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Things to do in Galway

Things to do in  Galway

Welcome to Galway

From the open wilderness of the Aran Islands to the hustle and bustle of Galway itself, County Galway offers plenty of opportunity for adventure. Using Galway City as a base, travelers can enjoy guided tours to top natural attractions including the Cliffs of Moher, Inishbofin island, and Killary fjord, where the rolling green hills and rugged coastline of the Emerald Isle awaits. Take the Wild Atlantic Way route on a tour along the western coast of Ireland to fishing villages such as Roundstone, paddle over the waves on a pre-planned sea-kayaking adventure, or travel by horseback as you follow a guide into the rugged wilderness of the Connemara National Park. If time is on your side, take a four- or seven-day cycling trip deep into the countryside, where life ticks by at a relaxing pace and rural Ireland reveals its beauty. Within Galway City itself, take a hop-on hop-off bus tour to places of interest such as Claddagh, Galway Cathedral, Galway City Museum, the Salthill promenade, and the Spanish Arch; and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace. Spin through the streets on a guided bike trip, or let your taste buds lead the way and discover the flavors the locals love on a food tour.

Top 10 attractions in Galway

#1
The Burren

The Burren

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Covering an area of more than 115 square miles (300 square kilometers), the Burren is a vast, otherworldly expanse of scarred and fissured limestone rock, naturally sculpted through acidic erosion. Though it may look barren from afar, this rocky plateau is anything but lifeless. In spring and summer, wildflowers and rare plants thrive here.More
#2
Galway Bay

Galway Bay

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Flowing in from the Atlantic Ocean on Ireland’s west coast, Galway Bay laps the shores of some of the country’s most picturesque stretches of coastline. With the three windswept Aran Islands at its periphery, the bay meets land at the artsy city of Galway and numerous fishing villages, coastal cliffs, and beaches.More
#3
Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle

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Sitting on an outcrop jutting into Galway Bay, the 16th-century Dunguaire Castle appears like a fairy-tale vision to drivers traversing the coastal road, prompting many to pull over and reach for a camera. The site housed prominent local clans for centuries before famous Irish surgeon, poet, and playwright Oliver St. John Gogarty bought it in 1924. He then turned it into a hangout for Ireland’s literary elite, including Lady Gregory, W.B. Yeats, Seán O'Casey, and George Bernard Shaw. Today, most travelers admire the castle from afar, though some do venture inside.More
#4
Aran Islands

Aran Islands

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Set off Ireland’s craggy, wind-battered Atlantic coast on the western edge of Europe, this trio of sparsely populated and starkly beautiful islands is a stronghold of traditional Irish culture. The Aran Islands’ jagged coastal cliffs enclose a patchwork of green fields, where the remnants of ancient stone forts and medieval churches can be seen, while in their one- and two-pub towns, locals trade gossip in Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge) and traditional music sessions last well into the night.More
#5
Sky Road

Sky Road

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Even though it’s only seven miles long, Clifden’s Sky Road feels like a journey through all of Connemara and time. When driving this winding, rural road, views look down on the town of Clifden and its two iconic spires—which is a view you’re sure to see on any postcard of Western Ireland or Connemara. Behind the town are the 12 Bens hills, standing brown, rugged, and proud, and as the drive loops around away from town, views stretch out to the offshore islands and the open Atlantic Sea. Aside from the sweeping landscape views, ancient castles and historic mansions are around every bend in the road. At the 19th century Clifden Castle—built in a Gothic style—visitors can walk the dirt road that leads right up to the castle. Another stroll is up Memorial Hill and offers famous view of Clifden, and by turning uphill at the fork in the road, the drive climbs past the old Coast Guard station to 500 feet above sea level. There is a small parking lot near the road’s summit, where whitewashed cottages appear as flecks on the misty, wave battered coast. The Sky Road has often been called one of Ireland’s most scenic drives, and seeing as it’s just a short loop from Clifden, is an Irish road trip that any Connemara visitor with a car can enjoy.More
#6
Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden

Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden

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Standing along the edge of Kylemore Lake, the neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is every inch a storybook castle. Built in 1868, the abbey’s construction employed grateful locals still reeling from the Irish Potato Famine. Today, the resident Benedictine nuns welcome the public into parts of the abbey and the grounds.More
#7
Dunguaire Castle's Medieval Banquet

Dunguaire Castle's Medieval Banquet

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Dunguaire Castle’s Medieval Banquet offers an evening of music and storytelling along with traditional food and wine. Once the home of noble medieval lords, the 500-year-old castle sits on the southeastern shore of Galway Bay. Today, the picturesque fortress’s medieval-themed banquet hall is the place to go for a fun night of revelry.More
#8
Poulnabrone Dolmen (Poulnabrone Portal Tomb)

Poulnabrone Dolmen (Poulnabrone Portal Tomb)

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One of Ireland’s most-photographed ancient sites, the Poulnabrone Dolmen—comprising a long slab of rock placed horizontally on top of several upright slabs—has stood on this lonely limestone plateau for 5,000 years. It marks the site of a mass grave containing the remains of ancient people buried here between 3800 and 3200 BC.More
#9
The Spanish Arch

