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Galway, or Gaillimh in Irish, with a population of over 70,000, is Ireland's fifth largest city and a major hub for visits to West Ireland. It has long been known as "The City of the Tribes" and this title could not be more appropriate these days, given the multicultural vibrancy of present-day Galway.
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Points of Interest in Galway
Galway is a perfect base for seeing West Ireland, but it is also worth a visit in itself. Although it has only a few typical sightseeing spots what makes it a wonderful place to stay is the atmosphere, the culture, the people, and the events.
- The pedestrian shopping area south of Eyre Square, is a pleasant place to stroll around.
- At the south end of the pedestrian mall, is the Spanish Arch, one of the few remaining parts of the town's ancient defences. The park adjacent to the arch is a popular place to sit and relax, while watching the Corrib flow out into Galway Bay.
- Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch, ☎ +353 91 532460. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00. This museum focuses primarily on the history and heritage of Galway City, but the displays and exhibits will appeal to anyone with a broad interest in Irish history and material culture. Free admission.
- The Promenade in Salthill, is a fantastic place to people watch on rare warm, sunny days. People walk and roller blade along the prom and kids and adults alike jump off the concrete diving board into the frigid Atlantic Ocean.
- Visit the excavated ruins of the medieval banqueting hall that once belonged to the de Burgh family in a narrow lane between Flood Street and High Street right in the town centre.
- NUI Galway is one of the original four Queens Universities opened in Ireland. The original building can still be seen today.
City of the Tribes
Galway, known as the City of the Tribes is an important tourist centre and a gateway to the scenic areas of the county. Beginning in the 15th century, Galway was ruled by tribes, as the leading fourteen families were called. Their names were Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'arcy, Deane, Font, ffrench, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martin, Morris, and Skerritt. The tribes built many castles throughout County Galway. Many streets and landmarks bear the names of these early tribes.
Galway is a bustling town with fantastic nightlife. It's short on common tourist attractions such as museums, but the charming pedestrianised streets and numerous pubs and cafes are sure to keep you occupied.
- Check local free paper the Galway Advertiser for up to date info on cultural events, concerts and plays, as well as the latest local news. Available on Thursdays it is usually snapped up quickly.
- Town Hall Theatre, Courthouse Square, ☎ Box Office: +353 91 569777. This theatre features plays and musical performances and is often used as a venue for Galway's major festivals. The theatre aims to regularly show the best of national and international talent to its audiences.
- Galway Atlantaquaria, Seapoint Promenade, Salthill (Follow the R336 (Griffin Road) southwest from the town centre), ☎ +353 91 585100, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A must see if you are interested in the sea and its inhabitants. It is not the usual tropical fish collection that you might find anywhere, but they have beautifully mirrored the life around the Irish coasts and show the animals and plants in a realistic environment, just as you might find them 50 m outside of the building in the real sea. Be sure to ask one of the staff about the 300 mm large but harmless giant crabs on the second floor, he might just pick one out of the basin and put it into your hands, an experience you´ll never forget! Or pet the flounders and rays in the "touch pool".
- Galway Tours. Run scheduled walking tours of Galway City.
- The Volvo Ocean Race has a grand finale in Galway. 30 June 2012 the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) arrived in Galway and stayed for a two week stopover. Visitors to Galway got a chance to experience the spectacle of the VO70 sailing boats including in-port racing and enjoying everything special that the West of Ireland has to offer.
- Corrib Princess, Woodquay Galway, ☎ +353 91 59247. 90 guided cruise of the River and Lough Corrib on a modern luxury river cruiser. Departs from Woodquay in the heart of Galway City dail from April - October.
- Galway Arts Festival, July 11th- 24th, ☎ +353 91 509700. Ireland's best loved cultural event features music, theatre and exhibitions for two weeks in July.
Galway is a very popular destination with tourists and the range of restaurants extends from traditional, to ethnic to the usual fast food outlets.
For those on a tight budget, check out the supermarket in Eyre Square Centre (closes at 17:00) or the Tesco on Headford Rd (open 24 hrs). On Saturdays (08:00-18:00) and Sundays (14:00-18:00), you can head to the outdoor Galway Market in Church lane beside St. Nicholas Church where you can find locally-grown produce, cheese, bread and affordable prepared foods like curries and crepes.
- Guide to Restaurants in Galway. A selection of restaurants and fast food outlets in Galway City, covering local and ethnic cuisines.
- Ard Bia at Nimmo's, Spanish Arch (Long Walk - the restaurant is directly behind the Spanish Arch), ☎ +353 91 539897. Cafe Tu-Su 10-15:30; Restaurant 18:00-22:00. Delicious food based on local sourcing. Wonderful atmosphere. If you're not looking to splurge at this restaurant, head to the cafe for the lunch specials which are more reasonably priced.
- Kirby's Restaurant, ☎ +353 91 569404. Cross St. Offers superb food, attentive service, generous portions with a modern twist. Offers a Value Dining Menu, two Courses €22.50, three Courses €24.95, both including a complimentary drink of your choice next door in Buskers.
- Abalone restaurant 53 lower Dominick St,small romantic restaurant, serving perhaps the best food in Galway if not in the west of Ireland, open 6pm to 10pm daily, phone +353 91 534895.
