How to Spend a Day in Galway

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Galway is likely best known as Ireland’s Cultural Capital, a bohemian city with a reputation as a hub that attracts painters, musicians, and artists from all walks of life, not only from the UK but beyond. It is a place that compels creatives to visit and create, as there may be something special in the air along the River Corrib that affects the brain’s chemistry and makes people come up with magic.

Also famous as the spiritual home of traditional Irish music, Galway entices thousands of people to walk its streets and enter hundreds of pubs during events like the Oyster and the International Arts festivals. However, this should be one of many times of the year one should come to the town Christopher Columbus visited in 1477. Its range of mainstay sights and attractions makes it worth a trip 365 days out of the year. And if a tourist were to find themselves with only one day in Galway, here is a suggestion list on how they could get the most out of it, taking in the essence of the City of the Tribes.

Open with Exploring the City’s Historic Streets

Some will go so far as to say that Galway is the heart of Ireland. Yes, without a doubt, Dublin is the most massive and content-rich city on Emerald Island, but Galway has a charm that the country’s capital does not boast in such abundance. And, to experience it to the max, one must walk its many impressive cobblestone streets.

The most well-known of these is probably Shop Street which features loads of bustling hospitality venues, goods stores, and outdoor vendors. Others that everyone should pass are William Street, Quay Street, and those in the Latin Quarter of Galway, which many consider the city’s most beautiful neighborhood. 

Then Visit the Cathedral

If you can make the trip to The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, please do. It is one of the city’s most sizable and impressive buildings on Gaol Road. Construction of this Roman Catholic structure began in 1958 and was completed in 1965, earning the label of one of Europe’s last great stone cathedrals. Its pillars and dome are in the Renaissance style, and its multiple mosaics and rose windows are a sight to behold.

Stroll Through Eyre Square

Adjoining the nearby shopping area of Shop and William Street, Eyre Square is a public park adjacent to the city’s railway station. Its rectangular shape is surrounded by Galway’s traffic arteries and a pedestrian district in its west city. The history books put the official establishment of this enclosed open area somewhere in the first half of the seventeenth century. And in 1965, it was given the name John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, but it remains called Eyre Square by virtually everyone.

Go and Play Slots at Caesars Palace Casino

It may surprise those who have never been to Galway, but the city has its fair share of gambling establishments, slot locales and card clubs. The Eglinton Casino is, without question, the best spot for some poker action. Still, if one wishes to test their luck on a few reel spins and see if Lady Luck is in their corner, then Caesars Palace, situated on Upper Salthill Road, is the property to hit up. It overlooks the water, is free to enter, opens at 9 AM and closes at 7 AM. Though, it may be wise to practice-play with online casinos before giving money to the gaming machines here.

Take in Some Culture at Galway’s Museums & Galleries

Galway has a wealth of historical places for you to take in. It may be wise for history buffs to start with a step back in time at Claddagh Arts Centre & Katie’s Cottage or Connemara Heritage Centre. Then maybe view some jewelry at Claddagh Ring Museum, or check out the Galway City Museum, the James Mitchell Geology Museum, and the Kiltartan Gregory Museum, which houses rare manuscripts and artifacts. The Galway Arts Center and the Kenny Gallery have loads to also offer in terms of refined culture.

Walk Along the Salthill Promenade

Covering three kilometers of coastline, the Salthill Promenade is perfect for a late-day walk. It stretches from the Claddagh Quay to the Blackrock diving tower, adored by the locals who frequently stroll on it, taking in the refreshing seafront views and the Burren hills across the bay.

Finish the Day with Traditional Irish Music at a Bar

As mentioned above, Galway County has more than four hundred pubs, many of which are based in the city. Some of the best-reviewed ones are The Dail Bar Galway, Garavan’s Bar, O’Connell’s Bar Galway, and Garvey’s Bar. The latter two are near Eyre Square. Know that many hospitality venues in the city often feature live music of the traditional Irish variety, something no tourist should miss.