Our Guide FOR things to do and see in Galway
Galway is a city, a county, and an experience
to be savored and remembered. The historic
‘City of the Tribes’ dances to a beat uniquely its own. There is a certain
chemistry and vibrancy to this
friendly University City, which many delight in, and few forget. Music, festivals, horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theatres and
most of all Galway people, combine to create
this atmospheric medieval city of culture. From this pulsating heart the rest
of the county flows: Galway Bay, immortalised in song, its beauty unchanging,
Scenic Gaeltacht areas including the Aran Islands and Connemara with the
picturesque town of Clifden as its capital,
Mountains, castles and stone walls, banks of turf, long sandy beaches, clear lakes, joyful leaping streams and flowing
rivers. Overall a delightful countryside punctuated by pretty villages,
and traditional pubs.
Barna strikes the perfect balance, in
its location at the gateway to Connemara yet just a stone’s
throw from the “City of Tribes”. We love
our wonderful location here in Barna, Galway and are proud to present to you
our unique and special guest guide.
There is just so much to
do here that we thought we’d put it all down on paper to help you make the most
of your stay at The Twelve.
This guide is unique
because all of the recommendations have been personally made by the team here
at The Twelve Galway hotel.
There are definitely a lot of more things to do and explore than we have listed here, so please do not hesitate to drop by reception
and we will be more than happy to assist you.
Let’s start… with the Top Twelve Things to do during your stay in Galway
1. A day trip to the Aran Islands
2. Picnic in Eyre Square or at Spanish Arch
with a freshly made milkshake from the Milkshake Bar and a sweet or savory
crêpe from Café Crêperie in High Street
3. Take a coffee to go and walk along the
Corrib River on the canal walkway
4. Park your car in Salthill and rollerblade
on the Prom from Salthill to town
5. Visit the Galway City Museum
6. Challenge yourself and test your sport
skills at Pure Skills in Knocknacarra
7. Take a river cruise on the Corrib Princess
8. Visit the National Aquarium in Salthill
with the kids
9. Enjoy an afternoon at the sandy beaches in
Salthill or Silver Strand in Barna
10. The Galway City Farmers Market is on Saturday morning beside St Nicholas’ Church and the Moycullen Farmers
Market is on every Friday
11. Visit Brigit’s Garden in Roscahill
12. Dinner in West @ The Twelve
– a destination in its own right!
The Aran Islands
On Sunny Days…
Looking for a fabulous
day trip? Go to the Aran Islands – Inis Mor, Inis Meain or Inis Oir and enjoy
the outstanding landscape, visit the Dun Aonghasa Fort. The ferry point is only
20 miles from The Twelve Hotel, so it takes around 30 minutes to get there (depending
upon traffic). The ferry leaves several times a day, the return ticket costs
€25 per adult and a car park is available for €5 per day. The journey to Inis
Mor (the biggest island) takes 60 minutes to Kilronan, the principle port and
the “capital” of Inis Mor. Once there, you can choose to explore the island by bike (€10 per day per
bike), by pony and trap, by mini bus or by foot.
The Salthill Summer Perk’s Funfair
The Salthill amusement park at Perk’s Funfair (also called Perks Leisureland Funworld) is located in
the heart of Salthill. If you get the right weather this is the perfect
location to bring your family/kids/boyfriend/girlfriend as it has all the
arcade games (bumper cars, hammers, magic mouse, big wheel, etc.). You are
directly across from the sandy beach where you can just relax, sunbathe, read a
book or skip into the sea for a little swim.
The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
So you want to see the
eight wonder of the world? Then visit the Cliffs of Moher, located just an hour
and twenty minutes outside of Galway. See the best of the Atlantic on the edge
of the most amazing cliffs in the world. You can also enjoy the view while
having a picnic. If you fancy taking home a souvenir there are gift shops
located underneath the Cliffs. You haven’t really seen Ireland until you’ve
been to the Cliffs of Moher.
www.cliffsofmoher.ie Visitor Centre: 065-7086141
Driving along the Coast Road (R336)
Get into your car and drive along Top Gear’s top 70
world driving routes which starts right here at
The Twelve. You find amazing beaches along the way like the Coral Beach in
Carroe. You should also stop in the lovely old fishing village of Roundstone,
home to many great movie shoots and stars. Clifden the “capital” of Connemara is midway..
