Galway City

Galway City Centre, Co. Galway

There’s no better place to start your journey into Ireland’s West than Galway City, the thriving cultural center on Galway Bay where Ireland’s heartbeat pulsates. Galway is known as many things: the Venice of the West, the capital of the ancient province of Connacht, the tourist gateway to the West’s natural attractions, the Aran Islands, the Burren and Connemara. Whatever you call it few can deny Galway’s irresistible appeal.

Galway is now the 3rd largest city in Ireland and, for several years over the last decade has been deemed as Europe’s fastest growing city. Galway has developed itself into a thriving centre for commerce and culture. Its cosmopolitan side is shown in its pantheon of festivals from Jazz, horse racing to Oysters. But it still manages to retain its old world charm, providing visitors with a welcome respite from the push and shove of urban Dublin.

With its labyrinth of winding medieval streets and its vibrant, buzzing street life, wealth of heritage and arts, Galway city is a rambler’s paradise. In fact it is difficult to know where to start, as Galway tends to lead the traveler and no map can prepare you for what you might find around the corner. Here is a list of sights all found in and around the city centre. We bid you a warm welcome on your tour!

Our Take

Galway, our home, and the ideal place to make yours while on holiday in Ireland. Medieval, Cosmopolitan & Gaelic with an impish sense of fun.

Galway City

There’s no better place to start your journey into Ireland’s West than Galway City, the thriving cultural center on Galway Bay where Ireland’s heartbeat pulsates.

Galway Hookers

Annie, Fiona, Eileen. The hookers of Galway have been serving the fishermen of the West since the 18th century. The Galway Hooker is the name given to the boat constructed specifically to deal with the unwieldy seas off the West Coast.

Galway Cathedral

Galway Cathedral is an imposing Classical Renaissance building with the reputation as the last of the Great Stone Cathedrals to be built in Europe. It has as many detractors as fans for its architecture and is built on the location of the old City Jail with some of the stones of the old jailyard being used in the construction.

Forthill Cemetery

Forthill Cemetery, probably the least known and most rewarding historical sites in the Galway City domain, scene of the largest number of executions on Galway soil but yet retaining the solemnity of its ecclesiastical heritage.

Former Pro-Cathedral

Not to be confused with Galway Cathedral, the Former Pro-Cathedral located just off the main pedestrian drag was once the scene of a particularly sad tragedy at Christmas. The building is still in existence and has many new perhaps less pious visitors.

The Fishery Tower

The Fishery Tower is a one of a kind building in Ireland. Known by many names, including Fishery Watchtower and the Tower Station, the Tower was built in the early 1850s, originally as a drift netting station and also as a lookout tower for fishery personnel

Eyre Square

Eyre Square, or Kennedy Memorial Park, was one the 'Greene' outside of the City Walls, where military marches and public executions were carried out. How times have changed, as the area is now populated with lovers, hippies & tourists all with their heads firmly screwed on(?)

Galway City Today

Galway, the Venice of the West, and the largest growing city in Western Europe and home to Ireland's biggest parties during the summer months. But how did a small trading port on Ireland's west coast get to such a lofty position?

Galway City's Foundations

Whatever mantle Galway City now assumes, its foundations date back to the medieval times when Richard de Burgo, a Norman overlord, set his sights on what was then a flimsy fort and a simple village beside a river estuary. Read on..

The Claddagh

Probably more famous for its long-held tradition of using a "Claddagh Ring" as its wedding band, the Claddagh refers to the shore based village that existed before the arrival of Galway City and kept its values and traditions separate throughout the centuries. Today, little stands of the old village but a King is elected to represent the peoples in their dealings with Galway.


Atlantaquaria is the name given to Galway's aquarium, and Ireland's National Aquarium, located in Salthill beside the Salthill Tourist Office. Ideal for adults and children alike.

Galway Arts Featival

Described by the Irish Times as 'the biggest, most exciting, most imaginative explosion of arts activity this country has', the Galway Arts Festival is a truly international two week celebration of the performing and visual arts. Next years festival takes place on the 16th July until July 29th, 2007.

Galway Oyster Festival

Galway International Oyster Festival, in 2004. This unique event is about friends, fun, fabulous seafood combined with World class non-stop entertainment in the charming medieval city of Galway. There are always a few pleasant surprises at the Galway Oyster Festival.

James McGeough Butcher

McGeough’s Butcher’s in Oughterard, Co. Galway is the home of Ireland’s finest Lamb & Bacon Sausages!

Sheridans Cheesemongers

Sheridans Cheesemongers have two flagship cheese shops in Galway & Dublin specializing in champion Irish farmhouse cheeses


Wild salmon stocks have declined since the Industrial Revolution and are now almost wiped out in former ranges in Britain, from the Baltic to the Bay of Biscay and particularly in North America.

Food in the West

'Ireland is discovering, or rediscovering, its culinary resources; in the world of food, it's the place to watch' Colman Andrews, “Saveur” Magazine.

Spanish Arch

This lonely remnant of the city wall was formerly known in Irish as An Poirse Caoch (The Blind Arch) and has no particular connection with Spain bar the fact that is was built in the 1580s at a time when England and Spain were at war, and therefore would have been built to help keep the Spanish out.

Saturday Market

Tucked in behind and spilling out around the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, the weekly Saturday market is one of the highlights of living in Galway. Located in the laneway between Shop Street and Market Street, the market offers up a cornucopia of aromas, tastes, and sounds, as provides locals with a vital source of much needed staples.