The Most Beautiful Streets in Galway
Galway is arguably the heart of Ireland. Yes, Dublin is the capital and the biggest city of the Emerald Isle. But nothing can beat the music, friendly people, green pastures, blue waters, and unpredictable weather that are characteristics of the West — or the “Wesht,” as the Irish say it.
In Galway City, there is Salthill, a cute and cozy seaside neighborhood that features the “Prom,” walking paths, the BlackRock diving tower, golf course, and ice cream shops that offer the perfect “99” cone for a rare short summer day. In the city center and Latin Quarter, you can enjoy the buskers, pubs, cafes, and tons of shops that offer Irish souvenirs, clothing, leather-bound goods, and jewelry.
On the Eastern side of the city, head to Renmore to check out some rock beaches, expansive views, and laid-back neighborhoods ideal for families. With plenty to explore and different vibes all around the city of Galway, you can always find something that works for you.
But where do you start? Which streets should you mark on your map as a must=-stop to stroll down on a nice sunny day? Check out the most beautiful streets in Galway City — with a few in the surrounding Galway County — for when you need to do some exploring on your own!
Shop Street, Galway City
The most well-known street in the city of Galway, Shop Street has everything you need — and more. With sporting goods shops, coffee shops, outdoor stores, all-natural cafes, bustling pubs, live music venues, and much more, Shop Street is the best street to wander down every morning, afternoon, and night while in Galway.
The heart of the community, Shop Street features busy destinations like the Spanish Arch, proximity to the Long Walk, a few minutes walk from Eyre Square and lively people who make you want to smile — even on the rainiest and cloudiest of days.
Kilronan, Inis Mor
Inis Mor is one of the most visited Aran Islands. You can get a ferry from the nearby Galway Connemara peninsula or head to County Clare to catch a ferry to one of the three picturesque, tiny, and green islands. Plus, people live here! Chat with some of the few locals to ask about their way of life on the quiet and peaceful Inis Mor. While you are here, make sure you take a stroll in Kilronan, the main village of the largest Aran Island.
Main Street, Clifden
Clifden is a beautiful and gorgeous seaside town that is on the far western edge of the Connemara Landscape. Connemara is a marvel in its own right — featuring Big Bens mountains, blue waters, lochs, wildlife, farmers, and country folk whose accents will brighten your day; this is the place to go for a day trip out in nature from Galway City.
While exploring Connemara, continue around the popular Ring Road to Clifden. Clifden is the ideal stop for adventure and outdoor lovers who want to start a long biking trip, start hiking on the coast or continue along the Wild Atlantic Way. Plus, getting a drink while walking along Main Street can be the perfect way to end a hot summer day.
Main Street, Kinvara
Sure, Kinvara is small and tiny — but it is well with the half-day trip from the nearby Galway. Just a 30-minute drive away from the city center, Kinvara is great for exploring the Dunguaire Castle, sitting near the sea, and grabbing a bite of fresh food at The Pier Head Bar and Restaurant. Not sure how to get here? Take the bus from the Eyre Square bus station on the way to the Cliffs of Moher and hop off just a few stops later!
Main Street, Oranmore
Oranmore is one of the smaller “suburban” towns near the city center of Galway. Just a 15 minute drive away from Eyre Square, Oranmore features cute cafes, pubs, proximity to walking trails, and hotels that make it the ideal stop for a full-day trip or an overnight stop. Plus, you can head to the local Galway Bay Golf Resort, Oranmore Castle, or Rinville Park to get your fix of Irish nature. After you have explored the nearby area, head back to Main Street to get a fish n’ chips at Keanes Oranmore or a glass of wine at the Armorica Restaurant, wine bar, and accommodation.
Main Street, Cong
Yes, it seems like every single ‘center’s street in small towns around Ireland is called “Main Street.” But it makes sense, right? After all, the main attractions, shops, restaurants, and things to do are located in the center of town.
In Cong, things are no different. If you want to check out the place where The Quiet Man was filmed, head here from the city center of Galway. You can either take two buses from the bus station or rent a car for a quick 30-minute drive to the northeast. To make a full day trip, continue on the road towards Connemara to see some of the smaller villages in the countryside.
While in Cong, explore the Cong Abbey, the infamous bridge “bridging” the gap between County Galway and County Mayo, Cong and the Quiet Man Museum, Cong Nature Trail, and Ashford Castle. After walking around the beautification of the small town of Cong, head to Main Street to grab a Guinness at Pat Cohan’s Gastro Pub (known as The Quiet Main Bar).