Aughnanure Castle, Oughterard
Great to visit on the same day as Brigit’s Gardens as it is only a few miles further. The turnoff is
at the Oughterard Golf Club. The castle dates from the 16th century
(circa 1500) and has a long and interesting history. The setting in idyllic and
again, great for a picnic. If you would like the hotel to arrange a picnic for
you, please contact reception the day before. Family Ticket €8.00
Oughterard, Glann Road & Hill of Doon
After leaving Aughnanure
Castle you can drive to Oughterard, a
lovely village with pubs for a refreshment before heading out to the Glann Road
which follows the shores of Lough Corrib for about 9 miles. You can then park
your car and enjoy the scenery or continue on foot and climb the paths up into
the hills. The Hill of Doon can be seen across the water and looks like a small
island but it is actually part of the shoreline.
Kylemore Abbey & Gardens
Kylemore Abbey is the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys and has been home to the Irish
Benedictine nuns since 1920. The building is absolutely stunning within superb
surroundings. The Victorian Walled Garden is completely enclosed by a brick and
limestone wall and was constructed at the same time as the castle.
The Visitor Centre, Abbey & Church are open to visitors all year from 9am – 5pm, but the
Victorian Walled Garden is open from 10am – 4.30pm and is completely closed
from the end of October to mid March.
www.kylemoreabbeytourism.ie Tel. 095-52000
Walking and Environmentally Friendly Activities
Walk from The Twelve via Salthill Prom to Galway City Duration: 1.5 - 3 hours
If it’s lovely day, why don’t you take the challenge of walking to the city centre? Walk along the main
road to the Galway Golf Course and from there, along the prom, directly to the
Spanish Arch. Now, you definitely deserve a refreshment in town.
The Gaeltacht Way
in Connemara (Irish: Bealach na Gaeltachta - Sli Chonamara)
This is a 240km long distance walking route with different
routes varying from 8km to 54km (2-3 days) Most of them are along open
country. Please ask for the Sli Chonamara map.
The Western Way
The total distance is about 50km and it starts in Oughterard, following the shore of Lough Corrib to
Maam, Maumean, Inagh, Toorenaconna and ending in Leenane.
Connemara Walking Centre
Island House, Market Street, Clifden, Tel. 095-21379 www.walkingireland.com
The Connemara Walking Center
offers guided half day and full day walks to explore the heritage and
landscape of the Connemara region.
West of Ireland Walking Centre
This website divides walks into “Easy Walks in Connemara’ – not too much trouble”, “Medium Walks in
Connemara’’ – walks that take a little more effort” and “Harder Walks in
Connemara’’ – walks for the fitness buff”
Connemara National Park
Perfect for a daytrip – and why not in combination with Kylemore Abbey & Gardens. Established and
opened in 1980 the Connemara National Park covers nearly 3.000 hectares of
scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of
the Park's mountains are part of the famous Twelve Bens (Beanna Beola). The Visitor Centre is located in Letterfrack.