- Fat Freddy's Famous Pizziera & Bistro, ☎ +353 91 567279. The Halls, Quay St, One of Galway's longest established restaurants, synonymous with Quay Street in Galway City near the Spanish quarter. Known for the excellent atmosphere, service and, of course, food. Great for kids.
- McCambridges, 38-39 Shop Street, ☎ +353 91 562259. This gourmet grocers has a deli counter for take away sandwiches which is quite good.
- Sheridan's Cheesemongers, ☎ +353 91 564829, fax: +353 91 564829, e-mail: email@example.com. Kirwans Lane, ), is a great place to get wine, pates, bread, and cheese of course.
- McDonagh's Seafood, 22 Quay St, ☎ +353 91 565001. Is famous for its fish and chips, and has very good prices on takeaway.
- McSwiggans, 3 Eyre St, ☎ +353 91 568917. Restaurant on the two floors above the bar. Open M-W until 22.30, Th-Su 23:00. The food is varied, includes curries, seafood and steaks. Main courses €12-20.
- Oscar's Restaurant, on upper Dominick Street looks unassuming enough from the outside, but offers some of the best food in town. Their Seafood Platter has to be seen to be believed!
- La Salsa, does delicious and reasonably priced Mexican food.
- Conlons Seafood Restaurant, Eglinton St (Off Eyre Square), ☎ +353 91 562268. Established seafood house with Art Deco ambience, great service, good food and reasonable prices.
- Kebab House, on Dominick St, does extremely cheap, greasy and tasty post-pub food. A substantial feed of Guinness is recommended before consumption of Kebab House fare in order to ensure full satisfaction.
- Mustard Gourmet Pizza and Burger Bar, 1 Middle St, ☎ +353 91 566 400. This restaurant looks tiny from the outside, but has a larger seating area downstairs. They have big burgers, made from a variety of meats, and speciality pizzas. Cosy and relaxed.
- Lohans Cafe Bar Restaurant (Lohans), Upper Salthill. 08:00-21:00. The menu is mainly traditional Irish dishes such as Guinness & Beef Stew, Bacon & Cabbage and hearty sausages & mashed potato. Other lighter seasonal dishes and seafood are also available.
The Galway City Pub Guide is a good resource for checking out pubs and clubs in Galway. The guide includes reviews, photos and videos, as well as a list of the top ten pubs in Galway. You can add your comments about the pubs you visit. Technically drinking in public is not allowed in Galway but enforcement of this rule is not feasible during summer months and well behaved groups are usually left alone. Don't mingle too near to obviously drunk people though as the authorities will likely confiscate all visible alcohol.
- Busker Brownes and Kirbys Restaurant, Cross Street.. 4 Bars, 1 Venue and over 400 years of history! Live bands Sunday - Thursday & late night DJ at the weekends! Adjacent to Buskers is Kirby's Restaurant serving the best of modern food with a contemporary twist. +353 91 563377.
- Cookes Thatch Pub is one of only two remaining Thatch Pubs in Galway. Dating back to the 1600s, the trad music sessions on Wednesday and Sunday night are unmissable 
- The King's Head Pub has decent prices and a nightly cover band. Popular with students and tourists alike, this place is always lively.
- Near the King's Head Pub on High St. is Freeneys. It is a fine "old man" establishment with some of the best Guinness in town. also popular with students who want to drink a few quiet ones.
- For the more traditional minded, Monroe's Tavern, just south of the Corrib and visible from the Spanish Arch, has traditional music every night and set dancing on Tuesdays. Highly Recommended if you're in town on Tuesday night.
- Roisin Dubh. On Dominick Street, near Monroe's, is perfect for those of you who like alternative and rock music, and on Wednesdays hosts a popular comedy night showcasing local and international acts.
- The Quays. Is warm and offers good live folk music and as well as cover bands.
- The Victoria Hotel
- The Crane Bar, Sea Road. You'll find live Irish music nightly at the Crane. Take your pick from the locals playing traditional music downstairs or the musicians playing various types of music upstairs.
- Taaffes Pub, 19 Shop Street, Galway, ☎ 53.2726,-9.0529. Great authentic Irish experience. You can find traditional music there almost any night and there's a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
- Tigh Neachtain, 17 Cross Street. At is a local favourite.
The main shopping area runs south from Eyre Square towards the Corrib. This pedestrian zone includes Williams St, Shop St, High St, Mainguard St and Quay St. Along it you can find all kinds of high street and artisan shops, pubs and restaurants. The historical buildings and busy atmosphere also make this area one of the attractions of Galway.
Middle Street, which runs parallel to Shop Street, is a particularly good street for finding a range of inspiring and creative local enterprises, including the Irish-speaking theatre "An Taibhdhearc," the Cocoon designer studio, Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, and Kenny's gallery among others.
- Galway Market, Church lane (beside St. Nicholas Church). Sa 08:00-18:00; Su 14:00-18:00. This market features a small number of local artisans and their handmade crafts. There is a special Christmas edition of this market, which runs annually from mid-December to just before Christmas.
- Eyre Square Centre. A modern shopping centre almost entirely hidden behind a historical façade. Entrances can be found on the south side of Eyre Square and on Williams Street.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Galway on Wikivoyage.