The ancient west Ireland city of Galway is the fourth most populated city in the Republic of Ireland, and one with a rich and lengthy history. Galway dates back as a fort town that developed in the early 12th Century. The city’s name is said to come from the daughter of a wealthy chieftain who drowned in the mouth of the city’s river. Situated on a harbour, ancient Galway thrived and grew on international trade, becoming an important destination for Irish merchants.
Today, Galway City Centre is a popular tourist destination and part of an exciting cosmopolitan city. It’s considered to be the gateway town to some of Ireland’s (and arguably the world’s) most scenic countryside, but it’s much more than a town just to breeze through.
Families of all ages can find fun and adventure, adrenalin-seekers can find sports and thrills, and shoppers and foodies can find a wealth of establishments to keep them going for days on end. Expedia can help you find the right hotel to make your holiday to Galway City exactly what you want it to be.
Galway City for History Buffs
Galway not only is an ancient town, but a beautifully preserved one too. There are enough sacred and secular buildings, relics and ruins to keep even the most avid of historical explorers busy for a full and lengthy break. Find a hotel or bed and breakfast situated centrally, so that you can fully immerse yourself in the ancient city, and have ready access to all the historical treats it has to offer.
Lynch Castle is the only secular medieval building left standing in Galway, its foundations presumed to have been built in the 15th or 16th Century. The building itself is now a real monument to the Irish Gothic movement of architecture. The imposing four-story limestone building features well-preserved gargoyles, beautiful carved windows and stone water spouts. The ground floor is open to visitors, who can explore and learn about its history through a series of informative panels.
Galway’s Spanish Arch, which stands on the east bank of the River Corrib, dates back to the 16th Century. The arch was an extension of the city walls and protected the fish market area. It is accessible to tourists, while further preserved parts of the arch can be visited at the nearby museum.
St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church, Church of Ireland, is Ireland’s largest medieval church still in use. Dating back to the early-14th Century, the church has survived through the ages and remains a bustling centre of religious life for Galway today. St Nicholas' can also claim to be the proud site of the first public same-sex marriage in Ireland in 2002. Church services may be attended by visitors, but it is worth checking in advance. There are also some opportunities for tourists to look around.