Galway City is getting lots of love recently. First, it was named as a 2018 European Region of Gastronomy, was recently awarded the title of European Capital of Culture for 2020. Now it has another laurel to wear, this one courtesy of National Geographic, which listed it as one of the 28 Best Trips of 2019, alongside iconic international destinations like Mexico City, the Senegalese capital of Dakar, Greenland, Oman, and Kansas City.
With a population of 80,000, Galway, also known as the “City of Tribes,” is only Ireland’s fourth-largest city, but its cultural moment is broadening its tourist reach. “Throughout 2019, new community heritage and arts projects, such as pop-up culture cafés and funambulism (tightrope walking) workshops, will be rolling out in conventional and unexpected venues (beaches, fields, remote villages, and rivers) across Galway city and county,” National Geographic wrote.
“Homegrown programs include celebrating the old customs on the wild, unspoiled islands off the Galway coast and ‘Small Towns, Big Ideas,’ an initiative based on the Irish tradition of meitheal (pronounced MEH-hel), or coming together for a common purpose.”
Located on Galway Bay in the west of Ireland, the city is also a hub of seafood staples and experimentation with a vibrant restaurant scene. “Galway is especially known for its oysters. Sample some native and gigas oysters on the half shell at places such as Moran’s Oyster Cottage,” the magazine wrote.
Plus, once you’re there, there’s no shortage of sights to see inside the city and around the county, where you can take a day trip to the stunning Aran Islands, home of the Aran sweater, or spend an afternoon lounging in a seasonal Gaelic garden.
All this to say that if you’re looking for your next summer vacation destination, we think you could do a lot worse than Connaught’s cultural capital.
Have you been to Galway? Let us know your favorite sights and sounds in the comments below!