Galway Travel Guide

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Galway Travel Guide

Galway Local History

As with many ancient cities, Galway was founded because of its strategic access to water. Beginning as a fishing village, it developed into a walled city in the early 13th century. Elevation to city status followed in 1484. At the time the city was ruled by 14 wealthy merchant families. During the 170 year rule of these 'tribes' Galway grew wealthy and cosmopolitan with particularly strong links to Spain.

Today it is a thriving and busy city, bursting with life and vigour and still growing. Galway is the most prosperous city in Ireland and one of Europe's fastest growing cities.

Galway Attractions

Galway Shopping

Design Concourse Ireland An exhibition shop for hand-thrown pottery painted with Irish floral designs, potter Judy Green, also offers goblets, vases, dinner and tea services and jewellery at her very interesting shop. Craftware from other artisans is also sold here.

Mac Eocagain/Galway Woollen Market Traditional hand knits and hand loomed sweaters. Linens, lace and woollen accessories can all be found here.

Meadows and Byrne This Galway branch offers pottery, glass, gadgets, textiles and much more, all made by the country's most popular artisans.

Galway Activities

Galway Leisure World Headford Road This centre houses a Peak Physique Fitness Club, Kids Adventure Land, Laserquest and American Pool. There is something here for all the kids to enjoy, including Mum and Dad.

Galway Aquarium Toft Park The largest aquarium in Ireland, it is home to 170 species of marine and freshwater life including seahorses and stingrays. Take a trip into the 'deep' in a model submarine to see what's going on underwater.

The Lane off Cross St. Take a stroll around the area to see the best of Galway's medieval heritage. Now home to a number of unique craft shops, pop into Sheridan's Cheesemongers to learn all there is to know about various cheeses from around Europe. The children will be delighted with the samples of the sweeter cheeses.

Galway Parks & Gardens

Eyre Square Officially called the John F. Kennedy Park, a bust of JFK shares space in the park with a statue of Padraig O'Conaire, a pioneer in the Irish literary revival of the 20th century and the epitome of a Galway Renaissance man. The American president visited Galway just months before his assassination in 1963.

Coole Park Gort County Galway - The former home of the founder and director of the Abbey Theatre, the house no longer stands but the estate is now a wildlife sanctuary. The garden, which surrounded the house still stands today.

Waterways Galway is laced with a series of interlocking waterways which run through the city. Along most of these banks can be found lawns and landscaping, giving a touch of serenity within the city.

Galway Restaurants and Bars

As in the rest of Ireland, rich stews filled with potatoes, carrots and other vegetables are the favourite dishes. So too is their soda bread and pastries.

Galway Restaurants

Conlon One of the best seafood restaurants in Galway, Conlon boasts approximately 20 varieties of fresh fish and shellfish at any given time. Try their wild salmon and oysters or grilled wild salmon, steamed Galway Bay mussels. The menu is extensive and delicious.

The River God Cafe If you're operating on a modest budget, with a hearty appetite, look no further than this cafe. Casserole of cod and potatoes, wild mushroom tart with paprika potatoes, sheep-cheese Gouda with pesto and loin of pork with Guinness mustard sauce are just a few of the dishes served here.

Goya's Galwegians line up for the pastries and desserts sold here. Fresh, delicious and uncomplicated, pop in for tea and scones or buy a loaf of their exceptional soda bread.

Galway Bars & Clubs

An Pucan Eyre Square Most of the patrons at this pub are native Irish speakers who enjoy nothing better than a good old Irish traditional singalong whilst knocking back the beer.

Hole In The Wall A great gathering place for Gaelic football supporters and horse racing fans, this sports pub with its open fireplaces and low-beamed ceiling offers great hospitality and fun.

Crane Bar Popular for its nightly musical entertainment, the pub gives special rates to fiddlers, pipers, singers and banjo players who pass their 'efficiency' test. For a great evening out, start with the country and western music downstairs, then move upstairs for the traditional Irish tunes.

Galway children's activities

Galway Leisure World Headford Road This centre houses a Peak Physique Fitness Club, Kids Adventure Land, Laserquest and American Pool. There is something here for all the kids to enjoy, including Mum and Dad.

Galway Aquarium Toft Park The largest aquarium in Ireland, it is home to 170 species of marine and freshwater life including seahorses and stingrays. Take a trip into the 'deep' in a model submarine to see what's going on underwater.

The Lane off Cross St. Take a stroll around the area to see the best of Galway's medieval heritage. Now home to a number of unique craft shops, pop into Sheridan's Cheesemongers to learn all there is to know about various cheeses from around Europe. The children will be delighted with the samples of the sweeter cheeses.

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