GET IN ON THE ACTION IN GALWAY!
Bursting with culture, colour and life, Galway has something for everyone! Located in the city centre overlooking Lough Atalia, the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway is a luxury base for exploring Galway’s myriad of arts and cultural venues, charming streets and unique shops. Plus, the stunning scenery of Connemara and the desolate beauty of the Aran Islands can easily be enjoyed on day trips from the hotel.
Half way down the west coast of Ireland Galway City has grown around the River Corrib and is sheltered from the rolling Atlantic waves by Galway Bay and Lough Atalia. Traditionally this port town’s daily life was centred on shipping and exploration with big business done in Europe and the Americas. Christopher Columbus even stopped over here, resting in Galway on one of his many voyages. Nowadays although the water is still a big part of Galway, the city’s business lies with technology, medical science and tourism.
The University gives Galway a vibrant young energy and there’s plenty to do and see in and around the city. From the doors of the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Galway, you can easily walk from Lough Atalia into town and enjoy the spirit of Ireland at its best. There’s a popular live music scene in the city – hotspots include the Quays, the King’s Head and Monroe Tavern, or for something more innocent the choir at the 14th century St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church is angelic.
Galway’s cobbled streets are often full of colour and activity and the big skies instil a feeling of light and space. You’ll hear the mother tongue here as well, as language enthusiasts in Galway and the surrounding region keep Gaelic alive. It’s a great city to explore by foot and from the hotel you can stroll to the Galway City Museum (a modern building filled with treasures from the past and the present), and continue over the river to the fishing village The Claddagh. This village produces the traditional Claddagh Ring, which features two hands holding a heart, topped with a crown. It’s the perfect souvenir from Galway. From Galway there are some wonderful hikes in the surrounding countryside and dramatic cliff top walks. If you want to explore further take a day trip on a ferry across Galway Bay to the picturesque Kinvara Village, or to the Aran Islands. For the more energetic there’s some top class golf to be played or experience the thundering of hooves at the Galway Races. If you can stomach any more excitement then you could time your visit with the adrenalin-pumping Galway International Rally in February.
Top 10 activities in Galway
If you’re visiting Galway you probably already love the Great Outdoors so we’ve found 10 things you can do while you are here – enjoy!
- Take a cliff top walk along the coast and take in the views over the Atlantic Ocean. You can imagine the huge sailing ships setting off from Galway to the Americas all those years ago. Ask at the hotel or the tourist information office for the best routes to suit your time.
- Take a walk from the hotel across town to The Claddagh, just over Wolf Tone Bridge. This was once a fishing village, which was independent from Galway right up until the death of its last ‘king’ in 1972. It is here you’ll find a great souvenir – a real Claddagh Ring.
- From the hotel, take a stroll along the shores of Lough Atalia on Galway Bay. It’s breathtakingly beautiful early in the morning and as the sun sets, and there are plenty of places to stop for a rest or take photos.
- Take a ferry across the Bay to Kinvara – a picturesque village which has its own castle. Dunguaire Castle was built in 1520 and has a great spot overlooking the sea. Have lunch at one of the little restaurants or cafes, or pick something up at the Farmers’ Market if you are there on a Friday.
- Head to the Galway Races! Put some money on a favourite and cheer along with the locals as the excitement builds. Good luck!
- In the evening if you’re looking for live music the King’s Head always has a good range of musicians playing music from the heart. Have a couple of drinks and listen to the soul of Ireland.
- Relax in the day on Galway’s cobbled streets and enjoy the chatty café culture or take a walking tour to soak up a bit of history.
- Check out St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church and the soulful choir. Also don’t miss the cathedral with its distinctive green dome.
- Watch as Atlantic salmon jump up the river from Salmon Weir Bridge. This is an incredible feat and worth a few photos – if you can catch them.
- Take your golf clubs and tee-off on Galway Golf Club which has amazing views over the bay.
Galway city has many attractions and so has the surrounding area. Here are some of the top ways to spend your time in this part of the Emerald Isle.
One of Galway’s top attractions has to be the water that surrounds it. The city lies at the base of the stunning expanse of Lough Atalia and on Galway Bay which offers wonderful walks and great photo opportunities. The River Corrib is a hive of activity and has several crossing points – including Salmon Weir Bridge where you will see the Atlantic salmon jumping up the river and anglers reaping the rewards; quite an extraordinary sight. From this bridge you’ll also have a perfect view of the Cathedral and its domed roof overlooking the city. Galway is as much about the city as it is the surrounding area and it would be a shame to miss its other attractions. Jump on a ferry across Galway Bay to the village of Kinvara and explore the cliff top Castle, restaurants and cafes. It’s a fine example of a pretty fishing village on the Irish coast.
If you’re looking for the history of Galway then you must check out St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church. It is at the heart of Galway and one of the city’s top attractions. This is where Christopher Columbus prayed before one of his many attempts at finding the New World. The church has an angelic choir too and is open every day for visitors to have a look around. Another great part of the area’s past, and still a huge part of its attraction, is the Claddagh Ring. This piece of jewellery was made in the village across the river from the centre of Galway. It would certainly make a unique and special gift and a great memory from this part of the world. For something a little bit quirky you can also head to one of the city’s smallest attractions – Nora Barnacle’s House. Nora was the wife of James Joyce and her house is now a small museum which has many photographs, objects and pieces from her life with the writer.