Attractions and Festivals in Galway, Ireland

Galway is one of the largest cities located in Connaught, Ireland. It is a wondrous place with spectacular views of the countryside. Every year, many tourists visit this city to enjoy its landscape and experience a genuinely Irish way of life.

There are numerous attractions that one can enjoy in Galway City. It may not be possible to see all of them in just a couple of days but if you are armed with a good map or a competent tourist guide, you should certainly try to visit as many places as you can.

One of the most popular sights that tourists visit while in Galway City is Thoor Ballylee. This is a tower located beside the edge of a stream and made world famous by Nobel Prize winner W.B. Yeats. Back in 1916, the poet had purchased this Norman Tower and its accompanying cottages, because he fell in love with it during one of his many visits to Lady Gregory, his patron.

Apart from the tower, there is also another edifice that is closely attached to Yeats. It is called Dungaire Castle which was the ideal place for revivalists of literature way back when. These days, bardic traditions are being relived through the Medieval Banquets which are held every night. This event is for the celebration of Ireland's fascinating musical and literary past, which can be a spectacular sight to those who are into medieval traditions and folklore.

There are many other attractions that you can take advantage of while in Galway City. Among these is the Dan O' Hara's Homestead nestled in the hillside right below the Twelve Bens. Also, there is the Athenry Heritage Center which is ideal for discovering the story of the walled town of Athenry. Rare sports such as archery can be tried here.

For a slightly different side of Galway City, visit its national aquarium called the Galway Atlantaquaria which can be located by following the trail of the world famous Galway Salmon from the River of Corrib to Galway Bay. Here, a breathtaking view of the water world and its many wonders can be seen, from the starkly blue seabed to local lakes and rivers as well as the city canals. Learning about the highly diverse marine ecosystem of Ireland at The Galway Atlantaquaria has never been made more entertaining and fun with features including saltwater and freshwater exhibits. Children will adore touching live sea animals like crabs, lobsters and starfish.

More of Ireland's grim but interesting history may be experienced at the Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre. You can also visit the Glengowla Mines which are situated two miles of Oughterard as there is many caverns and marble chambers with impressive lead, calcite, and silver formations to explore. Last but not the least, treat yourself to an awe inspiring sight by exploring the very picturesque Inishbofin. To tour this area, you can either walk, rent a bike or ride a horse.

Joyous festivals frequently happen in Galway City. Examples of these festivals are Galway Arts Festival, the Cuirt International Festival of Literature, the Galway Early Music Festival, Connemara Garden Trail and the Inishbofin Community Arts Festival. These festivals are not only perfect for tourists to get a glimpse of the way the locals celebrate and entertain themselves, they are also unique experiences that one will surely remember for many years to come. The Galway Arts Festival has great music, artistic creations and independent films that will please all ages and tastes.

Ireland is known to have a temperate climate. The winters are considered mild with barely a few days of below freezing point temperatures. Although weather conditions are unpredictable, it may be helpful if you prepare yourself for a lot of rain with some warm spells, especially during summer.