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Galway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Country Province County  • Type  • Mayor of Galway  • LEAs  • Dáil Éireann  • European Parliament  • City  • Demonym Time zone  • Summer (DST) Area code(s) Car plates Website
Montage of Galway images.
Montage of Galway images.


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "City of the Tribes"
Motto: Laudatio Ejus Manet In Secula Seculorum  (Latin)
"His Praise Remains unto Ages of Ages"
Galway is located in Ireland
Galway City in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°16′19″N 9°2′56″W / 53.27194°N 9.04889°W / 53.27194; -9.04889Coordinates: 53°16′19″N 9°2′56″W / 53.27194°N 9.04889°W / 53.27194; -9.04889
City Council
Hildegarde Naughton
Galway West
Population (2011)
 • Urban 76,778
Galwegian, Tribesman

Galway (Irish: Gaillimh, pronounced ) or City of Galway (Cathair na Gaillimhe) is a city on the west coast of Ireland. It is located on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the third largest city within the state (after Dublin and Cork), though if the wider urban area is included then it falls into fourth place behind Limerick. The population of Galway city at the 2011 census was 75,529, rising to 76,778 across the entire urban area.


  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 History
  • 3 Local government
  • 4 Climate
  • 5 Culture
    • 5.1 Music
    • 5.2 Traditional Irish Music
    • 5.3 Irish language
    • 5.4 Cinema
    • 5.5 Literature
    • 5.6 Events and Festivals
  • 6 Media
    • 6.1 Broadcasting
      • 6.1.1 Radio
      • 6.1.2 Television
    • 6.2 Print
  • 7 Places of interest
    • 7.1 Theatre
    • 7.2 Museums
  • 8 Demographics
  • 9 Economy
  • 10 Transport
    • 10.1 Air
    • 10.2 Bus
    • 10.3 Rail
    • 10.4 Road
    • 10.5 Waterways
    • 10.6 Harbour
  • 11 Education
  • 12 Sport
    • 12.1 GAA
    • 12.2 Soccer
    • 12.3 Rugby
    • 12.4 Basketball
    • 12.5 Aussie Rules
    • 12.6 Hockey
    • 12.7 Sailing/Rowing
    • 12.8 Motor Sports
    • 12.9 Greyhound Racing
    • 12.10 Swimming
  • 13 Twinning
    • 13.1 Adopted ship
  • 14 See also
  • 15 References
  • 16 External links


The city takes its name from the Gaillimh river (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe ("Fort at the mouth of the Gaillimh"). The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river" (the mythical and alternative derivations are given in History of Galway). Historically, the name was written as Gallive, which is closer to the Irish pronunciation.

The city also bears the nickname City of the Tribes" Irish: Cathair na dTreabh because "fourteen tribes of" merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term tribes was often a derogatory phrase in Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as Irish gentry and loyal to the King. They subsequently adopted the term as a badge of honour and pride in defiance of the town's Cromwellian occupiers.


The walled city in 1651 (North is to the left). The River Corrib is in the foreground, crossed by what is now "O’Briens Bridge", leading to Mainguard Street.

Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe ("Fort at the Mouth (bottom) of the Gaillimh") was constructed in 1124, by the King of Connacht, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156).Eventually, a small settlement grew up around this fort. During the Norman invasion of Connacht in the 1230s, Galway fort was captured by Richard Mor de Burgh, who had led the invasion. As the de Burghs eventually became gaelicised, the merchants of the town, the Tribes of Galway, pushed for greater control over the walled city.

Historical populations Year Pop. ±% 1813 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926 1936 1946 1951 1956 1961 1966 1971 1981 1986 1991 1996 2002 2006 2011

This led to their gaining complete control over the city and to the granting of mayoral status by the English crown in December 1484. Galway endured difficult relations with its Irish neighbours. A notice over the west gate of the city, completed in 1562 by Mayor Thomas Óge Martyn, stated "From the Ferocious O'Flahertys may God protect us". A by-law forbade the native Irish (as opposed to Galway's Hiberno-Norman citizens) unrestricted access into Galway, saying "neither O’ nor Mac shall strutte nor swagger through the streets of Galway" without permission. During the Middle Ages, Galway was ruled by an oligarchy of fourteen merchant families (12 of Norman origin and 2 of Irish origin). These were the "tribes" of Galway. The city thrived on international trade, and in the Middle Ages, it was the principal Irish port for trade with Spain and France. The most famous reminder of those days is ceann an bhalla ("the head of the wall"), now known as the Spanish Arch, constructed during the mayoralty of Wylliam Martin (1519–20). In 1477 Christopher Columbus visited Galway, possibly stopping off on a voyage to Iceland or the Faroe Islands. Seven or eight years later, he noted in the margin of his copy of Imago Mundi "Men of Cathay have come from the west. we have seen many signs. And especially in Galway in Ireland, a man and a woman, of extraordinary appearance, have come to land on two tree trunks " The most likely explanation for these bodies is that they were Inuit swept eastward by the North Atlantic Current

During the 16th and 17th centuries Galway remained loyal to the English crown for the most part, even during the Gaelic resurgence, perhaps for reasons of survival. However, by 1642 the city had allied itself with the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. During the resulting Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Cromwellian forces captured the city after a nine-month siege. At the end of the 17th century the city supported the Jacobites in the Williamite war in Ireland and was captured by the Williamites after a very short siege not long after the Battle of Aughrim in 1691. The great families of Galway were ruined, and, having declined owing to the potato famines of 1845–1852, the city did not fully recover until the great economic bubble of the late twentieth century.

Local government

Cannon at Eyre Square, Galway The cannons were presented to the Connaught Rangers at the end of the Crimean War (1854–1856) in recognition of their military achievements. These cannons have since been moved to Galway City Hall.

Services such as waste collection, recycling, traffic control, parks and housing are controlled by a fifteen member city council elected to five year terms by proportional representation through means of the Single Trandferable Vote PR-STV. The City Council is chaired by a mayor who is elected to a one year term by their fellow councillors. Their role is mainly ceremonial, although they do have the casting vote. The first mayor was Peirce Lynch fitzJohn, elected in 1485. The current mayor is Cllr. Hildegarde Naughton, who was elected Mayor in June 2011.

The symbols of the office of the Mayor and the emblems of the dignity of the City Council are the Civic Sword (1620's) and the Great Mace (1710) which are carried in procession before the Mayor and Council on solemn civic occasions. When not in ceremonial use they can be seen at the Galway City Museum.

Galway City is part of the Galway West constituency of Dáil Éireann. Its TDs (parliametary representatives) are:

  • Noel Grealish (Independent). A Native of Cearn Mór.
  • Derek Nolan (Labour). Galway City based. He is a new TD for Galway West.
  • Éamon Ó Cuív (Fianna Fáil). Corr na Móna in Conamara based. He is the former Minister for Social Protection.
  • Brian Walsh (Fine Gael). Galway City based. A native of Mervue.
  • Seán Kyne (Fine Gael). Based in Moycullen.

The current President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, was TD for the Galway West parliamentary constituency, of which Galway City is a part, from 1981 to 1982 and from 1987 to 2011.

The highest honour the city can bestow is the Freedom of the City. Among the names on the Roll of Honour are: Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland, 1939; Eamonn de Valera, Taoiseach, 1946; Sean T O'Kelly, President of Ireland, 1950; Robert F Wagner, Mayor of New York, 1961; John F Kennedy, President of the USA, 1963; Pope John Paul II, 1979; Ronald Reagan, President of the USA, 1984; Hilary Rodham Clinton, 1999 and Aung San Suu Kyi, 2005.


