If you want a true taste of Ireland while visiting the Emerald Isle, skip the Guinness Storehouse and Temple Bar in Dublin. Try exploring other parts of the country — Galway City in the West offers a much more authentic and unique experience for travelers.

 

Galway is a mecca of Irish culture. Traditional music, the Irish language itself, and Irish dance are all preserved through Galway’s rich culture. Check out these destinations for county Galway to learn how to best access the city’s culture:

 

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spanisharchhotel.ie

1. Quay Street is packed with traditional, historical Irish pubs. Sticky floors, dark ambiance, live music — this place is the real deal. Walking along Quay Street, you’ll notice quaint, colorful little pub facades, perhaps crowded with smokers. Often, these pubs are much bigger than they appear from the outside. Quay Street is definitely worth checking out, especially for the live pub music scene.

 

 

 

westirelandcycling.com

westirelandcycling.com

2. A trip to Galway wouldn’t be complete without some fresh seafood. Head to McDonough’s at the end of Quay Street. Be sure to try the fish and trips with a few oysters and a Guinness on the side. McDonagh’s has been in operation since 1902 and is a favorite among locals.

 

 

 

 

9wows.com

9wows.com

3. If you want the most authentic Irish experience that Ireland has to offer, you must ferry over the Aran Islands. Near Galway City, the Arans are a cluster of islands off the Galway Bay. There are just 1,200 inhabitants, and the most prevalent language is traditional Irish. The islands offer rock-climbing and biking, excellent food, and a glance into old world Ireland.

 

 

 

geograph.org.uk

geograph.org.uk

4. Be like a Galway local and stroll along the Salthill Promenade. A great time to check out Salthill would be sunset — just be sure to bring a jacket. Tucked into the northern part of the Galway Bay, Salthill offers great views of both the city and the Aran islands.

 

 

 

 

geograph.org.uk

geograph.org.uk

5. Established in 1750, Thomas Dillon’s Gladdagh Gold is the oldest jeweler in Ireland. Be sure to stop at this quaint shop to buy a piece of Ireland’s culture, your own Claddagh ring. The Irish storeowners are very friendly and always up for a chat. Talk with them, browse the shop’s museum, and learn a little more about Irish culture.

 

 

 

 

Why do you think some citie’s tend to preserve and circulate a particular culture more than others? Share you ideas below or on Twitter @ryanlawlessness