|Motto: Laudatio Ejus Manet In Secula Seculorum (Latin)
"His Praise Remains unto Ages of Ages"
|Irish grid reference
|Dáil Éireann:||Galway West|
|Area:||6,148 km2 (2,374 sq mi)|
Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) the third largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland and the only city in the province of Connacht. It is located on the west coast of Ireland. In Irish, Galway is also called Cathair na Gaillimhe (City of Galway).
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 (meaning "fort at the mouth of the Gaillimh"). The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river" (the mythical and alternative derivations are given in History of Galway). Historically, the name was written as Gallive, which is closer to the Irish pronunciation. The city also bears the nickname City of the Tribes / Cathair na dTreabh because "fourteen tribes" (merchant families) led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term tribes was often a derogatory phrase in Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as Irish gentry, but were loyal to the King. They subsequently adopted the term in defiance to the Cromwellian occupiers of the town.
The population of Galway city, given in the 2006 census, is 72,414.
Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe (“Fort at the Mouth (bottom) of the Gaillimh”) was constructed in 1124, by the King of Connacht, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156). A small settlement eventually grew up around this fort. During the Norman invasion of Connacht in the 1230s, Galway fort was captured by Richard Mor de Burgh, who had led this invasion. As the de Burghs eventually became gaelicised, the merchants of the town - the Tribes of Galway - pushed for greater control over the walled city.
This led to them gaining complete control over the city and the granting of mayoral status by the English crown in December 1484. Galway endured difficult relations with its Irish neighbours. A notice over the west gate of the city, completed in 1562 by Mayor Thomas Óge Martyn, stated “From the Ferocious O'Flahertys may God protect us”. A by-law forbade the native Irish (as opposed to Galway’s Hiberno-Norman citizens) unrestricted access into Galway, saying “neither O’ nor Mac shall strutte nor swagger through the streets of Galway” without permission. During the Middle Ages, Galway was ruled by an oligarchy of fourteen merchant families (12 of Norman origin and 2 of Irish origin). These were the “tribes” of Galway. The city thrived on international trade. In the Middle Ages, it was the principal Irish port for trade with Spain and France. Christopher Columbus is known to have visited Galway, possibly stopping off on a voyage to Iceland or the Faroe Islands. He noted in the margin of one of his books that he had found evidence of land beyond the Atlantic Ocean in or near Galway in 1477. The most famous reminder of those days is ceann an bhalla (the head of the wall), now known as the Spanish Arch, constructed during the mayoralty of Wylliam Martin (1519–20).
During the 16th and 17th centuries Galway remained loyal to the English crown for the most part, even during the Gaelic resurgence, perhaps for reasons of survival, yet by 1642 the city allied itself with the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. During the resulting Cromwellian conquest of Ireland Cromwellian forces captured the city after a nine month siege. At the end of the 17th century the city supported the Jacobites in the Williamite war in Ireland (it supported King James II of England against William of Orange) and was captured by the Williamites after a very short siege not long after the Battle of Aughrim in 1691. The great families of Galway were ruined, and due to the Potato famines of the 1840 -1845 the city declined, and despite enjoying short-term economic revivals in the 18th and 19th centuries, it did not fully recover until the great economic boom of the late twentieth century.
The population of Galway City and its environs is 72,729 (based on the 2006 census carried out by the CSO), of which 72,414 live in the city limits and 315 live in the city's environs in County Galway,. If the current growth rate continues, the population of the city will hit 100,000 by 2020.
Galway City (that is, the population inside the city limits) is the third largest in the Republic of Ireland, or fifth on the island of Ireland. However, the population of the wider urban area, is fourth largest in the Republic of Ireland (sixth on the island) after Dublin, (Belfast,) Cork, Limerick (and Derry).
