Reserve a cheap car rental Galway deal for your next trip to the west of Ireland. We provide downtown rent a car Galway pickups as well as airport offers. Galway is a city in the west of Ireland, in the province of Connacht. It is the fourth largest city in terms of population in the Republic of Ireland, and the sixth largest on the whole of the island of Ireland. With a long and rich history coupled with great landscapes and a lively social life, there is plenty to keep every type of person busy in this part of the Emerald Isle.
Galway Airport was officially opened in 1987 and in 2008 celebrated its twenty first Birthday. It has served the West of Ireland very well over the year and has doubled its number of passengers. In 2008 the airport catered for its two millionth customer. Regrettably there are few public transport options to and from the airport with just a bus service operating once each day from the city centre. There are however taxi services available. A significant number of Irish, British and European places are serviced here.
The airport provides the business traveler and community with really essential access to locations such as Dublin, Manchester, London Luton and also the most recent, Amsterdam Schiphol. There are also daily and weekly routes for locations in Ireland and also the UK.
Festivals in Galway
Galway town is nicknamed the Cultural Heart of Ireland, it is definitely true to its name as it hosts various festivals, occasions and celebrations throughout the year including the International Oyster Festival, the Arts Festival, Galway Races, the Jazz Festival and also the Galway Film Fleadh to name several!
One especially important festival in the social calendar is the International Oyster Festival. This takes place each year in September, and draws visitors from all across the world to the city. As well as atracting thousands of food producers, desperate to show off their wares to the world, visitors can also enjoy music, dancing and other celebrations of Irish culture and hospitality. The British newspaper The Sunday Times rated the festival as one of the world’s greatest events recently, and anyone who has spent time in Galway during the Oyster Festival will certainly subscribe to a similar point of view.
Exploring Galway City
For people who want to explore the history of this part of the West of Ireland then a good place to start is at the Galway City Museum. There are three floors to this venue, which covers the history of the city from early medieval times onwards. Free entry makes this a popular venue, and there is a special quiz for kids to complete too. The section about the Claddagh is especially interesting.
The Claddagh (in Irish: an Claddach – ‘stony beach’) is an area of the city which adjoins Galway Bay. In older times, this was actually a fishing village which lay outside the walls of the city. Some fishermen still work from the Claddagh, and the traditional atmosphere of the place allows visitors to sample something of what an older Ireland offered. Claddagh rings are designed and made here too.
Yet another name attached to Galway City is the City of Tribes. It really is a fantastic, colorful and vibrant town that is recognized and loved internationally. With its cobbled streets, historic buildings blended with contemporary architecture, street entertainment, colorful craft shops, high street style stores, gourmet restaurants, cosy conventional Irish pubs, and not forgetting the friendly people, it’s no wonder it’s among Ireland’s most well-liked city break places.
Galway City is great for lovers of the nightlife and socialising, and many cultural events take place there throughout the year. The large student population and frequent festivals mean that the city is lively all year round. But do not worry if you prefer to do your socialising during the daylight hours. Many of the cafes, restaurants and bars offer great food at lunchtimes and in the early evening too, meaning that children can also sample some of the fantastic local produce, even if they have to pass on the local stout.
The city is a compact place and very easy to get about on foot. In the heart of Galway town is Eyre Square, an inner-city public park with the primary shopping streets of Shop Street and William Street adjoining. Points of interest in the town consist of Spanish Arch, a set of arches constructed in the late 16th century where Lough Corrib meets the sea, and the Galway Crystal Heritage Centre. The Spanish Arch is a prominent feature in the town and stands in peaceful surrounds with a beautiful promenade called the long walk running along its side.
Situated just three km west of Galway is the well-liked seaside resort of Salthill with it is golden mile of promenade boasting uninterrupted views of Galway Bay. Here you can escape the hustle and bustle of the town and breath in the fresh Atlantic breeze, stretch out on its golden seaside or take a dip in its awesome blue waters.
If you fancy enjoying yourself in a more contemporary way then a trip to the Leisureland Water Park is worth considering. This is located in the centre of the city, on Salthill’s promenade. There is a state of the art gym here if you fancy a workout, while you can also enjoy a swim in the pool. The kids can have fun in the pirate ship in the children’s pool, while a 65 metre water slide offers some thrills to kiddies of all ages. A good cafe offers a place to sit and relax for those who are less energetic. Galway town centre can be easily walked in a day, but you will need a lot more time to explore its attractions like Eyre Square, the Spanish Arch, the National University of Galway and the Cathedral.
Don’t forget to cross over the River Corrib to go to the Claddagh, which was once a little fishing village outside the town walls. It is an area synonymous with the famous Claddagh Ring as this was exactly where the ring very first originated. Galway town continues to be known as the cultural capital of Ireland due to its dedication to the Arts, festivals and cultural occasions.
Day Trips in your Galway Airport Car Hire
For lovers of the natural world and the great outdoors, it is well worthwhile taking a trip to the Connemara National Park. This is located in a Gaeltacht area, which means that Irish is spoken by the people here. The national park covers an area of 2,957 hectares, which largely consists of heath, mountain, woodland and bog. Its beauty makes it one of the most scenic areas in the whole of Ireland. Three main walking trails offer great access to some of the most stunning locations, while there are also picnic areas and children’s play parks where you can take a rest.
Another great spot to see in Connemara is Kylemore Abbey, a place which many consider Ireland’s most romantic castle. Visitors flock here from all over Ireland and the world, and it is viewed as perhaps the main tourist attraction in the area. The Victorian Walled Garden is a highlight, while there are woodlands to explore and ancient buildings to enjoy. Photographers should make sure that they take their camera, as they will find some great locations for snaps and more serious photos. Again, there is a tea room and cafe where visitors can find sustenance after a day exploring the castle.
Transport in Galway
Getting around in Galway is not too difficult either. Fifteen bus routes serve the city, while Ceannt Station, named after 1916 Easter Rising hero Eamonn Ceannt, links the city with the rest of Ireland via the railway network. Galway is well-served by road links, with one motorway, the M6, and national primary roads, the N17 and N18 linking the city with the rest of the country. Galway Airport, located just six kilometres from the city centre at Carnmore, is no longer considered big enough for major passenger flights, so many visitors from outside Ireland fly into Shannon or Ireland West Knock, both of which are around 90 kilometres from the city itself.
If you fancy heading a little further way from the city, then a short ferry ride to the Aran Islands is highly recommended. This is the place to go if you want to experience truly bi-lingual Ireland, with Irish spoken as a daily language here. There are three islands to explore: Inis Mór Island (Big Island), Inis Meáin Island (Middle island) and Inis Oírr Island (East island). The geological formations here are beautiful, and the lifestyle of the inhabitants remains quite traditional.
Galway remains one of Ireland’s iconic destinations. You may find a car hire Galway service quite useful during your stay so compare our prices today and see if we have the right rental car for your needs. A place which whose name has resounded in song and story throughout the ages of Irish history. Whether you want to explore the history of Ireland, its language, or simply enjoy its great countryside, Galway is the place to visit. With superb food, drink and ‘craic’ also on offer, you should start planning your visit as soon as possible.