About Galway

Galway is a city, a county, and an experience to be savoured and remembered. The historic city of the tribes dances to a beat uniquely it’s own. Situated on the western seaboard, Galway City is next door to the country's largest Gaelic speaking area (Connemara) and across the famous Galway Bay are equally well renowned Aran Islands. In Medieval times Galway became a powerful City, which traded in wine, spices, salt, animal products and fish. It became the next port after London and Bristol. Key landmarks in the City include the famous Spanish Arch, Lynch's Castle, Eyre Square, and Blake's Tower.

The city takes its name from the Gaillimh river (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or the fort at the mouth of the Gaillimhe. The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river". (Alternative, more mythical, derivations are given in History of Galway). The city also bears the nickname The City of the Tribes, because fourteen1 "Tribes" (merchant families) led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term Tribes was originally a derogatory phrase from Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as English nobility, and hence were loyal to the King. Their uncertain reaction to the siege of Galway by Cromwellian forces earned them this label, which they subsequently adopted in defiance.

Galway is widely regarded as the cultural capital of Ireland, due to the vast array of festivals take place in Galway including Cūirt International Festival of Literature, Galway Film Flead, Galway Arts Festival, Galway Races, Galway International Oyster Festival and Baboro Galway International Arts Festival for Children to name a few! Pubs and restaurants throughout the City are renowned for their service and atmosphere, with the live music of all kinds to found every night of the week.