Galway experiences a year-round mild, moist, temperate and changeable climate, due to the prevailing winds of the North Atlantic Current. The city experiences a lack of temperature extremes, with temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) and above 30 °C (86 °F) being rare. The city receives an average of 1,156 mm (45.51") of precipitation annually, which is evenly distributed throughout the year. Rain is the most common form of precipitation. Hail, sleet and snow are rare, though will sometimes be experienced during particularly cold winters. Galway is also consistently humid, with humidity normally ranging from 70% to 100%, and this can lead to heavy showers, and even thunderstorms breaking out when drier east winds, originating in the European continent, clash with this humidity, particularly in the late summer. The average January temperature in the city is 5.9 °C (43 °F) and the average July temperature is 15.9 °C (61 °F). This means that Galway, like most of Ireland, is said to have a Maritime Temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system.

While extreme weather is rare, the city and county can experience severe windstorms that are the result of vigorous Atlantic depressions that occasionally pass along the north west coast of Ireland. Most of these storms occur between late autumn and early spring. Due to the city's northerly location and its longitude, Galway has long summer days. Daylight at midsummer is before 04:00 and lasts until after 23:00. In midwinter, daylight does not start until 09.00, and is gone by 16:00. Due to its mild and moist climate, Galway supports plantlife not usually found at such high latitudes, such as palm trees and fig trees.

Climate data for Galway (1981–2010 averages) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Rainfall mm (inches)
Source: ECA&D


Eyre Square is at the centre of the city.

Galway is known as Ireland's Cultural Heart (Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann) and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. Every July, Galway hosts the Galway Arts Festival which is known for its famous Macnas parade.

In 2004, there were three dance organisations, ten festival companies, two film organisations, two Irish language organisations, 23 musical organisations, twelve theatre companies, two visual arts groups, and four writers' groups based in the city.

Furthermore, there were 51 venues for events, most of which were specialised for a certain field (e.g. concert venues or visual arts galleries), though ten were described as being 'multiple event' venues. The main squares in the city are Eyre Square (containing John F. Kennedy Park) in the centre of the city, and Spanish Parade next to the Spanish Arch.

In 2007, Galway was named as one of the eight "sexiest cities" in the world. A 2008 poll ranked Galway as the 42nd best tourist destination in the world, or 14th in Europe and 2nd in Ireland (behind Dingle). It was ranked ahead of all European capitals except Edinburgh, and many traditional tourist destinations (such as Venice).


Galway has a vibrant and varied musical scene. As in most Irish cities traditional music is popular and is kept alive in pubs and by street performers. Notable bands from Galway include The Saw Doctors and The Stunning. Galway Early Music Festival presents European music from the 12th to the 18th century. It encourages not only music, but also dance and costumes. The festival involves both professional and amateur musicians.

Galway Cathedral Recitals is an international series of concerts of classical music which has taken place in Galway Cathedral each July and August since 1994.

Two of the most notable choirs in the city are the Galway Baroque Singers, founded in 1983 and the Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir, founded in 1982, which sang at the inauguration of President Michael D Higgins in St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, on November 11, 2011.

The Galway Arts Festival (Féile Ealaíon na Gaillimhe) takes place in July. It was first held in 1978 and since then has grown into one of the biggest arts festivals in Ireland. It attracts international artists as well as providing a platform for local and national performers. The festival features parades, street performances and plays, musical concerts and comedy acts. Highlights of the festival tend to be performances by Macnas and Druid Theatre Company, two local performance groups. The Galway Youth Orchestra was formed in 1982.

The renowned folk and traditional singer Dolores Keane, lives in Galway.

The renowned performer and singer Siobhan McCormack currently resides in Galway with well known dancer Michael Flanagan.

Traditional Irish Music

Galway city is a major centre for Traditional Irish Music. The traditional group De Dannan were based in Galway. Musicians such as Mickey Finn, Frankie Gavin, Johnny (Ringo) McDonagh and Alec Finn came to prominence in Galway.

Irish language
Galway Arts Festival Parade 2007

There are 6870 Irish speakers in Galway city nearly 10% of the population. Galway city has a reputation amongst Irish cities for being associated with the Irish language, music, song and dancing traditions. It is sometimes referred to as the 'Bilingual Capital of Ireland', although like all other cities in the Republic of Ireland, the vast bulk of the city's inhabitants converse mostly in English. The city is well known for its "Irishness", mainly because it has on its doorstep the Galway Gaeltacht. Irish theatre, television and radio production and Irish music form a component of Galway city life, with both An Taibhdhearc, the National Irish Language Theatre, in Galway city itself, while TG4 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta headquarters are in the Connemara Gaeltacht elsewhere in County Galway. Four electoral divisions, or neighbourhoods (out of twenty-two), are designated as Gaeltachtaí. NUI Galway also holds the archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.


Galway has three cinema complexes within easy reach of the city centre. The 11 screen Omniplex is at the Galway Shopping Centre, Headford Road. The 9 screen EYE cinema, each with Dolby Digital Ex full surround sound and Widescreen and Cinemascope, is at Wellpark, Dublin Road. A second Omniplex complex in Oranmore.

A new three screen Arthouse cinema, the Solas Picture Palace, currently under construction on Merchants Road, is expected to open for Christmas 2012.


Among the poets currently writing in Galway are Fred Johnston, Rita Ann Higgins, Mary O'Malley, Moya Cannon and Eva Bourke.

Walter Macken, Eilís Dillon, Máirtín Ó Direáin, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Liam O'Flaherty, Pádraic Ó Conaire and Ken Bruen are well-known Galway novelists. The notorious writer and publisher, Frank Harris was born in Galway.

The James Hardiman Library of NUIG houses around 350 archived and/or digitised collections including the Thomas Kilroy Collection, the Brendan Duddy Papers on the Northern Ireland conflict, the John McGahern archive and the manuscript Minutes of Galway City Council from the 15th to mid-19th centuries

Events and Festivals

Many sporting, music, arts and other events take place in the city. The largest of these annual events include the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Races, and the Galway International Oyster Festival. Other events include the Fleadh Imboilg,the Baboró International Children's Festival, the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, the Galway Early Music Festival, Seachtain na Gaeilge (March), Salthill Air Show (June), Little Havana Festival, the Galway Sessions, Galway Garden Festival, Galway Comedy Festival, Baffle Poetry Festival, Galway Aboo Halloween Festival, Tulca Festival of Visual Arts, Galway Science and Technology Festival, Spirit of Voice Festival, Galway Christmas Market, Galway Film Fleadh, Galway African Film Festival and Galway Pride Festival. In 2009 Galway hosted a stopover on the Volvo Ocean Race. Galway will host the Volvo Ocean Race once again, and this time it will be for the finish of the round-the-world competition in early-summer 2012. In June 2010, the Super8 Shots film festival was launched in Galway, the first Super 8 mm film festival to occur in Ireland. Among the festivals which take place within a 90 minute drive of the city are, Cruinniú na mBád (a Galway Hooker festival), held in Kinvara, the Cuckoo Festival, also held in Kinvara, the Ballinasloe Horse Fair (October), the Tuam Arts Festival (August), the Clarinbridge Oyster Festival, Féile na nOileáin, held in Leitir Mor, Conamara, Féile an Dóilín, held in An Ceathrú Rua, the Clifden Community Arts week and the Conamara Pony Show, held in Clifden.


Broadcasting Radio

There are two radio stations based in the city – Galway Bay FM (95.8 FM) broadcasts from the city to the whole county; Flirt FM (101.3 FM) the student radio station for NUIG.

The national radio stations – RTÉ's Radio 1, 2fm, lyric fm, Raidió na Gaeltachta and the independent stations Today FM Newstalk and iRadio – are all available in Galway, as is the multi-city service 4fm.


The cable station City Channel has an opt-out for Galway available throughout the county. RTE has a studio in the city.


One of the main regional newspapers for the county is The Connacht Tribune which prints three titles every week, the Connacht Sentinel on Tuesday, the Connacht Tribune on Thursday, and the Galway City Tribune on Friday. As of January 2007, The Tribune has a weekly readership of over 150,000. Another Galway-based newspaper is the Galway Advertiser,a free paper printed every Thursday with an average of 160 pages and a circulation of 70,000 copies. It is the main paper of the Advertiser Newspaper Group which distributes 200,000 newspapers per and more week to a variety of other Irish cities and towns. Another free paper, the Galway Independent, prints on a Tuesday night for Wednesday circulation.

