Explore Woodquay in Galway City this Summer
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Explore Woodquay in Galway City this Summer

This summer, Galway city’s Woodquay is buzzing with festival spirit and since there is so much to experience we simply had to present you with our guide to holidaying in Woodquay. Check it out below!

Located only a five minute walk from the busy hub of Eyre Square, Woodquay is the perfect place to visit to enjoy great food and drink with pals or experience some of the local culture while enjoying stunning waterside views. All year round Woodquay remains to be a must visit location for all Galway visitors but it truly comes alive each summer as the festival season comes roaring back to the City of Tribes. With fantastic bars, restaurants and independent shops, not to mention the theatres and affordable accommodation options, the reasons to visit are plentiful so let’s dive into why you should visit Woodquay in Galway city this summer..

above: photo by Ado Lyons

Bring a bit of Galway home with you at these Woodquay Shop and Service Stores

We are firm believers that when in Galway you should always treat yourself to something special and in Woodquay there is an ample amount of shops and stores where you can do just that! Joe Greene Menswear has built a strong reputation for their service, styling and quality in the menswear industry and is the go-to for suit hire, tailored jackets, coats, shoes and more for men across Galway. They go above and beyond in their service with all their customers and even offer a personal shopping service for those of you who struggle finding the right outfits and accessories. For gifts, prints, pins and bags galore, visit Ah Sure, Look It. A cool gift shop that stocks the products of local artists, makers and designers, along with some smaller European brands. They offer a variety of one-of-a-kind hilarious cards, amazing scented candles, and gorgeous handmade jewellery, every time we call in we find something new that we love so we highly recommend that you pop in and see what you discover. Over the road, Decorate Your Own is a hive of creative inspiration. They supply a wide range of craft materials with a focus on millinery and cake decoration. Here you’ll find ribbons, beads, cookie cutters - pretty much everything you could possibly need to personalise your creations. The Antiques Room stocks a large selection of vintage, estate and antique jewellery pieces and modern diamond rings, this store attracts customers not only from Galway but from all across Ireland. Run by husband and wife team Niall and Michelle, this jewellers' prides itself on sourcing and selling items of quality. No two items are the same and everything is gorgeous to look at. If you or someone you know has a Wedding on the horizon, Thistles bridal boutique pride themselves in helping their brides to find their perfect dress for their dream day. Open on an appointment basis only, Thistles have been dressing brides and their bridesmaids for years and have played a crucial role in the creation of many magical memories.

above: photo by Ado Lyons of Joe Greene Menswear

During your time in Woodquay, change up your look with the help of The Grafton Barber Galway. This barbershop is part of the largest chain of family-owned barbershops in Europe and guarantees their guests receive premiere, top-tier level service. The services they offer cover all aspects of haircutting, skin fades, beard grooming and maintenance, perming, colouring and highlights. Alternatively, the Hair Parlour offers their clients specialised services including precision cutting and creative colouring techniques. If you want to switch up your hairstyle or simply want to refresh what you have already, rest assured that their expert team will have you looking your best in no time. Fran-Elix is an Afro-Caribbean hair salon located in the heart of Woodquay. Here, they offer various hair braiding services, mens hair cutting service as well as hair extensions. Fran-Elix are seriously skilled in all they do and the resulting hairstyles are truly beautiful. For beauty treatments to give your skin a bit of TLC, Therese Moylan Skincare Centre specialises in treating problem skin and permanent hair removal. Their team of skincare professionals have all the top industry tips and tricks to ensure that your skin both looks and feels amazing so if you have any concerns or queries regarding improving your skincare routine be sure to get in touch with them. Located above Grafton Barbers, Lucky’s Tattoos is Woodquay’s only tattoo studio. Run by talented tattoo artist Ciaran Lynch, walks in are welcome so treating yourself to a Galway-inspired flash tattoo to commemorate your time here is always a great idea!

