Eyre square in Galway Ireland

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Eyre Square

Galway City

Galway's central public square is busy in all but the harshest weather. A welcoming open green space with sculptures and pathways, its lawns are formally named Kennedy Park in commemoration of JFK's June 1963 visit to Galway, though locals always call it Eyre Sq. Guarding the upper side of the square is the Browne Doorway, an imposing, if forlorn, fragment from the home of one of the city's merchant rulers. Dating from 1627, it was relocated here from Abbeygate St in 1905.

The street running along the southwestern side of the square is pedestrianised and lined with seating, while the eastern side is taken up almost entirely by the Victorian-era, grey limestone Hotel Meyrick.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Galway City attractions

1. Browne Doorway

0.04 MILES

Guarding the upper side of Eyre Square, this out-of-context doorway (1627) is an imposing, if forlorn, fragment from the home of one of the city's…

2. Oscar Wilde & Eduard Vilde Statue

0.12 MILES

An earnest conversation takes place between Irish writer Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde (1856–1933), sitting on a granite bench,…

3. Lynch's Castle

0.16 MILES

Now an AIB Bank, this excellent example of a town castle was built around 1500 (the exact date is unknown). The facade's stonework includes ghoulish…

4. Galway Market

0.21 MILES

Galway's bohemian spirit comes alive at its street market, which has set up in this spot for centuries. Saturdays are the standout for food, when farmers…

5. Lynch Memorial Window

0.22 MILES

James Lynch Fitzstephen was the mayor and magistrate of Galway in 1493. So the story goes, when his son was condemned for the murder of a romantic rival…

7. Hall of the Red Earl


In the 13th century, when the de Burgo family ruled Galway, Richard – the Red Earl – erected a large hall as a seat of power, where locals would arrive to…

8. Salmon Weir

0.35 MILES

Upstream from Salmon Weir Bridge, which crosses the River Corrib just east of Galway Cathedral, the river cascades down the great weir, one of its final…