Places of interest

Lynch's Castle
Galway Cathedral
Galway City Museum

Lynch's Castle on Shop Street is probably the finest medieval town house in Ireland. It is now a branch of the Allied Irish Bank.

The Church of Ireland St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church is the largest medieval church still in everyday use in Ireland. It was founded in 1320 and enlarged in the following two centuries. It is a particularly pleasant building in the heart of the old city.

Its Roman Catholic counterpart, the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas was consecrated in 1965 and is a far larger, more imposing building constructed from limestone. It has an eclectic style, with renaissance dome, pillars and round arches, and a Romanesque portico that dominates the main façade – which is an unusual feature in modern Irish church building. It was suggested by a church in the city of Salamanca in Spain.

Not far from the cathedral stands the original quadrangle building of National University of Ireland, Galway which was erected in 1849 (during An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine) as one of the three colleges of the Queen's University of Ireland (along with Queen's University Belfast and University College Cork). The university holds the UNESCO archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.

Another of the city's limestone buildings is the Hotel Meyrick, originally the Railway Hotel and then the Great Southern Hotel, built by the Great Southern Railway Company in 1845. Sitting at the southern perimeter of Eyre Square, it is the City's oldest hotel still in operation.

The Spanish Arch, in the southwest of the city, was built in the 1580s as an extension to the city walls, a part of which can be seen in the Corbett Court shopping centre.

In front of the Spanish Arch and opposite Jury's Hotel is a monument (see photograph at bottom of this article) to Christopher Columbus. It was presented to Galway by the city of Genoa in 1992 to commemorate both the 500th anniversary of the voyage to the New World and the visit of Columbus to Galway in 1477.

The remains of the Menlo Castle can be seen outside the city, on the Eastern bank of the River Corrib. It was one of the ancestral homes of the Blake family, one of the Tribes of Galway from c1600-1910. It is best viewed from the west bank at Dangan or the riverside walk at NUIG. The facade of the families townhouse (Blake's Castle) can be seen beside Jury's Hotel at the bottom of Quay Street.

The Eglinton Canal, named after a former Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, joins the River Corrib to the sea, and, flowing for just more than a kilometer, is a very pleasant walk from the University to the Claddagh.

The Claddagh is the oldest part of Galway but little or nothing remains of its old thatched village. However, in a side altar of the parish church, St Mary's on the Hill, is the late medieval statue of Our Lady of Galway and visitors in mid-August can participate in the ancient ritual of the Blessing of the Bay, on the Sunday nearest the feast of the Assumption.

Fort Hill Cemetery, on Lough Athalia Road, is the oldest cemetery still in use in Galway City. Inside the main gate is a memorial to sailors of the Spanish Armada who were buried here in the 1580s.

Rahoon Cemetery on the western edge of the city affords splendid panoramic views of the city. Among the notable persons buried here are (i) Michael Bodkin, an admirer of Nora Barnacle, the wife of James Joyce, who was the inspiration for the character, "Thomas Furey" in the story The Dead from Dubliners. He is also the "lover" in Joyce's poem "She Weeps Over Rahoon". (ii) The actress Siobhan McKenna.

Bohermore Cemetery (or the New Cemetery, as it is more popularly known) was opened in 1880. It contains two mortuary chapels and is the burial place of several important Galwegians, including Pádraic Ó Conaire the gaelic author, William Joyce, more widely known as Lord Haw-Haw the Nazi propagandist, Augusta, Lady Gregory, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin, a senior member of one the Tribes of Galway and former world president of the International Olympic Committee. A memorial to the 91 people who died on August 14, 1959 when Dutch aeroplane KLM Flight 607-E crashed into the sea 180 km (112 mi) west of Galway can be seen just inside the main gates. Several bodies of the passengers are buried around the memorial.

The Lynch Window, on Market Street, commemorates one of the city's most enduring legends. Here, in 1493, the Mayor, James Lynch FitzStephen, hanged his own son for the murder of Gomez, a young Spanish visitor who had the misfortune to befriend the Mayor's son. The son, mistaking friendship for love, stabbed the Spaniard to death in a fit of jealousy and dumped his body in the River Corrib.

Dillons Claddagh Gold on Quay Street are the original makers of the Claddagh Ring and are also Ireland's longest established jewelers, having been founded in 1750. The little museum attached to the premises holds the world's oldest examples of the Claddagh Ring.

The Hall of the Red Earl (Halla an Iarla Rua) can be viewed through a protective glass wall off Flood Street. It is the earliest medieval settlement fragment surviving within the walls of the city. It was built by the de Burgo family in the 13th century and was a key municipal building for the collection of taxes, dispensation of justice and hosting banquets. It was the medieval equivalent of tax office, court house and towh hall.

Galway City has a fine collection of mainly early 17th century marriage stones which can be viewed throughout the city centre both inside buildings (as in the King's Head Pub) or on exterior lintels.

Galway Atlantaquaria which is also the National Aquarium of Ireland can be visited on The Promenade in the western suburb of Salthill.

Watching Atlantic salmon from the Salmon Weir Bridge (one of the bridges that spans the River Corrib) as they swim upsteam to spawn is a popular pastime with both locals and tourists alike.

Visitor attractions within 50 km (31 mi) of Galway City

Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara. Coole Park, a nature reserve and home of Augusta, Lady Gregory, near Gort. Athenry Castle, Aughnanure Castle near Oughterard, the Conamara region, Annaghdown and The Burren in County Clare.


Galway has a permanent Irish language theatre located in the city centre, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, which has produced some of Ireland's most celebrated actors. The Druid Theatre Company has won international acclaim for its cutting edge production and direction.

There are many theatres in the city including Nun's Island Theatre, The Bank of Ireland Theatre, The Druid Lane Theatre, The Black Box Theatre and The Town Hall Theatre, a modern art theatre with two performance spaces opened in 1995 that has a 52 week program covering all aspects of the performing arts including ballets, musicals and operas. It has been the venue for many Irish film premieres, during the Galway Film Fleadh.

Two of the most celebrated Irish actors of the 20th century, Siobhán McKenna and Peter O'Toole, have strong family connections with Galway. Other well-known actors include Mick Lally, Seán McGinley and Marie Mullen, all three of whom were founders of the Druid Theatre Company. Othe actors with strong Galway connections are Pauline McLynn, (Shameless and Father Ted), Nora Jane Noone and Aoife Mulholland.

Garry Hynes, first artistic director of Druid Theatre, has the distinction of being the first woman to win a Tony Award for direction.


The Galway City Museum features two parts, "Fragments of a City" and "On Reflection." "Fragments of a City"'s collection is mainly about the heritage of Galway, while "On Reflection" is a collection of the most important Irish artists from the second half of the 20th century. This museum was designed to allow tourists and local visitors to really get to understand and know the city of Galway. This museum also houses the statue of the famous poet, Pádraic Ó Conaire which was originally located in the Kennedy Park section of Eyre Square, prior to the Square's renovation. Visitors can also view the silver Civic Sword and Great Mace of the city at the museum.

The James Mitchell Museum of Geology in NUIG is a restored 19th century museum "within a museum".

The Nora Barnacle House Museum in Bowling Green is the smallest museum in Ireland. Nora was the lover, companion and later, wife of the great 20th century Irish author James Joyce.


Based in the 2006 census, the population of Galway City and its environs is 72,729, of which 72,414 live in the city limits and 315 live in the city's environs in County Galway. If the current growth rate continues, the population of the city will hit 100,000 by 2020. Galway City (population inside the city limits) is the third largest in the Republic of Ireland, and fifth on the island of Ireland. However, the population of the wider urban area, is fourth largest in the Republic of Ireland (sixth on the island).

