The bohemian heart of the Irish west coast, Galway has captured visitors to its emerald shores and crumbling old town for centuries. The city is made up of a wild Irish spirit which is showcased through its music which fills its cobbled streets, and hearty home-cooked cuisine which is cooked up in this dry-stone Atlantic kingdom. Wherever you have come from, you can feel at home in Galway, especially in your own home away from home when you secure a stony holiday cottage or a traditional holiday home through TripAdvisor or Airbnb today.
Apartment & house rentals for your holiday in Galway
Visit Galway, the European Capital of Culture!
If you are looking to secure your holiday accommodation in Ireland which is one of the country's best-kept secrets, then look no further than this traditional coastal paradise. This medieval city has thrived on the Emerald Isle's Atlantic coast since the Medieval period, and evidence of these historical roots are shown as you wander around the beautiful city streets. You don't only need to be a history buff to enjoy the wonders of Galway, as this destination is steeped in a culture which every type of visitor can enjoy. Thanks to attractions such as the Circle of Life Commemorative Gardens, Eyre Square, Galway Cathedral and the Spanish Arch, Galway was crowned the 2020 European Capital of Culture, so if this doesn't give you enough reason to explore the city, nothing will!
When to visit
If you want to explore the natural beauty of Galway in a moderate climate, plan to visit in the Spring months of April to mid-June, or the Autumn months of September to early October, which avoids the mid-summer crowds. Whenever you choose to visit, remember to pack an umbrella, as the Emerald Isle is no stranger to a rainstorm, whatever the season!
How to get there
Located on the mid-west coast of Ireland, Galway is within easy access from across the UK, whether you want to travel by air, sea, or road! The quickest way of going to the city is to fly, with reasonably priced flights every day from London Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham direct to Shannon Airport which is approximately a one hour drive away from Galway, or slightly longer if you opt for the train. Another way of getting to Galway is by ferry from Holyhead to Dublin taking only 3 hours and 15 minutes, or from Liverpool to Belfast which takes 8 hours.
If you are travelling by ferry and want to explore the east coast of Ireland before moving on to Galway, search for a holiday apartment in Dublin where you can delve into everything the capital has to offer. If you choose to take the ferry, then you have the advantage of travelling with your own car, which is useful for the 2 and a half hour trip from Dublin, while the trip from holiday accommodation in Belfast takes nearly 4 hours. If you are already enjoying the picturesque west coast, be sure to pencil Galway into your itinerary, as it can be reached quickly from accommodation across this oceanic landscape, including from holiday rentals in Limerick which are an hour and 15 minutes drive away.
Where to stay
Galway City Centre
There is no better place to begin than Galway centre, the epicentre of the city where the music, culture and cuisine is at its finest, and you can truly fall in love with its rich Irish spirit. Choose a holiday apartment rental in Galway centre, where you are only a few steps away from some of the greatest attractions on the west coast, from the colour-kissed Quay Street to the historic Spanish Arch, and the leafy urban jungle of Eyre Square, which has welcomed the likes of John F Kennedy in the past. Follow in the footsteps of the great, and secure your accommodation in Galway City centre for an unforgettable experience in this Emerald Isle's bustling entertainment hive.
The age-old history of Galway is undeniable, so if you are visiting the to immerse yourself in the timeless structures and stories of the city, reserve a holiday cottage in the heart of the history, Kinvara. This tiny town is only a short hop across the bay from the city, and is built around the impressive Dunguaire Castle which was built back in the 16th century, and has towered above Galway Bay ever since. A holiday letting in Kinvara also places you close to Corcomroe Abbey, a ruined monastery which dates back even further, to the 13the century, and St. Sourney's Well which can be traced to 550 A.D.
If you are looking for a neighbourhood which incorporates the captivating soul of the city centre with a more relaxed seaside vibe, then a beachfront holiday home in Salthill is the ideal combination. Wake up in a room with a view of the wild Atlantic Ocean before taking a walk along the promenade or trying your luck with the weather and bathing on Salthill's sandy beaches. The fun doesn't need to end at the going down of the sun, however, as Salthill is home to a collection of restaurants, bars and a casino, showing that the west coast truly comes alive at dusk.
A cocktail of vast natural landscapes and peaceful ocean shores, while offering all the attractions and amenities you could want in a contemporary holiday in Galway. Reserve a holiday rental which offers a similar mix of tradition and modernity by booking a holiday home with a garden in Oranmore, where you can continue the verdant leafy beauty of the area which neighbours the city centre.
The Aran Islands
The three rugged islands in Galway Bay, known as the Aran Islands, are among the most beautiful jewels in the emerald crown, with their unspoilt prehistoric forts, wildflower havens and the crystal clear water of Inisheer. The Aran Islands offer the very best of a traditional Irish escape, so guarantee your accommodation will continue to bring out the authentic Inis spirit, by securing a quaint and cosy holiday cottage, where you can unwind by the fire after a day of exploring the Aran's natural assets.
Located within easy driving distance to Galway, the striking natural kingdom of Doolin should be considered when looking for a holiday letting near Galway, because of its proximity to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most famous landmarks in the country. This colour-kissed stoney village is brimming with a beauty of its own, and is only a 10-minute drive to the cliffs, meaning this dreamy rainbow escape is the perfect place to choose a bed and breakfast near Galway.
What to do in Galway
Wander through the Circle of Life Commemorative Gardens
Celebrating the generosity of organ donors, the Circle of Life Commemorative Gardens is a beautiful recognition of the importance of donating which overlooks Galway Bay. Based on mysticism and a spirit of healing, the gardens welcome locals and visitors alike who want to escape from every day to relax, reflect and rejuvenate.
Sit in the Eyre Square
Recognised also as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, this park is a green urban space in the very centre of the city. The square has welcomed visitors since as early as the mid-17th century and was renovated in the Georgian era, with some of these colourful townhouses still available today. Former visitors to the square include John F Kennedy who held a speech in the square in June 1963, which lead to the squares renaming as the 'John F. Kennedy Memorial Park' in 1965.
Photograph the Spanish Arch
Constructed in 1584, the Spanish Arch are two arches which can be found on the Front Wall (or the Ceann an Bhalla, as it is known in Galway). These arches are among the most recognised landmarks in the city and can be enjoyed best from 'The Long Walk' promenade which is running from one side of the arches.
Travel to the Cliffs of Moher
The strikingly beautiful Cliffs of Moher is among one of the most visited attractions in Ireland, and this is no surprise when you consider how beautiful the scenery is from the top of cliffs. See why so many people choose to gaze into the beryl Atlantic from these dramatic heights by driving the one and a half hour trip from Galway centre. Trust us; you won't be disappointed!
Bathe on Dogs Bay beach
Though Galway has no shortage of unspoilt coastline, Dogs Bay beach stands out as one of the very best. Famed for its unique horse shape, this sandy white stretch of oceanic shores showcase the beauty of the Irish West Coast, so get out there and lay on the sands, weather permitting, of course.
Visit Galway Museum
Exhibiting artefacts and materials which relate exclusively to Galway, this museum allows visitors to travel back in time and experience the vibrant history of this coastal city. From the Medieval period, right up to contemporary Galway and everything in between, if it happened in Galway, you can learn about right here in the Galway Museum.