The blog by

The Blog by Aisling Nolan

24 hours in Galway

Hello again!

I was thinking that as a part of this blog I could do a series of blogs called ’24 hours in…’ (my first thought was A&E, thats sad. I don’t even have  TV anymore, I live TV free! Shocking I know!) but that I could write guides for mini trips to some of my favourite cities and the things you should do when you are there.

And to start, where better than my own town of Galway.

I love Galway. When I moved here to come to college the moment I arrived I knew I was home. There is something so magical about Galway, it can not be fully expressed in worlds, and can only be truly realised when you come to visit. So do, come and visit. (We are the European Capital of Culture in 2020, so we are a pretty big deal!! I am a little biased)

Galway is Irelands cultural capital, located on the west coast of the island, the city still maintains its ancient feel.  Stone clad buildings line winding streets, and there is a castle in the middle of Shop Street. (Isn’t that so cute! The main shopping street is called ‘Shop Street’ ) The city also sits within Galway Bay and looks out onto the Atlantic ocean.

People are super friendly, and warm and welcoming (something I experienced when I arrived and knew no one!)

So if you have 24 hours, heres what you do!

10am: Check into the super chic boutique hotel The House Hotel, located right in the middle of the city. It has funky bright interior and has a fantastic cocktail menu! (you will look at that later!)

10.30am: Head across to the Spanish Arch, which is one of the older parts of Galway. Built in 1584, as a defensive mechanism to protect the city quays. Underneath in a small stone building is one of Galway’s best love restaurants. Ard Bia at Nimmos is a foodies dream, and all your senses are ignited inside this super popular eatery. You will usually find me here of a Sunday morning having brunch! I’m between two choices to recommend to you, but bring a friend, order both and share! What a perfect morning. The eggs Benedict and the Hippy Fry are both amazing! The interior is so cute. If the food wasn’t enough the decor will be a treat as well.

12pm: Take a stroll along the famous Long Walk, and admire the picture perfect houses, and hum the Sharon Shannon song! ‘I took a stroll down the old long walk…’ Take a few photos along the way!

12.30pm: Head into the Galway city museum and learn all about Galway’s history

Buildings on the bank of the river during High tide in the city in dusk. Claddach, Galway, Ireland.

The Spanish Arch, Ard Bia and The Galway City Museum.

1.30pm: It’s time for a cup of tea and where better than An cupan tae. Only minutes stroll from the long walk and the perfect stop for your trip up Shop Street. This tea house is like visiting your nana and having tea in her good sitting room with her fine china (Was that just us?!)

2.30pm: Take a stroll into the Latin Quarter, and pass the stone buildings, the famous Druids lane, and some of the best eateries in the city. Stop in and get a Claddagh ring from their true home!

3.00pm: Lunch, and the best place is upstairs in McCambridges. Home of brown bread and some of the best food in Galway. Have what is on special, or my favourite is the Lamb Kofta.

4.15pm: Head into Eyre Square and sit and people watch, admire the statue of the Galway Hooker (The BOAT, nothing else!!)

4.45pm: Take a stroll out of town and visit Galway cathedral and walk across the Salmon weir bridge. Pop in a see the mosaic of the famous Irish American president JF Kennedy. (No Irish home was complete without the Pope and JFK above the fire place!!) While out this side of town, pass the Gate Lodge and stroll around the stunning quadrangle of NUI Galway. It feels like stepping into Hogwarts in this building from 1849. The Ivy clad building and its iconic clock tower have been a welcome sight to over 90,000 students during its existence.

Quadrangle, NUI Galway

Quadrangle, NUI Galway

6.00pm: Head back to the House Hotel to get changed for a night in one of Galway’s top restaurants, but stop and have a pre-dinner cocktail in the hotels bar.

7.30pm: Martines is a favourite of mine, their steak, which is all local, is to die for, or if you are feel like being a little bit more exotic try the Asian Tea House/Budda Bar. This has to be one of my all time favourite restaurants ever. It is one of my go-to places for dinner out or when visitors come. I love the duck salad or the Chicken satay, accompanied with a beer or a glass of prosecco.

10.00pm: If you are ready for a night of dancing, Buskers usually have a great live band, and then pop right across the road to the Front Door which is a massive pub with great music and craic. You’ll always bump into someone you know and you can dance the night away!

Late: Head back to the hotel for a great nights sleep.

8.30am: Wake up early and after breakfast head out of town and out to the Salthill Prom to clear the head and take in the sea air. Make sure you kick the wall at the end, and have a morning coffee from one of the converted surf huts as you walk.

10.00am: 24 hours in Galway complete. This is my perfect Galway day.

Much love,

Aisling x

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