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Top 10 things to do in County Galway

By Rebecca Spelman

There are so many things to do in County Galway, but here are the top 10. 

Grab a bite

While fine dining can add glamour to an evening, Galway is so full of delicious casual dining options that it’s definitely worth trading the white table cloth for a booth. Some great options in the city are Handsome Burger, The Dough Bros (pizza), Boojum (Mexican food) and McDonagh’s (fish and chips).

Fish and chips Top 10 things to do in County Galway

Enjoy some delicious meals made with fresh local produce

See a Druid show

Druid are an internationally-renowned, Tony Award-winning theatre company that were founded in Galway by local artists in 1975. They’re still based on Druid Lane in the city and their shows are unmissable.

Visit the Aran Islands

The Aran Islands have so much to offer between traditional culture, historical monuments, and stunning scenery that a trip to Galway really isn’t complete without visiting. Boats go in and out from the mainland every day, making it an easy option for an impromptu day trip.

Go to a festival

There are festivals across the county and taking place all year round, so no matter when you visit, you’re bound to find something great. Wander through a city of tents and take in the atmosphere as arts, food, or history is celebrated. The Galway International Arts Festival has a rich tradition of producing captivating and engaging work, which has gone on to tour the world.

Galway International Arts Festival

Get involved with the locals at Galway International Arts Festival at Eire Square

Take a pilgrimage

A holiday can be the perfect time to unwind and reflect, and Galway’s peaceful rural setting makes it a great place for pilgrimages and retreats. A great option for both religious and secular groups is a visit to Esker Monastery, where patrons can turn to God or nature. For more physical options such as yoga, Tai Chi, and hill walking, there’s Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre and Connemara Healing Journeys.

Explore the mines

The Connemara Mountains are wonderful to climb, but did you know you can go under them too? Glengowla Mines gives you a fascinating look into the depths of historical silver and lead mines, with guided tours and a museum to tell you all about the treasures that can be found.

Take the plunge

It might be a bit chilly, but diving into the Atlantic is an amazing experience. There are great diving points across the county, from the diving boards in Salthill to the Worm Hole on the Aran Islands; a naturally-formed rectangular pool into the ocean that is three times as high as a standard diving board.

Diving pool Wild Atlantic Way Top 10 things to do in County Galway

Take a dive into the Atlantic

Get on your bike

Cycling is a wonderful way to see Galway’s landscape and you can hire a bike in almost every town in the county. You can go on a solo adventure or sign up for a guided tour, where you can learn about local landmarks and history. Some great local companies include West Ireland Cycling, and Aran Island Bike Tours.

Be the king of the castle

Ireland is a country full of ancient castles, and Galway is no exception. You can visit ruins taken over by nature, castles that have been preserved as visitor centres, and everything in between. Some of the best are Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara, Portumna Castle, and Clifden Castle.

Have a night in the pub

Whether you’re in Galway city centre or a tiny rural village, there’ll always be a pub nearby. Even if you don’t drink, Galway’s pubs are a great place to kick back, soak in the atmosphere, and usually hear some live traditional music. If you do drink, make sure to get a pint of the black stuff!

Read more about County Galway

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Image credits: ©Getty Images/iStockphoto; Jose Ignacio Retamal/; Littleny/; Lukasz Warzecha/Tourism Ireland/Ireland's Content Pool

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