Best of Galway

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Galway
Named the European capital of culture in 2020, the arts-loving city of Galway has a creative spirit with live music and theater on the streets (thanks to its vibrant busker traditions) and a packed calendar of imaginative festivals. There’s much to discover, from the bookshops, cafes and bistros of the bohemian West End to the ruins of a 13th-century archeological site linked to the founding of Galway. A large student population adds yet more youthful verve to Galway. 

Galway is ideal for walking, with colorful lanes crisscrossing its historic center. On High Street, you can stroll past shops selling locally made crafts and wares, and take a break over tea or the perfectly poured Guinness when the weather sours. Rain or shine, it’s always worth a walk on the Salthill Promenade, which hugs Galway Bay and offers views of the Burren Hills and County Clare across the water. Be sure to leave at least one night free to take in Galway’s live music scene, with top places like Taaffes and Tig Choili hosting Irish music jams nightly.  
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A loving couple look out at sunset over the Cliffs of Moher
Planning Your Perfect Honeymoon in Ireland

Ireland makes the ideal choice for a holiday with your true love: beautiful, mystery-steeped, constantly surprising and delighting, and one of the most warmly welcoming places on the planet. The enchanting Emerald Isle is country singer Johnny Cash's '40 Shades of Green', after all. Yes, you risk trading sunshine for far-wilder weather, but with some of the most dazzling coastline around, several millennia of poignant history and world-famous traditional music at its best when starting impromptu in a cosy traditional pub, this is a land highly charged with romance. Here are the best destinations for a honeymoon in Ireland.

Slea Head
Map of Ireland Self-Drive & Hiking Highlights - 9 Days
Ireland Self-Drive & Hiking Highlights - 9 Days

Take yourself through the scenery of Ireland on your own power with this self-driving and hiking itinerary. Your path will take you through buzzing cities rich with history, like Dublin and Cork, along with the natural wonders of the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands, with plenty of opportunities to get out to stretch your legs and see the country from the trails along the way.

The Cliffs of Moher on Ireland's wild western coast
Map of Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Cork, Killarney & Galway - 5 Days
Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Cork, Killarney & Galway - 5 Days

Hit the road and see the best of the Emerald Isle on this 5-day self-driving jaunt through Ireland. Walk the ancient streets of Dublin, kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork, visit the famous heritage town of Killarney, take in breathtaking views of the Cliffs of Moher, and revel in the energy of bohemian Galway. From windswept Atlantic coastlines to bustling city streets, this itinerary is perfect for independent travelers looking to pack some of Ireland's most iconic sights into a short space of time.

Wicklow Mountains, Ireland
Map of Hiking in Ireland: Dublin, Wicklow, Galway - 5 Days
Hiking in Ireland: Dublin, Wicklow, Galway - 5 Days

Traveling from Dublin to Galway has never been so green. Visit the two bustling Irish cities, tapping your toes to traditional music sessions, exploring foodie scenes with your taste buds, and chasing historic tales through cobblestone streets. In between, hike the scenic paths in the Wicklow Mountains, including the famous Glendalough Trail that passes through a 1,500-year-old settlement.

Outside Temple Bar, Dublin
Map of Highlights of Irish Cities - 7 Days
Highlights of Irish Cities - 7 Days

Experience the unique character of Irish cities on this self-drive tour around the county's urban centers. This weeklong trip takes you to the capital city of Dublin as well as colorful Cork, Limerick, and Galway. You'll dine in corner pubs, explore farmer's markets, tour medieval castles, and even escape to Blarney Castle—a short side trip from Cork—to kiss the famous Blarney Stone.