Approximately 78% of the population of Galway is white Irish, descended from native Gaelic peoples and Norman settlers. A further 5% are foreign-born Irish. Following an influx of immigrants to Galway during the 2000s, approximately 17% of the population is non-Irish. Slightly more than half of this group are white Europeans, coming from Poland and other Central European and Baltic States, such as Latvia and Lithuania. Smaller numbers of Asian and African immigrants come from East Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. In the 2006 Census, 15.4% of the population were aged 0–14, 76.1% were aged 15–64, and 8.5% were aged over 65. 51.9% of the population were female and 48.1% were male.


Galway Harbour

Galway City is the capital of Connacht, and the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland after Dublin and Cork. The city has experienced very rapid growth in recent years. Galway has a strong local economy with complementary business sectors, including manufacturing industry, tourism, retail and distribution, education, healthcare and services that include financial, construction, cultural, and professional.

Most (47%) of the people employed in Galway work in either the commerce or professional sector, with a large number (17%) also employed in manufacturing. Most industry and manufacturing in Galway, like the rest of Ireland, is hi-tech (e.g. ICT, medical equipment, electronics, chemicals, etc.), due to the Celtic Tiger economic boom. Tourism is also of major importance to the city, which had over 2.1 million visitors in 2000, and produced revenue of over €400 million.



Galway Airport, located 6 km (3.73 mi) east of the city at Carnmore, ceased to have scheduled passenger flights on November 1st, 2011. Because the runway is too short to take modern passenger jet aircraft, its operations are limited. The airline that served the airport was Aer Arann. Aer Arann announced that they will not be resuming flights from Galway Airport. Aerfort na Minna (22 km (13.67 mi) west of the city) operates regular flights to each of the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árann). Shannon Airport (90 km) and Ireland West Airport Knock (86 km) are also within easy reach of the city, both of which have flights around Ireland and to Britain, Continental Europe and North America (from Shannon).


Buses are the main form of public transport in the city and county. There are fifteen routes in the city operated by Bus Éireann and Galway City Direct.

Various bus companies also provide links throughout County Galway and nationwide. These operate from a number of locations:

  • The main bus and rail station in the city is Ceannt Station.
  • Galway Coach Station, located at Fairgreen, is also a coach transport hub. Scheduled direct and commuter services operate between the Coach Station, Dublin and Dublin Airport, as well as services to Limerick, Cork and Clifden. These are operated by Gobus and Citylink.
  • Other regional bus operators user various bus stops around the city centre, and many serve the NUIG and GMIT campuses as well.

Galway's main railway station is Ceannt Station (Stáisiún Cheannt), which opened in 1851, and was renamed in honour of Éamonn Ceannt in 1966. A major redevelopment, including a completely new urban district, Ceannt Station Quarter, has been proposed for the station and adjoining land.

The Midland Great Western Railway reached Galway in 1851, giving the city a direct main line to its Broadstone Station terminus in Dublin. As the 19th century progressed the rail network in Connacht was expanded, making Galway an important railhead. The nearby town of Athenry became a railway junction, giving Galway links to Ennis, Limerick and the south in 1869 and Sligo and the north in 1894. In 1895 the MGW opened a branch line between Galway and Clifden.

The 20th century brought increasing road competition, and this led the Great Southern Railways to close the Clifden branch in 1935. In the 1970s the state railway authority Córas Iompair Éireann closed the Sligo-Athenry-Ennis line to passenger services. It later closed to freight as well.

Iarnród Éireann, Ireland's national rail operator, currently runs six return passenger services each day between Galway and Dublin Heuston, also serving intermediate stations. Travel time is just under 3 hours. Services on the Galway–Limerick line have now resumed, with around 5–6 trains each way per day.


Three national primary roads serve the city: the N17 leading North (Tuam, Sligo, Donegal Town, Letterkenny and Derry), the M6 motorway from the East (Athlone, Dublin), and the N18 from the South (Shannon Town, Limerick and Cork). By 2015, the Galway-Dublin, Galway-Limerick and Galway-Tuam routes will be motorway or high-quality dual carriageway standard. In addition, there are plans for a semi-ring road of the city, the Galway City Outer Bypass, which should also be complete by 2015. There is also an Inner City Ring (Cuar Inmheánach) route that encircles the city centre, most of which is pedestrianised.

Galway is considered the gateway to Connemara and the Gaeltacht, including Mám, An Teach Dóite, Cor na Móna, Ros Muc, Bearna and An Cheathrú Rua. The N59 along the western shore of Lough Corrib and the R337 along the northern shore of Galway Bay both lead to this largely rural and highly scenic region.


The River Corrib is by far the most important waterway in Galway and a number of canals and channels were built above and through the city. The purposes of these to divert and control the water from the river, to harness its power and to provide a navigable route to the sea. Of these, there were two major schemes – one between 1848 and 1858 and the other during the 1950s. The canals provided a power source for Galway and were the location of the first industries in the mid-19th century. The Eglinton Canal provided a navigation from the sea (at the Claddagh Basin) to the navigable part of the river (above the Salmon Weir Bridge). Most of the mills are still used today for various purposes; for instance, NUI Galway still uses a water turbine for electricity generation for their building on Nun's Island.

Currently, there are four bridges across the Corrib. Following the southward flow of the river these are, from the north: the Quincentennial Bridge, the Salmon Weir Bridge, the William O'Brien Bridge and the Wolfe Tone Bridge. There are plans for a fifth bridge as part of the Galway City Outer Bypass project. The Clare River flows from the North of the County Galway, through Tuam, Claregalway into Lough Corrib.

Ballyknow Quay, Claddagh

Galway is the most central port on the West Coast of Ireland in the sheltered eastern corner of Galway Bay. The harbour can be used by vessels up to 10,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) and the inner dock can accommodate up to 9 vessels at any one time. Pending approval, Galway Harbour may see major changes, should the €1.5 billion development plan go ahead.

Regular passenger ferry and freight services operate between Galway and the Aran Islands. The islands also have regular links with the towns of Rossaveal and Doolin, which are physically closer but far smaller.

Commuter ferry services have been proposed to the tourism town of Kinvara, on the opposite side of Galway Bay.

Major work in the harbour area was carried out in 2009 to accommodate the stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. This was one of the biggest events ever to visit Galway.


Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute

Two higher education institutions are located in the city, the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (G.M.I.T.). The university was founded in 1845 as Queen's College, Galway, and was more recently known as University College, Galway (U.C.G.). The Institute of Technology, in addition to having 2 campuses in Galway City (its administrative headquarters on the Dublin Road and its art campus in Cluain Mhuire), also has campuses in Castlebar, Mountbellew and Letterfrack. According to the 2002 census, 40.8% of residents aged 15 and older in Galway had completed third level (higher) education, which compares favourably to the national level of 26.0%.

The offices of the Central Applications Office (C.A.O.) are also located in the city, this being the clearing house for undergraduate college and university applications in the Republic of Ireland; a related organisation, the Postgraduate Applications Centre, processes some taught postgraduate courses.

In 2002, there were 27 primary schools and 11 secondary schools in Galway.


Marcus Grönholm at the finish of the 2007 Galway International Rally.

Galway has a diverse sporting heritage, with a history in sports ranging from horse racing, Gaelic games, soccer and rugby to rowing, basketball, motorsport, greyhound racing and others. The Galway Races are known worldwide and are the highlight of the Irish horse racing calendar. Over the years it has grown into an annual festival lasting seven days. In motorsport, the Galway International Rally was the first international rally to be run from the Republic of Ireland. Throughout its history it has attracted star drivers from all over the world. The 2007 event was won by twice World Rally Champions Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen.


