What to do: I’ve been to the city centre a few times before so I didn’t stay too long there this time. I’d recommend checking out Eyre Square, the Spanish Arch, the Salmon Weir, the Galway Arts Centre (contemporary art, free entry), Shop St and Quay St.
The Claddagh Ring Museum is a very small space at the back of a jewellery shop (Thomas Dillon’s, Quay St) but it is really informative and charming. The claddagh ring is a symbol of Ireland worn as a band on the middle finger. The museum has displays on the making of claddagh rings, the history of T Dillon Jewellers and the rings role in popular culture. There is free entry.
The Galway City Museum is a modern space near the Spanish Arch. It is currently showing exhibits on Galway during World War I, GAA in Galway and SeaScience. SeaScience describes the magnetic power behind waves, techniques to map Irish coastal waters and the basics of photosensitive plankton. It is a lot of fun, especially for the kid inside all of us, as well as educational. Entry is free.
Galway is famous for live music and street entertainment. The music found in numerous city centre bars is mainly traditional but the Róisín Dubh has a variety of rock and indie bands every month.
What to do: I’ve also visited Salthill before but I love it! There is a gorgeous beach and promenade with superb views of Galway Bay. There is a tradition of ‘kicking the wall’ at the end of the promenade for luck.
The Circle of Life National Organ Donor Commemorative Garden, just off the promenade is picturesque and peaceful.
For entertainment there are pubs, arcade halls, golf and a swimming pool. Galway city is less than 10 minutes drive away.
My favourite attraction by far is Galway Atlantaquaria, a medium sized aquarium on two floors with sea horses, sting rays, lots of Nemos, octopus and a touching pool with starfish (see my upcoming post).
I also stopped into Coole Park on my way back from Galway.
Where to eat: Kai Café, Sea Road; Urban Grind, South William Street; Blackrock Bar, Salthill Hotel.