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Things to do in

County Galway

Our most recommended things to do in County Galway

Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

1. Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

Embark on a guided day trip to discover the iconic Cliffs of Moher by bus. Visit Galway and its stunning surrounding landscape and see famous landmarks, including Dunguaire Castle and Kilmacduagh Monastery. Depart Dublin at 6:45 AM and journey through the flat open plain of the Curragh. Pass the Irish National Stud thoroughbred horse breeding facility as your guide shares a wealth of history and information. Head to the ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery and its roundhouse—unique for the way it leans over by more than 2 feet. Spend 15-20 minutes here. Then, arrive at the Cliffs of Moher for a view of the Atlantic Ocean and explore on your own for around 1.5 hours. Go to the visitor's centre for the interactive Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience with a large multimedia screen displaying a bird's-eye view from the cliffs, and a video from the underwater caves. Next, discover the lunar landscapes of The Burren with a 15–20-minute visit and hear about the many secrets of this atypical landscape, home to the warmest ground temperature in Ireland. Arrive in the city of Galway, where you will have around 1 hour to explore on your own. Discover its old-world charm on cobblestone streets that evoke an authentic Ireland of times gone by. Then drive along the coastal route of the Wild Atlantic Way to Kinvara, passing Dunguaire Castle and the 12 Bens mountain range along the way. Return to Dublin and get dropped off at the meeting point at around 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Cruise

2. From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Day Cruise

Take a day trip to the Aran Islands and see the Cliffs of Moher by cruise on this tour awarded the "Best Irish Experience 2021" award by travel2ireland and the ITTN. Enjoy exploring Inis Mór with an audio guide. Sail through the sea and take in incredible views of the Cliffs of Moher on your return to Galway. Depart from the Galway city docks and admire the stunning views of the Connemara and Clare Coast before arriving on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. Learn about the history, heritage, and culture of the Aran Islands via an audio guide. Spend 4.5 hours on the island to enjoy sandy beaches, stone forts, and the serenity of island life. Your return journey takes you along the Cliffs of Moher. Formed 300 million years ago, the cliffs rise to a magnificent height of over 200 meters which you can only truly appreciate from the water. Listen to your audio guide while onboard to learn why the Cliffs of Moher are so iconic. See Ireland’s largest sea bird colony, 'An Branán Mór Sea Stack,' and a sea cave used during a Harry Potter film. Watch out for puffins, dolphins, seals, and basking sharks that call these waters home.

County Galway Killary Fjord 1.5-Hour Sightseeing Cruise

3. County Galway Killary Fjord 1.5-Hour Sightseeing Cruise

Enjoy the unspoiled splendor of Connemara’s Killary Fjord on a 1.5-hour catamaran cruise, and discover Ireland’s only fjord. The all-weather, purpose-built Connemara Lady can accommodate up to 150 passengers, and offers maximum comfort and safety to all passengers. Once on board, enjoy uninterrupted views as you gently cruise the 9-mile (15-kilometer) inlet of Killary Fjord. Head for the top deck to experience Ireland’s great outdoors and feel the cool air on your face. Alternatively, the Connemara Lady has full bar facilities, and the galley serves a wide variety of hot and cold meals allowing you to enjoy a meal, snack or beverage as the natural beauty of Killary floats by.

From Galway: Aran Islands Day Trip & Cliffs of Moher Cruise

4. From Galway: Aran Islands Day Trip & Cliffs of Moher Cruise

Take a day trip to Inisheer (Inis Oirr) from Galway and discover the ancient churches and castles on the smallest of the Aran Islands. Visit the Cliffs of Moher and admire the coastal scenery. From the meeting point in Galway, get driven south along the Wild Atlantic Way and into the lunar-like Burren region. From there, head to the picturesque fishing village of Doolin where you’ll board the ferry to Inisheer. Once there, explore the island's churches, castles, lighthouses, shipwrecks, cafes, and pubs. Discover one of Ireland's most beautiful beaches and, if you like, take a pony and carriage, hire a bicycle, or stroll the country roads. Stop for a hearty meal at a traditional local pub before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher. You will receive free entry to the cliffs and the eco-sensitive visitor center. Take a stroll along the cliff edge and consider how tiny everything looks from above. Once you depart the cliffs,l take the coast road home, following the Wild Atlantic Way. Make one last stop at the stunning Baby Cliffs in Ballyreen where you can walk atop the Burren, before returning to Galway.

From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher and Sightseeing Tour

5. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher and Sightseeing Tour

Following pickup, head to Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. Take some photos at one of the most photographed castles in Ireland before heading through the beautiful, stone landscape of the Burren and past Corcomroe Abbey. Then, follow the Wild Atlantic Way along the coast of the County Clare, passing Black Head and seeing Fanore Strand. From here, admire the Aran Islands locking in Galway Bay and, in the distance, the mountains of Connemara. Stop for some pictures before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher for a 2-hour stop. One of the most spectacular sights in Ireland, the cliffs rise 214 meters (about 702 feet) out of the Atlantic Ocean and offer one of the most amazing views in Ireland. Next, return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, famous for its annual matchmaking festival. Feel the Atlantic wind in your face during a photo stop at Doolin pier. See the power of the sea as it crashes in on the shore. During the summer months, there is an opportunity to join a cruise to the base of the Cliffs of Moher (cruise not included). After you’ve worked up an appetite on the beach it’s onto Doolin Hotel for lunch (lunch not included) where you can try any of the local seafood dishes.

