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Thread: Galway - any tips for our weekend break?

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Galway - any tips for our weekend break?

    Me and my partner are off to Galway on Saturday, staying for three nights. Just thought I'd ask the collective for any tips or ideas for things to visit/do.

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  2. #2
    Journeyman
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    Will you have a car or are you staying in the city. It is nice size just to walk around, but some great spots within any easy drive

    Salthill is the closed beach, lovely in the sunshine. There is a small but interesting aquarium.
    Always lots of traditional music and good pubs in the Latin Quarter.
    Galway oysters and Guinness are fantastic unless you don't like either or neither. :) You are a few weeks early for the Oyster Festival

    Cava Bodega is one of the best Tapas bars I have been outside of Spain and Rouge is a great little French Brasserie, especially for couples.
    http://www.cavarestaurant.ie/

    https://www.rougegalway.com/restaurant/

    Useful web sites
    https://www.galwaytourism.ie/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrudd View Post
    Will you have a car or are you staying in the city. It is nice size just to walk around, but some great spots within any easy drive

    Salthill is the closed beach, lovely in the sunshine. There is a small but interesting aquarium.
    Always lots of traditional music and good pubs in the Latin Quarter.
    Galway oysters and Guinness are fantastic unless you don't like either or neither. :) You are a few weeks early for the Oyster Festival

    Cava Bodega is one of the best Tapas bars I have been outside of Spain and Rouge is a great little French Brasserie, especially for couples.
    http://www.cavarestaurant.ie/

    https://www.rougegalway.com/restaurant/

    Useful web sites
    https://www.galwaytourism.ie/
    Thank you! Just what I was looking for. We're now booked in Rouge Galway Saturday night and Tapas bar on Sunday. We're staying at Twelve on Monday night so will eat there.

    We do have a car and will check out your tips.

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  4. #4
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    You have a car so itís well worth taking a drive out towards Clifton and then through to Leenane, Maam, Maam Cross and back to Galway. There are some really nice restaurants in Clifton as well as Oughterard on the way out or back.
    Connemara is a fantastic place. Beautiful country side, itís so rugged and sparse most visitors canít believe itís Ireland.
    If you do drive from Leenane to Maam stop at Keans pub at the T junction at Maam.
    Best pub on earth, generations of my family have been dragged up there!
    In Galway itself I think itís been covered but the Skeff (Skeffinton) on Eyer Square is a good place for an Irish breakfast.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    You have a car so itís well worth taking a drive out towards Clifton and then through to Leenane, Maam, Maam Cross and back to Galway. There are some really nice restaurants in Clifton as well as Oughterard on the way out or back.
    Connemara is a fantastic place. Beautiful country side, itís so rugged and sparse most visitors canít believe itís Ireland.
    If you do drive from Leenane to Maam stop at Keans pub at the T junction at Maam.
    Best pub on earth, generations of my family have been dragged up there!
    In Galway itself I think itís been covered but the Skeff (Skeffinton) on Eyer Square is a good place for an Irish breakfast.
    Sounds like some perfect day trips which will be ideal. Thank you for the info. Days and nights now sorted!

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  6. #6
    I was out there for a few days last year, it's a beautiful part of the world.

    I can't recommend anything in Galway itself (I stayed just outside and never ventured into the town properly) however a drive up to and around the Connemara would be well worth it.

    12 Bens Connemara[/url]

    Look for the wavey signs that indicate the Wild Atlantic Way, a (mostly) coastal route that circumnavigates Ireland. The Doolough Valley is worth a drive through and if you're going Clifdon way then perhaps a shortish detour around Sky Road as well.

    Doolough Valley

    Sky Road

    I really enjoyed a trip to Inishmore, you can catch a foot passenger ferry from outside Galway and hire a bike once on the island. It's very weather dependent though, if it's wet and windy it wouldn't be much fun.

    Inishmore

  7. #7
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    I'm from Galway and live here, so I might be able to give you some more tips.

    The food here is very good, with a wide variety on offer.

    If you're into seafood, we've some of the best in the world. Hooked (http://www.hookedonhenryst.com/) is superb. It started out as a fish and chip shop but has grown in to a proper seafood restaurant. It's very casual and doesn't take reservations for parties less than 6 so try to get there before the evening rush.

    In that neck of the woods, you'll find The Universal (https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restauran...n_Ireland.html), it's an excellent wine bar that also does food. It has a small kitchen and a small menu, but in my opinion it's doing some of the best food in Galway, and hasn't yet been overrun by tourists.

    A few doors up from that is Kai (http://kaicaferestaurant.com/). It does excellent brunch and lunch, the a la carte menu is good but I think the Universal is better.

    Ard Bia is also very good for brunch/lunch (http://www.ardbia.com).

    Cava was mentioned above, it's nice but there's a smaller tapas bar which opened recently called Sangria (https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restauran...n_Ireland.html) which is much better.

    Rouge was also mentioned, I would avoid it. The quality has really slipped, it's not worth a visit.

    If you're in Galway on Saturday morning, pay a visit to the weekly market outside St Nicolas' Cathedral.

    In terms of activities, there's plenty listed in website you linked. I would recommend going to Salthill, it's about 2km from the city centre and on the seaside. It has a 4km promenade which is nice and scenic to walk. There's a great swimming spot and diving tower at Blackrock, the water is lovely at the minute and it would make a nice break from the city.

