Galway's stunning mix of ancient history and contemporary culture make it an essential stop for history buffs and nightlife enthusiasts alike. Its rich history as a medieval fishing village integrates seamlessly with its bustling bohemian atmosphere. There's plenty to see, and the Galway City Tour hop-on-hop-off bus provides an easy way for travellers to explore at their own pace. Old stone buildings and narrow alleyways bring the past to life, and it's also one of the last places where Gaelic is spoken in the streets.
The Galway City Museum offers an overview of the city's history, though the Galway Fisheries Watchtower Museum, the The Claddagh Ring Museum and Lynch's Castle cover the specifics. While the historical attractions in the city are extensive and impressive, Galway is also the beating heart of the West's arts scene. Students make up a quarter of the population, so it's unsurprising that Galway has become a multicultural haven for the arts.
The nightclubs in Eyre Square spill beats into the alleyways between the ancient remnants of medieval city walls. Quay Street is lined with brightly painted storefronts where visitors can kick back for some people-watching during the day. By night, it comes alive with music bars and restaurants. As dusk approaches, many enjoy strolling along the Salthill Promenade to watch the sunset over Galway Bay, with a Guinness and a platter of the bay's famous oysters. There's something going on year-round in Galway, but July visits during the famous International Arts Festival allow travellers to see the city in full swing.