Mima Foto / Stocksy United

County Galway

County Galway's exuberant namesake city is a swirl of colourful shop-lined streets filled with buskers and performance artists, enticing old pubs that hum with trad music sessions throughout the year, and an increasingly sophisticated food scene that celebrates local produce.

Some of Ireland's most picturesque scenery fans out from Galway's city limits, particularly along the breathtaking Connemara Peninsula. Tiny roads wander along a coastline studded with islands, dazzling white sandy beaches and intriguing villages; the interior shelters heath-strewn boglands, glassy lakes, looming mountains and isolated valleys. In the county's east, towns with medieval remains give way to rolling farmland.

Offshore, the wild and beautiful eroded swathes of the Aran Islands possess a desolate and windswept yet entrancing aura, and offer a glimpse into Irish life of centuries past.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout County Galway.

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