Need some time out from work but can’t afford to head abroad? Consider a long weekend in Galway as there’s plenty to keep you busy out west for the next few days.
It’s the final weekend of the Arts Festival and the weekend before the Galway Races kicks off, so before you start planning your Kilkenny Ladies Day outfit, enjoy the buzz around Galway before the place gets mobbed for the races – the streets are loaded with artists and performers and nightlife is a lively combination of relaxed and yet a little bit bonkers…
What to see:
Thursday: Spend Thursday evening just taking in the atmosphere, wander up Quay Street for a drink and check out Tac O Tac‘s death-defying acrobatics as he makes his way through the city on stilts around 10pm. Discover Cava Bodega on Middle Street for some amazing tapas and a mellow atmosphere to put you into holiday mode. If you’re still feeling lively, amble over to the university campus for a live performance of Little Shop of Horrors at the Bailey Allen Hall at 11pm.
Friday: If you manage to grab a table at Kai on Sea Road, take a perch and enjoy the boutique café’s phenomenal lunch menu. Look out for their Galway Bay lobster, hand-delivered by a local Claddagh fisherman. Then head up town to catch Jarleth Regan at the Laughter Loft in the King’s Head Ruby Room at 1pm to start your afternoon off laughing. There’ll plenty of activity around the harbour all day as the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Regatta (WIORA) is in full swing, welcoming yachts from around Ireland. Expect the pubs in that area to be raucous by 9pm. For dinner, check out local hub Dough Bros on Abbeygate street for some delicious wood fired pizza and, weather permitting, take it to-go and eat it at the Spanish Arch to watch the world go by. Round off your day with a Jerry Fish performance at the Roisin Dubh for some feel-good, energetic Friday fun.
Saturday: Spend Saturday in Salthill, away from the weekend hustle of the city. It’s only a twenty-minute walk from town along the seafront and there will be yachts scattered across the bay and 10th annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim takes place. The 13km swim across the bay from Co. Clare is in its tenth year, with all proceeds going to Cancer Care West. Last year they raised €83,000 for the charity and this year will see almost one hundred swimmers attempt the feat. Walk the prom and cheer them home at Blackrock diving towers from 12.30pm. Chill out and go for drinks in O’Connors Famous Pub for an unforgettable experience and some excellent live music.
Sunday: Brunch at McCambridges on Shop Street, a Galway institution run by the McCambridge family and get any edible treats for the office (or yourself!) here. Take a wander through weekly market by St Nicholas’ Church and enjoy the kooky stalls, beautiful trinkets and stunning artwork. If you’re peckish the doughnuts and falafel come highly recommended. Decided to hold off on the drive home? Catch Mick Flannery at the Roisin Dubh for the perfect close to a great weekend.
They say Galway is the graveyard of ambition because once you arrive, going home is very difficult and expect this weekend to be no different!