Approximately 78 per cent of the population of Galway is white Irish, descended from native Gaelic peoples and Norman settlers. A further 5 per cent are foreign-born Irish. Following an influx of immigrants to Galway during the 2000s, as Europe's fastest growing city of its size, approximately 17 per cent of the population is today non-Irish. Slightly more than half of this group are white Europeans, coming from Poland and other Central European and Baltic States such as Latvia and Lithuania. There are smaller numbers of Asian and African immigrants, coming from East Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
At the time of the 2002 Census, 16.3% of the population were aged 0 to 14; 75.5% were aged 15 to 64, and 8.2% were aged 65 and above. Also, 52.9% of the population were female and 47.1% were male. The part of the city with the highest population density was the Claddagh (5,756 people per km²), and the area with the lowest density was Ballybrit (823 people per km²).
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Galway, like the rest of Ireland, experiences a year-round mild, moist, temperate and changeable climate, due to the prevailing winds of the Gulf Stream. The city experiences a lack of temperature extremes, with temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) and above 30 °C (86 °F) being rare. The city receives an average of 1,147 mm (45.2") of precipitation annually, which is evenly distributed throughout the year. Rain is the most common form of precipitation - hail, sleet and snow are rare in the city, though will sometimes be experienced during particularly cold winters. Galway is also consistently humid, with humidity normally ranging from 70% to 100%, and this can lead to heavy showers, and even thunderstorms breaking out when drier east winds, originating in the European continent, clash with this humidity particularly in the late summer.
The average January temperature in the city is 6.8 °C (40.6 °F) and the average July temperature is 16.0 °C (60.8 °F). This means that Galway is said to have a Maritime Temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system.
While extreme weather is rare, the city and county can experience severe windstorms that are the result of vigorous Atlantic depressions that occasionally pass along the north west coast of Ireland. Most of these storms occur between late autumn and early spring.
Due to the city's northerly location and its longitude (at the western edge of the Western European Time zone), Galway has long summer days. Daylight at midsummer is before 04:00 and lasts until after 23:00. In midwinter, daylight does not start until 09.00, and is gone by 16:00.
The City Council is chaired by a mayor who is elected to a one year term by their fellow councillors. Their role is mainly ceremonial, although they do have the casting vote. The current mayor is Cllr.Declan McDonnell who was elected Mayor of Galway on June 23, 2009.
Galway City, capital of Connacht, is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland after Dublin, Cork. The city has experienced very rapid growth in recent years. Galway has a strong local economy with complementary business sectors, including manufacturing industry, tourism, retail and distribution, education, healthcare and services that include financial, construction, cultural, and professional.
Most (47%) of the people employed in Galway work in either the commerce or professional sector; with a large number (17%) also employed in manufacturing. Most industry and manufacturing in Galway, like the rest of Ireland, is hi-tech (e.g. ICT, medical equipment, electronics, chemicals, etc.), due to the Celtic Tiger economic boom. Tourism is also of major importance to the city, which had over 2.1 million visitors in 2000, and produced revenue of over €400 million.
|Employment by Sector||2002||%|
|Agriculture & Mining||200||1%|
|Building & Construction||1,686||6%|
|Manufacturing, Electrical, Gas & Water||4,679||17%|
|Public Administration & Defence||1,452||5%|
Galway is nicknamed Ireland's Cultural Heart (Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann) and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. Every July, Galway hosts the Galway Arts Festival which is known for its famous Macnas parade.
In 2004, there were three dance organisations, ten festival companies, two film organisations, two Irish language organisations, 23 musical organisations, twelve theatre companies, two visual arts groups and four writers' groups based in the city.
Furthermore, there were 51 venues for events; most of which were specialised for a certain field (e.g. concert venues or visual arts galleries), though ten were described as being 'multiple event' venues.
In 2007, Galway was named as one of the eight "sexiest cities" in the world.
A 2008 poll ranked Galway as the 42nd best tourist destination in the world, or 14th in Europe and 2nd in Ireland (behind Dingle). It was ranked ahead of all European capitals except Edinburgh, and many traditional tourist destinations (such as Venice).
