Galway is every traveler’s dream. It’s got everything: location, nightlife, good restaurants, entertainment and that je ne sais quoi. It’s got LIFE. I’ve been recommending that anyone visiting Ireland stop at Galway for a few days (in fact, it was included in my Top Photo Spots in Ireland post), preferably 3-4, to truly experience this Irish town. I’m sure you’re wondering how exactly to spend 4 days in Galway (besides drinking lots of Guinness) so here are a few things to do in Galway.
1. Have a drink at The Kings Head
A cute pub and restaurant (though I don’t recommend dining here), The Kings Head is a great place to go for a late night beer and some live music. It’s got a lively and cozy atmosphere and I can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night than sipping beer and chatting with friends.
2. Brunch at Ard Bia
Not only must you grab brunch at Ard Bia but you must also come here for dinner – both meals were absolutely fantastic. Ard Bia was one of my favorite restaurants in Galway and I actually wished we had another day in Galway just so I could frequent this charming restaurant one last time. The coffee is delicious as are the egg sandwich and pancakes pictured. Basically you can’t go wrong with anything you order off their menu.
3. Enjoy a beer by the Spanish Arch
We didn’t join in on this fun activity but we did people watch a bit as hundreds of people just hung out in the Spanish Arch area. At one point a huge mass of students were dancing and singing their hearts out. It was a pretty cool experience!
4. Wander the Latin Quarter after 10pm….especially on the weekend
The nightlife in Galway is an amazing experience. This is a city that hardly sleeps as the partying only begins around 11pm. It was fun wandering the streets at night and observing all those enjoying their beers a little too much 🙂
5. People watch early in the morning
While you may have a hard time getting up after your prior evening’s shenanigans, you can’t miss the awakening of this sleepy town. Head to one of the coffee shops downtown, take a seat outside and watch everything come to life. Even if you happen to oversleep a bit and you grab your coffee at around 9am, you’ll still have plenty of people watching opps.
6. Walk to Salthill
I’ll be honest, Salthill didn’t quite meet our expectations or the hype we had read about. There are no boats to photograph but rather a small beach of sorts. Regardless, the walk is extremely enjoyable and you’ve got views of the sea greeting you with every step of the way. It’s definitely worth a visit and it’s a great way to exercise off all those Irish carbs!
7. Eat dinner at The Quay Kitchen
My other favorite restaurant which we frequented…twice. Again, everything we tried was fantastic and lucky for everyone visiting, they open for lunch. If it’s chilly out, you’ve got delicious hot soups waiting to greet you along with some fantastic Irish bread.
8. Grab an ice-cream from the ice cream truck
While you might be thinking Ireland is too cold for ice cream, make an exception and think again. Look for the ice cream truck by the Spanish Arch and grab one of those delicious soft serve (yes, soft serve) cones. They dip it in all sorts of goodness…hello marshmallows and sprinkles.
9. Watch the street performers…and test your strength on the pull up bar
The Latin Quarter was full of street performers from musicians to tap dancers to guys who manned a pull bar. The pull up bar was a trick of sorts (it rotated once one hung on it) but if you were able to hold on for 100 seconds, you’d win 100 euros. The buy-in was 10 euros. A made it to 76 seconds before his weight shifted too much and he slipped off. After we walked away, we encountered another pull up bar with a sign warning about the rotation….too bad we hadn’t seen that sign beforehand.