GALWAY FAQ'S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

The Galway Airport, Carnmore, is about 10 miles east of the city. It is served by Aer Arann and has regularly scheduled flights from Dublin, London, Manchester and Edinburgh. A taxi to the city center costs about €20 while the bus costs upwards of €5 and drops you off at Galway Rail Station. Ideally you will have booked a rental car from the airport in advance.

Shannon International Airport is located approximately 55 miles from Galway in Shannon, Co. Clare. Allow approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes drive time between Shannon and Galway. From Shannon Airport you can pick up a rental car to drive into the West or you can take a bus to Galway. A taxi from Shannon Airport to Galway City will cost you about €125.

Connemara Airport (Aerfort Chonamara) at Inverin, which is 18 miles west of Galway, services the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árainn). There is a shuttle bus (about €3) from the center of Galway City. Hourly flights are available in July and August and off-season there are up to half a dozen flights a day. These flights call at all three Aran Islands. The journey takes eight minutes and costs about €50 round trip.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

Irish Rail trains from Dublin and other cities in Ireland arrive daily at Ceannt Station (tel. 091/561444), off Eyre Square. There are taxi ranks at Eyre Square where you can hire a cab to take you to your hotel. If you need to call a cab, try Galway Taxis (tel. 091/561111), Big-O Taxis (tel. 091/585858), or City Taxis (tel. 091/525252).

How do I get from the bus station to my hotel?

Buses from all parts of Ireland arrive daily at Bus Éireann Travel Centre, Ceannt Station, (tel. 091/562000), off Eyre Square. There are taxi ranks at Eyre Square where you can hire a cab to take you to your hotel, although Galway has excellent local bus service. Buses run from the Bus Éireann Travel Centre or Eyre Square to various destinations. Fares start at around €1.50.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

Central Galway is best explored on foot (be sure to wear comfortable shoes); however the city does have excellent local bus service. Buses run from the Bus Éireann Travel Centre or Eyre Square to various destinations including the suburbs of Salthill and the Galway Bay coastline. Fares start at around €1.50. Alternately, you can find taxi ranks at Eyre Square as well as all the major hotels in the city. If you need to call a cab, try Galway Taxis (tel. 091/561111), Big-O Taxis (tel. 091/585858), or City Taxis (tel. 091/525252).

Where can I rent a bicycle?

West Ireland Cycling, located at Earls Island (opposite the Cathedral), Newcastle (tel. 091/588 830) offers bikes for hire starting at €18 per day or €90 per week. Or contact Richard Walsh Cycles, Headford Road, Woodquay (tel. 091/565710).

How do I call/hail a taxi?

You can find taxi ranks at Eyre Square as well as all the major hotels in the city. If you need to call a cab, try Galway Taxis (tel. 091/561111), Big-O Taxis (tel. 091/585858), or City Taxis (tel. 091/525252).

Note: Not all cabs are equipped to accept credit cards so make sure you ask BEFORE you get in.

I will have a car in Galway, where can I park?

Galway is the gateway to west Ireland and to really do justice to this region, you need a car and a good map - don't rely on GPS for the many small byways. Driving in Ireland might seem a daunting prospect at first, but provided you take appropriate care your trips will be safe and result in enormous pleasure. The West has good, wide main roads (National Primary Routes) and better than average local roads (National Secondary Routes), both known as 'N' routes. If you are following the Wild Atlantic Way on the smaller Regional ('R') routes, particularly in West Clare, you may encounter some difficult roads. If you plan to do a lot of exploring, keep in mind that narrow winding roads (as well as flocks of sheep) can often mean that journey times are longer than might be expected from distances calculated from a map. Plan your itinerary in advance to avoid spending excessive amounts of time behind the wheel.

There is free parking in front of Galway Cathedral, but most street parking uses a pay-to-park system. Multistory parking garages average €1.80 per hour or €15 per day. We recommend you leave your car in one of these lots unless you're heading out to explore the Connemara Peninsula or on a scenic drive through the countryside.

Is Galway a walking city?

