We often dip into Galway on our STABLE road trips to grab a bite to eat or catch up with friends. Food, music, history, warm friendly faces and a buzzy atmosphere create the special magic that is this city and so it comes as no surprise that Galway is European capital for culture for 2020. Have a read of our recommendations below, so that if you ever find yourself visiting the county you know where to head!
Start the day right with a coffee from Coffeewerk & Press and enjoy the gallery upstairs showcasing local and international artists. If the sun decides to show its face you can sit out on the street and enjoy some people-watching. One of our favourite things about Galway is the energy we get to take away with us from seeing the diverse mix of people that the city brings together. Buskers with their fiddles and bagpipes sit on most corners and chatter fills the spaces between. For more art, keep an eye on the Shed, sitting along the West pier – the warehouse regularly holds exhibitions with local artists. Nearby, pop into Cloon Keen, a parfumerie creating scents we love. Check out the wood notes of the Antique Library candle and the other unique heady aromas that fill the store. They’re always accompanied by a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.
The winding streets are easily walked but crowds in a Latin Quarter are never that relaxing. If you’re looking to make the most of Galway outside of summer months, the International Oyster and Seafood Festival in late September and the Galway Theatre Festival in early October are great alternatives.
Nonetheless a walk around these streets will leave you famished. Be sure to head for a bite to eat in And Bia at Nimmos after checking out the Spanish Arch beside the River Corrib. They always give us to the most delicious local food that's full of goodness with fresh bread made in store every morning. If that doesn’t float your boat, feast your eyes on all sorts, from fresh-picked wild flowers to locally made cheeses at the weekend Farmer’s Market in front of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.
On a rainy day (and yes that’s regular enough) you might prefer to disappear into Palás. The cinema took nine years to complete: an experimental exterior contains some delicate and historic walls hiding beneath. Inside you will find the work of much-loved Irish artist and friend Patrick Scott, whose work features in three of our Art Series. Scott's coloured stained-glass windows have been carefully placed between the winding stairwells of the cinema, flooding the halls with coloured light. They are a must-see and a gorgeous sight to linger over before a film.
Just off Wolfe Tone Bridge you'll find the Fisheries Watchtower Museum. It holds a great view up the top and you can feel the rush of the river under your feet, putting a pep back into your step. Across the river you'll also find a dear fellow linen and tweed fan and friend, the Tweed Project. The brand expresses the beauty of textiles by combining contemporary Irish design techniques with traditional ones, great for those of you that love a twist on tradition. As they are appointment only, be sure to check in prior to your trip. For a taste of the mother tongue, end your day at Club Aras na nGael, lending your feet to a dance and loose-strung Gaelic conversations over delicious local craft beers and ales.
Although we could do a whole other guide to happenings outside the city (and probably will), we must give a special mention to the Sea Hare, two foodies in Connemara’s Cleggan, hosting delicious pop-up secret suppers in the area. Check them out for upcoming dates.That’s all for now. we’ll be back with more soon!