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A concierge’s guide to the Irish town of Galway

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The picturesque city of Galway has been described as the most Irish city of them all, and with so much choice, deciding what to do and see during your visit can prove challenging. Signature speaks with a reliable source – the concierge of the iconic Hotel Meyrick – to discover the best of culture, dining and entertainment in this energetic city.

1. What local restaurant would you suggest to get a really good introduction to Irish food?

Galway has long been known for our creativity in festivals and culture and now our culinary scene is also reflecting creativity with excellence. A prime example is LOAM, located around the corner from Hotel Meyrick, and known for its showcasing of Irish cuisine. For a more casual dining experience, the Gaslight Bar & Brasserie is ideal.

2. Is there any etiquette around dining, tipping, and service that I should definitely know before eating out in Galway?

Book in advance! Galway’s restaurants are busy all year round and if you can’t make it on the day, the manager will thank you for letting them know as soon as you can. Tipping in Ireland is generally expected to be 10%-15% provided you were happy with your experience but very much at your own discretion.

3. I only have 24 hours in the city, what three things are must-sees?

The city centre is best seen on foot as many streets are pedestrianised. We recommend Failte Ireland accredited guide Conor Riordan. His tour takes in the Galway City Museum and the very lively Spanish Arch area during the tour. He has had a lifetime interest in legend, myth and folklore, and really helps history come alive. Our Town Crier, Liam Silke, is also a walking guide and is one of Galway’s best known characters.

4. What are the city’s nicest and most tranquil green spaces?

On a bright evening, there is nothing better than strolling along the Claddagh – an old fishing village in the city – enjoying views of the colourful Long Walk terraced houses and sometimes feeding the famous Claddagh swans. You can walk out to Salthill very easily whilst breathing in the fresh clean air of Galway Bay. For a less energetic option, Eyre Square, in front of Hotel Meyrick and the official centre of Galway city, has green areas for relaxing. It’s also a perfect viewing spot for the Galway International Arts Festival events each July.

5. Is there a walking or cycling tour that you’d recommend?

Galway is the oldest and largest city on the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2500km fully defined coastal touring route along the entire west coast of Ireland. We regularly receive glowing reports from guests who go out on our Traditional Fishing Boats or Galway Hookers with Wild Atlantic Adventures.

6. What are Galway’s hidden treasures, places the tourists don’t normally see?

Galway is Ireland’s only bilingual city, with 20% speaking Irish (gaelic). An Taibhdhearc, our National Irish language theatre, is definitely worth checking out, or perhaps Druid, which provides-award winning performances time and time again in intimate surroundings.

7. What about authentic Irish crafts and design, where should I shop?

The Galway Market takes place each Saturday and Sunday near the hotel, and offers both crafts and local food for visitors and locals to enjoy.

For more information visit www.ireland.com.

 

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