If you ever go across the sea to Ireland, Then maybe at the closin' of your day You will sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh And see the sun go down on Galway Bay.
The West of Ireland and in particular County Galway is one of the most unique parts of Ireland for visitors to explore. With barren fields, rugged coastline, stone-walled fields, stark mountain ranges, and vast boglands, the West has some of the richest scenic beauty and natural attractions in Ireland.
With Galway City, a true Renaissance city as its hub, the West offers a diverse set of experiences for every visitor. From the sunsets over Galway Bay to the rocky shores of the Aran Islands, and the enchanting locales of "Quiet Man" country. Follow the trails of Connemara National Park, tour the great museums, watch craftspeople make hand-knit sweaters and other traditional crafts, sip a cup of tea beside a turf fire, or listen to the Irish language being spoken and sung. Galway provides glimpses of Ireland as it used to be, while also having a thriving urban centre at its heart.
Galway City originally formed from a small fishing village located in the area near the Spanish Arch called ‘The Claddagh’ where the River Corrib meets Galway Bay. Galway later became a walled town in the year 1232 after the territory was captured by the Anglo Normans lead by Richard De Burgo. The town walls, some sections of which can be seen today near the Spanish Arch, were constructed circa 1270. A charter was granted in 1396 by Richard II which transferred governing powers to 14 merchant families, known locally as the 14 tribes of Galway. See here for a more detailed history of Galway.
Galway City is a thriving, bohemian, cultural city on the western coast of Ireland. Along with being a popular seaside destination with beautiful beaches and long winding promenade, it also has a buzzing cosmopolitan city centre. The city is a joy to explore with its labyrinthine cobbled streets, colourful shop facades and busy café/ bar culture. The city is also well known for its many festivals throughout the year with huge crowds gathering for the annual Galway Arts Festival, Races and numerous other events. Old Ireland is present too with turf fires and traditional music featuring in many pubs to compliment your enjoyment of a well earned pint of Guinness. Take an evening stroll along the promenade and watch the sunset over Galway Bay or watch the salmon fishermen in the River Corrib from the perfect vantage point of the Salmon Weir Bridge.
Whether its drama, traditional music, late night clubs or simply soaking up the vibe on the bustling city streets, you’ll find plenty to do at night in Galway. The Town Hall Theatre is the best option for seeing a visiting production company’s latest dramatic performance. There are many nightclubs dotted around Eyre Square. Alternatively walk down shop street to Latin Quarter near Quay Street and you’ll find plenty of old world bars where you can sit by a turf fire and join in the craic.
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