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See the churches of Galway, pictured here, on a Galway vacation

Galway Vacations

The top sights, highlights, tours & travel itinaries curated by our Travel Experts.

    1. Destinations
    2. Europe
    3. Ireland
    4. Galway

    Travel to Galway on Vacation

    Plan a vacation to Galway - the jewel in the crown of Ireland’s windswept west coast. Snuggled into its harbor, this small city has been a center of Celtic heritage for centuries, beloved for its rugged charm. Head out of the city for the Aran Islands, the mystical islands on the edge of Europe—there’s nothing but fierce ocean between them and Newfoundland. Hike up Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park, before returning to Galway’s cosy centre. End your Galway vacation with locally caught cockles and mussels, accompanied by a pint of Galway Hooker beer—not Guinness.

    1. A boat in the bay at Claddagh in Galway, on a summers day

      The Claddagh

    2. Roman Catholic cathedral in Galway, Ireland

      Galway Cathedral

    3. beautiful view of the sea and Aran Islands in Galway, Ireland

      Aran Islands

    4. View of the hiking trail at the top of Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park in Ireland

      Connemara National Park

    5. view on the 15th Century Dunguaire Castle in Galway with its water reflection

      Dunguaire Castle

    Things to Do in Galway

    1. The Claddagh

    Any Galway vacation should start in The Claddagh, the oldest part of the city. Historically, the Claddagh was outside of the city walls, a quaint harbor where colorful fishermen’s houses face out to the wild Atlantic Ocean. Take a look at some Claddagh rings, whose design of hands holding a heart are a symbol of Galway’s fierce spirit and a symbol of Irish heritage around the world.

    2. Galway Cathedral

    Stroll north up the Corrib River to find Galway Cathedral, whose dome has turned green after decades of sea air. Originally built on the site of the city’s prison, this magnificent cathedral is actually Europe’s youngest stone cathedral, it’s seemingly 19th-century grey style originating from 1966. Head inside and admire the beautiful stained glass of the nave, and stick around for evensong—it’s home to one of Ireland’s best choirs.

    3. Aran Islands

    If you want to see Ireland’s rugged spirit, hop on a small fishing boat and head south to the Aran Islands: Inishmaan, Inishmore, and Inisheer. Lace up your boots and hike to Dún Aonghasa, a fort dating back from 1100 BC, whose ghostly citadel was one of the earliest buildings on the islands, guarding the crashing waves on the coast of these rugged islands, bastions of Celtic culture for over 3,000 years.

    4. Connemara National Park

    Head north out of town to Connemara National Park, one of Ireland’s natural wonders. Start your Connemara trip by hiking up Diamond Hill for incredible views of the open moorland blanketing these mountains, where European Sparrowhawks and Peregrine Falcons patrol the skies. End a day by the fire at a cosy pub, with a dram of Knappogue Irish Whiskey, the best way to unwind after a day in the Emerald Isle’s wilderness.

    5. Dunguaire Castle

    On the other side of Galway Bay from Galway itself is Dunguaire Castle, the ancestral seat of the O’Hynes Clan, which has guarded this stretch of water since the 16th century. Explore the centuries of western Irish history that captivated WB Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. Hike around the castle’s spectacular location - the perfect end to a Galway vacation. Less

    Visit Galway on These Tours

    1. Europe, Ireland, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey surrounded by lush forest and reflected in a grass-lined pond.

      From 12 days

      Ireland Group Tour




      excl. Flight (p.P.)

    2. Europe, Ireland, Sligo coast with grassy hills, purple flowers, and blue skies.

      From 11 days

      Ireland Road Trip




      excl. Flight (p.P.)

    Useful Information for Your Galway Trip

    Other Places to Visit During Your Tour

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      Giants Causeway

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