A friend from Singapore visited us for a week a couple of months ago. And since we haven’t been around Ireland, we thought it was a nice excuse to visit other counties close to Dublin. There were a couple of places we considered for the long weekend “quick” getaway but in the end, we chose Galway. Apart from hearing mostly positive things about the place, it was a coincidence they had the Galway Seafood and Oyster Festival on the same weekend we planned to do the trip!
It was a 3-hour train ride to get there from Dublin’s Heuston Station. Luckily, it was a direct trip and there’s no need to switch train lines, too. For those without the “added challenge” of traveling with a small child – going to Galway just for the day is definitely doable, too!
We went to Galway without a clue where to go or the famous spots to see – we just knew we will go to the festival, that’s all! And if you are thinking of going to Galway anytime soon, I thought I’d make it easier for you. Listed here are some of the tourist attractions to see and enjoy when in Galway!
Formerly known as the Fish Market, the Spanish Parade (as it is known now) is another great spot to spend a relaxing day in Galway. Apart from scenic views of River Corrib (one of the shortest rivers in Europe), there are a handful of cafes around the area, too. It is the perfect spot to get a mini break especially if you’ve been walking around the city center for the whole day!
Within the Spanish Parade are the two remaining arches of the Front Wall – these are the Spanish Arch and Caoċ Arch. It was constructed in 1584 during Wylliam Martin’s term as mayor and was part of the extension of the city wall from Martin’s Tower.
I love this area and luckily, our AirBnb apartment is within close proximity to this long stretch of pavement. If the weather is nice, it is a great place to enjoy a leisure walk while appreciating the nice view. Just make sure you have the proper outdoor gear to protect you from the wind, though!
Once you’ve reached the other side (Claddagh Quay), the Longwalk is a picturesque backdrop of colorful houses. It is a bit tricky to get a “good” photo, though. I learned from that quick trip that the weather over in Galway is a lot “moody” than here in Dublin. This means, you can expect to see dark gray clouds for 10 minutes and then have sunny spells 10 minutes later – and then go with the cycle again!
My favorite attraction from the trip was definitely the Galway Cathedral. It was so HUGE and breathtakingly beautiful! We didn’t plan to go here and “discovered” it purely by accident. We were just walking around the city center when my husband saw a “dome” from the skyline. Curiosity got the better of us so we decided to track where it is. Things would’ve been easier if we had a map or if our batteries not on a low to have Google Maps enabled – so we ended up going the long route to get there. But once we got inside, it was absolutely worth it.
I intended to sit down in one spot to take a rest since my feet were aching but the remarkable stained-glass windows were too beautiful to miss. There was a small exhibit on the other side of the Cathedral displaying the renovation efforts made for the Church recently, too. There were a lot of visitors inside the Cathedral when we got there but it was so peaceful and quiet. They were probably like me – lost for words and awestruck!