The city has hurling and gaelic football teams at all levels, including Father Griffins and St. James GAA. Major football and hurling matches take place at Pearse Stadium in the city. The stadium is also the home of the Salthill-Knocknacarra GAA club which won the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship in 2006


Galway United, the President of which is Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, Mervue United and Salthill Devon represent Galway in the League of Ireland. 'The Tribemen', as Galway United are known to their fans, play their home games at Terryland Park. The city also hosts The Umbro Galway Cup, which is held annually at the home of Salthill Devon F.C.. Galway United compete in the League of Ireland Premier Division. Mervue United A.F.C. and Salthill Devon F.C. have recently gained promotion to the First Division.


There are two Senior rugby union teams in the city Galwegians RFC and Galway Corinthians RFC, as well as provincial Connacht Rugby who play in the Magners (Celtic) League and as of 2011 the Heineken Cup, hosting their matches at the Galway Sportsground.


Moycullen Basketball Club have been a flagship basketball club in Galway for a number of years and currently compete in the Superleague, the top division in Irish basketball. They are the first Galway or Gaeltacht team to ever compete in the Superleague which is a semi-professional league. The club is situated 13 km (8.1 mi) west of the city but plays its senior home games in NUI Galway. Between Moycullen and Oranmore/Maree Club numerous Irish youth international players have been produced over the last 10 years, who have represented Ireland at European basketball championships. In 2009, Moycullen's Cian Nihill became the first Galway man to represent Ireland at senior level since Oranmore/Maree's James Burke achieved the same feat 20 years previously. In 2007/2008 Maree won the U-18 men's national cup while Moycullen won the U-20 national title. In the 2010/2011 season Oranmore/Maree Basketball Club's 1991 Men's team retained an undefeated record of over 100 games to go and claim the only National Championship trophy remaining, the U-20 Men's national cup. Titans Basketball Club and Oranmore/Maree Basketball Club both represent Galway in the national league, Ireland's second highest division.

The Millennium Children's Park in Galway, next to one of the city's many canals.
Aussie Rules

The City's first Aussie Rules Club, the Midwest Magpies were formed in January 2010 and play in the Premiership in the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland. The club has had limited success in its first year, but has already had some of its players selected to play on Ireland's Aussie Rules National Team, the Irish Warriors.


Galway Hockey Club have both mens and ladies hockey teams with a vibrant youth section and is based at the Regional Sports Centre in Dangan.


Sailing on both sea and lake are popular, as is rowing in the River Corrib with five clubs providing the necessary facilities and organising rowing competitions. These clubs include: Tribesmen Rowing Club, Galway Rowing Club, Coláiste Iognáid ('The Jes') Rowing Club, St. Joseph's Patrician College ('The Bish') Rowing Club, and the NUIG Rowing Club.

Motor Sports

The Galway Motor Club provides a focus for enthusiasts. The next annual Galway International Rally will take place on February 4 and 5, 2012.

Greyhound Racing

Near the city centre, on College Road, the Sportsground has greyhound races every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Night. It was refurbished by the Irish Greyhound Board, Bord na gCon, and the facility is shared with the Connacht Rugby Team.


Nearby Salthill has a 26m competitive swimming pool in the Leisureland complex and three competitive swimming clubs (i) Shark Swimming Club, (ii) Laser Swimming Club and (iii) Galway Swimming Club. There is also a handball and racketball club while there are several martial arts clubs throughout the city.


This memorial is a gift from the people of Genoa, Italy, to the people of Galway in commemoration of Columbus's visit. On these shores, around the year 1477, the Genoese sailor Cristoforo Colombo found sure signs of land beyond the Atlantic. La Città di Genova alla Città di Galway. 29.VI.1992.

Galway City has eleven sister cities. The Galway Committee of Sister Cities International was set up in 1977 with the aim of expanding the City's interaction and to engage in a variety of cultural and governmental exchanges with foreign cities. Galway is twinned with the following places:

City Geographical location Nation Since
Aalborg North Jutland  Denmark 1997
Bradford West Yorkshire, England  United Kingdom 1986
Cambridge Massachusetts  United States of America 1997
Chicago Illinois  United States of America 1986
Lorient Brittany  France 1978
Milwaukee Wisconsin  United States of America 2001
Moncton New Brunswick  Canada 2002
Qingdao Shandong  China 1999
St. Louis Missouri  United States of America 1977
Seattle Washington  United States of America 1986
Waitakere City Auckland Region  New Zealand 2002
Adopted ship
  • LÉ Aisling (1996)

See also

  • Cities in Ireland
  • History of Galway
  • Kenny Gallery
  • List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (County Galway)
  • List of cities, boroughs and towns in the Republic of Ireland
  • List of Galway people
  • List of RNLI stations
  • List of towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland
  • Sieges of Galway


  1. ^ "William R. Wilde's Loch Coirib – Its Shores and Islands". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Mayor of Galway City". Galway City Council. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b David B. Quinn "Columbus and the North: England, Iceland, and Ireland", The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol 49, No. 2 (Apr., 1992), pp. 278–297
  4. ^ Kavanagh, Mary. Galway-Gaillimh: a bibliography of the city and county. Galway County Council, 2000.
  5. ^ a b They were the merchant families of Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, Darcy, Deane, Font, Ffrench, Joyce, Kirwin, Lynch, Martyn, Morris, Skerrett.
  6. ^ "The Online Historical Population Reports Project". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Education Ireland". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "Atlas 2004 – Section 1" (PDF).,671,en.pdf. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  10. ^ MSN Travel UK – 2007's Sexiest Cities
  11. ^ "2008 Travellers' Choice Destination Awards" (PDF). Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Galway Early Music website". 16 March 2000. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Galway Cathedral Recitals website". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "World Architecture Images- Ireland- Galway". 19 June 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ The first Super 8 picture show, Irish Times, 19 June 2010
  22. ^ "Hotel Meyrick – About". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  23. ^ "About the town hall / its history and more". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "2006 Census results (CSO)" (PDF). Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  25. ^ "RTÉ – 'Census shows drift from big five'". 26 April 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  26. ^ a b Siggins, Lorna (24 September 2009). "Almost 20% of Galway’s citizens are non-Irish". The Irish Times: p. 2. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 
  27. ^ "2006 Census results (CSO) – Male/Female Population". 16 July 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "Galway City Development Board – Galway at the Beginning of the 21st century" (PDF).,427,en.pdf. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  29. ^ "Galway Airport press release". Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  30. ^ 21 February 2007 Investment in Regional Airports to Aid Balanced Regional Development (Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs) "However, before any major development can take place at Galway Airport, the issue of runway length must be addressed. Galway Airport has the second shortest runway length of all of the regional airports in Ireland used for scheduled flights. The total length of the runway is 1350 m, which means that the number of aircraft types that can use it is limited." – Ministerial statement.
  31. ^ "D-Day for Galway Airport as it faces possible liquidation". Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ "National and Regional buses to/from Galway". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Galway station". Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 3 September 2007. 
  38. ^ "CIÉ – 'Galway Station Redevelopment'". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  39. ^ "CIÉ – 'Ceannt Station Quarter'". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  40. ^ "Galway City Outer Bypass – Map" (PDF).,3522,en.pdf. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  41. ^ "Galway City Council – Galway City Outer Bypass". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  42. ^ "Waterways of Galway; – Galway Guide". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  43. ^ Green Party – Transport
  44. ^ "Microsoft Word - Atlas 2004 Section1.doc" (PDF).,665,en.pdf. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Titans Basketball Club – About the club". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  47. ^ "Committee of Sister Cities International". Chicago Sister Cities. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  48. ^ "Galway City Council – Town Twinnings". Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  49. ^ "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," 15 February 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008.

External links

  • Galway Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Galway City Council (local authority)
  • Polish website about Galway
  • Moving Postcards of Galway
  • Galway travel guide from Wikitravel
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Galway travel guide - Wikitravel /**/
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From Wikitravel
Europe : Britain and Ireland : Ireland : West Ireland : County Galway : East Galway : Galway
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  • Understand
    • City of the Tribes
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  • See
  • Do
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Galway's Quay St
Galway's Quay St

Galway , or Gaillimh in Irish, with a population of over 70,000, is Ireland's fifth largest city and is a major hub for visits to West Ireland. It has long since been known as "The City of the Tribes" and this title could not be more appropriate these days, given the multicultural vibrancy of present-day Galway.


