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Galway Attractions

Attractions

There is so much to see in this historical city that you'll just have to come back again! Here are our top things to see:
Overlooking the Spanish Arch, this modern, spacious building is the go-to spot for everything relating to Galway’s history and heritage.

Stroll through the collections on prehistoric and medieval Galway, as well as aspects of Galway’s social history.

Want to know more about Galway and its UNESCO City of Film status? Or what the city looked like in the late 19th century? This is the place to come.

Finish up with a coffee and cake in the lovely ground floor café, with views out to the Spanish Arch.
Standing at the late 16th century Spanish Arch and looking out to the vast Atlantic Ocean, it’s not hard to imagine Galway in its medieval heyday.

Once a small fishing village, Galway grew in strength in the 13th century to become a prosperous walled town ruled by 14 merchant families, known as the Tribes of Galway.

The old city walls are now incorporated into a modern shopping centre at Eyre Square, Kirwan’s Lane thrums with a bustling atmosphere and St Nicholas’s Church, completed in 1320, is where Christopher Columbus is said to have worshipped in 1477.
The laid-back, happy-go-lucky vibes of Galway are best felt at its weekend market.

Here, there’s loads of chat, loads of colourful stalls and plenty of incredible flavours, all in the shadow of St Nicholas’ Medieval Church.

As well as local cheeses and charcuterie, international influences come through with curries, sushi and Mediterranean favourites. Pack a basket and pick up your picnic supplies.
Galway's central public square is busy in all but the harshest weather.

A welcoming open green space with sculptures and pathways, its lawns are formally named Kennedy Park in commemoration of JFK's June 1963 visit to Galway, though locals always call it Eyre Sq.

Guarding the upper side of the square is the Browne Doorway, an imposing, if forlorn, fragment from the home of one of the city's merchant rulers.

Dating from 1627, it was relocated here from Abbeygate St in 1905.
In the 13th century, when the de Burgo family ruled Galway, Richard – the Red Earl – erected a large hall as a seat of power, where locals would arrive to curry favour.

After the 14 tribes took over, the hall fell into ruin. It was lost until the 1990s, when expansion of the city's Custom House uncovered its foundations, along with more than 11,000 artefacts including clay pipes and gold cufflinks.