The Aran Islands
Map of Ireland Self-Guided Cycling Tour: Dublin, Galway, Doolin, Dingle Town - 12 Days
Ireland Self-Guided Cycling Tour: Dublin, Galway, Doolin, Dingle Town - 12 Days

Independent travelers who would prefer to soak in Ireland's breathtaking scenery at a more leisurely pace will love this 12-day itinerary that combines short road-trips with cycling adventures. Get acquainted with Guinness and the famous Trinity College library in Dublin before heading off to explore the bohemian city of Galway and the mythological Aran Islands. Continue on to the otherworldly Burren, cycle the Dingle Peninsula, and tour the Muckross House in Killarney National Park before capping it all off with a night on the town back in Dublin.

The medieval ruins of Ross Castle, Killarney National Park.
Map of Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Killarney, Dingle & Galway - 7 Days
Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Killarney, Dingle & Galway - 7 Days

Experience the best of Ireland's coastal scenery, historic sites, and vibrant cities on this week-long self-drive adventure. Starting in Dublin, this circular route takes you south to the Rock of Cashel and Ireland's second city of Cork, before heading into the wilds of Killarney National Park and along the spectacularly scenic Ring of Kerry. After a day spent exploring the Slea Peninsula and the seaside village of Dingle, you'll head up the west coast to hike along the Cliffs of Moher and spend a final night in Galway, enjoying the music, arts, and "craic" of the European cultural capital.

Take a drive through the Irish countryside
Map of South Ireland Scenic Road Trip - 8 Days
South Ireland Scenic Road Trip - 8 Days

A great choice for families or travelers who prefer a little independence, this itinerary will take you on a leisurely road trip through some of Ireland's most scenic cities and natural sites. Experience the allure of Ireland as you drive along the coast and over verdant hills between stop at the medieval Rock of Cashel, Killarney National Park, and the Cliffs of Moher.

Ring of Kerry
Map of Highlights of Ireland Road Trip - 10 Days
Highlights of Ireland Road Trip - 10 Days

Explore the magic of Ireland independently with this self-drive itinerary. You'll go from the ancient streets of Dublin to the rebel city of Cork, the quaint village of Killarney, and the breathtaking Ring of Kerry. Keep going to the spectacular views of the Cliffs of Moher and the buzzing cultural scene of Galway before you ultimately return to Dublin.

Winding roads through Connemara National Park.
Map of North Ireland Road Trip: Belfast, Donegal & Galway - 8 Days
North Ireland Road Trip: Belfast, Donegal & Galway - 8 Days

Discover the scenic highlights of Ireland's north on this varied 8-day self-drive trip. Starting in the ancient streets of Dublin, you'll set off by car to tour wild coastlines and charming towns at your own pace. Explore Belfast and tick the Giant's Causeway off your bucket list in Northern Ireland before crossing into Ireland to hike in the majestic Connemara National Park, discover the atmospheric music town of Westport, and end your adventure in the vibrant cultural capital of Galway. 

The Cliffs of Moher
Map of Burren, Aran Islands & Connemara Walk - 8 Days
Burren, Aran Islands & Connemara Walk - 8 Days

Traverse the spectrum of the Irish landscape with this 8-day walking excursion. You'll go from the lunar rocks of the Burren to the coastal routes of Connemara and the Cliffs of Moher out to the remote wildlife of the Aran Islands. Whether you're taking in medieval fortresses, waving grasses, or cozy villages, you're sure to find your perfect site to stop and sit a while.

The Giant's Causeway
Map of Northern Ireland Road Trip - 8 Days
Northern Ireland Road Trip - 8 Days

Independent travelers will experience the magic of Northern Ireland on their own terms with this self-guided road trip itinerary. Start with an informal walking tour of Dublin, then pick up your rental car and begin your adventure. You'll experience the vibrant culture of Galway, go hiking in Connemara and Glenveagh National Parks, tick the Giant’s Causeway off your bucket list, explore Belfast, and see more charming corners of the Emerald Isle.