www.connemaranationalpark.ie Visitor Centre Tel: 095-41323
Brigit’s Gardens, Roscahill T his lovely place is set within 11 acres of native woodland and wildflower meadows and themed on the Celtic seasonal festivals. It features nature trails, an ancient ring fort,children’s discovery trails, calendar sundial (largest in Ireland) and a gardencafé. Its great fun for families and a safe environment. You can bring along a picnic and relax in the grass while the children play. There are lots of special events on dates like Easter, Summer Solstice and Halloween. It is less than 30 minutes by car and a great friend of The Twelve. www.brigitsgarden.ie Tel. 091-550905
Connemara Gaeltacht Cycling Tours
Tel. 095-33618 0r 095-33542
They offer cycling tour packages in the Connemara region
Our wonderful location has so many varied options for the angling enthuasist:
The Ghillie’s Lair, Basil Shields PAGI, Ardnasillagh Lodge, Oughterard Tel. 091-552550, guide & instructor for trout, salmon & sea trout fishing
Galway Bay Sea Safaris, Operator: Kevin MacGabhann, Spiddal Tel. 091-553286
Aran Island Sea Angling, Operator: Enda Conneely, Innishere Tel. 099-75073
Spiddal Angling School, Tel. 091-553510 for individuals or groups
Alternatives for Rainy Galway Days…
Thermal Suite at the ‘Spirit One Spa’ at Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Galway
Lough Atalia Road, TeL: 091-538462 www.spiritonespa.com
The Thermal Suite at €35 for 4 hours. This consists of ergonomically designed heated loungers and a
‘laconium’ which offers gentle heat with citrus oils and light therapy. There
is also a steam cabin with essential oils and a sauna which is heated to 95°C.
The artificial beach takes you through a dawn to dusk cycle. It’s a very
relaxing treat, and the perfect way to spend a rainy day in Galway.
Show times available online or in the newspapers, tickets can be booked online
Omniplex Cinema, Headford Road (near Galway Shopping Centre)
Telephone: 0818 - 719719 and www.omniplex.ie
EYE Cinema, Wellpark Retail Park (g Hotel)
Telephone: 091 – 780000 and www.eyecinema.ie
Entertainment Centre -
City Limits Oranmore (behind the Maldron Hotel), Tel. 091-388100 www.citylimits.ie
City Limits is a good entertainment venue, consisting of a medley of activities for both young and
old and providing exercises for body or mind or both. Choose from go-karting, a
climbing wall, laser quest, airpark, videogames, pool tables, snooker club,
sports bar or 18 lane bowling alley.
Telephone: 091 388100
Show “Trad on the Prom”
Salthill Hotel, Promenade Sathill www.tradontheprom.com
If you like Irish Music and Dance you should book tickets for “Trad on the Prom”. The show is a world
class performance of Irish music, song and dance and takes place from May to September. For bookings telephone 087 2388489 or online: www.tradontheprom.com
Family Fun in Galway
National Aquarium in Salthill
Seapoint Promenade Salthill, Tel. 091-585100 www.nationalaquarium.ie
Opening Hours Wednesday to Friday 10am to 5 pm, Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm. Admission Adults
€10.50, Toddlers up to age 3 are free, kids up to age 16 € 6.25, Students and
Seniors €7, Family Tickets 2+2 €29 1+2 €20 additional child €4
Loughwell Farm Park
on Moycullen to Spiddal Road, Tel. 091 868 631 www.loughwellfarmpark.ie
The kids just love this place.... Tariffs: €10 per child and €7 per adult
Turoe Pet Farm
Turoe House,Bullan, Loughrea, Co. Galway, Tel. 091-841580 www.turoepetfarm.com
Walk around the 14acre park, inflatable city, two outdoor playgrounds and a football pitch, indoor play area, feed and pet the animals.
Western Distributor Road, Knocknacarra Shopping Centre, Tel. 091 580956
Closed Wednesdays ( excluding School Holidays) open 10am – 6pm, under 2 €6, over 2 €8
/ an hour. Tuesday 10am €8 for 2 hrs + tea/coffee for parents
Galway City Library
Augustine Street, Galway
City, Tel. 091-509000 www.galwaylibrary.ie
The Library has Parent and Toddler Sessions on Fridays at 11am
Oranmore Business Park,
Tel. 091-778516 www.busybeegalway.com
Busy Bees in Oranmore is a fun-packed adventure centre for children from 6 months to 10 years old.
