Ireland, Travels

From the streets of vibrant Galway!

As part of our day tour from Dublin with the Wild Rover Tours, last stop was the medieval city of Galway after visiting Cliffs of Moher and Burren. We had 2 hours in hand to explore this city before we head back to Dublin. For the first 30 minutes, after we arrived in Galway our guide gave us a walking tour and then we were free on our own to explore.

Hungry much since we skipped our lunch at Cliffs of Moher we thought of eating first, so we headed looking out for a restaurant seeking for some vegetarian food. But to my disappoint since Galway is a coastal town all we cloud find in every restaurant is seafood. Hence, I ended up having just the onion rings and some coffee.

Related post: Cliffs of Moher: The Atlantic edge of Ireland

So, this medieval city lies in the west of Ireland on the mouth of the River Corrib, in the county of Connacht and we were informed that this is known as the “most Irish city” in Ireland. Centuries ago, this was just a small fishing village and when Normans invaded Connacht somewhere around early 13th century it came under the rule of Richard de Burgo, who was also called as the Red Earl and after this, the development of the city took off. I also learnt that Galway was ruled by 14 merchant families, who were known as the “Tribes of Galway” during the medieval ages.

As we entered the city my first view was its charming harbor with picturesque, colorful buildings in the background.

Related post: Rocky pasture of Burren National Park

Galway, Ireland

Our first stop on our guided walking tour was the Spanish Arch, built in 1584 which is actually the remnant parts of the medieval Galway’s city walls. It is more commonly known as the Ceann na Bhalla (The Head of the Wall). Currently, this arch houses the Galway city museum, it once acted to protect the quay while the ships with goods from Spain was being unloaded, hence the name Spanish Arch. The city had developed a good international trading relationship with Spain and France and was an important Irish port during the medieval times and it’s quite interesting to know that Christopher Columbus had visited Galway in 1477.

Galway, Ireland
Spanish Arch
Galway, Ireland
View of Claddagh Quay
Galway, Ireland
Parish of Saint Mary, Claddagh

We then walked towards the narrow and crowded Quay street where I got the answer why Galway is known as the most Irish city of Ireland. I could see a number of quaint cafes, busy restaurants and lively pubs lined on either side of the street, playing the most Irish music. Though it was bit crowded I loved walking through this street, capturing the beauty of the place making sure I was avoiding the passersby coming in my frame, well it was not successful all the time.

Galway, Ireland
Quay street

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

As we passed through this brightly colored buildings we came across the only building still existing from the medieval times, the Lynch’s castle which stands strongly showcasing its visitors the glory of the city during its heydays. Lynch’s castle is one of the most finest town castle built in Irish Gothic style, which belonged to one the wealthy merchant tribe the family and I was disappointed to learn that now its operates as Allied Irish Bank.

Galway, Ireland
Lynch’s castle

Our next stop was the 14th century St. Nicholas’ Church, built in the dedication to St. Nicholas of Myra (Santa Claus), who is a patron saint of children and seafarers. This is Ireland’s largest medieval parish church which is still in use and during his visit, Christopher Columbus had prayed in this church.

Galway, Ireland
The pyramidal spire of St. Nicholas’ Church

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

We then wandered aimlessly in the narrow cobblestone streets and meandering lanes, coming across some of the cutest building in the city until it was time to head back to our coach bus.Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Walking through these streets we got to see the traces of the old glories of this ancient city through its historical monuments and buildings alongside how it evolved over the years to be called a Vibrant City.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading our post, do leave us a comment on your thoughts about Galway!

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47 thoughts on “From the streets of vibrant Galway!

  1. Happy to read about the ‘most Irish city’ it indeed looks Irish and beautiful through your pictures. But only onion rings and coffee for vegetarians! I hope they will do better in future!

    1. Thank you so much Mridula! I guess I should have done a bit of a research on food in Galway before visiting 😉

  2. Nice and charming Galway.
    I remember reading about the Claddagh rings on another blog — the story behind them and the meanings behind how they are worn. 🙂

    Lovely pictures, guys.

  3. Love the Spanish Arch, how it is just conserved like that beside modernity! Never have been to Dublin and really looking forward to! Was it crowded? We see some of your pictures are really crowded and some super empty!

  4. Wonderful photos throughout this post. We have a friend who lives in Dublin and we’ve been a number of times but have never ventured out. I would love to see more of classic Ireland and hope to go this year. Will definitely be putting Galway on the list. Hopefully we will have more luck than you finding vegetarian options, as onion rings as a meal doesn’t sounds great! Thanks for sharing.

    1. You have to consider Galway as one of the options because you wont be disappointed here as it is very lively, fun and laid back at the same time…:)

  5. Looks like a beautiful place. After looking at your pictures of Galway, I have made a mental note of this place . The King’s Head pub seems to have a lot of atmosphere. Looks like you really enjoyed the place.

    1. Thanks NIsha! Yes, Galway is fun and we wish we had time visit one of the pub and enjoy till more there! 😉

  6. This looks like a time warped city and yet a city which knows how to move on with time. I love exploring historical places. Your story reminds me of the historically rich Fort Kochi in Kerala, India.

  7. Thanks for all the lovely photos. Loved the architecture and the streets are you said are so vibrant and full of character. The store fronts and the coziness is truly charming. Have been wanting to skip over to Ireland for decades not every time I go to UK but never have. I really need to change that soon.

  8. It’s disappointing you couldn’t find any vegetarian options – though I’m sure the seafood for most people is a must! Quay street looks like the place for me! It is so lively and also has a lot of what I picture Ireland to look like!

    1. Yes, Quay street has all the things from restaurants, pubs to shops! If you love seafood don’t miss out on relishing on their fresh catches 😉

  9. The most Irish city in Ireland – what a cool description! Love the narrow alley ways and colorful doors and flowers. We have considered taking the kids to Ireland but I was afraid that it would be way too much pretty landscape and not enough to do with them. This town looks like such a cool spot. They would definitely enjoy!

    1. Thank you Natalie! Yes, not just Galway, Ireland is filled with such quaint towns and most of them are kid friendly!

  10. What a gorgeous place! I can’t believe I missed the “most irish” city in Ireland. It looks quite similar to Dublin with the traditional pubs and castle. Love your little walking tour exploring the city so intimately!

  11. My husband and I were just talking about a trip in Ireland last night! This is perfect, I will save this one. The history is very interesting and I’m sure my husband will like it too. Thank you for this.

  12. I love the facade of the street shops. They look a bit whimsical and like the ones from Diagon Alley. I would like to visit each shop and see what they offer. It would be so nice to walk around here. They are all Instagram-worthy!

    1. Totally agree with you, Galway is Instagram and Pinterest worthy 😉
      Even I wanted to check out all the cute shops I passed by but I was running out of time…

  13. I went to Galway a few years back and recall the same busy Quay street filled with tourists and restaurants. Galway is a truly beautiful city with all it’s colourful buildings. The night life as I remember was a highlight as well. I never heard of it being “the most Irish city” before. Thanks for sharing.

  14. It must have been really interesting excursion – so many charming photos! And the city itself it is so colorful and so many details. Seems that it’s party all the time there on this main street)

    1. Thats true, since we visited during summer everyone were out and enjoying the beautiful day and the charms of this town just adds more fun to it…

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