Home sweet home is Galway, a coastal town on the west coast of Ireland, and is the perfect gem for a relaxing getaway, a weekend break, a girls night out, a spa pamper session, a festival experience and much more. My lovely hometown has something for everyone and at minimum, I need to return twice a year to get my fill.
When I go home, it is too hard to fit in all of my favorite things to do and see and also pop into all my favorite restaurants. Galway has an abundance of amazing restaurants and cafes. There is a bar every couple of steps where the craic can be had and memories made. I could write pages and pages on this coastal gem but here are my top things to do on a quick visit to Galway.
Things to do in Galway
Without doubt, one of my favorite things to do when I go back to Galway is to visit Connemara. There are the most amazing picturesque and beautiful spots in Connemara. I will write a separate detailed post soon on where my favorite spots are but don’t forget to visit Roundstone, Clifden, Kylemore Abbey, Ballynahinch Castle and Diamond Hill in Letterfrack.
Enjoy a luxurious spa day
Ireland has spas that are true gems. The standard of spas and the abundance of thermal suites are amazing in Ireland. One of my absolute favorites in Galway is the G Hotel Spa. The treatments are fabulous and they also offer great packages which are reasonably priced for 5 star luxury. Another favorite is the Meyrick hotel for a quick treatment and a dip in the outdoor hot tub while looking out over the docks. Book in advance as both book up quickly. If you are coming from the US, spas in Ireland are noticeably less expensive than in the US.
Experience an Irish music session
It wouldn’t be a trip to Galway without a session of Irish music. There are an abundance of great bars around Galway which have live music almost every night of the week. One of the best in my opinion is the Quays. There is always a good crowd and great bands. Others with live music are Crane bar, the Front Door (early evening) and Ti Coili.
Have a good old night out
Galway has a wide variety of places to go on a night out and has somewhere for all tastes. For gin lovers, fancy gin bars are now sprinkled across the town. Hyde bar is absolutely beautiful and the new trendiest spot in town. Tigh Nora offers a quaint cosy gin bar. O’ Connells has been transformed and the beer garden is perfect for Friday night drinks. Buskars and the Front Door have been fun places of mine for over a decade. The Front Door is always a great place (albeit packed and warm) to end the night. Try Tribeton for some great cocktails or the Meyrick Hotel lounge for a quiet one. The lounges at G Hotel are nice for a quieter upscale cocktail.
Visit Salthill and walk the prom
As far back as I can remember, I loved to walk the prom in Salthill. There are views for miles and the fresh air always makes me feel great. Make sure you keep to tradition and kick the wall at Blackrock. Stop for a moment to people watch divers off Blackrock and finish your walk by strolling along the golf course after Blackrock. Finish off by having lunch in one of the cute cafes and restaurants in the small town of Salthill. Gourmet tart has the nicest treats and great food!
Enjoy fresh seafood along Quay Street
Quay Street has a multitude of great restaurants with fish specialties each day. There are great indoor and outdoor options too. When I was home recently, the weather was on record highs so I enjoyed dinners outside with friends. My favorite is Martines which always has great wine, fresh fish and my favorite banoffi pie in the world.
Shop until you drop
Galway is great for shopping. I generally come home with a half full suitcase of gifts so I can go back with new finds. Being an Irish lady naturally I do a major haul in Pennys (Primark in the US). I also love visiting the high street stores Oasis, Warehouse, River Island, Savida in Dunnes, New Look and local store Born. Brown Thomas is also worth a browse if you fancy a treat. For tourists, the Treasure Chest is full of gift ideas of Irish Heritage.
Enjoy scenic tranquil spots
There are so many beautiful spots to enjoy throughout Galway. In the City, the Claddagh is postcard pretty with multi colored terrace houses. If you have a car a coastal drive to Spiddeal is definitely worth the quick drive from the city. Barna Woods is the perfect place for an evening walk and is right beside Silver strand beach.
Afternoon tea is a necessary treat when in Galway. Who doesn’t need clotted cream scones and far too many sweet treats? Champagne afternoon tea is served in both the G Hotel and Meyrick Hotel. Both are tasty and an afternoon well spent. Cupan Tae, a cute café just off the Spanish arch is also the perfect spot for tea and scones and more budget friendly. Glenlo Abbey, another great 5 star hotel also serves afternoon tea but I have yet to have this!
Favorite restaurant for dinner is Rouge, a pianist plays and it is the cutest French restaurant full of memories and charm along with a large selection of great wines. McSwiggans is a family favorite as the menu is extensive and it never disappoints in quality. Lots of traditional Irish food here along with other cuisines. Caprice is the prettiest café that also serves dinner in the evenings. Dela is great for brunch and High Café is great for a casual lunch or dinner. For traditional fish and chips, McDonaghs on Quay St is the place to go. Dough Bros for yum pizza and Java for a good hot chocolate and crepe.
There are a whole host of other things to do in Galway such as golfing at Glenlo Abbey, Galway City Museum, drive along some of the Wild Atlantic Way, visit the grounds of the National University of Ireland, Galway, or go to a show at the Town Hall Theater. In the summer, there are a whole host of festivals on from the Arts festival to the film festival and Galway Horse Racing. Galway is a huge foodie town and holds many food shows and festivals throughout the year so there’s rarely a dull weekend in Galway. Even at Christmas, the Christmas market and beer tent make Galway the best place to visit for some festive cheer!
The message is visit Galway, you won’t be disappointed! More blog posts to come on Galway!
Latest Blog Posts