The Irish city of Galway is world renown for its music scene, and for being arty and bohemian. The brightly painted pubs are literally overflowing with music of any given genre on any given night and the cafes spill out onto the winding cobblestone streets almost always being filled with a plethora of sounds coming from a variety of instruments ranging from fiddle and banjos to bagpipes, guitars and more locally, bodhrans – these are a type of hand-held goatskin drum.
The city’s is steeped in history but it also features a markedly contemporary vibe, thanks to the large number of students that live here for most of the year. Actually about a quarter of Galway’s population is actually students, so this explains the arty and bohemian atmosphere.
The city’s history oozes out of every corner of what remains of the old medieval town, and that atmosphere is compounded by shops that sell Aran sweaters, handcrafted Claddagh rings and books.
The city is set on the Corrib River, which is populated by salmon and several bridges span across it. There’s also a rather long and relaxing promenade that leads to the seaside suburb of Salthill – this is a great place to visit especially at night, when the glow of the moon illuminated Galway Bay – an area also famous for producing oysters.
Considering what we’ve talked about so far about Galway, one can just imagine that the eating and drinking options are anything but incredibly diverse. These will vary from the farmers market where you’ll be able to get fresh produce to new and bold restaurants that are daring to redefine Irish cuisine. As far as the drinking is concerned, this is Ireland after all, so you’ll find no shortage of pubs or even some establishments called superpubs, serving the widest range of drinks, with Guinness and local brews being the focus.
All that we’ve talked about has been nice and all but one has to mention another well-known characteristic of Galway, and that is its rainfall. Galway is rainy even for Irish standards, and that means there’s quite a bit of rain to be had. However, the inhabitants are obviously used to it, so a bit of rain will doesn’t slow the place down.