Cultural Experience | Ireland

7 Pictures Guaranteed to Make you Book a Flight to Galway

A Sneak Peak into one of Ireland’s Most Beautiful Cities 

This past week I had the pleasure of being able to make a quick trip over to Galway, Ireland. Prior to this trip, I really had no knowledge of Galway. All I knew was a good friend I had made at my university had gone to school there. Also, almost everyone I met in Dublin told me that Galway was absolutely beautiful. So, I had to go.

Galway is about a two and a half hour train ride from Dublin and the scenery is fairly beautiful. The city itself is a unique little college-y town on the west coast of Ireland. It’s vibrant, artsy, and full of young college students and travelers alike. In the evenings you can find a young rowdy crowd and live music coming out of all the pubs. However, in the daytime Galway’s true beauty shines. If you’re lucky enough for a sunny day, the colors of the city glow.

Galway is also a wonderful starting point for adventures in the Aran Islands, The Cliffs of Moher, and Connemara National Park. Unfortunately, (but also not so unfortunately) for my adventure in Galway we did not have a car or the time to take a day trip all the way out to the Aran Islands. So, we had to be a bit more creative. We started with a walking tour of the town.

First stop, National University of Ireland, Galway, where my friend went to school. As we were thinking about things to do in the city that we could walk to, this surprisingly took us a while to come to. However, the university is absolutely beautiful and certainly deserves a walk through.

NUI Galway image

Next, Galway Cathedral, one of the centerpieces of the city. From what I was told, the church was built on the old grounds of a prison. Thus it takes lots of pride in it’s prosecution to redemption history.

Interior of Galway Chapel Image

As you make your way out of the Cathedral and start to head through town to the sea, you can’t help but pass at least one of the canals that run through Galway. There are canals that go throughout the whole city. They add a bit of fairy tale charm, especially if you’re lucky enough to see a swan swimming around in one.

Galway Canal Image

After you’ve passed through the town you’ll find yourself at the seaside. At the time I visited it was completely windy and cold (which I was led to assume is the usual there) but it didn’t take away from the beauty of the sea and the adorably colorful buildings in the harbor.

Colorful buildings in Galway Harbor image

Ok, on to the most creative part of my journey. I really wanted to go see some sort of cliff since we weren’t going to be able to make it over to the Aran Islands or the famous cliffs. So, after a bit of research we decided to go to Silverstrand Beach. A beautiful beach about 30 minutes out of the city center on the bus. Of course, we got very lucky to have a bit of sun shine through which made the walk down to the beach seem like something out of a movie.

Road in Ireland with green fields image

After the walk we made it down to the actual beach which took my breath away. The hills were so green and the sky was so blue and the sun was shining and everything looked so vibrant. One of my favorite aspects of this beach however, was that it was totally beautiful and it had hardly anyone on it at all. We were able to sit on the stones and admire the views in peace.

Silverstrand beach galway image

Lastly we wandered around the actual beach a bit and were able to watch the numerous para-surfers and para-sailers in the water. Due to the high amounts of wind at the coast, it seemed like a very popular activity. Although, I definitely wasn’t brave enough to test the temperature of the water, it looked so blue that I could just pretend it was swim-able.

Silverstrand beach galway water iamge

Overall, although my trip was fairly short, I found Galway to be absolutely magnificent. The buildings, the culture, the colors. I can only imagine what it would have been like had I had more days to explore. I suppose this means I’m going to have to make another trip back sometime soon!

7 Pictures Guaranteed to Make you Book a Flight To Galway

Lauren Mercier

university of california, Santa Barbara | 6 stories

Lauren is a California native who has a love for unexpected adventures, photography, and a well timed sunset. She has been to 16 countries on 4 continents and isn't planning to stop anytime soon! She recently graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a double degree in Acting and Communication.

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