just reading up on their collection. You can also take advantage of the free Wi-Fi while you’re there!

The museum has several galleries that display artifacts from each era of Galway’s history. There are exhibits on everything from prehistory to modern times, so there should be something for everyone! If you’re interested in finding out more about Irish heritage and culture, consider stopping by this museum before heading back home.

5. Galway Arts Festival

The Galway Arts Festival is a must-see event. This annual festival, held in June every year, hosts a variety of performances and exhibitions for all ages.

The festival also includes many other events, such as:

  • An international film programme and children’s film festival
  • Dance performances by local dance companies and performers from around the world
  • Musical concerts featuring rock n’ roll sensations and more traditional Irish music

6. Connemara National Park and Visitor Center

Connemara National Park and Visitor Center is a great place to learn about the park and all the wildlife that live there. The visitor center has video footage of birds, sheep, and other animals that can be seen in the park. The center also has information on what plants grow in Connemara National Park along with maps of where they are located.

The visitor center has a café which serves drinks, hot meals, ice cream cones, chips etc. There’s also a gift shop with items such as postcards and books about Connemara National Park as well as other tourist souvenirs (such as keychains).

Finally, there’s an outdoor picnic area where visitors can sit down together outside while enjoying their meal or snack from one of the many tasty treats available at both locations!

7. Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle is a popular tourist attraction, situated on the edge of Galway Bay. Built in the 13th century by the O’Flahertys, it was once one of their main strongholds and has since been restored to its former glory.

The castle grounds are beautiful and take up about three acres, which makes them perfect for weddings! There are lots of spots for photos and you can even get married on top of the castle itself for an extra special touch!

8. Aran Islands

The Aran Islands are a group of three islands off the west coast of Ireland. They include Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore. The Aran Islands are famous for their traditional Irish music and dancing which takes place nightly in many pubs across the island.

Dubbed one of the most beautiful places in Europe by National Geographic Traveler magazine, these islands boast some stunning beaches as well as rich history (dating back to 2,000 years ago).

10. Spanish Arch

The Spanish Arch is a landmark of Galway, and one that you would certainly not want to miss. It’s an entrance gateway to the city, so it makes sense that you might want to visit this place during your stay in Galway.

What do you do when you visit the Spanish Arch? Well, there are plenty of things! You can learn about how it was built by reading information boards or listening to audio tours on your phone (though these cost extra).

Alternatively, you can just sit down and enjoy some time alone with your thoughts while watching people walk by. If the weather is nice enough for sitting outside (which it probably will be), then this may be for you!

11. Inis Mor

Inis Mor is the largest of the Aran Islands and is known for its rugged landscape, traditional music, and its beaches. It’s also a Gaeltacht, or Irish-speaking area so you can bring your best Irish accent with you on your trip.

Get a taste of traditional Irish culture at one of Inis Mor’s many festivals such as Festival na Móna or An tOileánach: The islanders will welcome visitors with open arms!

12. Kinvara Village

Kinvara is a small village in Galway, Ireland. It is one of the most beautiful places in this part of the country and has a very special charm that you will feel as soon as you get there.

The old houses have been restored so they look even more beautiful than before and many of them are now B&Bs or hotels where travelers can stay overnight. There are also some great restaurants, cafés and shops available in this area which makes Kinvara Village an ideal place to visit when looking for an enjoyable day out with friends or family members.

Also, Read “Top American cities you never knew got their names from Ireland


We hope that we have given you a taste of what this great city has to offer. There are so many more places to see, things to do, and people to meet in Galway City.

With its friendly atmosphere and stunning scenery, there really is no better place for those who want to get away from it all!

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