Galway is a fun-filled city that comes alive during the summer with festivals that attract the best of local and international talent. But even on the quietest days, there’s plenty to do in this western gem.
A good place to start is a walking tour of the city. Learn about the history, heritage and culture of Ireland as you explore on foot.
Quay Street is one of Galway's most popular pedestrian streets. It is full of bars, restaurants and shops.
It is an amazing place to spend an hour or two, watching the performers and walking around. Musicians, jugglers, mimes and acrobats fill this street with joy.
The best way to get to and from Quay Street is by bus or train. The Moovit App or Website helps you find the best bus or train route to Quay Street.
The Aran Islands
The Aran Islands - Inish Mor, Inis Meain and Inish Oirr - are three rocky isles located in wild Atlantic waters at the mouth of Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland. Each is rich in the language, culture and heritage of Ireland.
Inish Mor, the largest of the three, is home to Dun Aonghasa, an ancient stone fort that sits on a towering cliff. It’s one of the best historical sites in the whole of Ireland, and a visit here is a must for any serious Irish traveler.
Another must-see is Cnoc Raithni, a Bronze Age burial ground on the south shore of Inish Mor. It was discovered in 1885 and remains to this day a stunning site to explore on foot.
The Aran Islands have also inspired many literary works, including Riders to the Sea by John Millington Synge and The Aran Islands by Gilbert Becaud. They are also a favourite with visitors from all over the world, who come here to see a timeless land in an endless sea, to explore mysterious ancient ruins and enjoy bracing sea swims.
The Cliffs of Moher
One of the most iconic destinations in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher stand 702 feet above sea level and are a must-see for travelers visiting Galway. This natural wonder stretches for 5 miles and features stunning views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, the Maumturk Mountains, and the Dingle Peninsula.
You can visit the Cliffs of Moher year-round, but June through August is the peak season for tourism in the area. If you want to avoid the crowds, plan your trip for early in the morning or late in the afternoon when day tours are wrapping up.
There are plenty of ways to get to the Cliffs of Moher from Galway, but a guided tour is the most efficient. It offers roundtrip transportation from the city, entry into the visitor center, and a chance to drive along the Wild Atlantic Way with a local guide.
The Lakes of Killarney
The beautiful Lakes of Killarney are a popular tourist attraction and the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the surrounding area. With lush woodlands, towering mountains and sparkling lochs, the area is an ideal spot to take in the natural beauty of Ireland.
You can explore Lough Leane, Muckross Lake and Upper Lake by kayak, canoe, or on foot. The region's three major lakes are surrounded by breathtaking scenery and rich history, with ruins of ancient abbeys and castles to explore.
Another great thing to do in Killarney is to take a tour of the iconic Ring of Kerry. You'll pass through stunning mountain scenery and visit a number of stunning beaches along the way.
You can also explore the area on a horse-drawn jaunting cart (pony and trap). They are an excellent way to see the park and avoid big tour groups.