Galway city has a reputation amongst Irish cities for being associated with the Irish language, music, song and dancing traditions - it is sometimes referred to as the 'Bilingual Capital of Ireland', although like all other cities in the Republic of Ireland, the vast bulk of the city's inhabitants converse mostly in English. The city is well known for its ‘Irishness’, mainly due to the fact that it has on its doorstep the Galway Gaeltacht. Irish theatre, television and radio production and Irish music form a component of Galway city life, with both An Taibhdhearc, the National Irish Language Theatre, in Galway city centre, while TG4 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta headquarters are in the Connemara Gaeltacht in County Galway. Four electoral divisions, or neighbourhoods (out of twenty-two), are designated as Gaeltachtaí. NUI Galway also holds the archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.
The Church of Ireland St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church is the largest medieval church still in everyday use in Ireland. It was founded in 1320 and enlarged in the following two centuries. It is a particularly pleasant building in the heart of the old city.
Its Roman Catholic counterpart, the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas was consecrated in 1965 and is a far larger, more imposing building constructed from limestone. It has an eclectic style, with renaissance dome, pillars and round arches, and a Romanesque portico that dominates the main facade — an unusual feature in modern Irish church building. It was suggested by a church in the city of Salamanca in Spain.
Not far from the cathedral stands the original quadrangle building of National University of Ireland, Galway which was erected in 1849 (during An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine) as one of the three colleges of the Queen's University of Ireland (along with Queen's University Belfast and University College Cork). The university holds the UNESCO archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.
Another of the city's more dominant limestone buildings is the Hotel Meyrick, originally the Great Southern Hotel, built by the Great Southern Railway Company in 1845. Sitting at the southern perimeter of Eyre Square, it is the City's oldest hotel still in operation.
Recently, The Galway City Museum has been opened, featuring two parts: "Fragments of a City" and "On Reflection." "Fragments of a City" is be mainly about the heritage of Galway, while "On Reflection" is a collection of the most important Irish artists from the second half of the 20th century. This museum was designed to allow tourists and local visitors to really get to understand and know the city of Galway. This museum also houses the statue of the famous poet, Pádraic Ó Conaire which was originally in Kennedy Park, (formerly Eyre Square), prior to its renovations.
As Ireland's Cultural Heart, many sporting, music, arts and other events take place in the city. The largest of these annual events include the Galway Arts Festival in July, the Galway Races in August, and the Galway International Oyster Festival in September. Other events include the Fleadh Imboilg, Galway Film Fleadh, and Galway Pride Festival. In late May/June 2009, Galway hosted a stopover on the Volvo Ocean Race.
Galway has a permanent Irish language theatre located in the city centre, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, which has produced some of Ireland's most celebrated actors. The Druid Theatre Company has won international acclaim for its cutting edge production and direction.
There are many theatres in the city including Nun's Island Theatre, The Bank of Ireland Theatre, The Druid Lane Theatre and The Town Hall Theatre, a modern art theatre with two performance spaces opened in 1995 that has a 52 week program covering all aspects of the performing arts including concerts, ballets, musicals and operas. It has been the venue for many Irish film premieres, during the Galway Film Fleadh.
Galway has a diverse sporting heritage, with a history in sports ranging from horse racing, Gaelic games, soccer and rugby to rowing, motorsport, greyhound racing and others. The Galway Races are known worldwide and are the highlight of the Irish horse racing calendar. Over the years it has grown into an annual festival lasting seven days. In motorsport, the Galway International Rally was the first international rally to be run from the Republic of Ireland. Throughout its history it has attracted star drivers from all over the world. The 2007 event was won by twice World Rally Champions Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen.
The city has hurling and gaelic football teams at all levels, including Father Griffins and St. James GAA. Major football and hurling matches take place at Pearse Stadium in the city. The stadium is also the home of the Salthill Knocknacarra Gaelic Athletic Association club which won the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship in 2006.
Galway United,Mervue United and Salthill Devon represent Galway in the League of Ireland. 'The Tribemen' as Galway United known to their fans play their home games at Terryland Park. The city also hosts the The Umbro Galway Cup, - which is held annually at the home of Salthill Devon F.C. Mervue United F.C. and Salthill Devon F.C. have recently gained promotion to the First Division (second tier) of Irish soccer.
