Things to do in
Galway

Discover castles, cliffs, and crafts in this lively Irish city by the sea where music is always in the air.

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Our most recommended things to do in Galway

Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

1. Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

Embark on a guided day trip to discover the iconic Cliffs of Moher by bus. Visit Galway and its stunning surrounding landscape and see famous landmarks, including Dunguaire Castle and Kilmacduagh Monastery. Depart Dublin at 6:45 AM and journey through the flat open plain of the Curragh. Pass the Irish National Stud thoroughbred horse breeding facility as your guide shares a wealth of history and information. Head to the ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery and its roundhouse—unique for the way it leans over by more than 2 feet. Spend 15-20 minutes here. Then, arrive at the Cliffs of Moher for a view of the Atlantic Ocean and explore on your own for 2 hours. Go to the visitor's center for the interactive Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience with a large multimedia screen displaying a bird's-eye view from the cliffs, and a video from the underwater caves. Next, discover the lunar landscapes of The Burren with a 15–20-minute visit and hear about the many secrets of this atypical landscape, home to the warmest ground temperature in Ireland. Arrive in the city of Galway, where you will have around 1 hour to explore on your own. Discover its old-world charm on cobblestone streets that evoke an authentic Ireland of times gone by. Then drive along the coastal route of the Wild Atlantic Way to Kinvara, passing Dunguaire Castle and the 12 Bens mountain range along the way. Return to Dublin and get dropped off at the meeting point at around 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher and Sightseeing Tour

2. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher and Sightseeing Tour

Following pickup, head to Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. Take some photos at one of the most photographed castles in Ireland before heading through the beautiful, stone landscape of the Burren and past Corcomroe Abbey. This 12th-century Cistercian Abbey is known for its distinguished carvings and rich ornamentation. Then, follow the Wild Atlantic Way along the coast of the County Clare, passing Black Head and seeing Fanore Strand. From here, admire the Aran Islands locking in Galway Bay and, in the distance, the mountains of Connemara. Stop for some pictures before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher for a 2-hour stop. One of the most spectacular sights in Ireland, the cliffs rise 214 meters (about 702 feet) out of the Atlantic Ocean and offer one of the most amazing views in Ireland. Next, return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, famous for its annual match-making festival. A photo stop at Doolin pier gives you a chance to feel the Atlantic wind in your face and to see the power of the sea as it crashes in on the shore. During the summer months, there is an opportunity to join a cruise to the base of the Cliffs of Moher (cruise not included). After you’ve worked up an appetite on the beach it’s onto Doolin Hotel for lunch (lunch not included). Try any of the local sea food dishes, you won’t be disappointed.

From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

3. From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

Experience the unspoiled natural beauty and rugged landscapes of Connemara and explore iconic landmarks on your own, such as the rivers and lakes that flow off the 12 Bens mountain range.  Stop in the charming mountain village of Leenane and take in the views of Ireland's only fjord at Killary. Then, get 2 hours to explore Kylemore Abbey and go for a nature walk in the Victorian Walled Gardens. Continue along the coast to the pretty Gaelic-speaking village of An Spideal to take a stroll amongst the many traditional thatched roof homes and admire the beautiful beaches.

Galway: Scenic Cruise of Corrib River and Lake

4. Galway: Scenic Cruise of Corrib River and Lake

Set sail from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. Travel leisurely down the River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, the Republic of Ireland's largest lake. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while taking breathtaking photos of castles and other sites of historical and cultural interest. Lough Corrib is home to hundreds of islands and is a haven for many marine and wildlife species, so there will be plenty of scenic views to photograph. A full-service bar serves award-winning Irish coffee and other refreshments. The upper deck and fully heated saloon area are suitable for all-weather cruising. Toilet facilities are available onboard.

