Ireland has a lot more to offer than what I could have ever imagined. It became my country of adoption for 6 years. I finished my studies near Galway, and probably spent the best year of my life there! So to me, it feels a bit like home. If you want to know the best spots to visit in Ireland during your stay, it’s a very difficult choice for me! Galway is definitely a great place to start, especially if you are a nature lover like me! I definitely recommend staying for more than a week, in order to fully enjoy what Galway has to offer.
A few tips before going to Ireland:
Fauna and Flora Irish Nature
- Plan to rent a car (and get ready to drive on the left side!) It’s the best way to visit the countryside. Ireland might not be so big, but the best of it is hidden in little corners that touristic buses have no access to.
- Take a raincoat or a solid umbrella Even if you choose the best season (May or September), weather is unpredictable in the whole world with climate change. And Ireland is already unpredictable before climate change happened! It’s not for nothing that locals say you can experience the four seasons in one day!
- Plan to stay several days The country is worth several days, even several weeks if you want to go beyond Galway!
- Get a good travel insurance Visiting a doctor is not cheap, so make sure you are well covered!
Best sights in Galway
Galway is a vibrant and colourful town! It’s a very small town, so you can easily walk around. My favourite spot is the Latin Quarter. You’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and pubs obviously! Try their delicious seafood chowder and fish & chips. If you have good weather, also go to Eyre Square. It’s a park in the middle of the town where locals like to meet up. Also don’t miss Salthill Promenade, Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral and St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.
North of Galway: Connemara
Connemara is one of the most beautiful and untouched places I have seen in the world. It does not matter if it rains, if it is sunny, or grey. It’s so beautiful that any weather would do it justice! It has amazing lakes, hills, and white sandy beaches you would not even have imagined! Castlebar is a good base to start touring around the area. It’s a very lively town in County Mayo with great pubs and a nice atmosphere.
South of Galway: Aran Islands
The cliffs of the western side of Inis Mor Island are impressive and still completely natural and authentic! It reminds me of the Cliffs of Moher, much more famous but less authentic since a security glass fence has been built.
Inishmore, Aran Island
You might as well land in Dublin before you go to Galway. Dublin has obviously a lot to offer, so you could also stay there a couple of days. However, I love Ireland for its nature. That’s why I would rather tell you about Galway, a smaller town, and its surroundings which are truly spectacular! Ireland has a lot of rain all year long and that’s probably why nature is so powerful there. You will also love the kindness of its people. Irish people are always eager to meet foreigners and share a pint of cider or Guinness with us!
So when you go to a pub, don’t forget to cheers with locals, saying “Sláinte”!