Though there is so much to see and do in Galway – we have pulled together 5 for this week. Watch this space for more and more great things to do every week!
So first off and a great start to your Galway trip is by taking a Galway Walking Tour. We mentioned this in our Father’s day blog last week but we thought it would be good to give you a bit more info! tour guide and historian Brian Nolan is the star of this tour; his humour, ability to have the craic and of course the never ending fountain of knowledge – we recommend this tour for Galwegians never mind other Irish tourists and of course international explorers!
Brain hosts two types of tours and the weather might be the most important factor when you make your choice! The Walking Tour of Galway will lead you the length and breath of the city and Brian will be filling you up with local knowledge about all things Galway; he recalls the words of John F Kennedy during his visit to Ireland, he goes far back to explain the Tribes of the City and their demise and Brian will definitely point out the best pubs for music and craic along the way!
The second tour that Brain hosts is located at O’Connors Famous pub in Salthill. You may recall this pub from Ed Sheeran’s recent video ‘Galway Girl’ This is definitely worth a look, the bar alone will delight you! The interesting and clever words of storyteller Brian Nolan alongside a pint of the cool dark stuff will transport you back in time (the Guinness is top class here!). Surrounded by a thousand and more antiques and a lush open fire, with the auld washing hanging overhead…this tour will be one to remember! At €10 per person per tour or cheaper for large groups… we think you should do both!
No doubt Quay Street is on your to do list….the street is packed with so many little gems that we could nearly do a blog on just this street alone! One place you could easily walk right past and never notice… Claddagh Ring museum located at the back of Thomas Dillon Jewelers and it is fantastic! All you can see, learn and buy in such a small space! Do you know the significance of the Claddagh ring? Check out the sign at the front door…..
There are many places to pick up your Claddagh Ring…however do you know any where they make the ring in front of your eyes? we had to pick the top 5 souvenirs to take home from Galway – this has to be in it. You see Dillon Jewelers are the original makers of the Claddagh ring, a tradition that is still carried today. So a ring bought here is an actual piece of history that you can own. We love that! Each Claddagh Ring is signed by the maker Thomas Dillon and also hallmarked as an ‘Authentic Irish Claddagh Ring’. The Dillons also include an information booklet and certificate of authenticity in the bag – wrapped and all to make it the perfect gift for yourself or that special person in your life, friend or lover!
Tip: There is one piece of information that might be more interesting than the rest when it comes to the Claddagh Ring….it is the question of ‘availability of the heart’’ are you single? Are you attached?Well you can wear the ring the corresponding way and let everyone know…your job is to tell me what does this hand tell us ? You can get the info on this link !
On the same street…in fact directly across the pedestrian laneway, you will find one of Galway’s favourite pubs, the 120 year old Tigh Neachtain. The pub was once the home of a prominent animal rights activist Richard Martin and has been a meeting place for a diverse and eclectic clientele since it first opened its doors.
Nowadays Tigh Neachtain still has a strong connection with Galway’s arts and musical communities which adds to the excitement of its already interestingly decorated interior. There are two things I love to point out to Galway visitors about this great place! Firstly – check out the ‘Snug’. Did you know that prior to 1960 you would rarely find a woman drinking in a pub, it was not socially acceptable, imagine that! So in many real Irish bars you can still see these ‘private, hidden’ areas. In fact you will rarely get to actually sit in the snug in Tigh Neachtains as the quiet corner locations are the first to be snapped up!
The second is the people watching, not much to say here really just grab a pint mid to late afternoon and sit outside and watch the world go by! One of the best Galway experiences for sure! Oh and they now have a merch shop too ….so you can keep cozy in a Neachtains hoodie!
Pálás is a new three screen arthouse cinema and cultural space in Galway. Did you know that Galway was a UNESCO city of film, the cinema is run by Element Pictures, the innovators behind Light House Cinema in Dublin. The Pálás building itself is super interesting to have a look around with art and architecture in all directions. Pop in for a look, they have a cafe! Also as its right in the heart of Galway’s Latin Quarter, and Tigh Neachtains – it’s perfectly located to head for a pint before or after!
So if you find the sun a bit too much over the weekend – check out the listings in this weeks Galway Advertiser. We think that this cinema experience might just beat any other you’ve had! If I was to recommend one movie over the next week …. It would have to be The Breadwinner, an animation about an 11 year old girl growing up in the dark times of Taliban rule. Cartoon Saloon, an Irish animation company based in Kilkenny, is best known for its animated feature films The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, as well as The Breadwinner. It was co-produced by none less than Angelina Jolie! Check out the trailer!
The Black Gate Cultural Centre is definitely a place to go in Galway City if arts, culture, good vibes and craic are your thing! Of course on a scorcher weekend like the one coming up…you could easily just grab a few cans and head to the Spanish Arch. This is the local thing to do… but as The Black Gate said on their facebook today ‘when your sunburnt enough…. come in for a cool glass of beer, wine but they forgot to mention their amazing mouthwatering cheese boards! Treat yourself!