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“Beautiful Irish city”
Review of Galway

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Sioux City, Iowa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
2 helpful votes
“Beautiful Irish city”
Reviewed 6 June 2010

This is a beautiful place to visit in Ireland. A definite must see! If you are planning a trip to the Republic of Ireland, must sure this is where you go. While there, take a day trip to Connamara or the Cliffs of Mohrer. If you have time to do both, do it! They are both worth it, and if you buy them together, you save a bit of money. I recommend going with the Galway City Tour Company. They have friendly, knowledgable staff and really take you into the heart of Ireland.
I know that I will go back to Galway, it is my favorite place in Ireland!

2 Thank coyotegirl7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
3 helpful votes
“An pucan Bar is a great spot!!”
Reviewed 5 June 2010

An Pucan Bar is one of the best traditional irish music bars in Galway city, it is located in Forster street. WE come back every year and stay in Park House Hotel every year. When we were there 2weeks ago, we saw Irish dancers and the place was packed. The staff are so friendly and the food is delicious, try the Irish Stew!!!!

3 Thank gail h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wallowa, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
24 helpful votes
“The Burren and Connemara/County Mayo in 2 days”
Reviewed 27 May 2010

My aunt and I had two days at the end of a Shannon River cruise to see a bit of the west country. We knew we couldn't do an in-depth trip, but didn't want to let the opportunity pass us by. We found a "tour" company online, Ireland West Tours, that would pick us up at the end of our cruise, and take us up through the Burren the first day, drop us at our Galway B&B, the marvelous Griffin Lodge, deserving of every good Trip Advisor review they have, and then take us around County Mayo and a bit of Connemarra the next. We chose this company as they advertised they would take us wherever we wanted, stop when we wanted, and make it "our tour". A great option for us as we did not want to drive ourselves, rather take in the stunning scenery, and we had done research on the area and points of interest for our tastes which lean toward indepth cultural and natural history than standard tourist stops.
As the weather was fabulous we asked about taking the one-hour cruise along the Cliffs of Moher, rather than to walk out to the top of the cliffs and look down. The driver/company owner was really a taxi driver with aspirations of being a tour guide. He knew nothing about a boat trip as he always took people to the viewpoint, so I looked up the contact info and we were able to book the trip.
I highly recommend it on a fine weather day -- try to get on the boat early and grab a place on the rail near the front. The seats in the middle of the top deck have a minimal view as people stand along the rail in front of them. We saw lots of sea birds..beautiful cliffs.. Aran Islands in the distance..fantastic.
From there we had lunch in Doolin at O'Connors' pub (great seafood chowder and brown bread) and poked around the shops. Our "guide" tried to make us bargain for goods that were clearly priced, saying the economy was bad and the shop owners desperate. We said we were not comfortable doing that, but he still tried to do it on our behalf, embarassing us. Then he wanted to drive us to the top of the Cliffs of Moher and seemed irritated that we said no, we wanted to continue on as there was some distance still to travel and sights to see.
The road was closed around the coast due to a marathon that day, (which he was not aware of and complained about for several miles) but we said we'd be happy going to the Burren Center in Kilfenora before our drive through this beautiful area. He knew nothing about that delightful interpretive center, but we found it next to the very interesting ruins of Kilfenora Cathedral. From there we headed north through rolling countryside to the Poulnabrone dolmen. Which, in addition to being an outstanding example of an ancient dolmen, also allowed for walking across the interesting limestone rocks filled in with spring wildflowers.

We continued on to the coast with a brief stop at Kinvarra, a lovely coastal town south of Galway. By the time we reached our B&B it was after 6 p.m. and we were exhausted by his erratic driving (surging fast then hitting the brakes on every curve). A good pint of beer and a nice meal at the Kashmir Indian restaurant followed by a walk through the Latin Quarter overflowing with Saturday night revelers and buskers helped a lot to cheer us up.
The next day we started our trip north of Galway at 9:30 am. The driver hinted strongly that that was a bit early for him, but we are early risers and had time to get in a wonderful hours' walk along the promenade before breakfast.
Rick Steeve's guide has a nice loop drive through Connemara laid out and I proposed that route to our driver, asking if he thought it was do-able, stating that our key areas of interest were The ruins at Cong, a brief extension of 20 km up to the National Museum of Country Life in Castlebar (he'd never heard of it), and a stop in Westport for a photo, then on to Killarey Harbor, then home to Galway. He said it would work, then said he wanted to show us Ashford Castle (visitors can only go to the garden) and we deferred knowing our time was again limited and we'd seen our share of gardens already. He was very irritated that we didn't want to do that, and insisted until he got to the entrance gate and saw the admission fee. I knew there'd be one, but he used foul language and seemed surprised.
We really enjoyed exploring the abbey ruins in Cong and the small park behind led to the river where the monks had a "fishing house" where they had traps in the river attached to a bell that would ring when a fish was caught.
We traveled on up to the Country Life museum outside Castlebar and were delighted to find a special weekend fair in progress. The museum itself is spread out over many acres with a large pond, old manor house, concert venue and much more. The grounds were filled with tents housing crafts booths, food booths, charming commercial exhibits and even the spaniel club had hunting dog exhibitions. In addition the three levels of exhibits inside a modern building tell the story of the people living in the Irish countryside during the time after the 1840's potato famine and up to 1922 independence. Clothing, crafts, foods, equipment and much more are illustrated with actual items, wonderful old films of the people carrying out their crafts, and thoughtful interpretive displays. This was the cultural highlight of our trip to the west.
The scenery on the drive back was the scenic highlight. We were lucky to have a very clear and warm day for the trip, so passing through the rugged, treeless mountain country, along Killarey fjord, and through the bog country was beautiful.
We finished up our stay in Galway with a delightful dinner at Cava, the tapas bar, and a stop in at The Crane for some traditional music --- two floors, different groups of local musicians on each. Outstanding!
Our only regret is that we did not have more time. And I hope that the area will be the focus of a more extended stay on our next trip to Ireland.
Synopsis: We loved the Burren area, the cruise along the Cliffs of Moher, and especially the Country Life museum. Griffin Lodge gets 5 stars, and The Crane is a great place for session music. I do NOT recommend Ireland West Tours unless you have no imagination of your own and just want to be driven to cliched tourist viewpoints.

3 Thank jconifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lethbridge, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
46 helpful votes
“Great point from which to take bus tours. Good choice of hotels and pubs.”
Reviewed 27 February 2010

Go to the tourism office and see if there are any discounts available. There are three day-long bus tours that are all great. They all leave from the coach station in Galway's city center.

2 Thank walter6504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 helpful votes
“Galway not what it use to be”
Reviewed 30 November 2009

I went there weekend city break and I have to say it has changed for the worse since I was there about 6 years ago, particularly at night time it is full of noisy stag and hens parties I was really disgusted the way they carried on urinating and vomiting on the streets in full view of everyone even tourists I might add not a great way of getting tourists back is it, pity because it would be a great tourist destination I use to love going to Galway but not anymore I not saying they were locals that was at fault but maybe if it was policed more it might stop

Thank thedub101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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