Aileen O'Leary gives us the best attractions in Galway city, whether you're going for a weekend or making the move.
Travelling on a student budget is something of a challenge, while we’d all like to book spontaneous trips to Thailand or jet off on a J1, during the semester it’s just not feasible. So what can you do to sustain the travel bug? Get to know the city you’re calling home for the next few months. In the stretch from New Years to Easter it’s hard to find time to fly away when you’ve got assignments due, but if the budget can stretch why not see what your new home has to offer? Or if you’ve seen all there is to see in your own city consider this a guide to all the weird and wonderful sites that Galway has to offer. Whether you’re here for the next four years or just the weekend you won’t want to miss out on these five places:
1. The Roisin Dubh.
A Galway staple, one of the best pubs around. Whether you’re there for the comedy club, poetry session, hipster bingo or looking for love at the silent disco, this place is a must see. Three bars split over two levels, signature style and of course I can’t forget to mention bands like the Academic who have graced their stage. If you’re bored on a Tuesday night, head down for the silent disco and comedy show, or if you’re visiting for the weekend check out their line up it’s filled with new acts each week and a few familiar faces too.
2. Dough Bro’s Wood fired Pizza.
For the pizza lovers out there, the ones who enjoy great music, electric atmosphere and some vintage video games there’s only one place to go when visiting Galway, and its Dough Bro’s. The former street stall opened its doors in 2014 on Abbeygate Street in Galway after just one year, in the form of a pop up shop. Their permanent shop is now located in Unit 1 Cathedral Buildings Middle Street Galway, a stone’s throw away from their flagship store. Stay for the great music, fairy lights and chilled atmosphere, they encourage customers to put away their phones and talk. Well worth a visit if you’re looking for a great first date spot or catching up with friends.
3. Salthill Promenade.
You can’t go to Galway without walking along the prom. Breath-taking views, fresh sea air and of course for those brave enough the diving board at Blackrock as well. If you make it to Blackrock don’t forget to kick the wall before you make your way back to town. A tradition, superstition maybe, but a must. Take in the fresh air, sit out with friends, catch up with some coffee from Coco café or just waste some time wisely. If you’re feeling up to it head to the aquarium or the arcade to pass the time if the weather’s not great.
4. Spanish Arch/Latin Quarter.
Looking for great food, vintage finds, some old vinyl or a great book? Head down to the Latin quarter of the city and you’ll be inundated with great restaurants, book stores like Charlie Byrnes, Vintage stores like Nine Crows and a quick trip to the museum located just beside Spanish Arch. It’s also a great place for a pub crawl with staples such as The Quays, The Front Door, Taaffes, The Dail Bar, The Kings Head and Tigh Coili to name a few.
5. Kennedy Park.
AKA Eyre Square, this is the epicentre of Galway. Surrounded by staples such as our very own and famous Supermac’s which rose to fame during one very eventful rag week years ago, the Skeff which is possibly the best cocktail bar in the city, the Hungry Bear which has arguably the best food after a night out, and of course this place is best seen during the summer arts festival, when the Vodafone comedy show is in town, or else the Christmas market which is simply magical.