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How to Spend 3 Days in Galway

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How to Spend 3 Days in Galway
Three days in Galway allow you to explore the culture-filled city, as well as the wind-whipped surrounding countryside—home to some of Ireland’s most spectacular natural beauty spots, including the Cliffs of Moher and Connemara’s hills, bogs, and rocky peaks. Here’s how to squeeze the most out of 72 hours in Galway.

Day 1: Discover Galway City
Dedicate day one to Galway City, a hub for arts, culture, dining, and nightlife. Stroll along pedestrianized Shop Street, the main shopping thoroughfare and a popular performing ground for buskers; see the 17th-century Browne Doorway at Eyre Square; and browse the Galway-themed exhibits at the Galway City Museum. The city center is fairly compact and can be easily navigated on foot, but other areas, such as the seaside resort of Salthill and the former fishing village of Claddagh, are a little farther afield, and are best reached by bike or hop-on hop-off tour bus.

Sightseeing is hungry work, so follow up your morning’s exploration with an afternoon food tour, on which you taste typical dishes and local artisan produce, from Irish stew to cheese. Sightsee a wee bit more, then finish up your day with a cultural show featuring traditional Irish music, dance, and songs. 

Day 2: Visit the Cliffs of Moher
Just a 90-minute drive south of the city, in County Clare, are the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most well-known natural attractions. Take a day trip here and hike along clifftop paths, cruise along the wave-battered base of the cliffs, and browse the exhibitions at the visitor center, which covers the birdlife, plants, and geology of the region. 

Day trips departing from Galway City often split their time between the Cliffs of Moher and other area attractions, such as the Burren, a protected park known for its strange karst landscapes and unusual flora and fauna. Alternatively, choose a day tour that combines the Cliffs of Moher with the Aran Islands, a remote, wind-pummeled archipelago known for its scenic beauty and traditional rural culture. Back in the city, head to the Docks for a dinner of fresh seafood. 
 
Day 3: Explore Connemara
Extending west from Galway all the way to the Atlantic Coast, Connemara is known for its wild and rugged landscapes comprised of craggy shorelines, sandy beaches, vast bogs, sheep-peppered valleys, and the quartzite-clad peaks of the Twelve Bens mountain range. 

There are many ways to discover Connemara. Join a guided sightseeing tour around heritage sights such as Ross Errilly Friary and Kylemore Abbey; embark on a self-guided hike through Connemara National Park; cruise to Inishturk Island off the coast of Mayo; or go horseback riding or sea kayaking. Gaelic culture tours, which visit the Irish-speaking communities of Connemara, are another popular option. 

Upon return to the city, pull up a stool at a bar for some comforting pub grub—think hearty beef stew or battered Galway Bay cod. Stick around after dinner and you may catch a live trad music session. 
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Galway Tours & Activities (8)
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From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher including Cliffs of Moher cruise.Day Cruises

From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher including Cliffs of Moher cruise.

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Visit the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher in one day on this full-day tour from Galway. Travel along the Wild Atlantic Way with your guide, through pretty villages including Ballindereen, Clarenbridge and Kilcolgan. Take the ferry from the fishing village of Doolin to Inisheer Island and enjoy free time at your leisure. Then, pass beneath the mighty Cliffs of Moher on the return ferry back to Doolin. Soak up spectacular views from atop the Cliffs of Moher, then take in the Burren and Lisdoonvarna on route back to Galway.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$71.57 
From  
$71.57 
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Galway Food and Drink Walking TourHalf-day Tours

Galway Food and Drink Walking Tour

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Galway is Ireland’s cultural capital, but it’s also one of the best places in the country to sample traditional Irish food. Get the local scoop on this Galway tasting tour, stopping to enjoy a pint of Guinness, tuck into hearty Irish Stew, try local cheeses, and taste fresh seafood.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$94.23 
From  
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Connemara Day Trip from Galway: Kylemore Abbey and Ross Errily FriaryDay Trips

Connemara Day Trip from Galway: Kylemore Abbey and Ross Errily Friary

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Delve into the rugged wilderness of Connemara, an Irish county thronged with historic monuments and natural splendor, on a full-day tour from Galway City. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, explore the perfectly preserved Franciscan friary of Ross Errilly Friary and enjoy some leisurely free time in Cong, a picturesque village. Gaze at the tranquil surfaces of Lough Carrib and Loch NaFooey and discover the elaborate walled gardens of Kylemore Abbey. Enjoy a pleasant balance of guided tours and independent exploration during this enriching excursion.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$35.78 
From  
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

From Galway: Guided tour of Cliffs of Moher and The Burren.Day Trips

From Galway: Guided tour of Cliffs of Moher and The Burren.

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Explore the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher on this County Clare day tour from Galway. Travel along the Wild Atlantic Way to the Burren with your guide and take in top local landmarks including Dunguaire Castle and Corcomroe Abbey. Pass pretty towns and villages such as Ballyvaughan, Doolin, and Lisdoonvarna on route to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, widely considered among Ireland’s most impressive sights. Head along County Clare’s stunning coastline on route back to Galway, and enjoy fine views over Fanore Strand and Black Head.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$41.75 
From  
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private: beach horseback ride along Wild Atlantic Way, Connemara.Guided 3hrsNature and Wildlife

Private: beach horseback ride along Wild Atlantic Way, Connemara.Guided 3hrs

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Take off from the village of Cleggan in County Galway, and enjoy a day of horseback riding during this tour. Ride across Omey Beach on Omey Island, and catch sight of historical sites, the Atlantic Ocean, and picturesque landscapes. No matter what your skill level, enjoy a leisurely ride across the white-sand beach.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$212.32 
From  
$212.32 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Connemara & Inishturk Island wildlife watching cruise. Private guided Full-day Sailing

Connemara & Inishturk Island wildlife watching cruise. Private guided Full-day

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Discover the rugged Connemara coast with its rocky beaches and deserted islands on this private full-day cruise. Set sail from Cleggan to the island of Inishturk; look out for wildlife including dolphins, seals, puffins, and guillemots; and enjoy lunch at a typical Irish pub.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$768.18 
per group
From  
$768.18 
per group
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Shore Excursion: Connemara Sea Kayaking Adventure from Cleggan 4WD Tours

Shore Excursion: Connemara Sea Kayaking Adventure from Cleggan

The rugged coast of Connemara is one of the highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way and the most adventurous way to explore is by sea kayak. On this 3-hour kayaking excursion from Cleggan, paddle through natural rock arches, venture into sea caves, pass deserted beaches, and look out for dolphins and seals in their natural environment.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$90.66 
From  
$90.66 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Explore Connemara National Park. Self-Guided with transport from GalwayDay Trips

Explore Connemara National Park. Self-Guided with transport from Galway

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The Connemara National Park is one of Ireland’s most popular hiking destinations and this self-guided tour from Galway lets you explore at your own pace. Ride the bus to Letterfrack village, where you can enjoy hiking along the park’s many trails, take in the views from Diamond Hill, then re-fuel with a tasty 2-course lunch at the Connemara Tea Rooms (included).
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$69.04 
From  
$69.04 
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures