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Galway Ireland for the Budget Traveller

Galway, located on the west coast of Ireland, is a charming and vibrant city with a unique blend of traditional Irish culture and modern vibes. Known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and friendly locals. The city is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and beautiful scenery and should be on every traveller's itinerary. I've been charmed on three separate visits. Come and meander with me in Galway, Ireland.

The weather in Galway is typical for coastal Ireland, which is to say very changeable... on each of my visits I was treated to rain and brilliant sunshine with every conceivable weather pattern in between. Make sure you are prepared.

The city was founded in the 12th century by the King of Connacht, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair, and quickly became an important center of trade and commerce. As a major port, Galway was soon a hub of activity and a melting pot of different cultures.

During the medieval period, Galway was controlled by a number of powerful families, known as the "Tribes of Galway." These families, including the Lynch, Joyce, and Athy families, played a significant role in shaping the city's history and culture. They built many of the city's most iconic buildings, such as Lynch's Castle, and were known for their strong sense of community and civic pride. The flags displayed in Eyre Square represent each of the tribes.

The 14 tribes were made up of merchant families of different nationalities, including Irish, English, French, and Spanish that controlled Galway's trade and commerce during the medieval period. Each tribe had its own distinct characteristics and played a unique role in the city's economy. Some tribes were known for their trading skills, while others were known for their shipbuilding or fishing industries. They were known for their wealth and power, as well as their fierce rivalries with one another. Despite their rivalries, the tribes often worked together to protect their shared interests and to maintain the city's prosperity. Many of the city's landmarks, including the walls of Galway, were built by the tribes during the medieval period.

Things to see and do

First and foremost, Galway is a city of culture. The city's medieval streets are home to a diverse mix of traditional Irish pubs, artisan shops, and local markets. Take a stroll through the city's Latin Quarter and explore the charming streets and colourful buildings. Be sure to check out the famous Quay Street, which is lined with traditional Irish pubs and live music venues.

Galway Hookers

No, not that kind of hooker. Galway Hookers are traditional wooden sailing boats that have been used for fishing and transportation in the Galway Bay area of Ireland for centuries. These distinctive boats are recognized by their brightly coloured sails and unique design, which includes a rounded hull and high gunwales. The Galway Hookers are an important part of the region's cultural heritage, and are considered to be some of the finest examples of traditional wooden boat-building in Ireland.

I got to experience the beauty and tradition of these boats by taking a tour of the bay on a restored Galway Hooker on my first trip to Galway. The tour was a fabulous way to see the stunning coastline and rugged landscapes of the region, and to learn about the history and significance of the Galway Hookers -- It would be even better on a beautifully clear afternoon, like I enjoyed on my second visit. The tours are conducted by experienced sailors who have a deep knowledge of the boats and the area and I highly recommend stretching the budget to include a hooker tour during your visit.

For budget-conscious travellers, there are also opportunities to join a sail training program on a Galway Hooker, where you can learn to sail and crew on one of these historic boats. These programs are a great way to experience the thrill of sailing, and to learn about the tradition and heritage of the Galway Hookers. They are also a cost-effective way to see the region and enjoy the beautiful scenery, as the costs of the program include food, accommodation, and activities.

The Old City

The old city of Galway is home to a maze of narrow streets lined with colourful buildings and historic landmarks. Wandering around the old city will treat you to a charming collection of medieval architecture, sidewalk cafés, artisan shops, and lively pubs.

Sometime in the early 20th century, many of Galway's building brick buildings were covered with stucco. Over the past 15 or so years, they have been removing the stucco. This is a marriage stone which would have been placed over the door of a newlywed couple. It includes the date of marriage, a shield which includes half of the husband's and half of the wife's family crest, and their initials.

St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church

St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church is one of the oldest and largest medieval churches in Ireland. This stunning building dates back to the mid-1300s and features intricate stone carvings, stained glass windows, and a beautiful wooden roof. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about the church's history, or simply admire its beauty from the outside. Entrance is by donation. There are no tours Sunday mornings.