Galway is a city steeped in history and popular attractions. Its landmarks are visited by many, offering park benches and a variety of shops, pubs and restaurants. This coastal area also offers stunning views of Galway Bay and glimpses of traditional Irish culture, such as singing, dancing and storytelling at the An Taibhdhearc Theatre on Quay Street. Exploring Galway wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of its many majestic castles or a hike to Connemara National Park for breathtaking views from the top. Let’s take a look at the iconic places Galway has to offer its visitors.
Visit Galway’s famous Spanish Arch
Places to visit in Galway, Ireland, would not be complete without mentioning the Spanish Arch (Irish: An Póirse) and the Caoċ Arch (Irish: An Póirse Caoċ), two of the remaining arches on the Ceann an Bhalla (“front wall”). This wall was built in 1584 by Mayor Wylliam Martin as part of an extension that protected the city’s docks on the site of the former Fish Market, now Spanish Parade. In the 18th century, The Long Walk was extended to provide a pathway linking the docks to the city, which required the creation of two arches to facilitate access. Although only these two arches remain of the many that were once part of Ceann an Bhalla, they are still iconic landmarks for visitors and locals to notice as they pass through Galway.
Admire the enchanting setting of the Salmon Weir Bridge
If you are looking for places to visit in Galway, Salmon Weir Bridge is certainly a must! Built in 1819, this bridge was once used to connect the old city jail to the courthouse, with all prisoners passing over the bridge. Today, it is a viewing site where visitors can watch the salmon swim upstream between May and September, making it quite a tourist spot. Located directly opposite Galway Cathedral and made of original stone, the Salmon Weir Bridge crosses Lough Corrib and offers an enchanting view of the river and its nearby dam. Watching these incredible creatures battle their current provides an incredible sense of wonder that will stay with you long after you leave!
Collecting at the Circle of Life Commemorative Garden
Places to visit in Galway must include a stop at the Circle of Life National Organ Donor Memorial Garden. Located on Salthill Walk, overlooking Galway Bay, its striking design, unique imagery and symbolism invite visitors to take time to remember and reflect on their loved ones. The powerful aura of mysticism and healing that emanates from this unforgettable space offers an experience you will not soon forget. Whether you choose to take a moment for yourself or to honour those who gave their lives so that others might live, the Circle of Life is sure to inspire a sense of peace and gratitude.