Holiday rentals in Galway
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Your guide to Galway
Welcome to Galway
Life in Galway is as colourful as the houses that line its three-mile bay. The fiddle, whistle, and bodhrán can be heard every day in the lively pubs that fill its medieval town centre. Irish culture is alive and strong here: in Salthill, where the Pearse Stadium hosts hurling and Gaelic football; in the food scene that celebrates its peerless Atlantic oysters; and in the native language that lives on in the local area.
The charming shopping streets of Galway’s historic Latin Quarter are mirrored across the River Corrib by the West End’s artsy appeal, quirky cafes, and chef-focused restaurants. To the north sits the 19th-century grandeur of Galway’s prestigious university. The countryside holds wonders, too: a dramatic, wave-beaten coastline and hills studded with castles, churches, and ancient stone monuments. Some of the West Coast’s greatest natural treasures — the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, Connemara National Park — can be easily reached from here.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Galway
Like the rest of Ireland, Galway is subject to wet and windy weather year round, but it never dampens the spirits. There’s always something interesting going on in this festive city, from the St Patrick’s Day parade in March to the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in April. In May and June people gather on bridges to watch the spectacle of the salmon returning upriver to spawn. July to October sees the best weather, as well as some of the most traditional and cultural events, including the Galway Arts Festival and the Film Fleadh in July, the Baboró arts festival for children (October), and, for those who like their seafood, September’s popular Oyster Festival. December brings a much loved Christmas market that fills the historic streets.
Top things to do in Galway
St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church
It might not seem as fancy as other buildings in this historic city, where even the local bank is a former castle, but this 14th-century parish church has a special place in Galway’s history. It was built by the Knights Templar when it was nothing more than a frontier settlement, and expanded by the 14 merchant families known as the Tribes of Galway. The church has been a Catholic and Protestant place of worship (you can still see damage done by Oliver Cromwell’s troops) and hosts the city’s popular Saturday market.
Stretching two miles from the mouth of the River Corrib, this 19th-century boardwalk has its own tradition (you kick the wall near the diving boards when you reach the end). At its eastern end is the Claddagh, a fishing village whose customs still live on, with South Park, known locally as the Swamp, which offers views across the harbour.
If you want a taste of the Irish good life, head to this wonderful 19th-century pub (pronounced Nock-tans). Its cosy interiors and shady terrace are the perfect place to try the local flavors, or catch a traditional Irish music jam session.