City of the Tribes

Galway, known as the City of the Tribes is an important tourist centre and a gateway to the scenic areas of the county. Beginning in the 15th century, Galway was ruled by tribes, as the leading fourteen families were called. Their names were Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'arcy, Deane, Font, ffrench, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martin, Morris, and Skerritt. The tribes built many castles throughout County Galway. Many streets and landmarks bear the names of these early tribes.

Galway is a bustling town with fantastic nightlife. It's short on common tourist attractions such as museums, but the charming pedestrianised streets and numerous pubs and cafes are sure to keep you occupied.

Get in

Location of Galway within Ireland
Location of Galway within Ireland
By bus or train
  • Iarnród Éireann operates six trains per day (four on Sunday) from Dublin Heuston Station.
  • Bus Éireann buses run frequently from destinations through the country.
  • CityLink buses provide direct service to Shannon Airport, Dublin and Dublin Airport.
  • GoBus buses provide direct one stop service to Dublin and Dublin Airport.

National bus and rail both arrive at the same station, just east of Eyre Square on Station Road. CityLink and GoBus buses arrive and depart from the Galway Coach Station, one block north of the CIE bus/rail terminus.

By plane
  • Galway Airport, at Carnmore (IATA: GWY) is serviced by Aer Árann . The schedule changes occasionally, but it may have flights to/from: Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Cork, Cardiff, Leeds Bradford, Bristol, London Luton, Lorient (Brittany), and Waterford.

The airport is about 10km east of the town, but public transportation links are poor, with only three buses per day - and their times are not co-ordinated with flight times. (If you do take this route please let them know this is poor!). A taxi cost €15 - €25 depending on traffic: this high rate is because the Airport charges €5 to taxis serving it. (You could walk to a nearby address and call a taxi from there, saving €5.)

Car Rentals are available.

  • Shannon Airport is the main airport serving the west of Ireland. It is an international airport with many more flights available than Galway Airport, is served by an hourly bus to Galway, car rentals are also available. It is about 1 and 1/2 hours in the bus to Galway, but about an hour by car.
  • Others: many people going to Galway travel via Dublin, Cork or Ireland West (Knock) airports. This page has detailed about public transport between Galway and all airports.
By car
  • From Dublin, there is a tolled motorway all the way to Galway. Take the M4 west and then continue along the M6. Follow the M6/N6 for the rest of the trip. Travel time is around 2 hours depending on traffic.
  • As in most places in Ireland, parking is expensive. However there is long term parking next to the cathedral available €5/day, and if you are leaving in the morning, many pay and display lots offer cheap or free overnight parking (18h-6h).

Get around

Central Galway is easily accessible on foot, and Salthill (a popular tourist area) is a lovely 20-30 minute walk from the centre of town. The Promenade (Prom), stretching from The Claddagh to Blackrock is a very popular walk with locals and visitors alike.

Bus Éireann and CityDirect run local bus networks. is a public-transport-information source for Galway City and surrounding areas. It has a summary map of city bus routes, a detailed map of each individual route, and links to timetable information. It also has maps of the taxi ranks in the city, industrial estates in the area, and detailed directions for reaching a number of popular places using public transport.

Taxis are convenient, although they can be a bit expensive. There are taxi ranks in Eyre Square and Bridge Street.

Avoid taking a car when going to or anywhere near the town centre as parking can be expensive, and the city can has very heavy traffic levels at times. A very popular car park close to the centre is that at the Dyke Road, just off the Headford road. Just a 5 minute walk to Eyre Square.


Jumping into the ocean in Salthill
Jumping into the ocean in Salthill

Galway is a perfect base for seeing West Ireland, but it is also worth a visit in itself. Although it has only a few typical sightseeing spots what makes it a wonderful place to stay is the atmosphere, the culture, the people, and the events.

  • The pedestrian shopping area south of Eyre Square, is a pleasant place to stroll around.
  • At the south end of the pedestrian mall, is the Spanish Arch, one of the few remaining parts of the town's ancient defenses. The park adjacent to the arch is a popular place to sit and relax, while watching the Corrib flow out into Galway Bay.
  • Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch, +353 91 532460, . Tu-Sa 10-5. This museum focuses primarily on the history and heritage of Galway City, but the displays and exhibits will appeal to anyone with a broad interest in Irish history and material culture. Free admission.  edit
  • The Promenade in Salthill, is a fantastic place to people watch on rare warm, sunny days. People walk and rollerblade along the prom and kids and adults alike jump off the concrete diving board into the frigid Atlantic Ocean.
  • Visit the excavated ruins of the medieval banqueting hall that once belonged to the de Burgh family in a narrow lane between Flood Street and High Street right in the town centre.


  • Check local free paper the Galway Advertiser for up to date info on cultural events, concerts and plays, as well as the latest local news. Available on Thursdays it is usually snapped up quickly.
  • Town Hall Theatre, Courthouse Square, Box Office: +353 91 569777, . This theatre features plays and musical performances and is often used as a venue for Galway's major festivals. The theatre aims to regularly show the best of national and international talent to its audiences.  edit
  • The Galway Atlantaquaria, Seapoint Promenade, Salthill (Follow the R336 (Griffin Road) southwest from the town centre), 091 585100 ( , is a must see if you are interested in the sea and its inhabitants. It is not the usual tropical fish collection that you might find anywhere, but they have beautifully mirrored the life around the Irish coasts and show the animals and plants in a realistic environment, just as you might find them 50 meters outside of the building in the real sea. Be sure to ask one of the staff about the 30 cm large but harmless giant crabs on the second floor, he might just pick one out of the basin and put it into your hands, an experience you´ll never forget! Or pet the flounders and rays in the "touch pool".
  • Galway Tours run scheduled walking tours of Galway City.
  • The Volvo Ocean Race visits Galway in May/June 2009: On the 23rd of May 2009 the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) will arrive in Galway after racing from Boston and stay for a two week stopover. Visitors to Galway will get a chance to experience the spectacle of the VO70 sailing boats including in-port racing and enjoy everything special that the West of Ireland has to offer.
  • Corrib Princess, Woodquay Galway, +353 91 59247, . 90 guided cruise of the River and Lough Corrib on a modern luxury river cruiser. Departs from Woodquay in the heart of Galway City dail from April - October  edit
  • Galway Arts Festival, July 11th- 24th, +353 91 509700, . Ireland's best loved cultural event features music, theatre and exhibitions for two weeks in July.  edit


National University of Ireland, Galway
National University of Ireland, Galway
  • The National University of Ireland, Galway .
  • Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway .


The main shopping area runs south from Eyre Square towards the Corrib. This pedestrian zone includes Williams Street, Shop Street, High Street, Mainguard Street and Quay Street. Along it you can find all kinds of high street and artisan shops, pubs and restaurants. The historical buildings and busy atmosphere also make this area one of the attractions of Galway.

Middle Street, which runs parallel to Shop Street, is a particularly good street for finding a range of inspiring and creative local enterprises, including the Irish-speaking theatre "An Taibhdhearc," the Cocoon designer studio, Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, and Kenny's gallery among others. Galway is a very popular destination with tourists. There is a large selection of accommodation, ranging from budget two star to luxury five star hotels. The City is also well served with family run bed and breakfasts. The range of restaurants extends from traditional, to ethnic to the usual fast food outlets.

