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Galway

13 expert recommended attractions

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Galway City Museum

Galway 93 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Opened in 2007, a stone's throw from its former site and dominating the mouth of the River Corrib, this museum traces everyday life in the area through the ages. — Michelin Guide

Set on the waterfront next to the remnants of the city’s ancient walls beside the Spanish Arch, the absorbing Galway City Museum chronicles the region’s rich cultural and historical legacy. — Afar Magazine

Exhibits on the city's history from 1800 to 1950, including an iconic Galway Hooker fishing boat. — Lonely Planet

A rather endearing little museum overlooking the Spanish Arch, this is a good place to spend half an hour acquainting yourself with the city’s history. — Frommer's

Contains materials relating to local history: old photographs, antiquities. — Fodor's

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Lynch's Castle

Galway 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Considered the finest town castle in Ireland, this old stone town house was built in the 14th century. — Lonely Planet

The façade of this impressive medieval manor (15C), now home to the Allied Irish Bank, sports finely carved gargoyles, hood mouldings above the windows and the coat of arms of Henry VII — Michelin Guide

This impressive structure was once home to the Lynch family, who ruled the city for many years. — Frommer's

The finest remaining example in Galway of a 16th-century fortified house. — Fodor's

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The Spanish Arch

Galway 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The name is a reminder of the city's trading links with Spain. — Michelin Guide

The Spanish Arch is thought to be an extension of Galway's medieval city walls, designed to protect ships moored at the nearby quay while they unloaded goods from Spain. — Lonely Planet

It's another reminder of Galway's—and Ireland's—past links with Spain, and is a much-loved local landmark. — Fodor's

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Dunguaire Castle's Medieval Banquet

Galway 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Erected around 1520 by the O'Hynes clan, Dunguaire Castle is widely believed to occupy the former site of the 6th-century royal palace of Guaire Aidhne, the king of Connaught. — Lonely Planet

After looking at the traces of the wickerwork visible on the coffered ceilings, climb to the top and admire the splendid view. The castle also hosts medieval banquets. — Michelin Guide

On a rock north of Kinvara Bay, the 16th-century Dunguaire Castle spectacularly commands all the approaches to Galway Bay. — Fodor's

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Nora Barnacle House

Galway 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This tiny museum (which claims to be the smallest in Ireland) was the childhood home of Nora Barnacle—lover, muse, and eventually wife to James Joyce. — Frommer's

James Joyce's wife Nora Barnacle (1884–1951) lived here until shortly before they met in Dublin in 1904. — Lonely Planet

Souvenirs, photographs and letters are exhibited in this small house where James Joyce's wife lived before leaving for Dublin where she met her husband. — Michelin Guide

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St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church

Galway 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Crowned by a pyramidal spire, the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas of Myra is Ireland's largest medieval parish church still in use — Lonely Planet

Take the opportunity to drop by the largest medieval parish church in Ireland, the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, right in Galway’s historic center. — Afar Magazine

Legend has it that Columbus prayed here on his last stop before setting off on his voyage to the New World. — Fodor's

This is Galway’s oldest church. — Frommer's

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Eyre Square

Galway 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Eyre Square on the east side of the River Corrib incorporates a sculpture garden and children's play area on its east side, while its west side is bound by a heavily traveled road. — Fodor's

Galway's central public square is busy in all but the harshest weather. — Lonely Planet

It is home to several monuments: Browne doorway, the shopping mall which includes part of the old walls and the remains of two towers. — Michelin Guide

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Galway Cathedral

Galway 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A calm and peaceful spot, it's especially appealing to church lovers. — Fodor's

Rising over the River Corrib, imposing Galway Cathedral was dedicated by the late Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston in 1965. — Lonely Planet

The striking interior has rows of symmetrical stone archways and dramatic lighting. Contemporary Irish artisans designed the statues, colorful mosaics, and stained glass windows. — Frommer's

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St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church

Galway 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Crowned by a pyramidal spire, the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas of Myra is Ireland's largest medieval parish church still in use. — Lonely Planet

The medieval church, where Christopher Columbus is said to have prayed, is dedicated to the patron saint of sailors — Michelin Guide

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Hall of the Red Earl

Galway 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Back in the 13th century when the de Burgo family ran things in Galway, Richard – the Red Earl – erected a large hall as a seat of power — Lonely Planet

This fascinating site is what’s left of a baronial hall from the Middle Ages, built by the powerful de Burgh family, Anglo-Norman earls who essentially ruled this region in the 13th century — Frommer's

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The Lynch Memorial

Galway 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Lynch, so the story goes, was a mayor of Galway in the 15th century who, when his son was condemned for murder, personally acted as hangman. — Lonely Planet

According to legend, James Lynch FitzStephen, mayor of Galway in the early 16th century, condemned his son to death after the young man confessed to murdering a Spanish sailor. — Fodor's

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Cnoc Suain

Galway 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

You can enrol in short courses at the Cnoc Suain Cultural Centre in Spiddal. — Lonely Planet

A beautifully restored hill village that literally sits on layers of Irish history, Cnoc Suain offers a thorough immersion in local culture — Travel + Leisure

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Salthill Beaches

Galway 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The main attraction of the village, set 3 km (2 miles) west of Galway, is the long sandy beach along the edge of Galway Bay and the promenade above it. — Fodor's

In and around Salthill there are plenty of cosy pubs from where you can watch storms roll over the bay. — Lonely Planet

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