Galway City has so much to offer. Between the Salthill Prom’s views and the heart of retail down Shop Street, there is no shortage of activity in the capital of the West. Amongst the well-known sites, there are a few hidden gems around the city that more people should see, both tourists and locals alike. Here are nine niche and exciting things to do in Galway that you may not have heard of before.
1. Town Hall Theatre
Some people used to believe that the theatre was an extension of the courthouse, an easy mistake to make considering that the two stand across from each other looking remarkably similar. But no, the theatre stands on its own, hosting enthralling shows night after night. There is something on in the Town Hall Theatre for everyone, featuring everything from nationally-renowned comedians to international dance performances.
Visit their website for more info: https://tht.ie/
2. Escape Rooms
Whether you are an art thief making a great escape or trying to stop a bomb from destroying the city, the escape rooms of Galway will give you the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. There are even Game of Thrones and Harry Potter themed rooms. In the city there are three Escape Room facilities: ‘Open the Door Escape Rooms’ in Prospect Hill, ‘Great Escape Rooms’ on Abbeygate Street Upper, and ‘Black 11’ (previously called Asylroom) on Dominick Street Lower. The average cost of an escape room is €20 per person, and it is recommended to go in groups of three to five.
Visit their website for more info: https://greatescaperooms.ie/
3. Galway Arts Centre
The Galway Arts Centre explores the arts in the way a traditional gallery would, but also hosts interactive events, such as writing workshops for students that incorporate music and literature as well as the visual arts. At the moment, the Arts Centre building is closed for maintenance, but it is expected to reopen on February 4.
Visit their website for more info: https://www.galwayartscentre.ie/en
4. The Legend of the Claddagh Ring
This little shop may seem unassuming at a glance, but the inside holds much more than the observer would believe. There is a museum detailing the history and creation of one of Ireland’s most well-known symbols, as well as an archive of Irish family names and their meanings. You can witness the making of an actual Claddagh Ring and then purchase your own!
Visit their website for more info: https://www.thecladdagh.com/
5. Dungeons and Donuts
The perfect combination of a calm café atmosphere, and a rigorous game amongst friends (or foes?) Although it was named after the famous role-playing game, you are not limited in the games you can play, wars you can win and crimes you can solve over some doughnuts and a cup of coffee.
Visit their website for more info: https://dungeonsanddonuts.net/
6. The Hall of The Red Earl
One of Galway’s lesser-known historical sites, the remains of this 13th century hall is located on Druid Lane, across from the famous theatre group’s base. During its days as a hall, it was essentially a town hall and courthouse. Interesting fact: this is one of only two of its kind in Ireland, the other being in Limerick.
Visit their website for more info: https://galwaycivictrust.ie/
7. Pálás Cinema
The cinema may be a popular pastime for many folks in Galway, but the Pálás Cinema has a slight difference to your average film going experience. As well as showing the latest movies, this cinema also shows classic favourites and performances of dance and opera from all over the world. Palas is currently screening performances of Rigolette Rigoletto (Encore) from the MET Opera and the Royal Ballet: Romeo and Juliet live.
Visit their website for more info: https://palas.ie/
Amber is a shop located on Mary Street. This unusual shop sells unique gemstones as well as tarot cards, incense and zodiac paraphernalia. If you’ve ever been interested in horoscopes, the holistic, or just like the idea of pretty rocks, then Amber is definitely worth a visit!
Visit their website for more info: https://holisticproductsireland.com/
9. The Róisín Dúbh
Okay, so this one you have probably heard of. The Róisín Dúbh is one of Galway’s most popular destinations for a night out. Yet, it still differs greatly from traditional bars and nightclubs. The Róisín is the perfect combination of both, with dance floors blaring the latest hits and quieter bar areas to chat and catch up with friends. There is also space for live music, where some of the up-and-coming bands of Galway get their start. Whatever kind of night out you like, the Róisín Dúbh has something for everyone!
Visit their website for more info: https://roisindubh.net/
So there you have it! Nine niche and unknown things to keep you occupied in Galway. It’s important to support local businesses, both big and small, to keep the heart of Galway city thriving. The above suggestions are just a flavour of what this beautiful part of the world has to offer.