"The Far West of Europe" Top 5 Page for this destination Galway by BillNJ

Galway Travel Guide: 530 reviews and 1,010 photos

Galway, heading west. Next stop -- New York!

Ireland lies at the far west of Europe -- and Galway lies at the far west of Ireland. On a smaller scale than the state of California on the west coast of the United States, Galway enjoys a strong artistic heritage and a flourishing arts, music, theatre and film scene. For a visitor, Galway City -- with its many pubs and restaurants -- is certainly one of the best spots for craic in all of Ireland.

The Fast-Moving River Corrib

The River Corrib flows from Lough Corrib through Galway City to Galway Bay. With only a length of six kilometres, it is one of the shortest rivers in Europe. What it lacks in size, though, it makes up for in intensity. The River Corrib flows through Galway City at a very fast pace.

According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, fast-moving water correlates to fast-moving chi (energy). Certainly, the city of Galway is full of energy with its large student population.

Unfortunately, though, the heavy traffic around Galway City does not flow nearly as fast as the River Corrib! For visitors staying within the city and/or taking bus tours to outlying areas, a car is not needed in this very walkable city.

Galway Has Personal Significance For Me

This trip held special meaning for me because both of my paternal grandparents were born in County Galway. In 1920, my grandfather emigrated to the United States at the age of 21. In 1923, my grandmother emigrated to the United States at the age of 17. Later, in the United States, they met and married.

Under Irish law, one is eligible for citizenship if at least one grandparent was born in Ireland. Since both of my paternal grandparents were born in County Galway, I applied for and obtained my Irish citizenship in 2008. Being an Irish citizen does not affect my US citizenship, but it does afford me additional rights in Ireland and the rest of the European Union.

Despite now being an Irish citizen, I was still easily identifiable as a "Yank" whenever I opened my mouth. While an Irish brogue may be difficult to acquire, I have started incorporating some common Irish expressions like "brilliant", "grand", "lads", and "lassies" into my vocabulary. Perhaps on my next trip I will be able to convince someone that I am now officially Irish? (haha)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fun and Lively City; Very Walkable; Transportation Hub
  • Cons:Heavy Traffic During Rush Hours
  • In a nutshell:Great base for exploring the west of Ireland!
  • Last visit to Galway: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated Dec 12, 2009
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Reviews (23)

Comments (10)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Nice page

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2010 at 7:29 AM

    Very nice page, going to Ireland in Sept so will definately be back visiting some of your other Ireland pages ;-)

  • yaya15923's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    Very helpful pages! I will be taking my first trip to Ireland in May and Galway will be my base :O)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2010 at 7:16 AM

    Hi Bill, congratulations on getting Irish citizenship in addition to American. Sounds like you had a "brilliant" visit to Galway.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2010 at 5:12 AM

    Nice updates since my last visit to this page! Must have been interesting for you to visit the region from where your grandparents come. The Cliffs of Moher looks impressive!

  • cpiers47's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2009 at 12:37 AM

    Ciao Bill - thanks for stopping by my Riomaggiore page. I'm enjoying your Galway tips. I don't think we were there long enough to do the city justice...next time!

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    It sounds like you had a good time in Galway. Thanks for the tips and info.

  • a2lopes's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2009 at 6:18 AM

    Ireland is a fantastic place :-)

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2009 at 3:57 AM

    It's grand a lad like yourself got back to whence he came but a B&B w/ a gran would have been more friendly that safe-less stiff hotel. Brilliant page & about the Irish citizenship, Bill. I hope I can manage the same with Italy!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Brilliant start about a grand place. *winkygrin*


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