  • Galway Market, Church lane (beside St. Nicholas Church), . Sa 8AM-6PM; Su 2-6PM. This market features a small number of local artisans and their handmade crafts. There is a special Christmas edition of this market, which runs annually from mid-December to just before Christmas.  edit
  • Eyre Square Centre. A modern shopping centre almost entirely hidden behind a historical facade. Entrances can be found on the south side of Eyre Square and on Williams Street.  edit


For those on a tight budget, check out the supermarket in Eyre Square Centre (closes at 5PM) or the Tesco on Headford Road (open 24 hrs). On Saturdays (8:00-6:00) and Sundays (2:00-6:00), you can head to the outdoor Galway Market in Church lane beside St. Nicholas Church where you can find locally-grown produce, cheese, bread and affordable prepared foods like curries and crepes.

  • Guide to Restaurants in Galway A selection of restaurants and fast food outlets in Galway City, covering local and ethnic cuisines.
  • Ard Bia at Nimmo's, Spanish Arch (Long Walk - the restaurant is directly behind the Spanish Arch), +353 91 539897, . Cafe Tu-Su 10-3:30; Restaurant 6-10PM. Delicious food based on local sourcing. Wonderful atmosphere. If you're not looking to splurge at this restaurant, head to the cafe for the lunch specials which are more reasonably priced.  edit
  • Kirby's Restaurant , Cross St, +353 91 569404. Offers superb food, attentive service, generous portions with a modern twist. Offers a Value Dining Menu, two Courses €22.50, three Courses €24.95, both including a complimentary drink of your choice next door in Buskers.
  • Abalone restaurant 53 lower Dominick St,small romantic restaurant, serving perhaps the best food in Galway if not in the west of Ireland, open 6pm to 10pm daily, phone +353 91 534895.
  • Fat Freddy's Famous Pizziera & Bistro, The Halls, Quay St, 091 567279, , One of Galway's longest established restaurants, synonymous with Quay Street in Galway City near the Spanish quarter. Known for the excellent atmosphere, service and, of course, food. Great for kids.
  • McCambridges, 38-39 Shop Street. +353 91 562259 This gourmet grocers has a deli counter for take away sandwiches which is quite good.
  • Sheridan's Cheesemongers, Kirwans Ln, +353 91 564829 (fax +353 91 564829,, is a great place to get wine, pates, bread, and cheese of course.
  • McDonagh's Seafood, 22 Quay Street, +353 91 565001, is famous for its fish and chips, and has very good prices on takeaway.
  • McSwiggans, 3 Eyre St, +353 91 568917, Restaurant on the two floors above the bar. Open to 10.30PM, 11PM Th-Su. The food is varied, includes curries, seafood and steaks. Main courses 12-20€.
  • Oscar's Restaurant, on upper Dominick Street looks unassuming enough from the outside, but offers some of the best food in town. Their Seafood Platter has to be seen to be believed!
  • La Salsa, does delicious and reasonably priced Mexican food.
  • Conlons Seafood Restaurant, Eglinton St (Off Eyre Square), +353 91 562268. Established seafood house with Art Deco ambience, great service, good food and reasonable prices.  edit
  • Kebab House, on Dominick Street, does extremely cheap, greasy and tasty post-pub food. A substantial feed of Guinness is recommended before consumption of Kebab House fare in order to ensure full satisfaction.
  • Mustard Gourmet Pizza and Buger Bar, 1 Middle St, +353 91 566 400. This restaurant looks tiny from the outside, but has a larger seating area downstairs. They have big burgers, made from a variety of meats, and specialty pizzas. Cozy and relaxed.  edit
  • Lohans Cafe Bar Restaurant (Lohans), Upper Salthill, . 8AM-9PM. The menu is mainly traditional Irish dishes such as Guinness & Beef Stew, Bacon & Cabbage and hearty sausages & mashed potato. Other lighter seasonal dishes and seafood are also available.  edit


King's Head Pub
King's Head Pub

The Galway City Pub Guide is a good resource for checking out pubs and clubs in Galway. The guide includes reviews, photos and videos, as well as a list of the top ten pubs in Galway. You can add your comments about the pubs you visit. Technically drinking in public is not allowed in Galway but enforcement of this rule is unfeasible during summer months and well behaved groups are usually left alone. Don't mingle too near to obviously drunk people though as the authorities will likely confiscate all visible alcohol.

  • Busker Brownes and Kirbys Restaurant, Cross Street. 4 Bars, 1 Venue and over 400 years of history! Live bands Sunday - Thursday & late night DJ at the weekends! Adjacent to Buskers is Kirby's Restaurant serving the best of modern food with a contemporary twist. +353 91 563377.
  • Cookes Thatch Pub is one of only two remaining Thatch Pubs in Galway. Dating back to the 1600's, the trad music sessions on Wednesday and Sunday night are unmissable
  • The King's Head Pub has decent prices and a nightly cover band. Popular with students and tourists alike, this place is always lively.
  • Near the King's Head Pub on High St. is Freeneys. It is a fine "old man" establishment with some of the best Guinness in town. also popular with students who want to drink a few quiet ones.
  • For the more traditional minded, Monroe's Tavern, just south of the Corrib and visible from the Spanish Arch, has traditional music every night and set dancing on Tuesdays. Highly Recommended if you're in town on Tuesday night.
  • Roisin Dubh, , on Dominick Street, near Monroe's, is perfect for those of you who like alternative and rock music, and on Wednesdays hosts a popular comedy night showcasing local and international acts.
  • The Quays is warm and offers good live folk music and as well as cover bands.
  • Bierhaus Serves local and international beer with regular electronic guest acts and DJs
  • The Victoria Hotel
  • The Crane Bar, Sea Road, . You'll find live Irish music nightly at the Crane. Take your pick from the locals playing traditional music downstairs or the musicians playing various types of music upstairs.  edit
  • Taaffes Pub, 19 Shop Street, Galway, 53.2726,-9.0529, . Great authentic Irish experience. You can find traditional music there almost any night and there's a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.  edit


  • Coolin House (Coolin House), Threadneedle Road (close to Promenade at Blcakrock), +353 91 523411, . Coolin House is a family run bed and breakfast, just off Salthill's famous Promenade. Coolin House is close to several amenities, including Leisureland, Atlantaquaria and the bustling bars in Salthill. Private parking is available. Tea and coffee making facilities and television in all rooms.  edit
  • Barnacles Quay Street House , 10 Quay Street, (In the heart of the Galway City), tel +353 91 568 644, fax +353 91 568644, email 'Barnacles is in the heart of the action in Galway on a pedestrianised street. It is on the same street as all the pubs & restaurants you came to Galway for.' Lonely Planet. The perfect location and young staff who are full of helpful knowledge - it's a great place to start your Irish experience. Check out the other Barnacles hostel in Dublin.
  • Galway City Hostel, Frenchville Lane, +353 91 566 959, email A really nice place, with competitive prices. Straight across the train station, next to Eyre Square. Great staff. Free tea and coffee all day. Currently doesn't have the best luggage storage facilities, and the place can feel a little cramped. But it is the best hostel to meet people and party at.
  • Kinlay House, Merchant's Road, +353 091 565244 (fax +353 91 565245,, on the south-east corner of Eyre Square is an affordable, clean and central hostel. Included with a bed is a breakfast of unlimited tea and toast.
  • Sleepzone, , Bothar Na mBan, +353 091 566 999, is a large hostel (200+ beds) in central Galway, just off Eyre Square. It is quite new and has modern kitchen facilities, and a free internet cafe (and wireless, too). It's very clean, and well-run. Everyone from school groups to backpackers to families stay here. The staff are amazing and available at all hours if you need anything. Additionally, they provide a shuttle service to their affiliated hostel in Connemara, departing at 11AM and 7PM daily, for €5. (Note: This shuttle only runs in the summer.) They also offer day-long bus tours of The Burren and Connemara. These tours are mostly for those in their 20s, but would be enjoyable for all ages.
Bed and breakfasts

Even by Irish standards, Galway has a ridiculous abundance of B&Bs. Two particular clusters can be found on College Rd, within easy walking distance of the centre and the train/bus stations, and in Salthill, where you'll probably want your own car.

