My First Visit To Galway

A Date With Galway

As the bus approached Galway, the first noticeable difference was the size because it was much smaller than Dublin. The moment I stepped off the bus the relaxed atmosphere embraced me like that of a dear friend and welcomed me with warmth; I immediately felt at home. It seemed my first visit to Galway would be well worth the trip!

Partial view of Galway harbor

In Search of My Temporary Home

I headed for the hostel, Woodquay Hostel, dropped my bag and I was off. I hadn’t the faintest idea what to see or where to go so I let the wind guide me through the streets.

As I wandered into the Latin Quarter, as if stepping through a portal, music filled the air and various forms of art decorated the streets. The performers had come out to play. From a school girl playing violin to the bizarre and fascinating artworks, the Latin Quarter quickly became one of the most memorable experiences.

I decided to have an early night. Sleep was waiting for me in bed as I  entered my room and I quickly joined.

Exploring Galway

In the next few days I would take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, which will be the next post, and I discovered Galway.

I strolled past the Spanish Arch and enjoyed a wonderful pot of tea at the quaint Ard Bia at Nimmos next to the river.

Inside the Ard Bia at Nimmos

The Corrib river was restless and rushed under the Wolfe Tone bridge, seemingly excited to reunite with the ocean.

The restless Corrib river rushing home to the ocean

I walked to the end of Nimmo’s pier and gazed out over the water; it was all so overwhelmingly beautiful.

The way back from Nimmo’s pier


View of the beach from Nimmo’s pier
Galway seen from Nimmo’s pier

I wandered through South Park, passed by the numerous joggers and elderly taking their canine companions for a walk. The walk seemed to put the restlessness in my soul to rest; I felt content.

Green field of South Park

Making Friends!

At the hostel I met two rather comical French students and we quickly started chatting. I discovered that they would be going to the Cliffs of Moher the following day and decided to join the. With a raging hunger and in pursuit of something to eat, The Chilli Shack immediately caught my eye. They served the best vegan bean chilli that I have ever eaten. I would recommend it to any avid chilli lovers.

Vegan Bean Chilli at The Chilli Shack


My Thoughts

  • Galway is quite small and after about 4 days I had already become restless. Consider hiring a car and drive to some of the towns close by.
  • If you are willing to spend a little extra money, there will be a larger variety of activities to participate in.
  • The hostel I stayed in was pleasant enough. When  I was on my way out, I noticed mold growing on the wall next to my bed. This caused me to become sick and led to my early return to South Africa. Next time I will be trying out some of the other hostels.
  • There is a day trip to the Aran Islands which I intend to try the next time I am in Galway. There are three islands to choose from or maybe a simple cruise around all three is more your style. Lally Tours offer a variety of options to see the Aran Islands
  • I experienced Galway as slightly colder than Dublin, so make sure to pack some extra warm clothes.

Extra Notes

  • The bus service I used was GoBus. It was quite inexpensive and it was easy enough to find a bus. Other bus services that I used include the CityLink and Bus Éireann.
  • During my time in Galway I realized that it was very windy! Be prepared for this.
  • I used the HostelWorld app to book all my accommodation.

Galway exceeded all my expectations. At first I was concerned about the small size but don’t for a moment underestimate this wonderful town. I can gladly say that after my first visit to Galway, another piece of my heart was stolen and I would gladly return.

Check out my long awaited return to Galway and my first Galway Christmas market.

How was your first visit to Galway? What stood out most to you?

Let me know in the comments below!

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