Things to do

Galway on the West Coast of Ireland

Bohemian and traditional in equal measures, Galway is one of Ireland’s most vibrant destinations. Famous for its festivals, concerts and buskers, it’s no surprise the city has a reputation as a party town!

Galway is alive with music, from the street buskers to trad sessions to opera, to festivals showcasing the very best of local and international talent. Our weekend markets are brimming with delicious local produce and showcase the talent of many local artists and craftsmen. We have a vibrant food scene too, with lots of cafés, gastropubs and Michelin starred restaurants to choose from.

Located right on the Atlantic Ocean, Galway is the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way. Take in the splendour of Galway Bay or blow off the cobwebs with a bracing walk along the 2km seafront in Salthill.

1 Hour to Wander

The Hardiman's location makes it easy to experience some of the city while you wait for your train or onward transport. Pick up a last minute gift in the Treasure Chest on William Street, just a 3-minute stroll from the Hotel. The owner Mary Bennett first started her gift shop in The Hardiman many years ago! Step outside and walk around Eyre Square - see the memorial to President John F. Kennedy where he gave a speech during his visit to Ireland. Study the flags at the top of the square and look up the history of the 14 merchant families who dominated Galway from medieval times.

3 Hours to Explore

Galway is a walking city and you can enjoy our many heritage sights on foot. Bring a free map from The Hardiman or book a tour - our reception team will be delighted to help. The Tourist Office is just 500m away for more detailed advice. Both Spanish Arch and the Claddagh are within a 10-minute walk and are included in the walking tours of the city. You could also catch a bus from just outside The Hardiman to Salthill, our famous seaside suburb. This popular promenade is always filled with walkers, friends and families.

On weekends you can sample the delights on offer at the Galway Market, again just a 5-minute stroll from The Hardiman. Located in the shadow of St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, you can taste our Galway oysters or purchase local arts and crafts. Many Galwegians buy their fruit and vegetables at the Galway Market each week.

An Evening of Entertainment

Book a night at the theatre or a music gig or immerse yourself in some traditional Irish music, or ‘Trad’ in one of our many pubs. Tigh Fox next door to The Hardiman has nightly traditional music sessions and our Reception Team can recommend many more. During the summer, take in one of Galway's most famous festivals, the Galway International Arts Festival. This festival offers street spectacles, award-winning theatre, beautiful dance and fun music events. The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival in September or the Galway Comedy Carnival in October also present an array of evening events.

A Full Day Tour

We recommend a full day tour of Connemara, the largest Gaelic speaking area in Ireland and home to Kylemore Abbey and Gardens. The Aran Islands are also worth setting aside a day to tour. Whether you fly or take the ferry, it’s a nostalgic step back into Ireland of old.

Other day trips include the Burren National Park where you can marvel at the unique limestone landscape. The Cliffs of Moher are also nearby, made famous by the sixth Harry Potter film and now starring in a number of 360 virtual reality videos.

Embrace the entire Wild Atlantic Way which stretches 2500km/1550 miles along the west coast. Whether it’s climbing a mountain, driving a winding coastal road, delving into water activities or tasting the fruits of the sea, you will love every thrilling minute.

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