Galway is an upcoming harbour Irish town just three hours West of Dublin. This quaint town is scattered with Irish pubs, shops, parks and a stream, looking out onto the local homes of Galway. Small and elegant, Galway has only two main streets and a limited amount of hotels, giving travellers a true Irish experience that is not clouded with large amounts of tourists.
The central part of Galway is Eyre Square, dating back to the 18th Century, and is a popular hub for pubs, street performers and shoppers. Walking through the city, you may even come across medieval city walls and antique stores holding some of Ireland’s finest antiques.
Recommended length of time in Galway: One night and two days.
Galway as a solo traveller
This little Irish town is easy to navigate and to get about, by foot you can get anywhere in the city within a short amount of time. The city is safe and not popular to attacks or bag snatching, however, like always in an unfamiliar place, a solo traveller must be aware of their surroundings.
As Ireland is large on drinking and pub cultures, going out at night alone, you may come across a few drunk people. Be aware of this and always know exactly how to get to your hotel, if you want to experience the pub culture but are afraid to do it alone, the Galway City Hostel takes its guests on a pub crawl every night. This way you are safe, you can meet other travellers and you will be taken to the best places by a local.
Getting to Galway is easy, affordable and beautiful (the Irish countryside is beyond magical). Go Buses is a bus service that runs from Dublin Airport to the centre of Galway, keeping in mind that any hotel in Galway is walking distance from the bus station.
You are able to catch this bus for €26 return, with wifi and a toilet on board (also you are able to eat and have hot drinks, bonus!). If you can’t bear the thought of getting on a bus after a flight, hire a car from the airport. Car hire is always a little more pricey as you have to pay for petrol on top of a rental fee, but then you can break up the trip and experience more of the country, stopping at other villages along the way.
Galway City Hostel is possibly the cleanest and friendliest hostel I have come across throughout my travels. Averaging at about €20 a night, hot drinks, wifi, guest food and luggage holding is all included 24/7. This Hostel is very central, it sits on one of the main streets, across the road from Eyre Square and an abundance of Irish pubs.
The bus and train station is no more than a 5 minute walk, and these stations take you anywhere in Ireland, any day of the week. Buying a prepaid ticket isn’t necessary, however prepaid tickets are always cheaper.
Finding somewhere to eat in Ireland is the least of your worries, there are pubs every second shop and cafes every other. In Galway, the Skeff Late Bar is what I imagined an Irish pub to be like, live music, cheap prices and a buzzing atmosphere. Here you can try a famous Guinness beer, as well as many, many other selections of alcohol.
There is also a heap of gelato bars and late night cafes, simply just walking around the streets you will come across endless different types of restaurants and pubs.
Moher Cliffs are the second most visited place in Ireland, and are only a two hour journey from Galway. Day trips from Galway leave frequently and take you to countryside towns along the way to Moher Cliffs. If you are lucky, you will score yourself not only a bus driver but a tour guide as well who refers to leprechauns and magical fairies when telling stories.
Galway Tour Company took me to Moher cliffs for €20. After searching around for tours, this was the most affordable and took me not only to Moher cliffs but also to Ballyreen and Doolin Village (which has a very famous chocolate shop on the Main Street).
Moher Day trips leave from Dublin also, but keep in mind that Moher Cliffs from Dublin are pricey. Staying in Galway for a night will result in the same price, as there is cheap eats, accommodation and day tours.
Tip to visiting the Moher Cliffs: Check the weather forecast , sometimes if the wind is strong you will not be able to visit.
Galway is safe, exciting and classic. It’s not only amongst the Irish countryside and off the beaten track, but it also holds rich Irish culture and offers all travellers a unique Irish experience.