Here is a piece I wrote for NUI Galway’s newspaper recently where I combined my love of Galway, quirky places, arty vibes, and lists. Perhaps it will be of some use to some of you!
1. The Secret Garden
Colourful cushions, fairy lights, books, board games, open space, handmade furniture, local artwork, coffee, cakes and teas that you can smell before tasting.
Sounds like your kind of vibe? Head to The Secret Garden at 4 William Street West.
2. Dough Bros
There’s more to tasty ingredients and slick social media to running one of the most successful restaurants in Galway. This is clear the moment you enter brothers Eugene and Ronan’s pizzeria – where you can read all about their uplifting story on their colourful walls, relax on their hip furniture, admire their innovative tomato can light fixtures, whilst watching them perfect the art of dough.
3. Galway City Museum
This spacious, current building not only has one of the best views of the city, but houses some of the best art exhibitions, and holds some of Galway’s richest history… and it’s free! And while you’re at it, you may as well go and have a gawk at the coloured painted houses that sit nearby on the banks of the River Corrib. (If you catch it all on a sunny afternoon with the visiting black swan, it’s more than Instagram worthy!)
4. The Great Escape Rooms
Have you ever paid to be locked in a room for 60 minutes with a group of your pals? Well, you should! The aim of the game is to work as a team, solving clues and making connections in order to escape. But it’s an escape on another level too – the rooms are so brilliantly designed that you will instantly forget your daily life, and be focused on nothing but your surroundings. For more, click here
Tribeton is by far one of Galway’s most remarkable art-deco buildings. There is almost too much to say about the design here – hand painted floor murals, huge open stair case, two tiered chandeliers, antique mirrors, beautiful furniture, vintage style lighting … the longest bar and most open kitchen you will find in the city… not to mention the amazing cocktails.
6. Coffee Werk & Press
The coffee shop scene is having a bit of a moment in Galway right now, so it was difficult not to make this an entire list of cafes! But in terms of aesthetically pleasing interior, with showcases of national and international art and crafts upstairs, this little gem on Quay Street is where you need to go. With each coffee made to perfection, and arty vibes throughout, you’ll find your mood instantly shifting to a more positive place.
7. The Town Hall Theatre
If you are seeking to support music, theatre, dance, comedy, literature, film and lots more, this is the place for you. With events on year round, it’d be rude not to!
This craft beer spot in Woodquay has really lifted the bar! Extremely comfy laid back vibes and a huge supply of board games – it’s worth popping into Shane and the lads if you’re looking for somewhere with good drink and good vibes.
Excellent street food, bohemian vibes and funky music. Biteclub on Abbeygate street is perfect for a fun brunch with friends, or dinner and drinks with a date.
10. Hazel Mountain Chocolate
Located on Middle Street, stepping into Hazel Mountain is like stepping into another realm. Rich chocolatey aromas fill the open space, and there is always a chocolatier available to explain the art of cocoa beans, whilst serving you their signature hot chocolate.