I lived in Galway for almost six years so it’s surprising that it hasn’t yet featured on my blog!
Not only is it a stunningly beautiful city but the people are also very friendly and you’re guaranteed the best craic on a night out.
I find it mad that some Irish people have never been there when it’s top of the list for most tourists coming here.
I recently spent a fun-filled weekend in Galway with my boyfriend and I can’t wait to go back again.
A word of warning – we visited on a bank holiday weekend and a lot of hotels were booked up or wouldn’t take taking one-night bookings and Airbnbs are surprisingly scarce, so we were lucky to find an affordable bnb on College Road, five minutes walk from Eyre Square.
After we checked in to our accommodation, our first port of call was lunch. We headed to McCambridges, a lovely gourmet shop and restaurant on Shop Street.
McCambridges are renowned for their delicious bread and gourmet produce and our lunch didn’t disappoint. I would highly recommend the chicken and chorizo salad!
We then strolled around the city taking in the sights and in my case, window-shopping.
I nipped into Nine Crows Galway, which has to be one of my favourite shops in Galway, jampacked full of vintage goodies.
I was really taken with a pair of hexagonal sunglasses and returned the next day to buy them for €20.
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Unfortunately, they seem to have gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of my recent house move :'( I have a terrible habit of losing sunglasses, not gonna lie…
Among the other shopping delights Galway has to offer, include Public Romance, a great vintage shop and Kembali, great for jewellery and bandanas, both situated on Upper Abbeygate Street.
There are two shopping centres, the Eyre Square Centre and the Galway Shopping Centre, the Eyre Square one is the best one, with most of the usual chain shops, however, there’s no H&M or Zara in Galway.
The Spanish Arch is the place to sit and chill when the weather is nice and it’s also one of the oldest parts of the city, dating back to the 1500s.
It was a lovely sunny day and we enjoyed looking out over the water and watching a happy little dog go for a swim.
Anyone who’s ever lived in or partied in Galway will know the delights of drinking by the Sparch in summer but as we had no alcohol, we did the next best thing and headed for the pub.
Galway’s nightlife is excellent at the best of times and as it was a bank holiday weekend, the pubs were hopping in the middle of the day.
We headed for O’Connell’s on Eyre Square which is one of my favourite pubs in Galway.
Like any good Irish pub, it’s stuffed to the rafters with all kinds of memorabilia and the beer garden is one of the best in the city.
There was a wedding party in the pub so there wasn’t much room to sit but we sat outside for a while, before returning inside to another cosy corner.
After a nap back at the BnB, we headed out for dinner in Cactus Jacks Mexican restaurant, (it was Cinco de Mayo and we both love Mexican!)
Most of the good restaurants and bars are in the Latin Quarter, a lively spot where Quay Street meets the Spanish Arch.
The food was absolutely delicious and I also enjoyed a margarita for the day that was in it.
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With full bellies, we took a walk down to the west end of Galway, which is probably the most “hipster” part of the city.
We popped into the Bierhaus for one but didn’t stay long due to the ‘music’ or shall I say noise the DJ was playing!
Looking for somewhere quieter, we wandered into Garavan’s on Shop Street where we remained for the rest of the night.
The next day, we headed out for breakfast, winding up at An Cupan Tae at the Spanish Arch.
This is a kitsch and cutesy cafe specialising in lots of different teas.
The tea names were a tad notions (Dreamy Creamy Breakfast Tea?!) but we had delicious breakfast sandwiches which went down a treat.
It was a hot sunny day so we headed down to Salthill after breakfast and took in the gorgeous views from the promenade (after we found parking that is).
It was sunny enough for shorts but there’s always a bit of a breeze in Galway so I was glad to have a jacket also.
As we had a car, we decided to spin out west to see some of the countryside.
I’m ashamed to say that I lived in Galway for so long yet never went outside the city to explore Connemara.
First port of call was Spiddal, a stunning fishing village in the heart of the Gaeltacht.
The scenery in Spiddal is lovely with a thatched cottage, old church and the old harbour among my favourite sights.
You can go out on trips on the fishing boats from Spiddal which sounds like a great activity for a sunny day.
After a walk around the village, we had lunch in a cafe before hitting the road for Oughterard.
We went to St Brigit’s Garden in Rosscahill close to Oughterard, a traditional Celtic garden, complete with crannogs, standing stones, nature trails and beautiful flowers.
There are four small gardens with a theme for each season, Imbolc, (Spring), Bealtaine (Summer), Lughnasa (Autumn) and Samhain (Winter).
It’s a lovely spot to chill out and we enjoyed being big kids, playing on some of the playground amusements!
I would recommend anyone who is visiting Galway city to take time out to go out to the countryside as it’s really worth it.
Public transport isn’t the best so it’s advisable to rent a car if you do plan on leaving the city.
Hope you all enjoyed this post and if you’d like to see more travel or lifestyle content on my blog, please leave me a comment and let me know.
PS – this is not a sponsored post – we paid for everything ourselves with pleasure!