Bouncing castles, large play structure with slides, ball pools, mazes, indoor
basketball and soccer court, party rooms, separate toddler area, discoteque and
National Musuem of Country Life
Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Tel. 01-6777444 www.museum.ie
Located just outside Turlough Village, on the N5 (6.5km east from Castlebar, Co. Mayo) about one hour from
Galway. Ideal for families and culture buffs the museum features galleries, a
19th Century house, the extensive grounds of Turlough Park with
gardens, woodland walks and a river and lake all overlooked by an ancient Round Tower
Westport House & Country Park,
Westport, Co. Mayo, Tel. 098-27766
www.westporthouse.ie About 1 hour’s drive
from Galway, located In Westport, Co. Mayo is The Pirate Adventure Park which
opened in 2009 and offers loads of fun and adventure for families.
Walk from Woodquay to ‘the Long Walk’, Galway City
The walk starts at Woodquay, where the Corrib princess boat tour leaves from. You can see old
railway pillars in the middle of the Corrib River, a man made waterfall near
the angling club and the buildings of NUIG, which are over 150 years old. You
walk past the Cathedral which is very impressive with a 150 foot high domed
ceiling. Then stroll along the river with the canal to your left and feed the ducks!
The Promenade Salthill
A Perfect trail for
walking (alone or with your dog), jogging, roller blading or biking. It’s
always busy no matter whether day or night.
Galway West Retail Park, Western Distributor Road, Knocknacarra, Tel. 091-515510 www.pureskill.ie
The new ultimate indoor sport venue with a circuit of 10 automated sports arenas such as Baseball
Batting, Cricket Bowl, Basketball Penalties, 20 metre Gaelic Kick, 20 metre
Rugby Kick, Golf Putting, Golf Pitching to target, Tennis return serve to a
target, Hurling Shots to target, Soccer Penalties. It really sounds great and I
can already feel the stiffness. Open 7 days a week!
Barna Golf and Country Club
Corboley, Barna, Tel.091-592677 www.bearnagolfclub.com
Just 5 – 10 minutes from The Twelve Hotel in the direction of Moycullen. The Golf Course is a challenge
and the 13th hole is something special…
Galway Golf Club
Black Rock, Coast Road,
Salthill, Tel. 091 – 522033 www.galwaygolf.com Also just 5 minutes
drive on the Coast Road, located at Blackrock in Salthill.
Salthill, Tel. 091-521455 www.leisureland.ie
Swimming and fitness. The gym is €10 for the day for non-members. Great kids area with a pirate’s paradise.
Rusheen Bay Windsurfing
Rusheen Bay, Coast Road,
Knocknacarra, Tel. 087-2605702 www.rusheenbay.com
Just a stone’s throw from The Twelve at the enclosed Rusheen Bay which is the perfect location for
beginners with calm waters to provide an ideal and safe environment but also
for those who want to improve their windsurfing skills.
Moycullen Riding Centre
Poulnaclough, Moycullen Phone Sandra 087-2043944 www.moycullenriding.com
Located near Barna Golf Course with horses and ponies to suit all ages and standards, beautiful scenic
bog roads, trekking, lessons, trail rides. A.I.R.E. approved
Clonboo Riding School
Corrandulla, Co. Galway, Tel. 091-791362 or 087-9111738
Approximately 15 minutes drive from Galway City. Individual attention with qualified instructors,
appointments necessary. B.H.S. approved
Killary Adventure Centre
Leenane, Co. Galway,Tel. 095-43411 www.killaryadventure.com
Located about one hour from Galway offering numerous activities such as: rock climbing, hill walking,
high & low ropes challenge, zip wire, archery, clay pigeon shooting, laser combat
games, bungee, bridge jump, giant swing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, water
skiing,… Activities are scheduled each day in two time slots.
Delphi Mountain Resort
Leenane, Co. Galway,
Tel. 095-42208 www.delphimountainresort.com
Relax – be active – enjoy! That’s the way to describe the Delphi Resort with onsite adventure
centre, situated in the scenic, breathtaking Delphi Valley in Connemara. About
25 activities spread out over the water, land and mountains, i.e. day trip sea
kayaking out on the Killary Fjord, surfing, high & low ropes, hill walking.
