Galway Tourist Information Travel Guide



Galway,​ the​ largest county in​ the​ province of​ Connacht,​ lies in​ the​ centre of​ the​ western seaboard of​ Ireland. it​ covers nearly 6,​000 sq. kms,​ (with over 2000km of​ highly indented coastline) and is​ divided by Lough Corrib,​ Ireland’s second largest lake. it​ has two distinct landscapes - the​ vast mountainy land of​ Connemara to​ the​ west of​ Lough Corrib and the​ rich farming plains of​ Galway East. the​ population of​ the​ County (all the​ areas outside of​ Galway City) is​ estimated at​ just over 143,​000. the​ County is​ predominantly rural with just over 15% living in​ towns of​ more than 1,​500 people.

Galway City is​ one of​ the​ fastest growing cities in​ Europe,​ often referred to​ as​ the​ bi-lingual capital of​ Ireland,​ Galway city is​ the​ perfect mix of​ old and new. a​ bustling shopping centre with wonderful little boutique cafes along the​ pedestrianised streets and plenty of​ craic at​ night with a​ host of​ live music venues to​ choose from.

For a​ taste of​ the​ “real” Ireland Connemara is​ a​ must. Gaeilge is​ the​ predominant language of​ choice here and the​ people are warm and friendly with a​ typical Cead Mile Failte Irish welcome. the​ beautiful rugged landscape is​ as​ yet unspoilt by progress.

Take in​ the​ majestic splendour of​ the​ Twelve Bens mountain range in​ the​ north as​ you​ make your way further south to​ the​ well knows seaside resort of​ Salthill. Something for everyone here from the​ landmark Leisureland complex with its indoor and outdoor childrens activities to​ the​ quieter restaurants and bars further back from the​ sandy seafront and promenade.

Galway County Council recently lead a​ project to​ create a​ Galway East Ecclesiastical Trail. the​ Trail features over 40 sites of​ interest to​ ‘culture and heritage seekers’. This area also features Portumna Castle on​ the​ banks of​ the​ Shannon and Coole Park and Thoor Ballylee associated with literary legends W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory founder of​ Ireland’s National Theatre.

There are four main inhabited Islands off the​ coast of​ Galway including the​ world renowed Irish speaking Aran Islands and Inisboffin. in​ total there are 18 inhabited islands in​ County Galway. it​ is​ worth a​ visit across to​ the​ islands to​ enjoy such activities as​ walking,​ cycling,​ swimming,​ horse-riding,​ diving,​ basket-making and learning a​ little of​ the​ Irish language and culture. Inis Mor,​ the​ largest of​ the​ Aran Islands,​ is​ home to​ the​ world famous Dun Aonghasa monument and the​ islands heritage centre is​ wonderfully informative of​ the​ lives of​ previous inhabitants. an​ overnight stay is​ highly recommended in​ order to​ sample the​ traditional night life.

The Summer Festival Race Meeting at​ Galway Racecourse is​ renowned worldwide. Veteran race goers,​ and indeed those who simply love the​ atmosphere,​ travel from around the​ world for this unique experience.

The Festival runs for seven consecutive days starting from the​ last Monday in​ July each year. There are special race days,​ such as,​ Ladies Day,​ the​ Big Bash and Mad Hatter’s Day which add fun and excitement to​ the​ event. a​ record number of​ people,​ 220,​000,​ attended the​ Summer Festival Meeting in​ 2018.

In addition to​ good road access,​ Galway is​ increasingly well serviced by over 100 direct flights a​ week to​ Galway Airport,​ Shannon and Ireland West Airport (Knock) as​ well as​ daily train services from Dublin through Galway East to​ Galway City provided by Iarnród Eireann. Bus Eireann services the​ area with regular coaches to​ and from the​ rest of​ the​ country.





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