CrystalTravel

CrystalTravel

CrystalTravel

Crystal Travel & Tours Blog

Beginners Guide to Galway

When traveling to Ireland there's a number of things you must do, but few offer an experience as diverse and interesting as a visit to County Galway. Located on the west coast of Ireland, Galway boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. With over 150 miles of coastline and a vast mountainous region, there's definitely something for everyone who finds their way to Galway.

Galway City

Part of the appeal of Galway is the varied and unique selection of things to do in the city.From bustling nightlife to beautiful seaside viewpoints, Galway city has it all.Eyre Square and Shop Street are full of great bars and restaurants serving delicious Irish food. A local favorite is the full Irish breakfast, a meal that has been curing Irish hangovers since the dawn of time and is sure to set you up for a great day of exploring.A short walk through the beautiful cobblestone streets of Galway’s Latin Quarter will lead you to the Spanish Arch.The Arch is the remainder of a 16th-century bastion, added to the town's walls to protect merchant ships from looting. Nowadays it acts as a meeting point for both young and old to sit and take in the beautiful views during the summer months.

Galway Cathedral and CanalA short walk along the river leads to the magnificent Galway cathedral. Completed in 1965, the cathedral is still one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring structures in all of the city. Galway's West End is where you’ll find some high-quality dining and get a taste of the local life.

Here you'll meet the characters at the heart of Galway's unique culture. Whether chatting over a pint of Guinness in Monroes or taking in some live music in the Roisin Dubh, the atmosphere is always a warm and welcoming one in this part of the city.

As night falls upon the city shop street comes alive with incredible talent both on the streets and in the pubs. Places like Taaffes and Tigh Coili are well known for hosting traditional Irish sessions multiple times a day.

 

Salthill

One of Ireland's premier seaside resorts is located just a 15-minute walk from the city center. Salthill offers everything from sandy beaches to tasty ice cream shops and even casinos.Over the summer Salthill plays host to one of the largest showcases of traditional Irish music and dance in the world; Trad on the Prom.

Playing to sold-out crowds 5 nights a week are some of the worlds most gifted musicians and Irish dancers, creating an incredible and lively atmosphere that's simply unmatched anywhere else.“Trad on the Prom” is a reference to the promenade which is a walkway running alongside the Salthill coastline. It stretches for just under 2 miles and receives huge amounts of foot traffic throughout the year due to the breathtaking views and refreshing sea air.

 

Connemara

Connemara countryside RichIf you’re interested in travelling west from the charming setting of Galway city you will enter the rugged landscape of Connemara.This scenic wonderland is home to most of Galway's Irish speaking population, and is commonly referred to as "The Gaeltacht".Boasting some of the most remote and beautiful mountain views in all of Ireland, the air in Connemara is particularly fresh.There are plenty of options for exploring this beautiful region with winding roads and abundant hills making for a difficult but rewarding cycle.

For the Mountaineers, the 12 Bens offer a unique, and at times challenging, climbing experience.The breathtaking views atop any of the 12 make the effort more than worth it.Ben Baun is the largest of the Connemara mountains and thus one of the most visited.

But the natural beauty isn't the only attraction to the Connemara life. There's also plenty of beautiful towns and villages with friendly people who are always happy to talk.Heading west to Clifden will allow you to see the largest of the Connemara towns and enjoy some locally sourced seafood. Kylemore Abbey is just a short drive from Clifden and is one of the most stellar attractions in the West. The Benedictine monastery is a bustling tourist hot spot amidst the wild Connemara countryside.

 

Aran Islands

Inis Oirr; Aran Islands

Off the coast of Galway, you'll find the islands of Inis Oírr, Inis Mór and Inis Meáin known collectively as the Aran Islands. Home to roughly 1200 inhabitants, the islands offer a truly authentic experience of Irish culture. Ancient forts such as Dún Aengus on Inis Mór and Dún Chonchúir on Inis Meain are some of the oldest archeological remains in Ireland and comes highly recommended for any visitor to the islands.You can also rent a bike and explore the breathtaking landscape of green fields that could only be a result of Ireland's unique location and moist climate.

A local favorite is the "Craic Agus Ceol" which can be enjoyed in one of the island pubs where locals and visitors alike can enjoy great food and even better music.

Whether travelling in the off-season or at the height of summer , you’ll fall in love with Galway the second you step foot in it. The only regret you may have when leaving is that you didn’t spend enough time exploring this magical county. We offer 7 different tours in Galway, so whether you want to explore by car, by foot, or by boat, we’ve got something for you. Head over to our tours page for more information by clicking below.

 

Galway Day Tours