Galway in One Day: The Best Things to Do in Galway If You Only Have One Day
Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, is a popular tourist destination because of its unique culture and charm, but you can still go off the beaten path. Here’s how to spend a day in the city so you can learn about its rich history without missing out on its modern bohemian vibes.
Galway in One Day: #Morning
McCambridge’s on Shop Street is a restaurant and artisan food hall that has been run by the same family since 1925. After you’ve had a full Irish breakfast, you can look through the shelves to find gourmet treats to take home.
Galway is quickly becoming a great place to eat, and the local food will leave no doubt about its culinary potential.
McCambridge’s Of Galway Ltd., 38-39 Shop St., Galway, Ireland; phone: +353 91 562 259
On Shop Street, you can also see Lynch’s Castle. This gothic limestone castle, which is now a bank, was built for the Lynch family. The Lynchs were one of fourteen important families in Galway in the early modern era, when the city got its nickname “the City of Tribes.” On the outside of the castle, you can still see the family’s coat of arms.
Lynch’s Castle is on Shop Street Abbeygate Street in Galway, Ireland. Call +353 91 567 041 for more information.
Next, head north to Eyre Square park and look at the Browne doorway. It was moved to the square by the Galway Archaeological Society in 1905 from one of Galway’s most beautiful Renaissance mansions in 1627. Parts of the original city wall from the 13th century have also been used in the Eyre Square shopping center.
Eyre Square, in Ireland’s Galway
Galway in One Day: #Noon
The refreshingly laid-back Dough Bros pizzeria on Abbeygate Street doesn’t take reservations, but it’s one of the best places in the city to have lunch, so get there early and grab a seat by the window. This food truck that was turned into a restaurant and won an award serves wood-fired pizzas that are just as good as any in Italy (try the mind-blowing Nduja sausage).
The Dough Bros is at 24 Upper Abbeygate Street, Cathedral Buildings, Galway, Ireland, +353 87 176 1662.
Coffeewerk + Press on Quay Street is a good place to get a coffee after lunch in the city’s Latin Quarter. If Galway is the cultural heart of Ireland, then the Latin Quarter is a heart within a heart. It has some of the city’s oldest sites as well as modern places like this café, gallery, and design stores.
Coffeewerk + Perk, 4 Quay Street, Galway, Ireland, +353 91 448 667
The Middle Ages St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is close by. It was built in 1320. It is named for the patron saint of sailors, and local legend says that Christopher Columbus came here to pray when he was in Galway in 1477, not long before he found the Americas by accident.
Lynch’s Memorial Window is on Market Street, near the church’s graveyard. This is where one of Galway’s most famous legends is said to have happened: in 1493, the mayor of the city is said to have hung his own son from this window, which was part of their home at the time, for killing a Spanish sailor.
St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, Lombard Street, Galway, Ireland, +353 86 389 8777
Galway in One Day: #Afternoon
If it’s a Saturday, stop by the Galway Market on Church Lane. It’s been there for hundreds of years. If not, look for the Nora Barnacle House Museum on Bowling Green, which is close by. This is where James Joyce’s wife and muse grew up. In 1909, Joyce met Nora’s family for the first time here.
Galway Market, 7 Lombard St., Galway, Ireland, every Saturday
Nora Barnacle House Museum is at 8 Bowling Green, Galway, Ireland, +353 91 564 743.
Kirwan’s Lane, which is further south, is named after another of the city’s well-known tribes. This area was once part of “old Galway,” which was inside the city walls. It has carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century buildings and is now home to a number of well-known craft shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Galway in One Day: #Evening
Follow the signs to the Spanish Arch. This is where you’ll find the only remaining piece of the 16th-century Ceann a Bhalla, which was built in 1584 as an extension of the original town wall from the 12th century. In 1755, after an earthquake in Lisbon, a tsunami hit and destroyed a lot of its arches.
Spanish Arch, No. 2 The Long Walk, Galway, Ireland
One of the best places to eat in Galway, Ard Bia at Nimmos Restaurant, is right here on the left bank of the River Corrib. A local would recommend it for dinner. It has a seasonal gourmet menu and a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere, but make sure to book ahead because this place is popular for a good reason.
Ard Bia at Nimmos, Spanish Arch, Long Walk, Galway, Ireland; phone: +353 91 561 114
After dinner, use Wolfe Tone Bridge to cross the river. Stop by the Róisn Dubh pub for a drink or to see the band or comedian that is playing there that night. More of a party animal? Try Electric Garden & Theatre on Abbeygate Street. It won the 2016 Sky Bar of the Year Award for Nightclub of the Year.
Róisn Dubh is located at 9 Dominick St Upper, Galway, Ireland, and can be reached at +353 91 586 540.
Electric Garden and Theatre, 36 Upper Abbeygate St., Galway, Ireland, +353 91 565 976
Topic Galway in One Day: The Best Things to Do in Galway If You Only Have One Day
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