Galway City, County Galway

Galway City, County Galway

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Galway City is Ireland’s 4th largest city and is hugely popular amongst both Irish and international tourists. The centre of Galway has narrow streets that are ideal for anyone looking to explore and shop. Eyre Square forms the centrepiece of the town and is a perfect spot for a pint or cup of coffee.

In terms of visitor attractions Galway has a number of very interesting sites. Galway Cathedral is a major attraction due to its architecture. It is the last stone built church in Ireland and has a wonderful dome that is 145 feet high. Galway Museum is another worthwhile stop that shows links to prehistoric and medieval Galway. The museum is located at the Spanish Arch which itself is a unique attraction. The arch was built back in 1584 and interestingly has no direct links to Spain!
 
The city has numerous connections with literature including William Butler Yeats close association with the county in which he held summer residence.
 
In terms of must visit places Claddagh is on most people’s list. Claddagh is a small fishing port in the city that has become world famous due to some local jewellery. Claddagh rings date back from the 1750s and come from Ireland’s oldest jewellers. The ring has its very own unique tradition, if the heart is worn pointing towards the nail the wearer is said to be unattached, and if it is worn pointing away from the nail the wearer is in love or married! This style of ring has become famous around the world however the only place to get an authentic Claddagh ring is in the town itself.
 
The main attraction of Galway to many goes beyond the buildings and sites and is felt in the atmosphere of the city. It is a vibrant place where there seems to be a festival of some sorts always on. 2012 saw Galway host the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race which is the world’s most prestigious off shore race. This brought in over 100,000 people to the city and joined it with other host cities such as Miami, Cape Town and Lisbon. Each summer The Galway Races also causes a huge influx of visitors to the area all looking to soak in the carnival atmosphere and share in the fun.
 
For anyone visiting the beauty of the west of Ireland a stop in Galway is definitely advised. The city and the people will make you wish you never had to leave.

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