There are two Senior rugby union teams in the city Galwegians RFC and Corinthians RFC, as well as provincial Connacht Rugby who play in the Magners (Celtic) League, hosting their matches at the Galway Sportsground.
Moycullen Basketball Club have been a flagship basketball club in Galway for a number of years,compete in the National League and are Senior National Cup champions 2008/2009. In the 2009/2010 season they will become the first Galway Gaeltacht team to ever compete in the Superleague. They are situated 13 km (8 mi) west of the city. Between Moycullen and Oranmore/Maree Club numerous Irish youth international stars have been produced over the last 10 years - who have represented Ireland at European basketball championships. In 2007/2008 Maree won the U-18 men's national cup while Moycullen won the U-20 national title in a historic weekend for Galway basketball. A new club Titans Titans Basketball Club have recently been created in the city and compete in the national league.
Sailing on both sea and lake are popular, as is rowing in the River Corrib with five clubs providing the necessary facilities and organising rowing competitions. These clubs include: Tribesmen Rowing Club, Galway Rowing Club, Coláiste Iognáid ('The Jes') Rowing Club, St. Josephs College Rowing Club|St. Joseph's College ('The Bish') Rowing Club, and the NUIG Rowing Club.
The Galway Motor Club provides a focus for enthusiasts.
Near the city centre on College Road the Greyhound Stadium has races every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Night. It was refurbished recently by the Irish Greyhound Board, Bord na gCon, where it shares the facility with the Connacht Rugby Team.
Nearby Salthill has three competitive swimming clubs Shark Swimming Club, Laser swimming club and Galway swimming club. There is also a handball and racketball club while there are several martial arts clubs throughout the city.
Galway has also produced European and World Champion kick-boxers.
Galway has a vibrant and varied musical scene. As in most Irish cities traditional music is popular and is kept alive in pubs and by street performers. Notable bands from Galway include The Saw Doctors (from Tuam), and The Stunning.
The city holds an annual music festival which started in 1996. The "Early Music Festival" has been incorporating European Music from the 12th-18th century. It encourages not only music, but dance and costumes. The festival invites both professional and amateurs musicians.
"Galway Girl" is a song written by Steve Earle and recorded with Irish musician Sharon Shannon. The song tells the story of the singer's reaction to a beautiful black haired blue eyed girl he meets in Galway.
The Galway Arts Festival (Féile Ealaíon na Gaillimhe) takes place in July. It was first held in 1978 and since then has grown into one of the biggest arts festivals in Ireland. It attracts international artists as well as providing a platform for local and national performers. The festival features parades, street performances and plays, musical concerts and comedy acts. Highlights of the festival tend to be performances by Macnas and Druid, two local performance groups. The Arts Festival has attracted such big names in music as Blondie, David Byrne, and Big Tom and the Mainliners.
Two higher education institutions are located in the city, the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The Institute of Technology, in addition to having 2 campuses in Galway City (its administrative headquarters on the Dublin Road and its art campus in Cluain Mhuire), also has campuses in Castlebar, Mountbellew and Letterfrack. According to the 2002 census, 40.8% of residents aged 15 and older in Galway had completed third level (higher) education, which compares favourably to the national level of 26.0%.
The offices of the Central Applications Office are also located in the city, this is the clearing house for undergraduate college and university applications in the Republic of Ireland; a related organisation, the Postgraduate Applications Centre processes some taught postgraduate courses.
In 2002, there were 27 primary schools and 11 secondary schools in Galway.
|Educational Attainment (Aged 15+)||2002||%|
A "Galway Hooker" is a traditional boat native to Galway. Is also the name of a new local micro-brewed beer.
According to the 2002 census, the most popular way by which Galwegians travel to work and school was by car (49.3%), followed by foot (29.6%), bus (9.2%), bike (4.1%), motorbike (0.7%) and train (0.3%). The remaining 6.8% travelled by other means or didn't state how.
