A Day in Galway
There are few places I love more in this world than Galway.
The cultural hub of Ireland, I spent a semester studying abroad in Galway in 2015. It was one of the most incredible, challenging, rewarding, insert-cheesy-word-here experiences of my life. In addition to meeting one of my best friends (hey Jules!) and my boyfriend, I traveled all over Europe, immersed myself in trad music, and ate some delicious food. You’ll be hearing a lot more on the blog about Galway and my study abroad adventures, but today, I’m giving my top recommendations for a day in Galway, voted the friendliest city in the world.
Brunch at Kai
Voted one of the best restaurants in Ireland, dinner will cost you a pretty penny...so do brunch! Their revolving menu brings new surprises, and I promise everything will be ridiculously good. When I was there, they had these incredible blueberry lemon pancakes...the best I had ever had. Make sure to grab a cookie on the way out!
Mass at Galway Cathedral
Regardless of whether you’re Catholic or not, you must take a visit to the Galway Cathedral. One of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever seen, it was built on top of an old prison and has a rich, diverse history. Staying for a service (whether that’s Mass, Stations of the Cross if it’s Lent, or just a prayer vigil) insures you get the full experience, complete with the “Our Father” spoken in Irish.
Lunch at Food for Thought
Ireland is known for it’s brown bread and vegetable soup (OH MY GRACIOUS I MISS IT SO MUCH) and there is no better place in town that Food for Thought for a lovely soup, salad, or sandwich. Inexpensive and easy, it’s a favorite with the locals on their lunch break.
I’m combining these because they’re all right together. First, head to the Galway Museum for some local tradition and a great view of the city (it’s free!) Walk under the famous Spanish Arch to the highly-photographed Painted Houses. If it’s a sunny day, you’re in the perfect spot to watch the swans on the wharf.
A Stroll Down Shop Street
The main drag of Galway, Shop Street is picturesque and quintessentially Ireland. Visit the Latin Quarter for shops and food, or see some theatre at the world-renowned Druid theatre. And if you needed any more reason to visit Shop Street, Ed Sheeran used to busk there. #heckyes
Dinner at Massimos
One of my boyfriend and I’s go-to date spots, Massimos is the perfect gastropub with a great selection of beer and wine, and fantastic food. The Galway Hooker-battered fish with this glorious lemon tartar sauce is my favorite thing on the menu.
Drinks at The Crane
Looking for some trad music? This is the most authentic place to go for Irish music, and should go on your list before any other pub in Galway if you want a true Irish experience. Unassuming, it’s got two stages for performances, a warm fire, and nightly traditional music.
I have so many Galway spots that I love, but didn’t include, so I will be doing a series on Galway and my study abroad travels.
Been to Galway? What’s your favorite place to go?