From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Cruise

5. From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Cruise

Take a day trip to the Aran Islands and see the Cliffs of Moher by cruise on this tour awarded the "Best Irish Experience 2021" award by travel2ireland and the ITTN. Enjoy exploring Inis Mór with an audio guide. Sail through the sea and take in incredible views of the Cliffs of Moher on your return to Galway. Depart from the Galway city docks and admire the stunning views of the Connemara and Clare Coast before arriving on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. Learn about the history, heritage, and culture of the Aran Islands via an audio guide. Spend 4.5 hours on the island to enjoy sandy beaches, stone forts, and the serenity of island life. Your return journey takes you along the Cliffs of Moher. Formed 300 million years ago, the cliffs rise to a magnificent height of over 200 meters which you can only truly appreciate from the water. Listen to your audio guide while onboard to learn why the Cliffs of Moher are so iconic. See Ireland’s largest sea bird colony, 'An Branán Mór Sea Stack,' and a sea cave used during a Harry Potter film. Watch out for puffins, dolphins, seals, and basking sharks that call these waters home.

From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour

6. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take the Cliffs of Moher and Burren Tour from beautiful Galway and see some of Ireland’s most attractive landmarks. Start with a stop in the quaint fishing village of Kinvara to see Ireland’s famous Dunguaire Castle. Visit the rolling hills of The Burren. Discover the Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb, the Poulnabrone Dolmen, and Ballyalban Fairy Fort. Pass through Kilfenora, home to the famous Celtic Crosses, and Lisdoonvarna, home to the world’s famous matchmaking festival. Make your way to the coastal village of Doolin for a lunch stop before visiting the 200-meter high, 8km long Cliffs of Moher. Return to Galway via the Coast Road and make a short stop at the lunar-like landscape of the Burren.

Galway: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

7. Galway: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Galway is a popular city on Ireland's West Coast, attracting tens of thousands of tourists each year. This picturesque town is jam packed with traditional shops, pubs and eateries, as well as boasting an interesting historic background. There's no better way to discover it all than on this city sightseeing Galway tour.  Starting at Eyre Square, passengers will immediately be greeted by some of Galway's interesting history as the bus approaches The Browne Doorway. This feature is famous for being a doorway to the homes of some of Galway's wealthiest merchants and members of the Tribes of Galway. Other historic landmarks along the route include the Spanish Arch and the striking Lynch's Castle. The castle is one of the finest examples of Irish Gothic style architecture in the city - having been built in the 16th century. Today, Galway is recognized by many for being the focal point of Ed Sheeran's Number 1 Single, Galway Girl. If you're a fan, make sure you hop-off at either The Long Walk or O'Connors Pub, which were both featured in the popular music video. If you'd like to experience the more vibrant side of Galway, hop-off at the Salthill Village. Here, you'll find what used to be a traditional fishing village, but today is one of the city's most lively and popular tourist spots. Enjoy a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants along the harbor whilst enjoying beautiful, picturesque views. To see some of the city's most impressive architectures, make sure you hop off at the Galway Cathedral stop and pay a visit. The full list of tour stops are -  1. Eyre Square (Main Stop) 2. Forster Street Hotel 3. Spanish Arch (Galway City Museum) 4. Wild Atlantic Way Mid-Point 5. Black Rock Diving Board 6. Cashelmara 7. Salthill Camping & Caravan Parks 8. Circle of Life Garden 9. Galway Bay Seaview Apartments 10. O'Connors Famous Pub 11. National University of Ireland Galway 12. Galway Cathedral

From Galway: Connemara & Cong Full-Day Tour

8. From Galway: Connemara & Cong Full-Day Tour

Explore hidden Ireland on this full-day tour from Galway. Experience a magical day in the typical Irish countryside and hear the many legends from killer sheep to lake monsters. First, stop at Cong Abbey, an Augustinian Abbey dating back to the early 12th century and one of the best examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture.  Enter Cong Village and explore Cong Woods, stroll around the village that was in the 1950s classic movie, ‘The Quiet Man,’ or feed the ducks on the edge of Lough Corrib - the Republic of Ireland's largest lake. Admire Connemara's hidden valleys upon entering on the Lough Nafooey route.  Continue to Kylemore Abbey and enjoy a lunch break 2-hour sightseeing. Entrance into Kylemore Abbey and Gardens is not included in the tour price (purchase discounted entrance tickets from your driver on the day of the tour).  Leaving Kylemore in the late afternoon, drive through Inagh Valley, Maam Cross, and Oughterard. Complete the circuit of Lough Corrib before arriving home to Galway City. 

