Weekend Breaks to Galway
Planning a short break to Galway? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Galway. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Galway. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.
Top 10 Things in Galway on a Short Break
This is one of the focal points of the city and the site of many memorials near to the heart of the Irish. Situated beside the Browne Doorway at the top of Eyre Square, are two large cast-iron cannons-a tribute to the military acheivements of the Connaught Rangers during the Crimean war.
A bust of US President John F. Kennedy has been erected on the spot from where he addressed the people of Galway on a visit in 1963. He was immensly popular with the people of Galway and was made a Freeman during his stay.
Have your photo taken with the statue of Padraic O'Conaire, the hugely popular Irish author who's image has been immortalised by the quaint lifelike figure perched in the gardens of the park.
The fountain at Eyre Square is a good example of modern artistic style, the centrepiece is the work of Irish sculptor Eamonn O'Doherty and represents the sails of the typical Galway Hooker (traditional fishing boat).
Visible for miles around due to the huge copper domed roof this is one of the city's largest and most impressive buildings. The Hiberno-Romanesque style building is typical eleventh century Irish style, predating the Norman invasion which brought the stark Norman architectural influences to Britain. The inside houses beautiful stone and wood carvings, wall paintings, all lovely examples of Irish worksmanship.
More information on Galway Cathedral is available from this link: www.galwaycathedral.org/
A celebration of that gastronomic delight - the oyster. Held in September each year, this is one festival that you do not want to miss! Even if you do not appreciate the delights of gulping slippery raw shellfish, the weekend of non-stop entertainment including top-class artists, cabaret and dancing will keep you partying away. So if you are in the area in September, get on down to the Nimmos Pier, The Claddagh to enjoy the vibe.
The Irish love their horses and horseracing so get into swing of things with an outing to the Galway Races, which has become one of THE Irish events of the year. Attracting both socialites and racegoing horsefanatics alike, this promises to be a great sporting event, with all the bells and whistles attendant to a real Irish festival. With many four legged and two legged beautiful fillies on parade with a best dressed lady competion to lift the tone up a notch or two. Lashing of champers, oysters-and beer for the lads-this is bound to be a highlight of your visit to Galway.
Many of the buildings in Galway have Spanish-influenced architecture due to the city's strong trading ties with Spain from the 13th century to the 17th century. This Arch was constructed in the 16th century to protect ships docked in the city's harbour and its name is atributed to Galway's strong Spanish trading links in that era. The Galway hooker, a traditional fishing boat unique to Galway has gained fame because of its widespread use in times past and its importance to the port of Galway. Its unusual and attractive appearance was probably partly influenced by Spanish boats used at that time, as they were reknowned for their seafairing prowess and fast ships.
Join in the fun and festivities at this annual musical event held during May each year. The City of Galway goes medieval, renaissance and baroque with entertainment by top performers and entertainers. Each year there are unique events organised with favourites from previous years often putting in an appearance again. Previous attractions include a Renaissance Dance Workshop where one could learn the farandoles, bransles and pavanes - beginners and Fred Astaires alike are welcomed. Performers from different regions across Europe bring their special brand of early music and dance to the show as well. Circus acts are oftentime part of this wonderful festival as well.
The National Aquarium of Ireland is a popular attraction for tourists, boasting more than 170 species of freshwater and marine creatures. Kids will enjoy learning all about Bradan the Atlantic Salmon and his adventurous travels from Greenland, they can also get the chance to hold a starfish or experience the underwater world in th emodel submarine. Interesting creatures float past such as the seahorses, stingrays, and the larger than life angel stark. The giant Spider Crabs would do well staring in a sci fi or horror film - truly weird creatures of the deep!
Go the website www.atlantaquaria.com/
Go on one of the interesting organised sightseeing walks of the area. The City Walkabout takes in the pockets of mystical, medieval atmosphere still to be found in nooks and crannies of this vibey modern city. You will get to see historical monuments and landmarks of note and the opportunity to enjoy the colourful liveliness that is modernday Ireland.O'Briens Bridge - The Claddagh - Celtic Insurance Building.
A walk of one mile. This brings you from one of the oldest parts of the city to the Claddagh, an ancient fishing village which is renowned for its unique culture. The walk ends on the fringe of the promenade at Salthill.
The O'Briens Bridge/ Claddagh Walkabout - This 1 mile long walk will take you to the ancient fishing village of Claddagh and ends at the promenade at Salthill- itself a popular walking area for tourists and locals alike.
Visit the countryside of South County Galway and in particular the Burren - an ancient area of about 160 square km. The word "Burren" means "stoney place", an apt name for this prehistoric piece of land with huge natural pavements of limestone called 'clints'. Evidence of stone age man abound, such as the Poulnabrone Dolmen, wedge tombs and cahers (stone forts). There are many caves in the area but do not attempt to explore as they are dangerous places. For those who want to delve in the underground, visit the developed cave at Aillwee, near Ballyvaughan. A hauntingly beautiful area the Burren is home to amazing plantlife, especially those that love limestone, such as rock roses and foxgloves and even strangely enough, plants found in the Artic, Alpine and Mediterranean regions. Butterflies are numerous here and the area even has one named for it- the Burren Green.
Take in the spectacular views from Corkscrew Hill across Galway Bay and the view from Ballinalacken Hill across to the Aran Islands.
View details at www.aillweecave.ie/
Take a ferrytrip from Rossaveal for a cultural journey to these three islands (Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Óirr - 'the big island', 'the middle island', 'the south island' ). Located in the Galway Bay, these islands are overflowing with the culture and heritage of Ireland.
Experience the Irish traditions of Gaelic singing and dancing, storytelling and crafts such as basket making. Learn about the archaeological past of the area whcih has been inhabited for thousands of years.
Very strong on the Celtic heritage and all the old traditions this will be of special interest for those of Irish lineage
For more info go to www.irish-culture.ch
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