Galway Airport located 6 kilometres east of the city at Carnmore (midway between Oranmore and Claregalway), has scheduled services connecting Galway to the other major airports in Ireland, to major airports in Britain and also has flights to a small amount of continental European destinations. Because the runway is too short to take modern passenger jet aircraft, its operations are inevitably rather limited.
Shannon Airport (90 kilometres) and Ireland West Airport Knock (86 kilometres) are also within easy reach of the city, both of which have frequent flights around Ireland and to Britain, the rest of Europe and (from Shannon only) North America.
There are two companies providing bus services in the city - Bus Éireann and City Direct Galway. Bus Éireann operate elevenCity bus services in the city, seventeen Local/Rural/Commuter services in the county and twelve Expressway bus services throughout the country from Galway city. Galway City Direct operate four bus routes in the city.
Other private bus operators provide links throughout County Galway and nationwide.
The River Corrib is by far the most important waterway in Galway and a number of canals and channels were built above and through the city. The purposes of these to divert and control the water from the river, to harness its power and to provide a navigable route to the sea. Of these, there were two major schemes - one between 1848 and 1858 and the other during the 1950s. The canals provided a power source for Galway and were the location of the first industries in the mid-19th century. The Eglinton Canal provided a navigation from the sea (at the Claddagh Basin) to the navigable part of the river (above the Salmon Weir Bridge). Most of the mills are still used today for various purposes; for instance, NUIG still uses a water turbine for electricity generation for their building on Nun's Island.
Currently, there are four bridges across the Corrib: the William O'Brien Bridge, the Salmon Weir Bridge, the Wolfe Tone Bridge and the Quincentennial Bridge. There are plans for a fifth bridge as part of the Galway City Outer Bypass project.
Galway's main railway (and bus) station is Ceannt Station, which opened on August 1, 1851 and was renamed in honour of Eamonn Ceannt in 1966. The station is about to get a major redevelopment, including a completely new urban district - Ceannt Station Quarter.
The Midland Great Western Railway (MGW) reached Galway in 1851, giving the city a direct main line to its Broadstone Station terminus in Dublin. As the 19th century progressed the rail network in Connacht was expanded, making Galway an important railhead. The nearby town of Athenry became a railway junction, giving Galway links to Ennis, Limerick and the south in 1869 and Sligo and the north in 1894. In 1895 the MGW opened a branch line between Galway and Clifden.
The 20th century brought increasing road competition, and this led the Great Southern Railways to close the Clifden branch in 1935. Its former junction is still visible from the platforms in Ceannt Station, though it now leads into a bricked-up tunnel. In the 1970s the state railway authority Córas Iompair Éireann closed the Sligo-Athenry-Ennis line to passenger services. It later closed to freight as well.
However, work is currently underway on the Athenry-Ennis section of the line with a view to reopening it to passenger traffic in Summer 2009. When complete, this work will re-establish the link between the main east-west Galway-Dublin line and the north-south line through Limerick, which was broken when the Athenry-Ennis section was closed, and it will be again possible to go by train from Galway to Limerick, changing in Athenry. There are proposals to develop a suburban rail system within a few years, with regular commuter services between Ceannt Station and Athenry, and later a new stop to be added at Oranmore.
Iarnród Éireann, the Republic of Ireland's national rail operator, currently runs six return passenger services each day between Galway and Dublin Heuston, also serving intermediate stations. Travel time is just under 3 hours. The distance by rail between Galway and Dublin is 208 km.
Three national primary roads serve the city: the N17 from the North (Tuam, Sligo, Donegal), the M6 motorway from the East (Athlone, Dublin), and the N18 from the South (Shannon Town, Limerick and Cork). By 2015, the Galway-Dublin, Galway-Limerick and Galway-Tuam routes will be motorway or high-quality dual-carriageway standard.
In addition, there are plans for a semi-ring road of the city, the Galway City Outer Bypass, which should also be complete by 2015. There is also an Inner City Ring (Cuar Inmheánach) route that encircles the city centre, most of which is pedestrianised.