Hiking at Slieve League in Donegal
Map of Northern Ireland Self-Drive Adventure - 10 Days
Northern Ireland Self-Drive Adventure - 10 Days

Looking for a trip to Ireland that mixes culture and history with outdoor adventure? This ten-day road trip has it all. Kick off the trip in Dublin, where you'll sightsee and taste locally brewed beer, then move onto colorful Galway before visiting one of the Aran Islands. You'll hike in Connemara National Park and visit 19th-century Glenveagh Castle, finishing up the trip with a trip to Giants Causeway and a final day and night in bustling Belfast.

Cliffs of Moher in Western Ireland
Map of Explore the West of Ireland by Bike - 10 Days
Explore the West of Ireland by Bike - 10 Days

Explore the West of Ireland on bike with this scenic tour of coastal counties Clare, Galway, and Mayo. Cycle along the Shannon Estuary and up the coast to the Cliffs of Moher, where you'll stop for traditional music in Doolin and explore the famous Burren region. Transfer to the Aran Islands by ferry and cycle through this remote and traditional landscape, returning to the mainland via the bustling foodie city of Galway. End the trip in Northern Mayo by cycling through Neolithic fields, visiting a 19th-century castle, and tasting whiskey at Connacht Whiskey Company.

the sea cliffs at Downpatrick Head on the coastline of County Mayo, Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way Self Drive Adventure - 14 Days

Get ready for mile after mile of unforgettable memories. On this road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way— the longest defined coastal route in the world—you'll enjoy rugged scenery, gorgeous coastline, and off-the-beaten-path adventures from County Donegal’s remote Northern Headlands down to the picturesque southern peninsulas.

The beautiful beaches of Achill Island, County Mayo.
Map of North Ireland Road Trip: Belfast, Donegal, Westport & Galway - 10 Days
North Ireland Road Trip: Belfast, Donegal, Westport & Galway - 10 Days

This relaxed 10-day trip takes you on a scenic self-drive tour of Ireland's north. Pick up your car in Dublin and head to Northern Ireland to spend two days exploring Belfast and the Giant's Causeway. Cross into Ireland to journey through the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, and Galway, where you'll stand atop the majestic Slieve League cliffs, hike up Connemara National Park's rugged mountains, and drive sections of the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way. Spend your evenings in charming and atmospheric towns like the music hub of Westport, the picturesque harbor of Portstewart, and the bustling bayside of Donegal.

Cliffs of Moher
Map of Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Killarney, Doolin, Westport, & More - 14 Days
Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Killarney, Doolin, Westport, & More - 14 Days

This ultimate self-driving tour of Ireland is filled with adventures in historic towns and along scenic coastlines. Start in Dublin before exploring the villages of Laragh, the medieval Rock of Cashel in Cork, and the hiking trails in Kinsale. Then, tour Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, and Inch Beach off the Dingle Peninsula. The final leg of the road trip takes you to the must-see Cliffs of Moher, bohemian Galway, and two historic national parks before a final night in Derry.

Brightly painted houses in the seaside town of Cobh
Map of Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Galway & Belfast - 14 Days
Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Galway & Belfast - 14 Days

Get ready to immerse yourself in Irish culture, history, and landscapes with this two-week, self-drive adventure. Starting in Dublin, you'll head south to explore highlights like the Rock of Cashel, the Ring of Kerry, and Killarney National Park. Continue up the wild west coast to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, and make a quick detour to the windswept Aran Islands. Revel in the culture and traditional music of Doolin, Westport, and Galway before crossing into Northern Ireland, where you'll discover the otherworldly geology of the Giant's Causeway and end your journey in the bustling streets of Belfast.

Other popular travel destinations in Ireland
Dublin · County Kerry · Killarney · Killarney National Park · Dingle Peninsula · Dingle Town · County Cork · Northern Ireland · Kenmare · Cork · Doolin · Belfast · Donegal · Westport · Letterkenny · Tralee · Ballycastle · Laragh · Limerick · Kinsale · Aran Islands · Sligo · Birr · Waterford · donegal town · Clifden, Co Galway · Kilkenny · Portmagee