Dripping with history, splashed with colourful buildings and endearing characters, bursting at the seams with traditional and modern music – Galway has it all when it comes to the Land of Legend and Lore.
Arguably one of the most Irish cities on the Emerald Isle, this gem holds all your heart's desires in terms of shopping, night life and culture.
Whether you're making a stop in the eclectic west-coast town while touring around the rest of Ireland or a two-day trip to the city is the entirety of your Irish adventure, here's how to make the most of 48 hours in Galway.
A full Irish breakfast
Who hasn't heard tell of the traditional Irish breakfast? With bacon rashers, pork sausages, white and black pudding, eggs, toast and tomato, this is just want you need to fuel up for the rest of your busy Galway itinerary .
Black pudding is probably one of the most unique features of this meal. Also called blood pudding, it's a sausage that includes onions, fat, oatmeal, pork blood and flavourings. Although it's not everyone's cup of tea, many enjoy black pudding, and it's certainly part of the authentic experience.
The city is bursting at the seams with cafes and pubs that serve a respectable full breakfast, including Lohans in Salthill. Choose one that's convenient to your starting point or close to the next activity on your list.
— Lohans Salthill (@LohansSalthill) December 22, 2014
Go for a stroll
Ready to walk off some of that pudding and rashers? Start by enjoying the promenade right at your doorstep: Lohans is conveniently located overlooking the "Prom", so you're in a good place for one of the many beautiful walks Galway has to offer.
From here, head back to Galway City (the Prom to the city is about 2.5-3 km if you're in the walking mood). As you make your way around the centre, you'll want to take in the gorgeous, swan-filled views of Galway Bay, visit some of the beautiful churches and stroll down the historic streets in the old town.
Have some good ol' craic
Craic means 'fun' in Irish, and boy do they know how to have it! Head out for a night on the town in Galway and you'll be spoilt for choice for bars, clubs and a whole lot of cheer.
For a truly authentic Irish evening, seek out a traditional seisiun (session), where some local musicians gather and play the tunes that strike a chord in the heart of every lad and lass. The Crane Bar and Tigh Choili are two excellent choices – just inquire into their schedule to ensure you're heading there on a night with live music.
Shop 'til you drop
After recovering from your big night out with a solid rest in your Galway accommodations, hit the city centre again for its commercial side.
Galway City is renowned for its pedestrian character, and its colourful streets offer ample shopping. As you browse the selection for classics like Aran sweaters, Claddagh rings and more, you're bound to hear some traditional music from the many street musicians.
— Pamela Mingle (@PamMingle) May 28, 2015
In particular, High Street and Shop Street are not to be missed, while Tuam Road offers one of the wonders of the world for book-lovers: Kenny's. This bookshop is practically a palace of tomes, from very old to shiny new. Head over to Middle Street for more books as well as music.
Fish and chips
As an island, Ireland's seafood offerings rival even Australia's and New Zealand's, and a trip to Galway wouldn't be complete without indulging in some of it.
We recommend McDonnagh's for fish and chips – or other choice plates from the sea – whether you get the hankering for lunch or dinner.
Be a history buff
Check out Lynch's Castle on the corner of Abbeygate Street and Shop Street to see a castle-turned-bank. Previously the home of the city's most powerful clan, the traditional gothic building allows you to step inside the town's history.
From there, wander to the Galway City Museum to see cultural artefacts. Nearby, you can't miss the Spanish Arch, which the residents constructed back in the 16th century to guard against thieves.
Catch a show or enjoy a drop
To end your 48 hours in Galway, see if you can catch a performance at the Druid Theatre or Town Hall Theatre.
— Úna Molloy (@unamoll) July 11, 2013
If there's nothing showing that takes your fancy, worry not – you can spend a relaxing evening in one of the many quaint pubs in Galway. A pint of Guinness (or two) hits the spot in the likes of the Seagan Ua Neachtain, The Snug or The Quays. Slainte!