The heart of central Galway, with its medieval arches and narrow, cobbled alleyways, lies between Eyre Square on the east and the River Corrib on the west. The main thoroughfare begins west of Eyre Square and changes names from William to Shop to Main Guard to Bridge before crossing the River Corrib and changing again. It may seem quite confusing, but don't worry about getting around. The streets are all short and well marked.

This area is best explored on foot so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. To see the highlights, follow the signposts on the Tourist Trail of Old Galway. A handy booklet that provides historical and architectural details is available at the tourist office, Ireland West Tourism (Aras Fáilte), Foster Street (tel. 091/537700). Hours are May, June and September, 9am to 5:45pm daily; July and August, 9am to 7:45pm daily; and October to April, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:45pm, Saturday 9am to 12:45pm.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency of Ireland is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks and ATM's can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city. For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in Ireland by clicking here.

What is Irish food like?

Traditionally, Irish food was plain but hearty. However, in one generation Irish cooking has changed beyond all recognition. Warm fare, excellent drinks, and freshness form the base of Irish food. While most think of Ireland as a meat and potatoes country, there's much more to Irish cuisine than that (although the meat and potatoes dishes are excellent). In Galway seafood is the main attraction. While you're in town, try the fresh local oysters, sweet Irish prawns and pan fried local trout as well as the smoked haddock and tangy Galway mackerel. On a trip to Ireland, you won't go hungry and you won't have to spend a lot if you check out pubs, local markets, and take-away restaurants.

Where can I buy necessities like bottled water and toiletries?

If you need a drugstore, you can go to Boots the Chemist, 35 Shop Street (tel. 091/561022); Whelan's Chemist, Williamsgate Street (tel. 091/562291); or Newcastle Pharmacy, 41 Newcastle Road (tel. 091/524934).

How do I get to the Aran Islands?

The allure of the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árainn) is irresistible. From Galway, you can do a day trip, leaving the city at 9:30 or noon and returning by 6:30. Book at Aran Island Ferries, Tourist Information Office, Forster St., Eyre Sq., Galway City, (tel. 091/568903). The standard ferry deal is €25 round trip and €7 for the bus transfer to the ferry port at Ros an Mhíl (Rossaveal). Tickets are not transferable, so check the return sailing times when you get on board. Sailing season is usually March to November.

Alternately, Connemara Airport (Aerfort Chonamara) at Inverin, which is 18 miles west of Galway, services the Aran Islands. There is a shuttle bus (about €3) from the center of Galway City. Hourly flights are available in July and August and there are up to half a dozen flights a day during the off-season. These flights call at all three Aran Islands. The journey takes eight minutes and costs about €50 round trip.

What is there to do in Galway City?

Galway is the gateway to the west - a bustling, artsy city with a rich history. There are attractions and museums to keep you busy by day and plenty of pubs to keep you busy at night. From its lovely neighborhoods, to its vibrant nightlife, to its International festivals, Galway has got it going on!

What else is there to do in County Galway?

County Galway, on Ireland's rugged western coast, offers an abundance of scenic beauty including some wonderful beaches, Kylemore Abbey and the Connemara Peninsula and the famed Aran Islands. In addition to its quaint towns and villages, castles and other attractions, you will also find a wide variety of activities like walking trails, scenic drives, cycling, fishing, golfing and horseback riding. Whenever you visit Ireland it's wise to come prepared for wet and/or windy weather conditions, especially along the west coast.

What are the best areas for shopping?

Galway is known for its great shopping, but the stores are scattered around town, which can make it hard to find what you want. Try the tiny malls of small shops clustered in historic buildings, such as the Cornstore on Middle Street, the Grainstore on Lower Abbeygate Street and the Bridge Mills, a 430 year old mill building beside the River Corrib. The best items to buy are Aran sweaters, Galway Crystal, Connemara marble items, Irish linen handkerchiefs and tablecloths, Irish lace, pottery and of course the original Claddagh rings. Shopping hours are typically Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm, but from May through September or October, most stores are open daily until 9pm or 10pm.