By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
Travel and transport links between County Galway and the UK are superb. Travel within the county is also made easy by a decent public transport network.
As the busiest and most populated area in the west of Ireland, Galway is easy to reach from anywhere in the country. Galway city in particular is an excellent place to base yourself for exploring the entire region of Connacht (Ireland’s western province). From here, you can sign up for tours that bring you to more remote areas, so you don’t need to worry about transport.
Galway is close to Ireland West Airport in Mayo and Shannon Airport in Clare. Shannon is the primary airport for international visitors coming directly to Galway, but it’s also very common for people to fly to Dublin Airport and spend a few days in Dublin before travelling west.
Galway’s train station (Ceannt Station) is in Eyre Square at the heart of Galway city centre, making the train an excellent way to get to Galway from other parts of Ireland. It takes two-and-a-half hours to travel from Dublin to Galway, and the trains are much more comfortable than buses.
The two main companies that will get you to Galway are Bus Éireann, which stops outside the train station at Eyre Square, and Citylink, which stops at a coach station two minutes away from Eyre Square. The fares are very similar but Citylink buses tend to be more comfortable and more likely to have toilet facilities on board.
Car rental is available in Dublin, Shannon and Ireland West Airports from companies such as Hertz, Europcar and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. With car rental, it’s best to contact the company ahead of time to secure a booking, particularly during the summer when there’s a higher demand for rentals. Dublin and Galway are connected by the M6 and M4 motorways, making it a smooth car ride of just over two-and-a-half hours.
Once you’re in Galway, your choice of transport will be determined by which parts of the county you want to see. Driving allows more flexibility and better access to more rural areas, but Galway city’s traffic problems can make even the most confident driver want to hop on a bus instead.
The train lines within Galway are quite limited, stretching in just two directions. To the east, you can go as far as Ballinasloe and to the south, as far as Gort. The trains do not service Connemara at all.
Bus Éireann, Ireland’s national bus service, provides regular routes across the county, though the journeys are less frequent to more rural areas. The city bus service (also run by Bus Éireann) is much more regular and can bring you in any direction in and out of the city with a central bus stop in Eyre Square.
Driving is the easiest way to get to Connemara and other parts of rural County Galway, though you might need to take your time if you aren’t used to narrow and winding roads. There are several car rental companies located in Galway city, such as Budget Car Rental, Europcar, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
Taxis are very common in Galway. There are several ranks in the city centre but across the county, there are local services through which you can book a taxi. A very useful way to find a taxi is through the app Free Now – simply download the app and call a taxi to collect you at your location. You can also use the app to pay by debit or credit card in case you don’t have any cash with you.
Read more about County Galway