Galway is considered the gateway to Connemara and the Gaeltacht, including Mám, An Teach Dóite, Cor na Móna, Ros Muc, Bearna and An Cheathrú Rua. The N59 along the western shore of Lough Corrib and the R337 along the northern shore of Galway Bay both lead to this largely rural and highly scenic region.
Bus travel to the city from all major towns and airports is serviced by many private operators and the national bus company Bus Éireann.
Galway is the most central port on the West Coast of Ireland in the sheltered eastern corner of Galway Bay. The harbour can be used by vessels up to 10,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) and the inner dock can accommodate up to 9 vessels at any one time. Pending approval, Galway Harbour may see major changes, should the €1.5 billion development plan go ahead.
Regular passenger ferry and freight services operate between Galway and the Aran Islands. The islands also have regular links with the towns of Rossaveal and Doolin, which are physically closer but far smaller.
Major work in the harbour area was carried out in 2009 to accommodate the stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. This was one of the biggest events ever to visit Galway. The Irish entry for the Volvo Ocean Race, the Green Dragon is now on display in Salthill.
One of the main regional newspapers for the county is The Connacht Tribune which prints three titles every week - the Connacht Sentinel on Tuesday, the Connacht Tribune on Thursday and the Galway City Tribune on Friday. As of January 2007, The Tribune has a weekly readership of over 150,000.
Another Galway-based newspaper is the Galway Advertiser — a free paper printed every Thursday with an average of 160 pages and a circulation of 70,000 copies. It also prints a free newspaper on Monday called Galway First aimed at the 18–35 market with a lot of emphasis on news, entertainment and sport. It is the main paper of the Advertiser Newspaper Group which distributes 200,000 newspapers per week to a variety of other Irish cities and towns.
Another free paper, the Galway Independent, prints on a Tuesday night for Wednesday circulation.
Galway Bay FM (95.8 FM) broadcasts from the city to the whole county of Galway. Another radio station is Flirt FM (101.3 FM), which is a student radio station for the National University of Ireland, Galway and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The newest radio station is i102-104fm, a youth-orientated radio station broadcasting from Galway City to seven counties along the north-west coast. It launched on February 7, 2008.
The area code for Galway is 091, or from outside Ireland, +35391.
In 2004, Galway got its own Metropolitan Area Broadband Network; which is made up of 56 kilometres of fibre optic cable. This encircles the city from Knocknacarra to Ballybrit/Ballybane and also incorporates a 6 kilometre extension to the commuter town of Oranmore. The network cost €10 million to install.
Furthermore, there are proposals to install a city-wide free Wi-Fi network; which is backed by a former city mayor. Galway-based IT company iZone are planning to also install extra features in certain 'hotspots', such as wireless telephone and text messaging services, together with live music and video streams.
Galway is located in the Garda Western Region, which has the lowest crime rate in the country. It has been claimed that Galway is the safest city in Ireland. In 2005 the official figures for 'Galway West' show that the headline crime rate was 23.33 per 1,000 people, compared to Cork city's 27.81 crimes per 1,000 people and Dublin's 39.15 crimes per 1,000 people. In 2007 the crime rate had fallen further from the 2005 rate, despite some high-profile assault cases.
Galway , called Gailimh in Irish, with a population of over 70,000, is Ireland's third largest town and is a major hub for visits to West Ireland. It has long since been known as "The City of the Tribes" and this title could not be more appropriate these days, given the multicultural vibrancy of present-day Galway.
Galway, known as the City of the Tribes is an important tourist centre and a gateway to the scenic areas of the county. Beginning in the 15th century, Galway was ruled by tribes, as the leading fourteen families were called. Their names were Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'arcy, Deane, ffont, French, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martin, Morris, and Skerritt. The tribes built many castles throughout County Galway. Many streets and landmarks bear the names of these early tribes.
Galway is a bustling town with fantastic nightlife. It's short on common tourist attractions such as museums, but the charming pedestrianised streets and numerous pubs and cafes are sure to keep you occupied.
