A beautiful harbor city on the west coast of Ireland, Galway is located where the Atlantic Ocean and River Corrib join together. Like many of Ireland’s other cities, Galway is known more for its bohemian and artisan vibe -- something that is definitely evident the moment you arrive in the city. On every street is a high-energy pub where live music plays into all hours of the night, as well as theater performances going on at many of the local theaters and plenty of other activities to enjoy during a stay. One thing that makes Galway an especially interesting destination is the modern carefree vibe that is mixed in with many of the medieval features and traditional classics of Ireland.

One reason for the unique contrast is the high number of students that call Galway home. Though you’re bound to find ancient history located in the most outlandish places of the city, there is still a metropolitan ambience that permeates throughout each of the neighborhoods. For those who want to experience the more historic side of Ireland’s, a trip to Galway is just as recommended as it would be for someone who wants a high-energy and artistic experience.

The number one attraction in the city is Eyre Square, which is an 18th century plaza space that features a good number of pubs and shops for visitors and locals. At any time of day, you’ll hear folk music emanating from the pubs, which give you the perfect Irish experience. The Square is centrally located in the heart of the city, making it easy to access and to explore the surrounding areas.

In some areas of the city, you’ll still find medieval structures particularly around the Latin Quarter. Those of the Catholic faith will find a trip to the Cathedral of our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, which features a mosaic of President John F. Kennedy, as well as Renaissance-style architecture. Want to learn more about Galway and the surrounding area? The Galway City Musuem offers an assortment of exhibits and displays highlighting photographs, memorabilia and other ancient artifacts that give visitors context and background to Galway and the city’s influence in Ireland.