From Galway: Connemara National Park Full Day Tour

9. From Galway: Connemara National Park Full Day Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Galway on this guided tour to Connemara National Park. Learn about the traditions, music, and language of the region before enjoying free time to explore the park and hike Diamond Hill. Start by meeting at the meeting point or making use of the free pickup option. En route to and from the park, your driver will break up the journey by making frequent photo and coffee stops and allowing you to soak in as much of Connemara as you can. With the help of your driver-guide, learn all you need to know about the region and plan how you'll spend your time at the Connemara National Park. Plus, get a chance to hear some local traditional music. Upon arrival at the park, your driver will explain your return time with you before you enjoy free time for two hours. Shortly after arriving, prepare for a hike on Diamond Hill. There are three primary hiking routes at the National Park, each varying in difficulty and length. Each route starts and finishes at a welcome center and cafe/tea rooms. After the two hours of hiking, meet your driver at the predetermined drop-off point and start to make your way back to Galway. The return route shows you the coastal side of Connemara, providing a different view from the outbound route.

Rossaveel, Galway: Ferry Transfer to Inis Mór (Aran Islands)

10. Rossaveel, Galway: Ferry Transfer to Inis Mór (Aran Islands)

Prepare for a warm Irish welcome as you board the luxury vessel, which includes a full bar and refreshment service. The ferry departs daily at 10:30 AM from the sheltered fishing harbor of Rossaveel in Connemara, Galway. Sail for about 40 minutes to Inis Mór (Inishmore), located just off the coast of County Galway in the heart of Galway Bay. The largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór offers visitors a glimpse into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of the world. Upon arrival at the island choose from a variety of activities. Rent a bike or hop on a bus tour with a local guide. Explore ecclesiastical ruins and prehistoric stone forts such as the world-renowned Dún Aonghasa. Enjoy live music, taste seasonal local foods, or visit the Aran Island Sweater Market. Hop back on the ferry at 5:00 PM at Kilronan Pier on Inis Mór for your journey back to Rossaveel Harbor in Connemara.

Frequently asked questions about Galway

What top attractions are a must-see in Galway?

Planning Your Visit

  • What to eat in Galway?

    Irish pub culture is famous worldwide. While you're in Galway, we recommend sampling the local pub fare for dinner. You can't beat the company of a good beer and a hearty meal at a nearby pub.

  • How to get around Galway?

    While we always recommend long walks to see the most while you're in any city, you'll find a developed bus and public transport system in this charming Irish town. Take a taxi late at night when the buses stop running.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +353
  • Best time to visit
    May through September are known to be sunny but there is the occasional rainfall. Weather in Galway can be quite unpredictable year-round. To maximize your chances of sunny weather, plan a trip for summer.

Other Sightseeing Options in Galway

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What people are saying about Galway

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 13,318 reviews

The tour was really interesting and very smoothly organised. There were two separated people, the guide Pat and the driver John, which gived a guide an opportunnity to focus on the guiding and driver to driving. The guide Pat was excellent, very charismatic and warm person who shared with us a lot on information, stories and even songs. Pat gives to this tour a cherry on the top experience. The driver John ruled all narrow irish streets and roads :)! The price of this tour is not high and I would say that one really becomes a great value for the money paid. We would really recommend this tour.

The cliffs were jaw droopingly amazing, will visit them every time we’re in Ireland. The abbey was beautiful and the Burren was spectacular. Peter and Stefan were the best. Stefan’s driving was top notch as he handled the bending and narrow roads perfectly. Peter was full of knowledge and made the whole trip worth it and despite the early start kept us awake and entertained for the whole trip. In short we had load’s of craic.

Followed Ei's travel, really friendly guide who ensured that no one was left behind midway. Guide was also extremely knowledgeable, making the trip really informative and fun. Recommended as a day tour!

Had a wonderful time with a fun and knowledgeable guide. Loved the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Kilmacduagh Abbey, and a taste of Galway. A great day trip to give a slice of Ireland.

Very informative! We had plenty of time at each of the stops to do what we were hoping! The guides were amazing!