National bus and rail both arrive at the same station, just east of Eyre Square on Station Road. CityLink and GoBus buses arrive and depart from the Galway Coach Station, one block north of the CIE bus/rail terminus.
The airport is about 10km east of the town, but public transportation links are poor, with only three buses per day - and their times are not co-ordinated with flight times. (If you do take this route please let them know this is poor!). A taxi cost €15 - €25 depending on traffic: this high rate is because the Airport charges €5 to taxis serving it. (You could walk to a nearby address [5mins] and call a taxi from there, saving €5.)
Car Rentals are available.
Central Galway is easily accessible on foot, and Salthill (a popular tourist area) is 20-30 minutes walk from the centre of town.
Bus Éireann and CityDirect run local bus networks.
GalwayTransport.info  is a public-transport-information source for Galway City and surrounding areas. It has a summary map of city bus routes, a detailed map of each individual route, and links to timetable information. It also has maps of the taxi ranks in the city, industrial estates in the area, and detailed directions for reaching a number of popular places using public transport.
Taxis are convenient, although they can be a bit expensive. There are taxi ranks in Eyre Square and Bridge Street.
Avoid taking a car when going to or anywhere near the town centre as parking can be expensive, and the city can has very heavy traffic levels at times.
Galway is a perfect base for seeing West Ireland, but it is also worth a visit in itself. Although it has only a few typical sightseeing spots what makes it a wonderful place to stay is the atmosphere, the culture, the people, and the events.
The main shopping area runs south from Eyre Square towards the Corrib. This pedestrian zone includes Williams Street, Shop Street, High Street, Mainguard Street and Quay Street. Along it you can find all kinds of shops, pubs and restaurants. The historical buildings and busy atmosphere also make this area one of the attractions of Galway.
Discover Middle Street, which runs parallel to Shop Street, and is the location of a range of inspiring and creative local enterprises. You will find the Irish speaking Theater "An Taibhdhearc" across from the designer studio "cocoon", along with Charlie Byrne's bookstore, Kenny's gallery and a Japanese restaurant to make an interesting spectrum.
Eyre Square Centre is a modern shopping centre almost entirely hidden behind historical facades. Entrances can be found on the south side of Eyre Square and on Williams Street.
Even by Irish standards, Galway has a ridiculous abundance of B&Bs. Two particular clusters can be found on College Rd, within easy walking distance of the centre and the train/bus stations, and in Salthill, where you'll probably want your own car.
Galway is safe town by any standards. It's a small town compared to Dublin, and it luckily doesn't have to deal with most of the problems big cities have.
With that said, it is a party town and the weekends can get pretty crazy. Keep your wits about you, and stay in groups if you don't know the area. Despite Galway's reputation as a safe place, like everywhere Galway has a troublesome element so do bear that in mind.
Nimmo's Hostel, which is currently under renovations but may appear in guidebooks, has a very unsafe reputation. There are no door locks and the local alcoholics and drug addicts know the door code and often will use the hostel to sleep and steal from unwitting backpackers.
Like most towns in Ireland, there are some run down areas. For its size, Galway does not have many but there are still some suburbs that are better avoided by anyone unfamiliar with the area such as Ballybane, Ballinfoyle and Westside.
The River Corrib runs through Galway. It is a very powerful river, especially after a few days of rain, and drowning deaths do occur. Use caution when walking on the river banks, especially after a night of drinking.
Galway is the ideal base for trips throughout western Ireland. Hiring a car is a good way to see attractions in the surrounding area. Alternately, day tours of The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher, and of Connemara are available at the tourist office.
Several outlets around town and at the tourist office sell ferry tickets to the Aran Islands.
For hitchhikers hoping to see the rest of Connaught, the best place to catch rides is near the Galway Shopping Centre, north of the city centre. There are several roundabouts nearby, so it should be easy to pick the road heading in the same direction as you are. Word of mouth may be useful for catching a lift to Dublin and other destinations. Ask around in your hotel or hostel.
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