Galway is one of the most popular destinations in Ireland and has something for pretty much every visitor. Whether you are looking for somewhere to enjoy Irish history and culture or are looking to have a amazing night out, Galway is a great place to visit and is well worth the journey.
The nightlife in Galway is among the best in Ireland. As Galway is a student town that is also a popular tourist destination, there are plenty of options for nightlife in the city. Many people travel to Galway from all over Ireland to enjoy the bars and restaurants that it has to offer.
When I meet people who are on their way to Galway, I always get a little jealous. I know that they will have a fantastic time. There are plenty of things to see and do in this small city, so let’s talk about some of the best parts of Galway’s nightlife and how to enjoy it.
How Good is the Nightlife in Galway?
There are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself at night in Galway. If you want to see plays or live performances, there will be something on pretty much every night of the week. The city is full of great restaurants and pubs too. There is too much to do, you won’t see everything in just one visit.
If you want to experience some of the cultural scene in Galway, you’re in luck. The city hosts countless cultural festivals throughout the year and I’m sure that you will be able to find something to see during your visit.
Beyond this, there will be plenty of restaurants to check out too. Galway has some of the best food available in Ireland and you will walk through streets packed with amazing places to eat. I talk more about my favorite food spots in Galway in this article, linked here.
There are plenty of nightclubs and other places where you will be able to dance the night away in Galway. But even stepping into a tiny “hole-in-the-wall” pub might be the start of one of your best nights out in Ireland. There are plenty of tiny pubs where live, traditional, Irish music is played in Galway.
If you want more detailed information on things to do at night in Galway, I have more great options linked here.
Is Galway a Party Town?
Galway is considered by many people in Ireland to be a party town. While it has rich historical and cultural traditions, many people in Ireland visit Galway with the aim of enjoying its nightlife.
Being the only major city for a large geographical area, Galway is the political, business and cultural capital for much of western Ireland. This means that there are plenty of places to stay and the town can accommodate large numbers of visitors.
Galway is home to two major Universities; the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and Atlantic Technical University (ATU – Formerly GMIT). There are a lot of students in Galway for most of the academic year and even if you plan on visiting during the summer months, plenty will still be around.
This young population naturally lends itself to a vibrant nightlife. When school is out however, that’s when tourist season really starts. So much of the nighttime economy stays in operation year-round in Galway, though they might have to slightly adjust to different markets.
Galway is a popular destination for many people within Ireland, especially for people from the west coast. As Galway has so many third-level education institutions, plenty of people will have some of the most formative nights out of their lives right here in the city.
One of the most (in)famous of these traditions is “Donegal Tuesday”. It takes place on the Tuesday of NUIG’s RAG week every February. You can find more information about it on local media, linked here.
Places to Check Out in Galway
While I have already given you plenty of places to check out above, there are a few that I should mention. If you want to enjoy the nightlife in the city, these places below make a far from exhaustive list of establishments that you can enjoy after dark in Galway.
Some of my favorite pubs in Ireland are in Galway and if you are looking for some traditional Irish pubs, then you’re in the right city.
Tigh Neachtains: This pub is located right in the heart of the city, on Quay Street. I think the place probably looks the exact same as it did when it was first established way back in 1894. Inside, you will find loads of little nooks and crannies to hide away in or to meet locals, depending on your preference.
O’Connell’s Bar: You might have seen the interior of this famous local spot already. This location was used for some of the filming of the Ed Sheeran song “Galway Girl”, you can find the video below:
If you want to listen to some live music in Galway, there are loads of options. Here, I just want to give you one that is better for the more traditional Irish music session, the other is more famous for its gigs.
Taffees: If you want to see some of the more traditional styles of Irish music, then this is one of the best places to go later on in the evening. While it can be a controversial topic, as to where exactly has the best music in a place like Galway. If you go here, you cannot go wrong.
Monroes: Located a little further away, in the West End of Galway. Monroes is a great place if you want to check out some great live musical acts when you’re in town. Make sure to check this place out when you’re here!
Later in the Evening
The Róisín Dubh is one of the last places to close in Galway and one of the most beloved venues in Ireland. If you want to go out somewhere in Galway and not have to move until late at night, then you should visit this spot on the river.