A small brilliant city on the west coast, Galway is popular with local Irish and tourists alike and an Activitour favorite, a huge part of the draw here is the nightlife. The great pubs and traditional live music scene have given this west coast city the reputation of having the best craic in Ireland.
There is so much to do and see in Galway. This time of year can be tough on the pocket with kids back to school so we have compiled some amazing things you can do for free. You can explore the city while saving your hard earned money. Here are 15 free things to do in Galway.
1. Explore the Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter is the liveliest part of the city. Colourful shops with waving banners and flags make for a fun place to wander the shops. Keep your eye out for unique street art and paintings, they change regularly and often depict what’s happening in the community at the time making it one of the best things to do in Galway.
2. Visit the Galway Museum
A small museum on the banks of the Corrib River, the Galway Museum is free for anyone interested in the history of the city. There are three floors to explore with exhibitions on the city’s prehistoric and medieval past to its fantastic artwork and sculptures.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am (12pm on Sundays) to 5pm and is one of the top things to do for free in Galway especially on those winter days.
3. Capture Eyre Square
Eyre (pronounced ‘air’) square is a small park in the heart of the city. It’s a busy spot, but there are plenty of benches to sit and people watch. It is a wonderful place to photograph with fantastic monuments and gatherings of people. It’s especially pretty in the spring with all the tulips and daffodils, and in December when it houses a small Christmas market.
4. Wander along the River Corrib
Wander along the fastest flowing river in all of Europe, the rive Corrib. This is one of the locals’ favourite things to do in Galway so ‘When in Rome’, grab a seat by the banks and relax to the sound of rushing water.
5. Learn the History Behind Ireland’s Famous Ring
Claddagh rings, the two hands holding a heart with a crown, are sold around Ireland but originated in the Claddagh which is part of Galway. Thomas Dillon Claddagh Gold is a local jeweller in the city centre where you can buy your own, you can learn all about this famous ring in the Claddagh Museum in the back.
6. Stroll Down the Salthill Prom
If you’ve heard the original Galway Girl song, you’ll recognize the term ‘Salthill prom’. Just outside of Galway city centre, Salthill is an ocean-side town with a beautiful path along the waterfront. If you are brave enough, you can even go for a swim in the Atlantic. If it’s a nice day, a stroll down the Salthill Prom is one of the best things to do in Galway.
7. Step inside the Local Castle
Galway has a castle and while it may not be very big, it is quite historic. The Lynch Castle, which today is a bank, used to be the home to the most powerful family in the city. You can find Lynch castle at the top of Shop Street and while you only need a quick visit, it’s one of my favourite things to do in Galway.
8. Busker central
Galway is known for its entertainment on its street. You can take in the music and performance from the buskers mostly on Shop Street throughout the day. From musicians to bands to dancers, you never know what you will find. They are often rare talents just waiting to be discoverd, so be sure to stop and watch for a while. It’s one of the best things to do in Galway.
9. Galway Farmers Market
A fantastic farmers market is hosted in the small alley beside St. Nicholas Cathedral. You can find all sorts of tasty bites from fresh fruit and vegetables to homemade bread and jams, arts and crafts, and even puppies needing a home. The market is open on Saturdays, and on Sundays. Of course, it’s best to get there early. You can find all kinds of things here and it’s a lively place to explore part of the local life.