Things to do in Galway (Ireland) in January?

I’m going on a school tour and it looks like we’ll have a free day in Galway. I’m looking for something fun and unique to do that day. The class’s focus is Irish Literature and Politics, so I’d like to steer clear of those subjects for this day. I thought about going out to the Aran Islands, but do the ferries run from Galway in January? When I was in that area in March, we had to drive to Rossaveal to get the ferry. This time I won’t have a car, so any thing I do will either have to be in Galway, or accessible by public bus. Shopping would be good (although I won’t have a lot of money to spend), and I like photography so a beautiful area to take pictures would also work. Visiting historical places is nice, and I also like museums and art galleries.

Any suggestions? Remember this will be in January.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

Where did all the Irish Dopers go? I thought someone would have some ideas. :frowning:

I’ve heard Galway is a fun city, but I’d like to hear some specifics.

I’ve been there about a half a dozen times in my life but I don’t think I’ve ever been in January.

Back in September the place was in a bit of mess: there was a big redevelopment of Eyre Square in progress, so I hope you’re not staying in one of the hotels there (e.g. the Great Southern or the, er, Eyre Square).

The pubs along Shop Street are quite a laugh: try The Quays on the left hand side, a large pub on 2 levels which serves decent Irish food (the bacon & cabbage in September was delicious). Beware: if you buy an alcoholic drink with your food downstairs it’s 10c [that’s Euro cents] extra.

If the weather is nice and the Winter Bus Eireann timetable permits, a run out to Clifden might be interesting: the scenery en route is very pleasing.

Otherwise, and in the absence of anyone with more knowledge of Galway than me, keep an eye out here for specific events.

Hope you have a good time.

It’s actually Table 419 you want for Clifden (it’s a pdf).

Table 420 suggests that you could have a couple of hours in the small town of CONG, where the film “The Quiet Man” was made. John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara etc.

What day of the week are you going? Galway has quite a few Irish Traditional music sessions in the afternoon as well as every night in the evening and those are great fun. Hint: the best traditional music is often found on the other side of the river from Shop Street and Eyre Square. Cross the bridge and turn right and there are some good bars around Dominic Street.

Shopping, eating and going to traditional sessions is all I can ever think of to do anywhere, so that’s all the info I’m going to come up with. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the suggetions, both of you! The free day will be on a Tuesday. January 11th, I think? Clifden is on the list of stops we are making as a group, but Cong sounds good. I love The Quiet Man Last time we drove through but didn’t stop because of time constraints. It is a beautiful area. Thanks.

I’ve never been, myself. But the Galway Advertiser has Entertainment listings. Check back before your trip to get the latest information:

And–wouldn’t a bookstore be a good place to visit? Especially when the weather might be grim. There’s also an art gallery at Kenny’s Books.

As far as shopping goes IMO the nicer shops are on the smaller street (forget the name) running parallel to Shop Street (the main high street) and its smaller sidestreets. That’s were the indepent quirkier shops tend to be. Just take any left when walking in Shop Street. Da Tang Noodle house on that street is excellent as well and has nice local artwork on the walls. While I am on food I’d recommend The Kashmir Indian (if you like curry) which is over the bridge near Dominic Street (see previous post).

Have fun!

If you want to get out to the Aran islands, it’ll probably be far preferable to fly than brave the Atlantic in January!


Get rained on.

Buy an umbrella, gloves, warm hat, and gloves.

Give up on the external world, go to a pub and sit by the fire, drinking Guinness.