The Spanish Arch

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A Galway landmark on the banks of the River Corrib, the Spanish Arch is the remains of a late 16th century bastion designed to protect the city. Located in the heart of Galway, the Spanish Arch is a short walk from other city landmarks including the Claddagh and the Galway City Museum.More
#10
Lough Corrib

Lough Corrib

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Stretching for 69 square miles, Lough Corrib is a lake in the west of Ireland that straddles County Galway and County Mayo. It is a famous place for fishing, especially for its wild brown trout and salmon. The lake has inspired many writers and artists over centuries, including Oscar Wilde’s father—the historian William Wilde—who wrote a book about Lough Corrib.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Galway

How to Spend 3 Days in Galway

Cliffs of Moher Tours from Galway

Cliffs of Moher Tours from Galway

How to Spend 1 Day in Galway

How to Spend 1 Day in Galway

Top activities in Galway

From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher including Cliffs of Moher cruise.
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Shore Excursion: Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, and The Burren Tour from Galway
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Private Cliffs of Moher Day Tour

Private Cliffs of Moher Day Tour

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Private Connemara Day Tour

Private Connemara Day Tour

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Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher & Cliff Cruise tour from Galway. Guided. Full day
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5-Day Magical Southern Explorer Small Group Tour
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Galway

star-5
Much to be seen in 1 single day!
Franziska_H, Jun 2022
From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher including Cliffs of Moher cruise.
A fantastic way to see and learn a lot when you don't have so much time.
star-5
Best Tour near Galway
LisaMaria_K, Jun 2022
Cliffs of Moher and Burren Day Trip, Including Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Cave, and Doolin from Galway
We enjoed it very much and we recommend it to everyone who wants to see the beautifulst places near Galway.
star-5
Perfectly planned highlights
Helen_F, Jun 2022
Cliffs of Moher and Burren Day Trip, Including Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Cave, and Doolin from Galway
This trip was the perfect amount of time to see some highlights and get back to Galway with plenty of time for dinner.
star-5
Wonderful!
Federica_M, Jun 2022
From Galway: Guided tour of Cliffs of Moher and The Burren.
At the end he even recommended what to do in/around Galway if we were staying longer.
star-5
A must see tour from Galway!
Kirk_S, Jun 2022
From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher including Cliffs of Moher cruise.
The boat ride to see the Cliffs of Moher was great and we had plenty of time to hike them as well.
star-5
We love Gary
Katherine_D, Apr 2022
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway
Thought we were only stopping at the cliffs and castle but we stopped at a few other attractions that were cool as well.
star-5
Lovely trip and great...
Sarah_P, Dec 2021
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway
A great way to spend a winter's day in Galway.
star-5
Don’t miss this!!! Breathtaking views and lovely experience
Zoe_C, Oct 2021
Connemara Day Trip from Galway: Cong and the Kylemore Abbey
It’s perfect for solo travel or groups, you really get to see the country side.
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Day Trip
Marissa_C, Jan 2020
Connemara Day Trip Including Leenane Village and Kylemore Abbey from Galway
My friend and I were staying in Galway for two days, and we knew we wanted to go to see Kylemore Abbey.
star-5
I prefer to drive and tour in our car...
Iain B, Oct 2013
Connemara Day Trip from Galway: Cong and the Kylemore Abbey
I prefer to drive and tour in our car, however, this was definitely the best way to see Connemara from Galway.
star-5
Fun day out!
Eleanor_L, Nov 2021
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway
A perfect trip, we were even fortunate enough to see the sunset over Galway Bay.
star-5
We combined this with the Aron...
Kevin Q, Jun 2017
Cliffs of Moher, Burren and Wild Atlantic Way day tour from Galway city
The advantage of combining with the island tour is that you get to see the cliffs from the boat prior to being driven up to the top.
star-5
I was picked up in Galway and had an...
Brent Lee, Aug 2017
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway
There was sufficient time at each stop to see all its beauty.
star-5
Excellent adventure on the Irish coast
themighty0ne, Sep 2019
From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher including Cliffs of Moher cruise.
We then took the ferry down the coast to see the Cliffs of Moher by sea before returning to Doolin to board the coach and walk along the cliffs.
star-5
Amazing scenery. This is a great...
Margaret C, Feb 2016
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway
This is a great day trip even in winter.
star-5
Well spent day
Noreen L, Jul 2018
Cliffs of Moher and Burren Day Trip, Including Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Cave, and Doolin from Galway
This was a stress free way to see several sites in the West of Ireland.
star-4
We booked this day tour in order to...
Roger G, Oct 2017
Connemara Day Trip from Galway: Cong and the Kylemore Abbey
We had two hours there, and in that time we had to see the lovely Abbey gardens and head gardener's cottage, which involved waiting for a shuttle to and from, tour the Abbey house itself, visit the great gift shop, and oh yes, eat lunch.
star-5
Great driver/ tour guide. Made the...
Brittany H, Apr 2016
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway
Highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see beautiful Galway and surrounding area.
star-5
Amazing Excursion -
Kelly_P, Jul 2019
From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher including Cliffs of Moher cruise.
We did not have enough time to see the castle or the seal colony - 2 things I really wanted to see,, but the experience was great.
star-5
Amazing views, cool history!
Kira_C, Dec 2021
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Galway
We had the luck to see the cliffs without cloud cover.
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All about Galway

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