Galway was our second stop in Ireland and I'm so glad we decided to go here. While in Galway we took a day trip along part of the west coast to get to the Cliffs of Moher. Obviously, we didn't drive the entire west coast, only a small section, but it was definitely a highlight from the trip.
What to do:
Walk and shop in Galway city center
Galway city center has lots of shops, some chains and some boutiques. We happened upon the shop "My Granny Likes It." I think Elisabeth pointed it out to us. They had an awesome selection of Irish-made goods. I found myself the perfect souvenir of a silver necklace handmade by a Galway-born jewelry designer. Nothing feels touristy in the shop, rather it's the exact shop you want to find for great souvenirs that don't say "I <3 IRELAND" all over them.
Visit the Galway Museum
This museum feels current and has some great exhibits. It's not huge, but if you take the time to look at every exhibit you might stay for a few hours. It's nice to learn more about the history of the city you're in.
Visit the countryside
There are so many castles and churches, and well history. We didn't take a substantial amount of time to do this, but the little time we did was amazing. If you rent a car, staying somewhere in the countryside of whatever part of Ireland you're in would be a good idea.
Visit Dunguaire Castle
This 16th century castle is a short drive outside of Galway City and it sits on Galway Bay. We weren't able to tour the inside because we came during the winter, but still cool, especially if you are into history.
Explore the coast
The west coast is truly stunning. We stopped a few times on our way to the Cliffs of Moher. An insanely beautiful landscape all around. I loved the rocky terrain and rich colors.
Plan a trip to the Cliffs of Moher
Just as cool as they seem. This spot is absolutely breathtaking. We stopped here for a few hours and trekked around the trails in the mud, but lucky for us we missed the rain. I recommend planning for 2-3 hours here depending on how long you want to hike the trails and the weather. There is a small museum inside, as well as a restaurant and cafe if you need to wait out the rain.
Where to eat:
The food scene in Galway surprised me! There were tons of cool spots to try. While shopping we met a woman (from the "My Granny Likes It" store) who offered up great suggestions.
Awesome pizza and story. The guys who started Dough Bros lost their jobs and decided to pursue making pizza after inspiration from a trip to Naples, Italy. A few years ago they started a food truck and quickly made their way to a store front location. Anyway, the inside is fun and the pizza is great. One warning – it gets extremely busy at dinner time. I would suggest going in for lunch or an early dinner.
The coolest and funkiest place to eat in Galway. Great menu and atmosphere!
I recommend this place for dinner. It's extra cozy inside when it's dark outside. The staff were super friendly and welcoming. We all ordered different burgers, (turkey, black bean, and tofu) with sweet potato fries. Even though we were super full, we ordered "The Chocolate Bomb" for my birthday dessert. Overall delicious and the perfect spot for a birthday meal.
This pub is in Doolin, so more of a recommendation for your journey to or from the Cliffs of Moher. Classic pub atmosphere with good food and a nice fireplace!
This shop is only a few doors down from Gus O'Connor's Pub. Not much else needs to be said other than they sell handmade chocolates and fudge.. so if you're anything like me, or Elisabeth, or Jenna, you'll want a sweet treat for the road!
I surely didn't cover everything. If you've been to Galway do you have any favorites that I missed?
** PS: Sorry for the mix-in of iPhone photos. Some places I apparently couldn't be bothered to get my camera out.. hah.