Timeless shops full of character, winding cobblestone streets, and a lively nightlife — Galway is everything you expect Ireland to be, wrapped up in a vibrant, bohemian spirit. Read on to discover the things that always top our Galway itinerary.
1 – Indulge in breakfast at Griffin’s.
Start your day with a carbohydrate fix from Galway’s most iconic bakery. Once recognized as the best baker in Ireland, Jimmy Griffin does not shy away from experimental breads (try the seaweed sourdough!), but nothing beats cozying up in the tearoom for a full Irish brekky.
2 – Order a smoothie at the Jungle Cafe.
This palm-fringed, chilled-out oasis near Eyre Square is a peaceful respite from Galway’s rowdy pub scene. The cafe’s funky outdoor patio is full of comfy couches and rattan chairs that will mentally transport you to the tropics.
3 – Shop for a traditional Claddagh Ring.
However you wear it to connote your relationship status, there’s no better souvenir than an Irish claddagh ring. This Irish symbol of loyalty, love, and friendship originated in Galway, and you can get one at Thomas Dillon’s, the oldest jeweler in Ireland that has been making claddagh rings since 1750.
4 – Taste native oysters at the Galway Market.
Every Saturday, the Galway market comes to life with hundreds of stalls selling everything from paintings and pottery to artisan crafts and jewelry. But the best part is the fresh oysters — they’re shucked right in front of you and served with a dab of buttermilk.
5 – Sail through Galway Bay.
What better way to explore the west coast of Ireland than to set sail into the wind and relax on your own private yacht? You’re guaranteed to get the most Instagrammable view of the Long Walk, Galway’s famous stretch of colorful homes.
6 – Soak in the outdoor hot tub at Hotel Meyrick.
Complimentary for all guests to use, the rooftop hot tub makes Hotel Meyrick our favorite place to stay in Galway. Melt your worries away while you bask in panoramic views of the city and a cool ocean breeze.
7 – Have afternoon tea at Secret Garden.
An eclectic urban sanctuary and quite possibly the most peaceful place in Galway, Secret Garden is the perfect spot to find your zen. Part tea shop, part art gallery, it’s a gathering space for artistic souls and you can typically catch live music or poetry readings on any given day or night.
8 – Sip a pint of Guinness at Murphy’s Bar.
No trip to the Emerald Isle is complete without savoring the country’s signature tipple at a traditional Irish pub. One of the oldest pubs in Galway, Murphy’s is a true local’s gem that gets packed to the brim every evening.
9 – Dance to live music at Tig Choili.
We would be remiss to write an article about Galway and not include live music! Galway’s pubs are always pumping with traditional Irish music, but our go-to for a good time is Tig Choili, where famous fiddle-playing Irish musicians like Sharon Shannon have been known to drop in.