    Here it is:


    If you have a car, head west to Connemara. It is really beautiful. Drive through the Inagh Valley, it's jaw dropping and you can pay a visit to Kylemore Abbey at the other side of it, or you could climb Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park which gives you spectacular views of the surrounding Twelve Bens (it's not really a climb, more of a walk).

    Inagh Valley:


    Top of Diamond Hill:


    The Aran Islands are definitely worth a visit, however under no circumstances should you go there if the weather's bad. It's not worth it. It's a full day out, so might be a bit much with only a 3 night stay.

    If you're heading back from Connemara, take the southern route and visit Dog's Bay. It's a spectacular beach with white sand and turquoise water. It's close to the village of Roundstone which is nice if you want to stop for lunch, or you could travel a few more miles down the road to Ballynahinch Castle which is has some lovely walks on it grounds and does a great lunch.

    Dogs Bay:


    Ballynahinch Castle:


    Finally, people do not visit the west of Ireland for the weather:) We get copious amounts of rain here, so bring appropriate clothing. That being said, the forecast is looking settled for the weekend so hopefully you'll get some decent weather.


    I've only scratched the surface, but if you've any specific queries, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    @CardShark & Ronnie3585, thank you both of the recommendations and advice. Very much appreciated.

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  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by ronnie3585 View Post
    I'm from Galway and live here, so I might be able to give you some more tips.

    The food here is very good, with a wide variety on offer.

    If you're into seafood, we've some of the best in the world. Hooked (http://www.hookedonhenryst.com/) is superb. It started out as a fish and chip shop but has grown in to a proper seafood restaurant. It's very casual and doesn't take reservations for parties less than 6 so try to get there before the evening rush.

    In that neck of the woods, you'll find The Universal (https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restauran...n_Ireland.html), it's an excellent wine bar that also does food. It has a small kitchen and a small menu, but in my opinion it's doing some of the best food in Galway, and hasn't yet been overrun by tourists.

    A few doors up from that is Kai (http://kaicaferestaurant.com/). It does excellent brunch and lunch, the a la carte menu is good but I think the Universal is better.

    Ard Bia is also very good for brunch/lunch (http://www.ardbia.com).

    Cava was mentioned above, it's nice but there's a smaller tapas bar which opened recently called Sangria (https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restauran...n_Ireland.html) which is much better.

    Rouge was also mentioned, I would avoid it. The quality has really slipped, it's not worth a visit.

    If you're in Galway on Saturday morning, pay a visit to the weekly market outside St Nicolas' Cathedral.

    In terms of activities, there's plenty listed in website you linked. I would recommend going to Salthill, it's about 2km from the city centre and on the seaside. It has a 4km promenade which is nice and scenic to walk. There's a great swimming spot and diving tower at Blackrock, the water is lovely at the minute and it would make a nice break from the city.

    Here it is:


    If you have a car, head west to Connemara. It is really beautiful. Drive through the Inagh Valley, it's jaw dropping and you can pay a visit to Kylemore Abbey at the other side of it, or you could climb Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park which gives you spectacular views of the surrounding Twelve Bens (it's not really a climb, more of a walk).

    Inagh Valley:


    Top of Diamond Hill:


    The Aran Islands are definitely worth a visit, however under no circumstances should you go there if the weather's bad. It's not worth it. It's a full day out, so might be a bit much with only a 3 night stay.

    If you're heading back from Connemara, take the southern route and visit Dog's Bay. It's a spectacular beach with white sand and turquoise water. It's close to the village of Roundstone which is nice if you want to stop for lunch, or you could travel a few more miles down the road to Ballynahinch Castle which is has some lovely walks on it grounds and does a great lunch.

    Dogs Bay:


    Ballynahinch Castle:


    Finally, people do not visit the west of Ireland for the weather:) We get copious amounts of rain here, so bring appropriate clothing. That being said, the forecast is looking settled for the weekend so hopefully you'll get some decent weather.


    I've only scratched the surface, but if you've any specific queries, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.
    I'm from Galway also and Ronnie3585 has put together a great itinerary for your visit, the weather as mentioned is pleasant this weekend so hopefully you will enjoy yourself, you might also enjoy a stroll down quay street in the city which is in the Latin quarter where you will come across some nice pubs and restaurants and some very good music, this will lead you to the Spanish arch. Enjoy your stay.

  10. #10
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    I just wanted to thank those that contributed once more. We had a great weekend in this beautiful part of the world. The trip was everything we hoped it would be and the tips and advice received ensured we had full interesting days and first class food at night! And lastly, Galway sure was a fun place to be on Saturday night when we arrived!!

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  11. #11
    Journeyman
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    Happy to hear you had a great time.

  12. #12
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    I tried the diving board at Salthill in July. It was great fun.

  13. #13
    Master
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    I hope you tried the Guinness? Any time Iíve been to Galway the Guinness (and the women!) have been noteworthy

  14. #14

    Quote Originally Posted by johny View Post
    I tried the diving board at Salthill in July. It was great fun.
    Salthillís a great spot when the sun is shining,

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by demonloop View Post
    I hope you tried the Guinness? Any time Iíve been to Galway the Guinness (and the women!) have been noteworthy
    Too many Guinness and they all become noteworthy LOL

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedchef View Post
    Salthillís a great spot when the sun is shining,

    - - - Updated - - -



    Too many Guinness and they all become noteworthy LOL


    Four members of the Irish rugby team arrived for a swim when I was there. They were very popular and happily posed for pics with any of the locals who asked them.

  16. #16
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    Glad to hear that you had a good time OP!

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