16 Must See Places in County Galway, Ireland
Be careful, you might lose your heart to love in Galway!
County Galway, located in the west of Ireland, is known for its vibrant people in Galway City, Wild Atlantic Way, Connemara National Park, and Kylemore Abbey, among other things. If you are planning to visit County Galway, find below, places you must visit.
1| Galway City Center
There are so many attractions and places to see in Galway City Center, you will need to spare enough time to thoroughly soak in the trends and traditions of Galway. If you want to learn and understand the history of the city, make sure you visit Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum, and Galway Cathedral. For shopping, restaurants, Irish pubs, entertainment, and colorful travel photos, head over to Quay Street, Eyre Square, Latin Quarter, and Dock Street.
2| Dunguaire Castle
As you approach Kinvara Village you will be greeted by this gothic looking castle planted on the main road (N67). It is located very close to the village facing the shores of Galway Bay; you cannot miss it. Dunguaire Castle is in County Galway and was built in the 16th century by the O’Hyne’s clan. When you get to the castle you will be able to see the lifestyle of people who lived there since the 16th century. During the months of April and October, the castle host entertainment events such as music and a banquet. Opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm, from April to September. An individual ticket costs €6.60.
3| Kinvara Village
Kinvara Village, also speled Kinvarra, is a little seaport village in County Galway. It was once known as the exporter of corn and seaweed when it had enough people in the village to work. After the 1840’s famine, many of its residents emigrated to surrounding countries in search of a better life. There are a couple of cozy and traditional bars and restaurants in Kinvara that tourists enjoy.
4| Scenic Drive on Wild Atlantic Way
Your Irish holiday adventure will not be complete without experiencing the scenic drive on the long and windy Wild Atlantic Way which passes through many cities and counties on the coast. County Galway is privileged to host part of this extremely popular road. In County Galway, the Wild Atlantic Way starts from Kinvara Village, stretching all the way to Leenaun Village that sits on the County Mayo border. Attractions or places to visit on this route include Dunguaire Castle, Galway City Center, Salthill Promenade, views of Aran Islands, Roundstone Village, Ballyconneely, Clifden Town, Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey.
5| The Aran Islands
Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer are three islands just off the Galway Bay that make up the Aran Islands in County Galway. They are easily reachable by ferry. All three islands are known for their ancient sites but the biggest island of Inishmore holds the famous prehistoric stone fort of Dún Aonghasa. Ros a ‘Mhíl in County Galway, just 40 km from Galway City, is where you will find the ferry terminal for ferries to the Aran Islands. Aran Island Ferries has offices in Galway City but you can also purchase tickets online.
6| Roundstone Village
The village of Roundstone is a colorful Connemara village in County Galway. It has a small harbor with colorful boats that match the colorful buildings in the streets of Roundstone. As any other Irish village, the bars and seafood restaurants have an intimate and cozy setting with a traditional element to it. Fishing, farming, and pottery are some of the traditional activities in the village. You will also find a few small hotels and Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Roundstone Village suitable for an overnight stay if you want a break from driving.
7| Clifden & The Sky Road
Clifden is a coastal town in County Galway that sits in the vast region of Connemara and considered as ‘Capital of Connemara’. It is the largest town in this area. After a long drive sightseeing, Clifden is the perfect place to park and enjoy food and drinks. The Sky Road is known for it’s magnificent and breathtaking views of Clifden Bay, Inishturk Island, and Turbot Island.
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8| Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park is a magnet for Galway visitors who want to experience Irish walking trails as well as the beautiful nature that surrounds this area. Views of Diamond Hill, which stands right in the park, is the highlight of the park. When you get to the top of the hill you will be met by magnificent views of Galway. To access all walking trails, go to the Visitor Center near Letterfrack Village.
9| Kylemore Abbey
If you are looking for a structure that will blow your mind away because of its powerful presence, go to Kylemore Abbey. In addition to the Kylemore Abbey building, there are other attractions at the site that will present you with many opportunities to spend quality time with your family. Victorian Walled Garden is stunning and a perfect place to admire pretty flowers before heading to the Garden Tea House for a cup of tea. An individual ticket costs €13 and the place is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
10| Leenaun Village
As you approach the border between County Galway and County Mayo, you will find the small village of Leenaun. It is located in the Connemara region and known for its dramatic landscape. There are a few intimate restaurants and bars in the village that would add to your Irish traditions experience.
Other places to see:
11| Salthill Promenade
13| Brigit’s Garden
14| Coole Park
15| Portumna Castle
Good luck and travel in style!