From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

6. From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

Experience the unspoiled natural beauty and rugged landscapes of Connemara on this day trip from Galway. Travel in an airconditioned bus and explore Kylemore Abbey and its elegant gardens with the included entry ticket. Stop in the charming mountain village of Leenane and take in the views of Ireland's only fjord at Killary. Then, get 2 hours to explore Kylemore Abbey and go for a nature walk in the Victorian Walled Gardens. Continue along the coast to the pretty Gaelic-speaking village of An Spideal to take a stroll amongst the many traditional thatched roof homes and admire the beautiful beaches.

From Doolin: Inis Oirr Island and Cliffs of Moher Ferry

7. From Doolin: Inis Oirr Island and Cliffs of Moher Ferry

Explore Inis Oírr with this ferry cruise from Doolin. Hop aboard and take in sea views before disembarking for free time on the island. Take the ferry back to see the Cliffs of Moher, O'Brien's Tower, and the An Branán Mór sea stacks. Hop aboard the spacious ship in Doolin and admire the views of the shore on your way to Inis Oírr. Have several hours of free time to check out the island's medieval ruins, seal colonies, shipwreck, and lighthouse with options to walk, rent a bicycle, hire a horse and cart or take a minibus tour. Depart the island for the return trip in the afternoon. Pass by the Cliffs of Moher's highest point. Sail beneath the famous O'Brien's Tower. Listen to onboard commentary and facinating stories that dive further into the sights. Circle back passing by An Branán Mór, the great sea stack, which is home to Ireland’s largest mainland nesting bird colony. Get up close birds such as puffins, guillemots, and razorbills. Capture pictures of the the sea cave that was used to film 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' and the famous surfing spot 'Aill na Searrach' where the 'Aileen' wave is caught.

Galway: Scenic Cruise of Corrib River and Lake

8. Galway: Scenic Cruise of Corrib River and Lake

Set sail from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. Travel leisurely down the River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, the Republic of Ireland's largest lake. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while taking breathtaking photos of castles and other sites of historical and cultural interest. Lough Corrib is home to hundreds of islands and is a haven for many marine and wildlife species, so there will be plenty of scenic views to photograph. A full-service bar serves award-winning Irish coffee and other refreshments. The upper deck and fully heated saloon area are suitable for all-weather cruising. Toilet facilities are available onboard.

From Galway: Connemara and Cong Full-Day Tour

9. From Galway: Connemara and Cong Full-Day Tour

Experience the wild beauty of Ireland on this full-day tour of Connemara from Galway. Visit Cong Village, which was featured in the classic "The Quiet Man" and Kylemore Abbey. First, stop at Cong Abbey, an Augustinian Abbey dating back to the early 12th century and one of the best examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture.  Enter Cong Village and explore Cong Woods, stroll around the village that was in the 1950s classic movie, ‘The Quiet Man,’ or feed the ducks on the edge of Lough Corrib - the Republic of Ireland's largest lake. Admire Connemara's hidden valleys upon entering on the Lough Nafooey route.  Continue to Kylemore Abbey and enjoy a lunch break. Entrance into Kylemore Abbey and Gardens is not included in the tour price (purchase discounted entrance tickets from your driver on the day of the tour).  Leaving Kylemore in the late afternoon, drive through Inagh Valley, Maam Cross, and Oughterard. Complete the circuit of Lough Corrib before arriving home to Galway City. 

From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Half-Day Express Coach Trip

10. From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Half-Day Express Coach Trip

Experience the Cliffs of Moher independently with a round-trip express coach service from Galway. Get access to the visitors center on arrival, and enjoy a full 2 hours to explore at your own pace. Go for a stroll along the nature trails of the 214-meter high cliffs and get breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Look for up to 20 species of birds found in the area during nesting season. Learn more about the cliffs at the interactive exhibits, displays and virtual reality aerial tours of the visitors center before the return coach service to Galway.

Other Sightseeing Options in County Galway

Want to discover all there is to do in County Galway? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about County Galway

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 14,194 reviews

Derek is probably the funnies, kindest and the most professional guide I've ever met. He's such a credit to the company and Ireland as a whole. Incredibly charming and knowledgeable, he made a rainy day one full of sunshine. The tour is wonderful, first Cliffs of Moher, an old monastery and finally Galway. They all have different aspects that anyone can enjoy. JP the driver was excellent, bravely roaming through very narrow roads and keeping everyone safe, and he made a great team with Derek. I would recommend this tour to anyone and would love to do it again myself.

Derek and JP, guide and driver, were wonderful. We loved them because they made us laugh and the guide told us a lot of news about Ireland and a lot of anecdotes. They were very kind and super helpful. Unfortunately the day was rainy but it was even more of an adventure. The time to devote to the various activities is not a lot but adequate considering the fact that in one day you can see many things! Super satisfied, I recommend this tour

Amazing experience… the view is breathtaking and the tour very well organized. I’d totally recommend it!

I think as someone who travelled there for the first time and using the bus , it was so nice.

Wonderful Irish guide who really knew the country and countryside.