There is a reason why Galway is often called ‘Ireland’s Cultural Heart’ – just pop over to this bustling city and you’ll soon discover why. Located in the West of Ireland on the River Corrib, the city plays host to various festivals, colorful culture and celebrations the whole year round. The geographical heart of the city is known as Eyre Square – recently named the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. Surrounded by shops and cafes Eyre Square is a popular meeting place for people to come together and catch up by the Square’s central fountain. Head down to the coastline to enjoy some serious relaxation as you take in the beautiful scenery of the Aran Islands and the sandy beaches that make for chilled summer picnics or romantic evening walks. Galway really comes into its own when the sun goes down and you’ll never find yourself short of a pub to sit down in and enjoy some of Ireland’s iconic Guinness. For those who are always partial to learning more about the history of the place they’re staying in, a trip to the Galway City Museum should definitely be on the cards. Covering both prehistoric and medieval periods as well as the more modern history of Ireland, the museum also houses temporary exhibitions designed to display different sides to the city’s culture and heritage. The Galway Cathedral and Spanish Arch are also well worth a visit to learn more about the influences that have shaped the city into the one that it is today.
From food festivals to horse fairs and music events to comedy shows – no matter when you plan your visit to Galway, you are sure to come face to face with one concert, festival, exhibition or another! The Galway Food Festival, which takes place annually on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, will be one to watch if you enjoy sampling local cuisines on your travels. Whether you’re a fan of jazz music, oysters, comedy or film, take a look through what festivals ‘Ireland’s Cultural Heart’ has to offer and consider timing your visit to coincide with one that catches your eye!
Once you arrive in this quaint city on the Emerald Isle, getting around will be done mostly on foot. The city is relatively small and has retained much of its history so exploring all there is to see will be most rewarding on foot or by bike. However, with ferries available to take you across to sites such as the Aran Islands it’s simple to make the most of your stay here.