Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 3-4
Next stop: Westport Previous stop: Dublin Return to full itinerary »

Galway City is one of the liveliest destinations in Ireland, so don't come here expecting a quiet, quaint town. It's a favorite weekend getaway for the Irish and is known as the city of festivals. Galway offers a thriving arts scene as well as waterside views.
Learn more about Galway City »

  • Nightlife
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture


  • Start at Eyre Square, the heart of the city, which has a memorial to John F. Kennedy. Continue to the artsy medieval quarter.
  • Explore the charming Claddagh district, once an Irish-speaking fishing village. This is where the traditional Claddagh ring was first made.
  • Lynch's Castle (now a branch of Allied Irish Bank) is Galway's finest remaining example of a 16th-century fortified house. Some of the decorative details have a Spanish flair.


  • The Galway Arts Festival in mid-July showcases the best in theater, the arts, comedy, and jazz.
  • The annual Oyster Festival in September celebrates the mollusk with shucking contests and free entertainment.

Side Trips

  • Visit the fabled Aran Islands, an eerie, isolated landscape where some residents still get around by pony and cart.

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