Fall in love with the wild and rugged west coast of Ireland
Western Ireland offers breathtakingly beautiful nature, vibrant culture, compelling history and Europe’s nicest people.
Known as the cultural capital of Ireland, Galway is a convenient base for exploring the country's west coast. You can easily travel to Galway from Dublin by train or bus. The train journey takes about two and a half hours and the bus three hours.
With 80,000 inhabitants, Galway seems larger than its size based on its cultural scene. The city's pubs and restaurants are concentrated in three areas within walking distance of each other: the Latin Quarter, the West End and Salthill by the Sea.
Several Galway pubs offer live Irish music in the evenings. Local musicians sit in the middle of the crowd and play traditional instruments without loudspeakers, and occasionally someone sings. The Crane in the Westend of Galway and Tigh Chóilí in the Latin Quarter are great locations for catching some traditional tunes.
Galway is an excellent base for day trips to the surrounding area. If you’d prefer to skip renting a car, you can also take part in the trips of the local tour operator Lally Tours. The most popular and famous day trip destination is the Cliffs of Moher. A popular hiking trail runs over the cliffs that tower 120 meters above the sea. The route is also popular with bird watchers.
Another good day trip destination is the Aran Islands. The three Aran Islands are called Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer and they are an excellent destination for hikers. Irish is still spoken on the islands. Among the most famous places in Inishmore is the World Heritage Site of Dun Aonghasa, a historic fortress on the edge of a steep cliff.
Connemara National Park, known for its cute ponies, is easily accessible from Galway either by car or by public transport. Connemara has many walking routes and is also home to the 725m tall Benbaun, the highest peak in County Galway. Before leaving for Connemara, you should check the weather, because it is often windy and rainy there – just like everywhere else in Ireland, of course.
Finnair flies to Dublin daily. The train journey from Dublin to Galway takes three hours.