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24 Hours in Galway, Ireland


Several boats sitting in low water in the bay of Galway, with colorful houses and the ocean in the background
Boats off of Nimmo's Pier in Galway, Ireland

Our trip to Ireland was a whirlwind adventure, where we tried to knock out a few of the major Irish locations in just a few days. Because of this, the travel tips and ideas for Ireland are going to be over a short timeframe, which should be great for backpackers or those hoping to take a lot in over a restricted amount of time. Ireland isn't a country which emphasizes a quick lifestyle, so it is best to soak in this attitude and perspective, even when only in a given city for a day or two.


Without further ado - please read ahead for where I went when in Galway, Ireland!


Accommodation

We got a lovely AirBnB near to Eyre Square in central Galway. It had a great view over the city and was well decorated and comfortable. I would highly recommend the area - it was easy to access pubs, restaurants, transportation, and felt like it was still in the middle of local life. I couldn't find the exact place we stayed in, but there is a hostel nearby and a few townhouses which I am linking here.



Pubs

I went to:

An Pucan (4.5)

This pub was perfect for a variety of travelers. There was an authentic pub feel for those looking for the local experience, a large sign that said GALWAY for the traveler looking for a good picture, and also a more upscale room for the more luxurious traveler. It was super close to our accommodation, and I couldn't have asked for more.

Woman with a pint of beer in a dimly lit pub in Galway, Ireland
A pint at An Pucan pub in Galway, Ireland

The Quay Street Kitchen (4.7)

We actually sat outside at the Quay Street Kitchen - the street was rather crowded, but we wanted to find a seat where we could enjoy the Irish music and liveliness. I can't comment on the food, but the reviews seem to indicate that it does not disappoint! Great location for a pint and a chat with friends on a Saturday afternoon.


1520 Bar (4.5)

Also on Quay Street, 1520 Bar was a quaint and cosy pub for those looking for a break from the active scene on the street. There wasn't live music when we stopped in, but often the music scene is lively here. Attendees rave about the cocktails and unique menu!


Highly Recommended

O'Connell's Bar Galway (4.7)

The best pint of Guinness we had on our trip

Reviews mention that there is no live music, but O'Connell's has one of the best beer gardens in Galway. The location is ideal, being close to the station for newcomers and those about to continue their travels. The variety of bars reduces wait time and the decor intrigues those who take the time to investigate.


Tigh Neachtain (4.6)

Every time in Galway, a must visit! Fabulous food, amazing wine by the glass, and extremely helpful and friendly staff. Great atmosphere and I love the art.

The atmosphere is the most mentioned piece of many reviews of Tigh Neachtain. Often full, but known for its variety of craft beers and seafood. In a location where you can hear the buskers while enjoying the character of the city.


The Salt House (4.6)

The best brew pub in Galway. The Salt House has 21 taps in the small bar and more than 100 beers on bottle or can.

Off the main path, The Salt House provides a more local experience. Dog friendly and perfect for the beer connoisseur - most reviews make sure to point out the friendly staff and overall atmosphere.


The Bunch of Grapes (4.7)

Authentic atmosphere in a family run pub. One of the few places in Galway where you can experience the true Irish friendliness.

Great for a pint or a coffee, reviewers remark on the family feel of this pub. Smaller than some of the larger options, The Bunch of Grapes can get full but has been called a "hidden gem" with real charm.


Walking Tour

As I said above, I think the best way to take in Galway is through wandering the streets. Having a mission to tick off all of the boxes in this city would be a mistake, as a rushed and packed itinerary would take away from the Galway experience.


Streets:

Quay Street, High Street, Middle Street, The Latin Quarter

Image of St. Augustine's Catholic Parish with flowers hanging above the door and cloudy blue skies
St. Augustine's Catholic Parish in the sun

Points of Interest:

Eyre Square, St. Augustine's Catholic Parish, Canal off of the pier area (walk past The Salt House, along the canal until you reach Henry Street Playground, then back along the "Galways Westend" road past Greens & Co./Plamas/Taylor's Bar & Beer Garden)


Stores:

Aran Sweater Market, Aunty Nellies Sweet Shop, Amber Gift Shop



Sunset

I found that the best place for sunset was by the water (specifically Nimmo's Pier). There were plenty of people with the same idea - which made the setting feel authentic. There were teens drinking from tins, families picnicking, and couples enjoying the atmosphere. There is a ton of room, so you can sit on the edge of the pavement with your legs hanging over the water or sit further away on the grass.


Personally, I would bring some bread and cheese and maybe a bottle of wine and just relax as the sky turns a myriad of colors.



And that's a day in Galway! We didn't stay out late, as we had day trips out to the Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, and County Mayo (via e-bike) the following few days. Stay tuned for more details about those ventures.


Image of a street in Galway, Ireland with banners hung above the path and people walking
Pin this image to remember these tips!


Thanks for reading, and subscribe below!


xx Melissa




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