Situated in the centre of Connemara, on Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way, Kylemore Abbey is a refuge of history, grandeur, and tranquillity. Home to a Benedictine order of Nuns for the past 100 years, who welcome visitors from all over the world each year to discover the abbey and its Victorian Walled Garden .
Galway City Museum
Galway City Museum is a designated repository for objects of cultural heritage related to the city of Galway and its people. The collection comprises of thousands of objects from the prehistoric era, medieval era, World War 1, 1916 Rising, and early 20th Century Ireland, most of which have been kindly donated by the people of Galway over the past 40 years. The museum is in Spanish Parade, directly behind the Spanish Arch. Admission to the museum is free but tickets must be booked in advance.
Galway Fisheries Watchtower Museum
Opened in 2015, the Galway Fisheries Watchtower Museum was revealed to the public after a long restoration project by Galway Civic Trust. Featuring a small museum and exhibition, the tower is home to artefacts, memorabilia, and photographs of fishing along the River Corrib and Claddagh. This iconic tower is part of Galway’s West End, dating back as far as 1853 and is the only building of its kind in Ireland.
Hall of the Red Earl
The Hall of the Red Earl is a magnificent medieval archaeological site in the heart of Galway City. The site is linked to the founding of Galway by the De Burgo family. The hall was Galway’s first public building and was used to collect taxes, hold trials, and host banquets. The hall was rediscovered in 1997, when the Office of Public Works were planning to renovate the site and the remains of the hall were discovered by Archaeologists. The plans were then redesigned to incorporate a glass viewing wall for passers-by to able to see the old walls.
Galway Cathedral is a remarkable and striking building which looks as if it has been a part of the Galway landscape for generations. Visitors are often surprised to learn the green-domed, renaissance style cathedral is one of Europe’s youngest cathedrals and opened in 1965 built on the site of what was once the old city prison.
Dating back to 1520, Dunguaire Castle was founded by Rory Mor O’Shaughnessy. The castle has witnessed sieges and warring clans and has hosted renowned literary figures over the centuries. Located less than an hour from the hotel, the castle sits on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay, its architecture is simple yet magnificent.
Located on Market Street, on the edge of St. Nicholas Church, you’ll find the famous Lynch’s Window. As the story goes, the City Mayor James Lynch Fitzstephen hung his own son Walter on the site in AD 1493, after he confessed to the murder of a Spanish merchant sailor by the name of Gomez who had taken a fancy to his girlfriend. Many say this is where the term ‘lynching’ came from…
Standing on the corner where Shop Street meets Abbeygate Street since the 16th century, you’ll find Lynch’s Castle which is currently home to an AIB Bank, making it the oldest building still in commercial use in Ireland. Built by the Lynch Family, one of the fourteen ruling Tribes of Galway, as a means of protection from attack. The Lynch family coat of arms and the arms of King Henry VII are located right above the doorway of the castle. You’ll also find embellished windows and ornamental mouldings on this beautiful piece of architecture.
Attend One of Galway’s Many Festivals
One of the many things that Galway is famous for is its love of a good festival!
With a year round programme of internationally acclaimed festivals and events, Galway City is the beating cultural heart of Ireland. From horse-racing, art, literature, film, food, music and comedy, there’s a Galway festival to suit every taste!