One of my friends studied in the Irish city of Galway over on the west coast of Ireland and I’d heard so much about it that whilst in Ireland on a trip for work I took the opportunity to visit a new city! The thing that appealed to me most about visiting Galway was that it meant I could go to an irish beach, see the countryside on the way there and hopefully be able to buy a pint less than £7 and enjoy some live music. I also absolutely love the song Galway Girl – as featured on PS I Love You, as it reminds me of an awesome night out I’d had in Dublin with my best pals so i was even more inspired to go.
Where did I stay?
We stayed at 7 Cross Street Boutique Hotel which was located perfectly in the centre of Galway, we could not believe how close we were to the pubs, restaurants and the heart of Galway. Even though we were dead centre, the hotel had a lovely relaxed vibe and it wasn’t noisy at all. The hotel is on Cross Street (you guessed it) and the entrance is through a little door between some shops. The interior of this hotel is gorgeous and you can tell it is really well looked after, it felt extremely homely and the staff were kind as were the other people in the hotel. With only 10 rooms in the hotel it felt really personal and the ’boutique’ experience it describes, we had a lovely night stay here! If you read reviews on tripadvisor you’ll see other people love the hotel, however it is quite small and be warned that all rooms do require stair access. If you are heading for a trip to Galway I’d recommend this hotel as it makes for a lovely, great value stay in the heart of Galway.
How did I get there?
I visited Galway from Dublin and jumped on a bus from a bus stop just by Temple Bar by the river, it took 2 hours and cost 20 Euros (I think) for a return, I was uber hungover for this bus journey after a wild night in temple bar but armed with taytos (the best crisps in the world) some chocolate and some water we were good to go. The bus drops you at the very top of Galway city centre but its only a ten minute walk down to the centre of Galway, its worth noting that the bus stop is near a lot of hotels and is such a convenient way to travel and see the greenery of Ireland on your way through!
What did I do?
We did a lot of walking whilst in beautiful Galway, its tiny little cobbled streets that are lined with an amazing selection of pubs, bars and restaurants can amaze you for hours! Its worth just venturing out in Galway and seeing where you end up, when we first arrived we took a long walk along the beach over to Salthill, it was so lovely to see an Irish beach for the first time, totally inspired by our beach walk we stopped off at an amazing fish and chip shop! We also took a wander up towards the National University of Ireland, Galway and had a wander around the grounds, it feels like an american uni its so well kept, the photo above is an example of how lush it is! We also stopped off at Galway cathedral which is beautiful and really worth a visit. I would have loved to explore some more of the countryside around but it was a fleeting visit of 24 hours, but i really got the full essence of Galway.
For more things to do in Galway head to http://www.galwaytourism.ie/psightseeing-galway.html
As well as stumbling upon hidden gems for food I also like to check out restaurant recommendations and trip advisor’s top 10. I’d read about The Pie Maker on a few blogs and it was also featured on trip advisor with really good reviews and as someone that absolutely loves anything with gravy (and i’m a southerner would you believe) I made it an essential thing to do on our trip! Our hotel didn’t do breakfast and as we were slightly hungover we decided to wait it out and head to the Pie Maker for lunch. It is literally the cutest little place, its so vintage and quirky and there are rulers that make up the walls, maps, clocks everywhere, and lots of quirky frames, there are only 3 or 4 small tables which make for a really intimate setting and makes you feel rather exclusive if you can manage to get a table. I had a chicken and mushroom pie with mash, peas and red cabbage and wow it was the absolute dream, so much so its made it into my favourite meals around the world blog! Well done Pie Maker, I applaud you.
I’m also a massive lover of chip shop chips so we went to Mcdonagh’s on the main street close to the sea, the chips in here were b e a u tiful and I even went for it and tried it with curry sauce. It’s exactly how you’d like an old school chippie to be like, there’s nothing modern about it but that’s the best part!
I also can not forget to mention the wonderful taco chips we had after our night out. I’ve never come across this before but wowwww, so chips + spicy mince + taco sauce + cheese = a drunk persons dream.
A Night Out
Some of my favourite nights out have happened in Ireland, which is reason enough to visit and Galway is no exception to the magic that is a night out in Ireland. There is a huge selection of pubs in Galway and all of them have the tiniest little entrances but inside they are actually massive, so don’t judge a book by its cover when it comes to irish pubs. We popped to the front door for a drink and had a great chat with one of the friendly guys behind the bar about how Galway was putting in a bid for the 2020 cultural city award. We then went to the Kings Head and were amazed by how big it was, its literally a tiny entrance! The band were setting up as we got there so we had a few pints and waited for them to come on, they came on around 11pm (it was a friday night) and oh my god… they were absolutely brilliant. The mixture of songs they performed was fantastic from 80’s classics (toto – africa) to current (avici – wake me up) to irish classics (Galway Girl) they absolutely smashed it and the dance floor was filled the entire time we were there and everyone was just having so much fun. If you want a good time in Galway with live music then go to the Kings Head you won’t be disappointed. I’m not sure if they have live music during the week but its worth checking.
I hope you enjoy Galway if you ever get a chance to visit!