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Galway, one of the most charming cities in Ireland, has many narrow, authentic streets waiting to be explored. Since many souvenir shops and pubs are lining up one after another along the roads, it is not possible for tourists to not to be impressed by the atmosphere of the city. Galway is located in the west of Ireland, about 2 and half our by car from Dublin. In the region of Galway, many people speaks still Gaelic, the old language of western Ireland.
One of the most authentic, and best-preserved towns in Ireland is without a doubt Galway. As Ireland’s fifth biggest city, it is the perfect spot to base yourself when exploring the western portion of the country, and is commonly referred to as the ‘city of the tribes’. Dating back to the 15th century, Galway has plentiful history to explore, having passed hands through 14 different noble families, known locally as the ‘tribes’, hence the name. These families were responsible for the many castles which are now dotted throughout the county, around the city, and you’ll see the family names adoring many street signs, nodding to days gone by. A wonderful blend of old and new, Galway is packed with bars, restaurants, shops, and great nightlife to enjoy, and it is a major tourist hotspot on the western side of Ireland.
As one of the biggest cities in Ireland, you would expect there to be many different places to visit - you’re not going to be disappointed. A few highlights include Lynch’s Castle, showing you some of the most stunning medieval architecture in the country, and the Spanish Arch. This is one of the last remaining examples of the defences built to protect the western coast from invaders back in the day. You can now walk through the arch and along the Corrib River, taking in the peaceful atmosphere. History fans should head to Galway City Museum, where you can learn more about how the city came to be, as well as stories of culture and heritage, which will certainly enrich your visit. You can also visit the Legend of the Claddagh Ring, which focuses on the famous jewellery and shows visitors how they are made. This is a free attraction, and a great 20 minutes to spend. The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas is a must visit. The limestone building has a roman feel to it, and towers over the city. There is also the Church of Ireland St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church to visit too, which is the largest medieval church still in use in the country, dating back to 1320. The lives of the former families who ruled the area can also be explored, and the Hall of the Red Earl is a good place to start. This is located on Flood Street, and through a glass wall, visitors can see this iconic structure, dating back to the 13th century. Another historic place to visit is the de Burgh family’s old banqueting hall, decorated in medieval style. When you’ve had enough history for one day, Galway brings you a good dose of the modern day, with a busy and lively shopping area. If the weather is warm, you could also head to The Promenade, located nearby at Salthill, where you can enjoy views over the water, and people-watch to your heart’s content. A popular activity to view here is from the iconic diving board, where you’ll see people jumping down into the rather chilly waters of the Atlantic! Overall, Galway is a fantastic day out, and is a totally different city, with a completely different feel to Dublin. Galway will show you the old-world feel to the country, which is still evident today, with a friendly, musical feel on every corner.