What to Do in Galway for a Weekend

16 June 2022

What to Do in Galway for a Weekend

Galway was ranked the 6th best city in the world for raising a family by Preply, Named #4 in Lonely Planet's Top Cities in 2020, one of ‘Ireland’s most charming cities’ by The New York Times and one of the ‘best trips of 2019,’ there’s no shortage of things to do in Galway on a weekend city break.

Take a spin out to Salthill or Silverstrand beach for a dip in the sea, visit the weekend Galway Market just outside St. Nicholas’ Church, and soak up the vibes on Quay Street. Whether you’re searching for your daily caffeine fix or the perfect pint, you’ll find cosy cafés and pubs around every corner, as well as award-winning restaurants to suit every taste.

Whether you stay in the city or venture out along the Wild Atlantic Way, there's no shortage of things to do. Check out our guide to Galway here.

Where to Stay in Galway this summer

Some of the best hotels and B&Bs in the city are also Friends and loyal supporters of the Festival.

Check out our recommendations here.

Latin Quarter Dining. Photo by Marc O Goill.
Explore a variety of indoor and outdoor dining options in Galway. Photo by Marc O Goill.

Dinner and a Show at GIAF22

Book tickets for an in-person trip to the theatre, then browse our guide to quirky local eateries and top-rated restaurants to sample during your stay.

The First Child | Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway, 18-23 July

‘Simply Magnificent’ ★★★★★ The Arts Review

Over the past seven years, in an extraordinary, sustained burst of creative energy, the composer Donnacha Dennehy and writer/ director Enda Walsh have created an explosive trilogy of operas rooted in contemporary suburban life.

Now the final part of the trilogy, The First Child, plays just five performances at GIAF 2022!

Book Tickets

Satori and Unfolding | An Taibhdhearc, 19-23 July

‘Exquisite, a perfect fusion of design, light and movement.’ DANCE AUSTRALIA [On Unfolding]

Lewis Major, an award–winning Australian choreographer, presents this new double bill. Satori, loosely translatable from Japanese as the term for awakening, envisions a world of impermanence and shifting atmospheres amongst different patterns of sound, light, and movement, while Unfolding melds fluid dance with shifting 3D animations by creative coder Fausto Brusamolino.

Book Tickets

Visual Arts Exhibitions to Explore Throughout Galway City & County

World-class visual arts exhibitions are tucked away all around Galway city and county as part of GIAF22, including the city centre Festival Gallery nestled at the top of Shop Street.

See full Visual Arts listings here

Venture outside the city for a memorable journey along the breathtaking Wild Atlantic Way from Oranmore all the way to Lough Inagh, Connemara

Falling in Love Outward, curated by Alannah Robins, Interface, Inagh Valley, Connemara, 12noon–6pm, allow 1 hour approx. to drive from Galway City

In the unique environs at Interface, a visual artists’ workspace in the Inagh Valley, Connemara, this site–specific exhibition sees eight artists engage with themes of ecological devastation and repair.

Free | Outdoors | Learn more here

Balancing Acts, Sioban Piercy and Leonie King, Oranmore Castle, 12 noon - 6pm, Closed Monday.

Artists Sioban Piercy and Leonie King present work in the historic setting of Oranmore Castle.

Piercy creates sculptures of delicate poise which use the materials and practices of book binding and printing. King’s paintings and prints are a ceaseless balancing of dynamics and coloured texture over variant coloured texture. The distinguished context of this exhibition provides a juxtaposition and framework to these contemporary works.

Free, Outdoors

Learn more here

Galway International Arts Festival 2022 takes place 11-24 July with events in Galway City and county.

Explore the full programme today