Galway, pronounced Gawlway (to rhyme with ‘Paw-lway’) is on Ireland’s western seaboard. Situated along the route of the stunning Wild Atlantic Way, from here it’s next stop America.
Galway is famous for its music, arts and culture. There’s a reason it was named the European Capital of Culture for 2020. It also has a rapidly growing reputation as a vibrant centre for tech enterprises, from large multinationals to many incoming and home-grown start-ups. A university city, it’s buzzing with energy and has talent on tap with a stream of highly-educated graduates from local third level institutions. It’s also a magnet for tech experts from all over the world.
The Spanish Arch
This famous Galway landmark (built in 1584) is actually an extension of the 12th century Norman town wall. On the left bank of the Corrib River, it’s close to many great restaurants and pubs – and a popular meeting place when the sun shines. Which it does occasionally. Honestly.
The Wild Atlantic Way
Stretching all the way from Donegal to Co. Cork, a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way is the best possible introduction to Ireland’s natural west coast beauty. The route is packed with stunning experiences and hideaway places for you to discover yourself. And as you’re in Galway, part of it is right on your doorstep. So there’s no excuse not to have a look.
Welcome to the Gaeltacht
Ever shared a pint or two with an Irish person? Then you probably know the word ‘Sláinte’ – the Irish for ‘Cheers’. But if you’re curious to know more about our national language, you’ve come to the right place.
Then Connemara Gaeltacht is the part of Galway where Irish is still spoken every day. And it’s where you can immerse yourself in Ireland’s heritage and traditions in a very unique way. It’s also where many Irish schoolchildren spent a summer or two, improving their Irish language skills. And every one of them has a tale to tell about it.
Is it a fish? Is it a seal? No, it’s a Connemara pony.
The only horse breed native to Ireland, you might spot these hardy ponies (and their riders) swimming across shallow waters at low tide. According to legend, the Connemara pony is descended from Arab stallions that came ashore when the Spanish Armada sank off the Connemara coast in the 16th century. Today, they’re an eye-catching and effective way to get around the region’s beaches and bog land. And pretty good for a photo-op too.
The world’s your oyster
Moran’s Oyster Cottage at the mouth of the Dunkellin and Clarenbridge rivers is a family business dating back more than 250 years. That’s seven generations. Famous for its oysters, it’s a must-stop spot for simple local seafood in the heart of Connemara.
No matter where you go in Galway though, you’ll find your tastebuds are in for a treat. So it’s no surprise that, in 2018, Galway became the first place in Ireland to be designated a European Region of Gastronomy.
Get your sporting fix
The Galway Races, held at Ballybrit Racecourse in the last week of July, attract visitors from all over the country and further afield. It’s a week of entertainment with top-class racing, plus Ladies Day – a highlight of the fashion year – and family fun.
Rugby is big in this part of the world too. Watch Connacht play at the Galway Sportsground. Or check out Ireland’s national sports – Gaelic football or hurling, played at breath-taking speed.
Water, Water Everywhere
Galway’s rugged landscape is awash with wonderful beaches. Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay in Roundstone are some of the most stunning and perfect for swimmers, kite-surfers and wind-surfers. Closer to the city, you’ll find Salthill overlooking Galway Bay – the inspiration for many songs – and Silverstrand, a family favourite.
Or take a boat trip to the Aran Islands to experience truly traditional Irish life. Inis Mór, Inis Meain and Inis Oirr are a haven for walkers and cyclists. And one of the best spots in Europe for diving. Who knows – you might even come face to face with a dolphin.
(Oh, and while we’re on the subject of water, here’s Lesson No. 1 on life in Galway. Wherever you go, bring a raincoat. Well, it’s always good to be prepared.)
With its easy mix of city and country life, thriving culture scene, great schools and more affordable housing than you’ll find in the capital, Galway is a fantastic spot for families, singles or couples ready for a new adventure. We hope you make the move soon. We can’t wait to welcome you.