• Meghan Bartok

Five things you can’t miss in Galway, Ireland!

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Galway is one of the more well-known destinations in Ireland, and not just for its mention in Ed Sheeran’s popular song. Ireland's fourth-largest city, Galway is located on the west coast of Ireland, about 2.5 hours from Dublin. Galway is also a great starting point for many day trips around the area, including the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, and Connemara.

Galway is compact and easy to walk around with plenty of options for good food and nights out. It’s also right on the water, so if the weather happens to be warm and sunny while you’re there (unlikely, but you never know!), you could always add a day out at the beach to your itinerary!

We used Galway as a jumping-off point for a couple of day trips, so we really only had a full day plus the evenings to explore the city. Unfortunately, the weather was not the best when we were there – drizzly and windy – which prevented us from getting outside to explore more. Despite the weather, we still had a great time here, and know you will too! Here’s a list of five things you can’t miss while you’re in Galway:

The Latin Quarter

Truthfully, you probably couldn’t miss the Latin Quarter if you tried! This is the main bit of old Galway, close to the shops and tourist attractions. Yes, it is a bit touristy, but it’s also very cute. There are plenty of restaurants and of pubs here to check out. For great fish and chips, McDonagh’s at the base of the Latin Quarter is one of the best in Galway. There’s also a bounty of places to get that kitschy souvenir you’ve been wanting.

Galway Cathedral

Checking out a local cathedral is a great thing to do to get the feel of a city. Even for non-religious travelers, they’re an excellent display of art and architecture. Galway Cathedral certainly did not disappoint in this area! With free entrance, it’s definitely worth a stop! Unlike most cathedrals in Europe, Galway Cathedral was actually built during the early 1960s. It is currently the newest stone cathedral in Europe. The stained glass inside is beautiful and the building is massive! A visit to Galway Cathedral is also a great way to get out of the rain!

Get a pizza at The Dough Bros.

We stumbled upon The Dough Bros pizza shop in a very hungry Google search, and boy, were we so glad that we did! We liked it so much we ended up going back a second time for another yummy pizza. They have plenty of options for all diets, and they all sound delicious! My personal favorite was the ham and mushroom – the slow-roasted ham was to die for. Dough Bros is a great option for those on a budget. One pizza is around €11 and can easily be shared. However, it’s so delicious that I wouldn’t blame you for eating a whole one yourself. I would have loved to be able to try all them – maybe next time!

Check out Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop

Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop is like heaven for booklovers like me. Offering both new and used books, there are five rooms with books from floor to ceiling. If you can’t find a new read in here, I would be shocked. We spent an embarrassingly long amount of time here getting lost in all the books. On top of offering a huge selection, all of their books are very reasonably priced – expect to pay between €4-€10. Charlie Byrne’s is a Galway staple, and definitely something you can’t miss while you’re here.

Enjoy some traditional Irish music

One of the most well-known things about Ireland is the music, and you shouldn't miss out on your trip to Galway. If you’re visiting from May-October, the Irish music and dance show Trad on the Prom is phenomenal. We went on one of the nights and loved it. It was the perfect mix of Irish dance with different styles of Irish music. Tickets start at €32 and it’s so worth it!

If you’re looking for something a bit more local, many of the pubs have traditional music in the evenings. For just the price of a pint, you can go and enjoy some music and craic (the Irish word for fun or enjoyment). A pub that was recommended to us by a local is The Crane. This one is located right across the river from the Latin Quarter.


There you have it, five things you can’t miss on your trip to Galway! It’s a fantastic little city that I would love to spend some more time in – preferably when it’s sunny though! What do you think is a ‘can’t miss’ in Galway?