  • Ard Mhuire Bed & Breakfast, , +353 91 522344. Ard Mhuire is a beautiful family run B&B a mere 5 minute walk from the famous Salthill promenade. It is ideally situated for guests who wish to tour Connemara and the Aran islands from a base close to Galway City (which is only 2.5km away). The house has all the modern facilities that you'd expect to find in a 1 star hotel, but still maintains the familiar charm of a home away from home, with a home cooked breakfast from fresh local produce. Ample car parking is available on site.
  • Desota House Bed & Breakfast, , +353 86 8873377. Desota House is a newly renovated bed and breakfast which is located a pleasant 5 minutes walk from Galway City Centre. All rooms are en-suite.
  • Ashgrove House, , is close to NUI Galway (Galway University) and Galway Hospital. It is also 10 minutes walk from the centre of the City.
  • Coolin House B&B Coolin House, Threadneedle Road, , Salthill +353 91 523 411 Coolin House is a family run bed and breakfast, just off Salthill's famous Promenade. Coolin House is close to several amenities, including Leisureland, Atlantaquaria and the bustling bars in Salthill. Private parking is available. Tea and coffee making facilities and television in all rooms.
  • Claremount House B&B, +353 91 584741, Family run Bed and Breakfasts located adjacent to Galway Golf Club and Salthill's Promenade. All rooms are en-suite.
  • Ocean Bed and Breakfasts, 4 quality Bed and Breakfasts located on College Road. All rooms are spacious in these large modern homes.
  • Asgard Guesthouse, 21 College Road, +353 91 566855 (, . Pleasant B&B just 5 minutes walk away from Eyre Square in the city center, with a sunny dining room and impeccably clean and tasteful guest rooms. Good breakfast spread, TV in every room, free wifi, credit cards accepted. €40 per person sharing.  edit
  • Dun Aoibhinn House, , +353 87 9306167. Dun Aoibhinn House is a beautifully restored period style Guesthouse in Galway City. It is situated a pleasant 5 minute walk from the City center, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and University College Hospital Galway (UCHG). It is also within easy walking distance of Salthill Beach and attractions. Located on St Mary's Road in the heart of Galway City, there are ample private safe parking facilities
  • Almara House, 2 Merlin Gate, Dublin Road +353 91 755 435. A ten minute drive outside the city center, Almara House is winning people over with its charming hosts and classy rooms. There's a wide variety of breakfast items to choose from.
  • Tara House, 138 Lower Salthill, +353 91 527966. Tara House Bed and Breakfast situated in Salthill is in the perfect location, just 200 metres from promenade and famous Galway Bay. It is close to golf clubs, fishing, tennis, leisureland and Pearse G.A.A Stadium. Bus stop to the Centre is directly outside main entrance (or 10 minute walk to Quay Street). This family owned Bed & Breakfast with private car park is the ideal base for touring Aran Islands, Connemara, Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Our generously sized en-suite rooms have multi-channel T.V, direct-dial telephones, wireless internet, hairdryer, ironing, tea and coffee making facilities. Ground floor accommodation available.
Hotels in Galway
  • Westwood Hotel, , Dangan, Newcastle, +353 91 521442. Four star hotel.
  • The Menlo Park Hotel Menlo Park Hotel, Headfort Raod. +353 91 761 122. Award winning hotel with great bar and restaurant, friendly staff and lovely rooms. Only 15 minutes walk from city centre.
  • The Imperial Hotel Galway City The Imperial Hotel, Eyre Square, Galway City. Tel +353 91 563033. Located in the heart of Galway City and the closest Hotel to Galway University NUIG it has a good location. Rooms start at €59.
  • The G Hotel The G Hotel, Wellpark. +353 91 865 200. A five-star hotel, just outside the centre. The interiors are swanky and decadent and the service is professional, if a little slow at times. Rooms start at €140.
  • The Meyrick Hotel The Meyrick Hotel, Eyre Square. +353 91 564041. An elegant 4 star Victorian hotel, in a fashionable part of the city centre. Rooms start at €87 per night.
  • Park House Hotel Forster Street, Eyre Square. +353 91 564924. This ideally located hotel is just seconds away from the bus and train station. This hotel has clean rooms and a friendly staff. Ask for a back room, as the noise from Eyre Square can be a bit loud on weekends. Rooms start at €80 on weekdays.
  • Galway Bay Hotel The Promenade, Salthill. +353 91 520520. Located in scenic Salthill, Galway Bay Hotel is a popular choice for tourists and conferences. The large hotel has a spa and leisure center.
  • Forster Hotel Galway Forster Street, +353 91 539 839. While the rooms are a bit small, the location is excellent and the staff are accommodating.
  • Crecent Close Galway City Self Catering Sea Road, 3 Star Self Catering Apparments located in Galway City Centre
  • Travelodge Galway Hotel (situated at 1 mile from Galway City Centre), Travelodge Galway Hotel, Tuam Road, Galway., +353 91 781 400 (, fax: 091 781 798), . checkin: 3.00pm; checkout: 12.00pm. Rooms from €35.  edit

  • Salthill Hotel located on the Salthill Galway Promenade overlooking Galway Bay. Salthill Hotel has a leisure centre. +353 91 548812
  • Eyre Square Hotel is a 3 star hotel located right in the centre of Galway City beside the famous Eyre Square. Train & Bus station are just around the corner. +353 91 569633
  • Victoria Hotel is a city centre 3 star hotel situated on Eyre Square and directly behind the city's Train and Bus stations. 353 91 567433
  • Guide to Hotels in Galway - A selection of hotels in Galway City, covering local information and tourist information.
  • Wards Hotel is a small family run traditional hotel in Galway located in between Salthill and Galway City Centre. +353 91 521956
  • Rockbarton Park Hotel is located the Salthill area of Galway City where they offer an excellent restaurant and cheap Galway Hotel accommodation. +353 91 522286
  • Radisson Blu Hotel & Spais located overlooking Galway Bay and close to the city centre. +353 91 538300
Self Catering / Vacation Rentals
  • St Bridgets Tce Apartment, St Bridgets Tce, Galway. (walking distance from Eyre Square), +353 87 944 6804, . A spacious ground floor apartment in the heart of Galway City. Nestled on a quiet street with its own private access boasting a pleasant lawn garden and private parking.  edit

Stay safe

Galway is safe town by any standards. It's a small town compared to Dublin, and it luckily doesn't have to deal with most of the problems big cities have.

With that said, it is a party town and the weekends can get pretty crazy. Keep your wits about you, and stay in groups if you don't know the area. Despite Galway's reputation as a safe place, like everywhere Galway has a troublesome element so do bear that in mind.

Like most towns in Ireland, there are some run down areas. For its size, Galway does not have many but there are still some suburbs that are better avoided by anyone unfamiliar. These areas are all off the beaten track of the tourist areas.

The River Corrib runs through Galway. It is a very powerful river, especially after a few days of rain, and drowning deaths do occur. Use caution when walking on the river banks and walkways, especially after a night of drinking.

Nimmo's Hostel, has had a reputation for being unsafe, but its door is locked, and can only be entered using a regularly updated code. Despite its former reputation, it is a safe, if 'colourful' place to stay.

Stay away from the public toilet areas in Eyre Square late at night, it attracts a lot of drunks.

Get out

Galway is the ideal base for trips throughout western Ireland. Hiring a car is a good way to see attractions in the surrounding area. Alternately, day tours of The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher, and of Connemara are available at the tourist office. The day tours offered by the Galway Tour Company are particularly popular and well-reviewed.

Several outlets around town and at the tourist office sell ferry tickets to the Aran Islands.

For hitchhikers hoping to see the rest of Connacht, the best place to catch rides is near the Galway Shopping Centre, north of the city centre. There are several roundabouts nearby, so it should be easy to pick the road heading in the same direction as you are. Word of mouth may be useful for catching a lift to Dublin and other destinations. Ask around in your hotel or hostel.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!
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