Best FREE Stuff to do in Galway
Galway is one of Ireland’s most loved city’s. The city and county area has so much to offer its unreal! Huge numbers flock to Galway each year. Galway has a huge amount of visitors all year-round, there’s a really nice Christmas market held in Eyre’s square in December each year. The city has a huge amount of tourist visitors because of the Galway’s reputation as a vibrant, fun and very entertaining city.
The city has an amazing square area called Eyre’s square, and there is always plenty of street performers and buskers belting out some tunes around the city. The city is full of attractions, nice pubs and cool little windy streets.
Outside Galway city, there is one of the most amazing national parks, one of Ireland’s most rugged and wild landscapes called Connemara. Galway is known as the city of the tribes, back in the day Galway was run by tribes also known as the fourteen families of Galway. The Galway girls are famous too and there is even a very famous song made about one Galway Girl!
There is a number of cool FREE attractions in the city to check out so I’m going to stick to Galway city and surrounding parts like Salthill, so let’s do this!
If you’re interested in the Galway Girl song see my post here!
Check out the FREE Walking Tour
Doing a walking tour is a great way to get around a city and get a feel for everything. If you have a few a hours to pass this is the way to go! This walking tour is FREE and its a very good tour, I have done it myself a number of times in the past and the tour is full of information and history.
Shamrock Free Walking Tours (This is the one I have done)
The tour starts in Eyre square and covers the fourteen families and the history of Galway getting the name the city of the tribes. This tour is very enjoyable because the guide walks the group around the city and points out all the cool stuff and tell stories and tales of times gone by! I would highly recommend it and its always good that there is a FREE tour in a city which is great if you’re on a low budget.
Salthill is a fantastic area to visit while in Galway. Salthill is very popular with Irish people and tourist’s, it’s such a nice area. You can check out the lovely promenade. Salthill is around a 30 minutes walk from Eyre Square which is in the city centre.
Salthill is a seaside resort with a nice beach and small rocky areas and sandy parts. There is a lovely pier that swimmers jump off and swim in the Atlantic waters. Some of the views from the Promenade of County Clare on a nice sunny day are something special. You can look over across the water and see the magical Burren in the distance.
Salthill has a number of cool pubs, restaurants and cafes to check out if you need for some food or a few beers.
See Galway Cathedral
Galway Cathedral is another cool attraction to check out while visiting Galway. The Cathedral is located around an 8-minute walk from Eyre Square. The building was built in 1950 and is relatively new in terms of a Cathedral in Ireland, some are much older than this one.
The building is in fantastic condition and has some beautiful features, it’s a very big Cathedral. It’s another one of those amazing building we have in Ireland that has such a nice feel to it. Galway Cathedral is a catholic church and the church is used for masses, weddings, and funerals.
Check out Eyre Square!
Eyre’s Square is a cool square and public park located in the centre of the city, it’s a lovely area to chill out with a takeaway coffee and just take in Galway city and experience its culture first hand. Eyre Square is also know the John F Kennedy (JFK) Memorial Park. JFK made a speech in Eyre’s Square in 1963 when he visited Ireland and he was given the freedom of Galway by the Mayor of Galway.
There are a number of cool statues and attractions in the park including a statue of Liam Mellows who was a hero from the war of independence in Ireland (Anglo Irish War). There is a large shopping centre across from Eyre Square called Eyre Square Centre. This shopping area has a load of retail shops to check out!
Visit St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church
St Nicholas Collegiate Church dates back to 1320, this beautiful church is the largest old parish church of its kind in the whole of Ireland. St Nicholas Collegiate Church is around a 5-minute drive from Eyre’s Square and around an 8-minute walk from the lovely Eyre Square.
This building is a fantastic example of an old Irish medieval church that is 700 plus years old. The church has a number of nice monuments and beautiful memorials on the grounds. It’s definitely worth a look and especially you are into history and medieval buildings.
Pop over to Galway City Museum
This cool museum is located on the Spanish parade. The museum is located around a 10-minute walk from Eyre square. The museum has loads to see and it FREE to visit. There are some cool displays about Irish history and local history in Galway to check out. Galway City Museum has some interesting artefacts on display, an old medieval costume. The Gaelic Ireland section is very interesting and explains loads of Irish historic facts.
The museum features a 1916 rising section and goes through the events of Ireland becoming a free state. You will need to book a ticket online on the museum website, it is completely FREE.
You will need to show your ticket either via your smartphone or print the ticket and take it with you! Galway City Museum is opened Tuesday to Sunday at four different times from 10.00 and then at 11.30 am, after lunch at 2.00 pm and then 3.30 pm. You have to pop in for a gander!!!
See the Spanish Arch
The Spanish Arch is located next to the River Corrib and the arch dates back to the year 1584, it is part of the old walls that were built in the 12th century that surrounded Galway city. The Spanish Arch was part of a Norman town in Galway that was connected to the local by Martins Tower on the river bank. Amazingly in the year 1755, the Spanish Arch was very badly damaged by a Tsunami, it was later rebuilt and restores to its former glory.
The Spain Arch used to be part of the Galway City Museum but the museum was moved to another building in 2006. Back in the day, Galway used to have a lot of ships trading goods and the area around the Spanish arch was buzzing with activity.
Check out my Ireland Travel Guide here with all the information you will need when visiting Ireland.
Check out some street performers on Shop Street
Galway is known for its lively streets, festivals, buskers and street performers. You will see everything from tap dancers to Irish dancers tapping along the beautiful streets of Galway city! Eyre Square is a good spot to see some street performers, but probably the best street is Shop street in the city centre.
Shop street will have some bands from time to time performing or some gifted Irish singers playing the guitar or maybe a tin whistle or a bodhran ( Irish drum. If you’re lucky you may hear somebody belting out the tune Galway Girl!!!. Shop street has a number of great pubs and places to get a bite to eat, it’s one of the nicest areas of Galway city in my opinion.
Back in the day before Ed Sheeran made it big, he used to Busk on Shop Street, hence his version of the Galway girl that was a massive hit!. If you’re in Galway head down to Shop Street for a gander!
See my post here on What’s in the Irish breakfast here!
I hope you find this post useful, I welcome any questions or suggestions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All thing Ireland