48 hours in Galway between beer, colorful houses, music and cliffs
Located just over two hours drive from Dublin, this city can become one of the key stops on your visit to the Emerald Island.
Galway: an Irish weekend © Getty Images
Its strategic position by the sea, the beauty that is appreciated from the first moment and the vibrant atmosphere that emanates from all corners have made Galway is one of the favorite cities to visit in Ireland.
Both locals and foreigners travel each year to this enclave Either to take your language courses, go in search of work to improve your level of English, study at the university or simply enjoy a well-deserved vacation.
And it is that Galway, although it cannot boast the size of Dublin, is the perfect place to live in first person the idea of the Ireland that appears in our favorite books, movies and songs (but tell Ed Sheeran and his internationally dinstinguida song Galway Girl).
The best advice when visiting the city known as the most hospitable of Ireland? Do not impose either schedules, routes, or obligations and let yourself be infected by the bohemian and festive roll that permeates the city. In short ... LIVE IT!
Music at street level © Photo by Kelan Chad on Unsplash
6pm To make a first contact with Galway once newly installed in this exciting town, the first thing we have to do is walk on foot what is considered the historical center.
Understood between Eyre Square and the Spanish Arch, all the streets that encompass that area we will find them full of shops, pubs, irish taverns and artists playing in the street the most authentic Celtic music or in the purest Ed Sheeran style. Then you will integrate with the environment and start thinking about extending your stay, who knows, maybe ... forever?
Wandering around we find right away Shop Street, the most lively and commercial street in Galway. We can have a pre-dinner beer in any of the pubs that adorn this busy street and start Enjoy the true Irish essence. Tomorrow there will be a place to visit it carefully (and tourism).
20.00 In Ireland, as in the United Kingdom, dinner time is usually from 18:00 so you have to be very careful not to go to dinner at 9:30 pm so it is very likely that the kitchen has been closed for half an hour or even earlier. It's not like you go to dinner at 6:30 PM but between 19: 30-20: 30 it is a good time to make the last meal of the day.
We have two options, or stay in some of the pubs in the areas taking some hot dish to snack and share accompanied by one (or several) refreshing Guinness or move to a nearby restaurant.
An enclave where history, fun and good food are guaranteed © Photo by Rory Hennessey on Unsplash
If we opt for the second alternative, The Pie Maker It bears our name. Amazing and delicious baked cakes and baked sweets In a completely homemade way they have been cooking in this place for years and it has been established as a reference in the town.
Due to its high demand, In April 2019 they decided to change premises (formerly located at 10 Cross Street Upper) and move two doors from the other location to satisfy all tourists and locals who pass each day here to Taste their overwhelming cakes.
On the original site they have opened another restaurant with the same philosophy called White rabbit that promises to become the new place to be from Galway. Their cakes are all a snack of heaven, the veal and carrot or the chicken with mushrooms They are unique, but we also find other options, even vegetarian, so we will not need more than the offer to have a good dinner.
It is advisable go ahead because the lines are usually long, But the wait is worth it. In addition if we go in a little hurry, we have the option to order it to take away and taste it in the apartment or anywhere else.
Salted cakes and baked sweets © Facebook The Pie Maker
10:00 p.m. To sleep we can choose to stay in the busy and expensive center or move away a bit to find somewhat cheaper options. Accommodation in Ireland is much more expensive than we are used to in Spain, so if we can find something cheaper and of equal quality, it will always be well received.
In the salthill bay dozens of B & Bs in front of the sea are crowded just 20 minutes walk from the center of Galway, so they are the perfect option to not be far from the night party but sleep in a relaxed and quiet enclave.
Waking up and seeing the views of Clare County is magical. He Sunrise Lodge B&B (3 Ocean Wave, Dr. Colohan Road) and their friendly hosts are a clear example of Quiet and exceptional accommodation in this bay.
The beautiful bay of Salthill © Getty Images
10.00 a.m. After getting up and having breakfast the overwhelming and traditional Irish breakfast that we are served every morning in our b & b, it's time to get to know Galway in the light of day and discover some of the most emblematic historical corners of the city.
We can walk by the seafront that connects Salthill with downtown Galway. A half-hour tour in which if it is good it will result in a pleasant walk where we will see people practice sports and enjoy a pleasant day in the sun.
11.30 a.m. What should we not miss? The good thing is that it is an easy city to visit on foot and that in one morning we will have seen the most touristic points of it so we can dedicate the rest to enjoy the good atmosphere of it, its culture, its gastronomy and how not your beer
But first we can visit the Spanich Arch, the well-known Latin Quarter and the Galway Municipal Museum. If we continue through the center at the end we will reach the Eyre Square With its famous shopping center.
If we already want to leave the most tourist circuit we will only have to walk a little further north, on the other bank of the Corrib river they are the catholic cathedral of St. Nicholas and a few steps from it stands the National University of Ireland, which has been offering university studies since 1849.
