Galway is the third largest city in Ireland. We are well known for the lively atmosphere, beautiful scenery and friendly locals making us one of the best cities to visit in Ireland. We welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors from at home and abroad to enjoy Galway’s excellent visitor attractions. Imperial Hotel in Galway City offers comfortable, stylish accommodation opposite Eyre Square, perfect for exploring. We have dozens of things to do within a 5-minute walk including museums, docklands and plenty of shops and cafes. Explore Galway on our doorstep from Imperial Hotel Galway.
Did you know Eyre Square’s official name is John F. Kennedy Memorial Park? One of the most popularparts of the city, this city park is a meeting point for tourists and locals. The Galway Train Station Ceannt is opposite the hotel through Eyre Square, and it’s recognised as the main square of the city. From here, you can venture into the winding streets of the Latin Quarter where you’ll find boutiques,art galleries, cafes, restaurants, and any number of pubs to fill your day. Eyre Square is also the site for many of the city’s events like the Christmas Markets, Galway Arts Festival & Galway Comedy Festival. It’s also a popular lunch and picnic spot among workers during the week. Imperial Hotel offers a Birdseye view of this beautiful park and a convenient location to the train station.
Shop Street, Quay Street
Shop Street is exactly as its name implies. It’s one of the busiest streets in the city, filled door to door with shops, boutiques, cafes, bars, restaurants and more. It leads down to Quay Street which leads onto Wolfe Tone Bridge to get to the other side of the city. Unlike many main cities, Galway has manyniche and independent traders on our main streets, mixed in with big brands and household names. Enjoy a drink in one of the local pubs, sitting outside to enjoy the local buskers and people watch. At night many of the pubs have traditional music to enjoy free of charge. The best-preserved fortified townhouse in Galway, Lynch’s Castle is also on shop street and now houses a bank. These pedestrianised streets are the heart and soul of Galway’s vibrant atmosphere.
Despite being a busy urban space, Galway has some beautiful natural attractions right in the city centre, one of which is the Galway Dock. The port of Galway welcomes boats and ships all year round and is one of the busiest docks on Ireland’s West Coast. Import and export is popular here and you’ll see some huge vessels carrying enormous loads every day. Here you can board boats for sightseeing or to take you to the Aran Islands, a truly memorable day trip from Galway City. Grab a bite to eat in a local café and take your lunch to the docks to watch the ships rolling in and out or watch the waves lap the walls of the port. It’s a peaceful beauty spot in an otherwise busy city.
Positioned on the bank of the Corrib River, The Spanish Arch is one of Galway’s historical gems, dating back to pre-medieval times. The arch itself was built in 1584 but is part of the 12th-century town wall built by the Normans. It originally housed soldiers who manned canons on the roof. Ironically, the arch had nothing to do with Spain but is thought to have been named after the former merchant trade with Spanish galleons which often docked here. Before the Galway docks were modernised, the area was very popular with European ships carrying space and wine to sell on the mainland. It was even visited by Christopher Columbus in 1477. Today you’re more likely to find students and holidaymakers enjoying the arch than merchants but there are often local craft markets.
Galway City Museum
By the Spanish Arch, you’ll find the Galway City Museum, a modern addition to the medieval area of Galway. The museum captures and preserves some of the most important artefacts and retells the stories of some of the most important times in the history of the county. Inside the museum, you’ll find permanent and temporary and permanent exhibitions, a cinema, a sensory zone, and some important monuments of the city. You’ll find a mixture of contemporary and traditional art and exhibitions ranging from maritime history to local hip-hop artists. Admission is free and it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours getting to know Galway better.
Book your stay in the ideally located Imperial Hotel Galway on our website to guarantee our best available rate. We are €15 less per night when you book directly so you can enjoy a couple of extra pits in a local pub. We look forward to welcoming you.