Or just relax in the Spa… It’s a good 90 minutes drive from here but worth it!
Rent a bike!
Combine being sporty and choosing an environmental friendly activity and
explore the area by bike. The result: you might see hidden beauties you
wouldn’t have discovered passing by in the car. Here’s a listing with places which provide bicycles.
Coast Road, Barna, Tel. 091-592971 Opening times: Mon to Saturday
About 2 minutes walk from the Twelve hotel so it’s the easiest way to start your journey immediately.
Price: €10 per day per bike, special rate & offers for Twelve Hotel guests.
West Ireland Cycling
www.westirelandcycling.com 11 Upper Dominick Street, Tel. 091-588830 or 086-3854822
Bike Tours Ireland
www.bikehireireland.com City Centre, Contact Alan @086-8487097
Galway’s World Famous Festivals and Events…
Tedfest is The Friends of Father Ted show Fesival which is
held on Inish Mor each year. Its a must
if you like the Irish sense of humour. The famous tv series was set on the fictional
Craggy Island off Ireland's west coast, so Ted Fest is also held on such an island.
St Patrick’s Parade
16th - 18th March www.stpatricksgalway.com
Every year it offers something different and exciting, a great
atmosphere and a brilliant day out for all the family. The main event, the
Parade, starts at noon on March 17th. Pipe bands, dance groups and
performance artists come from all over the world to Galway each year to
experience a parade that is widely regarded as one of the best in Ireland.
Cúirt International Festival of Literature
Cúirt International Festival of Literature is an annual celebration
of the very best of contemporary writing in poetry, fiction and memoir. Cúirt
has always placed the writer and the reader at its core. It features many Irish writers who have been
recognised nationally and internationally for their literary talent.
Galway Early Music Festival
The Galway Early Music Festival features medieval, renaissance and baroque music and dance, with
Concerts by internationally-recognised performers using historical instruments,
workshops and costumed street performance.
The Galway Good Food Festival
Set to become one of the best food festivals in Europe, the Galway good food festival is a must for
everyone. Its educational aspect sets it apart from all other food festivals.
It is a celebration of Galway’s wonderful heritage food producers and Galway restaurants.
The Galway Film Fleadh
Ireland's leading film festival, is a six-day international event welcoming a diversity of films from
around the world. The Fleadh is very much a filmmaker's festival and attracts
directors, actors, cinematographers and artists of all generations and cultural backgrounds.
The Galway International Arts Festival
A world spectacle - It which works with artists and companies throughout the world to produce and
present an international programme of theatre, spectacle, dance, visual arts,
music, literature & comedy involving hundreds of artists and performers.
The festival has become a vital showcase for Irish arts internationally and
international arts in Ireland and is now firmly established as Ireland's leading arts festival.
For many. the highlight of the Festival is the the Macnas Festival Parade which
takes place on the final Sunday throughout the streets of Galway.
During the last week of July, Galway is the place in the world to
be if you are into horse racing and a great party atmosphere.
The Oyster Festival
September is oyster month in Galway with the famous Oyster and
Guinness Festival. Sample some of the finest oysters from the West with a pint
of ‘the black’ during a weekend of non-stop entertainment which features
top-class national and international artists, cabaret and dancing.
Baboró International Arts Festival for Children
A unique festival especially created for young audiences and their
families, Baboro provides a feast of fun, creativity and spellbinding
performances for children of all ages. Showcasing some of the finest and most
exciting theatre, dance, music, puppetry and visual art from Ireland and around the world.
Galway Comedy Festival
Some of the most magical, hysterical and outright funny folk on the
planet gather in Galway for your enjoyment.
There's a whole range of styles to suit every taste, and you will not be
disappointed. Look out for surprise gigs not listed that will pop up here,
there and everywhere over the weekend.