Language course in Galway: ESL tips

Start your day with an Irish breakfast

Eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, baked beans, tomatoes, served with thick slices of soda or traditional Irish brown bread. Add a side portion of farl (potato cake) and a mug of tea and you are in breakfast heaven.
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Galway Market

Located in Church lane by St Nicholas' Church in the centre of the city, Galway’s market has been at the centre of the city’s commercial life for centuries. Hundreds of stalls sell fresh produce and local crafts. This is a superb place to eat.

The market is open all year on Saturdays from 8.00 until 18.00 and Sundays, Bank Holidays, Fridays in July and August and every day during the Galway Arts Festival from 12.00 to 18.00.

From 20th November to 22nd December, a Traditional Christmas Market runs every day in Eyre Square until 20.00 or 22.00 depending on the days.

Soak up the atmosphere at the Spanish Arch

Built in 1584 as an extension of the city walls, wrecked by a tsunami in 1755, the Spanish Arch is now a great place to simply chill out in the sunshine. There is a small park next to the arch and a couple of nearby pubs perfect for enjoying an authentic taste of local culture.
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Galway Museum

The Museum is a spacious, modern building, situated in the heart of Galway city on the banks of the River Corrib and overlooking the famous Spanish Arch. It houses a variety of permanent and touring exhibitions representing Galway's rich archaeology, heritage and history. On the ground floor there is also a nice café/restaurant called The Kitchen.

Galway Arts Festival

From the party atmosphere at the Big Top to the peaceful festival galleries, Galway’s Arts Festival transforms the city for two weeks each summer. This celebration of local, national and international arts started in 1978 and has grown into a huge event, attracting more than 200,000 visitors at the last count. 

​Even if you choose not to visit any of the performances, the streets themselves become a spectacle.
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Gaelic Sports

Gaelic football and hurling are tough physical sports and both are popular in the city. Hurling is believed to pre-date Christianity, while Gaelic football is much newer. It was first recorded in 1308.

Even if you can’t grasp the finer points of the rules, the atmosphere of a match is worth the admission price. 

Halloween

Halloween in Galway has very ancient origins and dates back to the Celtic times. It was originally called Samhain, a festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.

Each year, the fantastic Galway company Macnas has put up a spectacle of creativity, music and lights at the Halloween parade on the Sunday bank holiday. It is a show for everyone to be enjoyed along the streets of the city centre.

To watch, read, listen

Watch
The Guard (2011) Director: John Michael McDonagh
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – local lad Peter O'Toole's finest moment
Crackle and Buzz (1988) – The Saw Doctors’ mockumentary

Galway cinemas
Take your pick from The Eye Cinema, the IMC and the Station House Theatre (in Clifden). Galway's traditional theatres – the Town Hall Theatre and the Mick Lally Theatre are well worth a visit.

Read
Granuaile by Anne Chambers
Juno & Juliet by Julian Gough
The Guards by Ken Bruen

Listen
If This Is Rock and Roll, I Want My Old Job Back by The Saw Doctors
No Cure for Mickey Finn (biographical radio broadcast)
Paradise In The Picturehouse by The Stunning
The Galway Girl by Steve Earle
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Music venues
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to live music in Galway – especially if you are a fan of traditional Irish music. Ask at your language school for the latest recommendations, but some consistently popular venues include: The Kings Head (15 High Street) is a 17th-century, 3-storey pub that offers local seafood dishes and live music; Crane Bar (2 Sea Road) is famous for traditional Irish music and blues and country music on two stages; O'Connor's Famous Pub on Salthill is cosy and prides itself on excellent music.

The Quays is one of the biggest pubs in the city centre on three floors and with live music with bands every night, while nightclubs include Karma and Halo. 

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