In November 2017, I traveled to Southern Ireland and spent a few days in Galway, Ireland. A city that is rich in history and surrounded by rolling green hills and ancient castles. This is my first overseas trip, and the best advice I can give you as a first-time traveler is to add more days! Trust me, however many days you think is enough; it’s not.
A little history about Galway
Sitting at the mouth of the River Corrib, Galway started as a small fishing village. In 1230AD, Richard de Burgh captures Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe’s territory, and the city thrives for a century. He begins constructing a wall around the city to protect the surrounding settlements. The Spanish Arch is one of the few remaining pieces of the original wall.
In 1396AD, the British crown transfers power to fourteen merchant families known as The Tribes of Galway. For several hundred years, the port flourished with traders from Spain, Portugal, and other European countries until more prominent seaports emerged in Dublin and Waterford in the mid-1600s.
Galway’s natural harbor flourished with faraway visitors from Spain and Portugal, including Christopher Columbus.
Galway is now a European Capital of Culture for 2020 and is the cultural heart of Ireland.
Here are some other interesting facts about Galway
- The Claddagh Ring is originally invented in Galway.
- The Eyre Square, the city center and cultural hub is known as John F. Kennedy park after their favorite US President
- In 2007, Galway was in the top eight of the sexiest city in the world