24 Hours in Galway, Ireland
*POST UPDATED APRIL 2022.
Hello friends, happy Sunday! Today I’m taking the opportunity to share a little something I’ve been working on: 24 Hours in Galway.
What I’ve created below is a small guide, retracing the steps my mum, my sister, & I took earlier this year. Together, the three of us traveled all the way to Galway for some quality bonding time, lots of fantastic food, and plenty of drinks to keep everyone cheery. Ain’t nothing wrong with treating ourselves every once in a while, right?
And yes, before you ask – that is a real photo-bombing seagull up there.
Below is roughly how our 24 hours in Galway panned out. The only moments of our trip that I’ve excluded are a) when we came back to take a long nap after pints & before dinner, b) when we had more drinks in our hotel room after our night cap, and c) when we had a pre-brunch breakfast in the hotel because it was included. I didn’t want you to judge our laziness or our gluttony, but I guess the cat’s out of the bag now!
1PM – Check in
We wanted somewhere very central for our overnight stay, but also somewhere that didn’t cost us an arm & a leg. Enter: Harbour Hotel. Conveniently located on New Dock St, it’s a speedy 4 minute walk into the city centre – just far out enough that you can’t hear any drunken escapades from your window at night. We checked in early, refreshed ourselves after the long drive, dumped our bags, and set out for the remainder of the day. Address: The Docks, Galway, H91 E9PR
2:30PM – Caffeine fix
We were in serious need of a caffeine hit after having spent so long cooped up in the car. Everybody I talked to prior to our trip recommended the same place: Coffeewerk + Press. An adorably yellow building located bang smack in the centre of town. As if the exterior wasn’t cute enough, the inside space is very aesthetically pleasing! A bright & airy space, filled with quirky pieces of art and stunning lamps etc. Thankfully, the coffee was fantastically strong. Time for food! Address: 4 Quay St, Galway
3:00PM – Food for the soul
The original plan had been to hit up the pizza bar at O’Connell’s, but due to a later opening time, that fell through. Mercifully, The Dough Bros – a casual pizza restaurant – is extremely close to O’Connell’s and opened at 12pm. We ordered some wine and two pizzas: one Posh Pepperoni & one Hey Pesto, both were delicious. Thin crust pizza at its finest, enjoyed in a casual, chilled-out kind of atmosphere. Address: Cathedral Buildings, 1 Middle St, Galway
4:00PM – Explore
As terrible as it sounds, we mostly trekked all the way to Galway to eat & drink, not to go sightseeing. However, it would be sacrilegious to drive all the way to the other side of the country & not do a small bit of exploring. Reluctantly, we dragged ourselves through the pouring rain to some main sights. Highlights include: the Spanish Arch, wandering out to get that view of the houses along the dock, Eyre Square, and the large street market. With that out of the way, it’s time for a well deserved reward…
4:30PM – Pints
At last – beer! O’Connell’s Bar is probably the most well known in Galway, and for good reason: it’s fantastic. The bar has so much charm it would be impossible to disappoint even the fussiest of customers. We picked up our pints & walked through the labyrinth of small quirky rooms to the impressive beer garden beyond. It’s unlike any beer garden I’ve visited before – it is kind of how I imagine Diagon Alley to look. Seated under the heated lamps, it was the absolute perfect place for a pint. Some of Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl video was filmed in the bar, so clearly we aren’t the only ones who think it’s cool. Address: 8 Eyre Square, Galway, H91 FT22
7:30PM – Fine dining & organic wines
As soon as I saw the website for Tartare Cafe + Wine Bar, I was sold. Small marble tabletops, a cozy sized room, exposed brick walls, candles dotted around, a large neon sign. An impressive menu in the style of Frenchie’s, filled with small (perhaps too small) sharing plates, accompanied only by organic wines. We devoured: lamb with wild garlic pesto & kale / ham hock with cabbage & smoked potato foam (!) / mushrooms with sage & garlic / an Irish charcuterie & cheese board / and sourdough with fermented butter. The three of us fought over every single plate put in front of us – the quality of the food was impeccable. Address: 56 Dominick St Lower, Galway, H91 K225
11PM – Nightcap
In all honesty, we probably didn’t need a nightcap after all the lovely wine at Tartare… but what’s the point of staying in a hotel with a cute bar if you don’t avail of it? Dillisk on the Docks was the perfect place for one last drink. We chose a cozy spot in the corner & ordered some cocktails. One espresso martini, one cucumber gin cocktail & one refreshing glass of frizzante. An excellent way to round off the night! Address: The Docks, Galway, H91 E9PR
10:30AM – Brunch
After a few cups of coffee in the hotel, we ventured out for food, deciding to use brunch as a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of occasion. On our stroll around town the day before, we spotted The Kitchen Cafe inside the Galway City Museum. I have to say, the place is so lovely! An adorable room decorated with fairy lights and populated by a seemingly hipster staff. We tried their Bacon Bagel, Eastern Eggs, and a large stack of pancakes, all were delicious. Obviously, we also opted for a couple of bellinis to wash everything down. Added bonus: the museum the cafe is housed in is free to wander! Address: Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade, Galway, H91 CX5P. *2022 update: sadly, now closed.
12:15PM – Coffee, more please
One last coffee before setting off on the road again. We passed Tribeton earlier in the day and were very intrigued by the fact that although there were people entering, it looked empty inside? We followed a couple inside, up a large + grand staircase, and came out into a spacious open plan restaurant. Who knew!? We chose a good people watching spot, fueled up on a couple of flat whites, and were eventually ready to face the long drive back to Dublin. Address: 1-3 Merchants Rd, Galway, H91 AT0V. *2022 update: sadly, now closed.