Map showing Galway, Ireland

The Glories of Galway

The Claddagh ring, one of the most beloved Irish gifts of all time, has roots in Galway. But that isn’t the county’s only claim to fame – far from it. It’s home to the village made famous by The Dubliner’s song The Fields of Athenry, and of course, Ed Sheeran’s hit Galway Girl subtly notes the county’s musical heritage when he sings about the title girl playing fiddle in an Irish band. Galway is a large county, but it is still amazing how much natural beauty and incredible heritage fit in it. The Wild Atlantic Way winds through the rugged Connemara region and around Galway Bay, and the Aran Islands sit off the coast.

Galway city manages an almost impossible feat. It offers all the modern convenience and culture anyone could want in a postcard perfect setting. You can stroll through the city center admiring the historic buildings and keep going right to the coastline. The nightlife is first rate, with rock gigs and trad sessions coexisting with nightclubs and an impressive assortment of theatres offering plays and other performances. If you wanted to experience as much of Ireland as possible in just one county, Galway would be hard to beat.

6 Things to Love about Gorgeous Galway

A list of things to love about Galway could be endless. The county has given us many of our most beloved Irish gifts – Claddagh rings, Aran knitwear, Connemara marble, to name just a few.

  1. The Aran Islands – Island life is having a moment, thanks to The Banshees of Inisherin. The very real Aran Islands provided much of the stunning landscape of the fictional Inisherin. Those stone walls, fields and beaches are even more magical in real life.
    Location of cottage from The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. Birthplace of the Claddagh Ring – What destination could be more romantic than the home of the Claddagh ring? The love story behind this ring’s rich symbolism began in a tiny fishing village that is now part of Galway city.
    Claddagh Village, County Galway
  3. Sunset on Galway Bay – Speaking of romance, walking on the beach hand-in-hand doesn’t get more romantic than the Atlantic lapping at your toes as the sun ever so slowly slides down sending its rays to sparkle on the waves and silhouette the sails of the fishing boats while swans glide along.
    Silhouette of woman taking a photo of sunset over Galway Bay
  4. The Boundless Creativity – We could make a list of 60 examples and only scratch the surface! Connemara’s distinctive beauty is muse to everyone from writers to jewelry makes to musicians. Galway is home to Macnas, the internationally renowned troupe of innovative performance artists.
    Irish musician playing guitar
  5. Connemara Marble – Of course this unique, exquisite green marble is from Galway. The very ground in this county creates amazing things!

    Connemara Marble Trinity Knot Jewelry
  6. The City – County Galway includes some of Ireland’s most rugged and remote spots, but we can’t overlook the thriving city on the bay. It features an abundance of excellent restaurants, cozy pubs, theatres and shops in a historic city center walking distance from the beach.
    Tourist sign in Galway City, Ireland

If you’re planning a visit to Ireland, you can’t go wrong making Galway your base. You can see where so many of your favorite Irish gifts began and explore all the best of Irish life.