In 1908 a center associated to the National University of Galway was definitively established. Thousands of national and international students travel here every year to participate in their university programs of all kinds.
If we feel like walking a little more, from the university and just a walk of about 20 minutes is located Terryland Castle, also known as the 'old castle'.
It is a ruined building because in 1961 a fire destroyed the fortification, leaving what we know today. But still Worth a brief visit.
The city cathedral © Getty Images
13.30h. Once we have visited the key points we can return to the center to eat. If the day accompanies Why not order food take away and taste it south of the Spanish Arch in the South Park? The views are breathtaking and the atmosphere is very calm.
We can go to Donut bros (1 Middle Street) a Neapolitan style pizzeria well known for its quality product and good price or if we fancy a more traditional cuisine at McDonagh's (22 Quay Street) is waiting for us the best dish of fish & chips from Galway.
We take it and we go to the park to make the best of the picnics, Take a well-deserved nap, play cards and if we feel like practicing some kind of exercise. It doesn't sound bad at all, right? In the worst case, if it rains we can always taste the food inside the establishment.
6:00 p.m. Depending on the time of the year we are in, the sunset About Galway will occur at one hour or another. In spring, it gets dark between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and in summer it can get to be about 8:00 p.m. One of the locations near the center to witness this moment is near South Park, specifically at the entrance of the Corrib River.
The moment when the sun is setting over the sea and the reflection illuminates the colorful houses located on The Long Walk is something unique and wonderful that will remain in your retina for the rest of the days.
8:00 p.m. After sunset, we continue to delight in the traditional cuisine of Galway and this time we will do it in the restaurant Hooked (65 Henry Street). We cannot leave this fishing village without trying their delicious fish and seafood and in this place they are experts in both.
Fish & chips, oysters, squid, fish burger or fish soup They are some of the dishes of the culinary offer that you should not overlook. Delicious!
If we go in the month of September we should know that every year around that time is celebrated in the port of the city on Oyster and Seafood Festival, A mandatory date for foodies.
10:00 p.m. After dinner, play Take the look of rigor before retiring. Who knows if the thing can go further and who says one says several. We have dozens of places to drink the quintessential drink in Ireland, so we can try them one by one. The Quays, Tigh Neachtain, O 'Connells Pub, The King's Head ... bars what places!
In our getaway you can not miss the bars! © The King's Head
9.00 a.m. Today it's time to leave the city to discover one of the most representative wonders of all of Ireland, the cliffs of Moher (also known as 'Cliff of Moher' in English).
We have three options to visit this jewel of the Emerald Island, well by car on our own, by public transport or with a guided tour. If we want to have the time we want and without any hurry to stop along the road if we wanted to admire this impressive landscape, The best thing is that we rent a car in Galway and get going.
Within an hour and a half we find this enclave of nature that we surely recognize by the typical postcards of Ireland and for being the scenes of the Harry Potter movies or the series Game of Thrones. You will not have seen anything like it!
The signs located along the path near the edge of the cliffs will let us know that we must go with caution and not get too close to the limit, since air currents are dangerous and one can precipitate under vacuum. We can also see help posters in case someone goes with somewhat suicidal ideas. It's better to prevent than to cure!
The majesty of this place is unique. Whether the day accompanies or if the weather conditions are bad, take a walk and get drunk by the magic and mysticism that encompasses this redoubt of nature is necessary ... and of course take the picture of rigor.
The impressive cliffs of Moher © Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash
1:00 p.m. Once we have left behind the cliffs of Moher, it's time to make a technical stop in the coastal town of Doolin. Here we can have a snack in some of the pubs in the area and then take the ferry to take us to one of the Aran Islands.
Doolin is the closest town to the cliffs and from where ferries leave to visit the islands by sea. Belonging to Clare County, it is The perfect place to recharge batteries and continue on our way.
The traditional irish music It is one of the great bets of Doolin and if we have the opportunity we must listen to it in some of the pubs. To eat? An excellent option may be McGann's Pub & Restaurant (Main Street Roadford).
3pm After lunch, take a ferry to take us to one of the Aran Islands where Irish is still the main language and Traditions are the order of the day. Three islands with a wide cultural heritage for their impressive beauty.
Inis Oírr It is the smallest and closest to the land part of Ireland. Inis Meáin It is located in the middle and offers a landscape full of Rock formations and green fields. It is the least visited of the three islands, making it the perfect enclave for travelers seeking calm and tranquility.
And finally Inis Mor, the oldest of the three and the furthest gives us A limestone landscape and steep cliffs.
20.00 Now it's time to go back to Galway and enjoy the Irish night. Has anyone said a Guinness or a Murphy's?
Doolin, a charming seaside town © Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash