Smells like Christmas spirit to us, and every year that festive ‘whiff’ gets stronger and stronger in Galway city.
Always an atmospheric city with its narrow medieval streets and bustling pubs and clubs, Galway takes on an extra-strong seasonal scent in the run-up to Christmas Day.
From the transformation of Eyre Square into a winter wonderland to the festive atmosphere of the Latin Quarter and Spanish Arch, in December the city’s shops, bars, and restaurants are thronged with Christmas shoppers, drinkers, and eaters intent on some Xmas cheer. And when you grab a room in a budget hotel like Travelodge Galway Hotels you’ll get a chance to experience that uniquely Galwegian seasonal attitude. To point you in the right direction if you’re planning to visit the City of the Tribes this Christmas season, read our list of Five Great Places to Visit for Christmas in Galway.
Put Galway City On Ice
If it’s Christmas season it must mean ice skating in Galway. The City of the Tribes has really taken to the ice over the past few years and this year Galway’s Leisureland will host an ice rink from November to January 2016. This Galway ice rink is one of Ireland’s biggest, temporary or permanent, at a whopping 500 square meters and is both one of the city’s foremost Christmas attractions and a firm tradition for Galwegians during the festive season.
Christmas Day Swim for Cope
OK, you’ll have to brave the freezing temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean in December but it will be for a good cause, you will feel great once you’ve made it back out alive and you’ll have every excuse for tucking into all that turkey at Christmas dinner. The Galway Day Swim for COPE, a charity which helps vulnerable people in Galway, has been running for almost thirty years and is most definitely a Galway tradition. The swim at Christmas takes place in Salthill at the Blackrock diving boards and we promise you can have a nip of whiskey to ward off the body shock afterward.
Galway’s Christmas Market
You really know Christmas is upon you in Galway when the construction of the Christmas Market starts in the city’s central Eyre Square. But that’s only the start of the Christmas fair with stalls now reaching down to the Latin Quarter and the Spanish Arch with festive décor draped all around. You can expect the usual high standards for this year’s Christmas market with a Santa’s Grotto, wooden chalets selling mulled wine and port or hot chocolate and plenty of local crafts and food stalls to entice the coldest-hearted Grinch to splash out for some Christmas stocking fillers.
A Post-Christmas-Shopping Drink in Galway City
A trip to the city center for that last-minute Christmas shopping wouldn’t be complete without a cheeky drink to toast your retail success. You could pop into the Christmas Market for a hot snifter but not much beats sitting down by a warm fire in one of Galway’s many top traditional pubs and enjoying a hot whiskey to keep the chill-out and warm the Christmas cockles. Just don’t get carried away, get home before midnight and put those hard-won presents under the tree.
Hark to Herald Angels in Galway this Christmas
At any time, Galway is a town that loves its music. At Christmas time that love seems to be supercharged, with seasonal favorites playing on every corner. Traditional music is a key component in that authentic festive atmosphere with some of Ireland’s best musicians plying their trade and enjoying their music on a nightly basis during the Christmas rush. Embark on a musical odyssey from Tigh Coili to Monroes Tavern to The Western Bar and on to The Quays and The Crane Bar and you will hear angels sing. A glass or two of hot port won’t have hurt that auditory transition either.
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