The Irish city of Galway effortlessly merges the contemporary with the old, treating visitors to both the history and the hearty hospitality this country is so well known for. The bohemian charms of the town itself narrowly prevent Galway from being overshadowed by the outstanding spectacles of nature that can be found beyond the city. Fantastic shops and vibrant pubs bursting with live music are easy to come by when strolling the streets here.
When venturing further into western Ireland’s countryside or following the Atlantic Way north or south, expect lots of green scenery and beautiful panoramas. In this region, rugged and rocky landscapes clashes magnificently with the almighty Atlantic Ocean, creating countless sites that will leave you breathless.
Galway attracts many travellers to its port, with popular cruise companies that stop here including Holland America Line.
Smaller ships typically dock at the Port of Galway, which puts passengers within easy walking distance of the town. However, larger cruise vessels need to make anchor nearby and tender people ashore.
Facilities at the port are limited, but the town is comfortably within walking distance. In town, you will find:
Cafés and restaurants
Banks and ATMs.
How to Get Around
The best way to get around the town itself is on foot. Other options include catching a taxi, riding one of the buses or hiring your own car, but these alternatives are best left for trips beyond Galway.
Travel times from the port:
It is a 5 minute journey to Quay Street
It is a 10 minute journey to Eyre Square
It is a 16 minute journey to Galway Cathedral
It is a 37 minute journey to the Circle of Life Commemorative Garden.
It is a 6 minute journey to the Circle of Life Commemorative Garden
It is a 22 minute journey to Rinville Park
It is a 30 minute journey to Rathbaun Farm
It is a 1 hour and 23 minute journey to Connemara National Park.
Currency – Commerce is done using the euro (€) in Galway and throughout the Republic of Ireland. Banknotes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €1,000 varieties, while the coin denominations in circulation are the 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2 coins. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at pretty much all establishments in the country. Keep in mind that Northern Ireland is a separate nation and uses a different currency (the pound sterling).
Time Zone – Galway’s clocks run according to Irish Standard Time (IST), which is parallel to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). From late March to late October, the city skips forward one hour for Irish Summer Time.
Weather – Galway generally stays pleasantly cool throughout the year. Temperatures reach about 16 degrees Celsius during the town’s hottest month of July and drop down to about 6 degrees Celsius in the coldest month of February. Autumn and winter see slightly more rainfall than summer and spring, with October averaging 96mm to be Galway’s wettest month.
Connemara National Park – This expansive national park to the northwest of Galway is a hiker’s paradise. Even those who prefer leisurely strolls will be captivated and inspired by the endless scenes of natural beauty that abound here. Incredible mountains, sweeping grasslands and lovely lakes all form part of the diverse and dramatic landscape. Look out for the many animal species that call the park home, including butterflies, red deer, and Connemara ponies. Don’t miss the excellent visitor centre.
Wild Atlantic Way – Stunning scenic drives don’t come much better than this one is western Ireland. Here, the rugged coastline meets the raw ferocity of the Atlantic Ocean, creating picturesque views at every stop. The route passes through Galway at its halfway mark, giving you the option of travelling south towards Cork or north in the direction of Londonderry. Whichever way you travel, gorgeous sights and exciting experiences await.
Quay Street – Located in the heart of Galway, Quay Street gives visitors an enjoyable, authentic taste of the local culture. With fantastic shops, cafés, restaurants and bars on every corner, this area makes for a wonderful walk during your time in town. The stores are colourful, the people are cheerful, and the music is uplifting.
Circle of Life Commemorative Garden – Nestled within the thriving and popular Salthill Promenade is the surprisingly peaceful Circle of Life Commemorative Garden. Small yet full of life and serenity, this garden is the ideal place to escape the crowds, sit down, and enjoy some quiet, relaxing moments. As its name might suggest to you, this garden has an underlying message about the importance of organ donation.