Alongside the above shops and hair and beauty services, Woodquay is also home to some of Galway city’s best yellow page services. In Woodquay you’ll find Galway’s longest established independent paint and wallpaper shop. Faherty Paints have over 50 years of experience in the DIY industry. Their experienced team takes great pride in their work and can choose the right colour or wallpaper for your project, helping you to create the space you desire. Did you know that Woodquay is also home to Galway’s oldest computer repair shop? Lapteck Galway specialises in sourcing and supplying an extensive range of new and refurbished laptops across all brands including Dell, IBM, Toshiba, Compaq, HP, and Sony. They also sell both new and refurbished computers and if they can’t fix the problem with your device then there is no fee. Galway city’s only dedicated internet café Chat & Net is the solution for all your internet woes. We can guarantee that their services will meet all your printing, photocopying, scanning, laminating and binding needs while providing you with a professional workstation with its own headphones. If, after you have enjoyed your holiday in Galway want to move here, good news because Lynch Autioneers can help you find the perfect Galway home. This family-run business always strives to provide their clients with an efficient, effective and reliable service whether it be selling a property, providing a valuation or helping you find a property. Additionally, if you ever need any legal assistance, Woodquay’s Gilmartin Solicitors work in a wide variety of areas including property law, criminal law, civil litigation, wills and probate, family law, employment law and debt collection. Kind, professional and trustworthy, Gilmartin Solicitors can help aid you through any legal worries with ease.

above: photo by Ado Lyons of Lucky's Tattoos

What’s on in Woodquay

The summertime boom is all a-go in Woodquay and if you are visiting for the first time, we’re seriously not kidding when we say that there are always loads happening in this buzzing Galway city area. If you love a bit of drama and music, you should check out the extensive lineup at Town Hall Theatre. They’ve always got performances taking place across all genres of comedy, theatre music, drama and more, with some of the greatest talents around the country playing at this iconic building throughout the summer season Make sure to check what’s playing when you are in Galway so you get a chance to see a show at this amazing venue. This venue works alongside the Black Box Theatre, which is only a five minute walk from Woodquay and its lineup is also shown on the Town Hall Theatre website which you can see in full via the link here.

If you fancy seeing River Corrib from a new perspective, a trip aboard the city’s greatest hidden gem - the Corrib Princess is exactly what you need. Tours run annually from May to September on Tuesdays to Sundays and are a fun alternative way to spend your day in Galway city. These tours will tell you all about the majestic River Corrib that was once travelled by Viking invaders and Victorian steamboats and Galway’s ancient past, Celtic Mythology and stories of Galway’s feuding families. To book your tour please tap here.

above: photo by Ado Lyons

While all year long it is the base for our successful local rowing teams, the Galway Rowing Club is also a great function area that can be hired out for all your special events. However every year during the Galway International Arts Festival (15th - 28th July 2024) it acts as the Festival Club and is a fantastic place to come enjoy a few drinks after a show or Heineken Big Top concert. The beauty of the Festival Club is that you'll never know who'll meet - actors, artists and the Festival team. The Rowing Club has outdoor decking that expands out over the Corrib, providing some seriously stunning views across the water of the Heineken Big Top itself. On the 3rd Sunday of each month, the artisan market Umbrella Le Chéile takes place from 11am to 5pm in the Galway Rowing Club. Umbrella Le Chéile is a social enterprise connecting and supporting independent traders and small businesses, here you’ll find a variety of creators and makers selling their wares and they are always welcoming new traders so be sure to pop over and see what catches your eye. For more information please tap here.

Finally, an activity that we’ll never tire of is walking the gorgeous parks and waterways around Woodquay. Always teeming with life, from rowers battling the current to swans and ducks gliding gracefully along the top, keep your eyes peeled for all the action and be ready to snap a photo! Woodquay is only a minute from Galway Cathedral and its pedestrian bridge so with loads to see and experience, you best start your exploring pronto!

Enjoy Dinner and a Drink in Galway City’s waterside Woodquay

Woodquay is home to loads of fantastic bars and restaurants that offer a diverse selection of drinking and dining options. The family-run McGinn’s Hop House is one of those aesthetically pleasing places that offers an all round quality bar menu as well as specialising in craft beers and wood fired oven pizzas. This bar is also the proud home of the Galway Celtic Supporters Club so if you're a fan of football and want to take in some pre-match excitement you'll always be in good company at McGinn's. Another landmark bar and restaurant in Woodquay is the welcoming McSwiggan's Steak and Seafood Restaurant. It’s been a part of the fabric of Galway life for over 30 years, McSwiggan’s family-run restaurant has gone from strength to strength, providing excellent service and high quality foods across their breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings. It's also the perfect meeting spot for those looking to celebrate a special occasion with family and friends or to enjoy a quiet one in a relaxed environment.

above: photo from McGinn's 

The quirky interiors of Hole in the Wall Bar makes for a brilliant Instagram shot and the deliciousness of their cocktails and bar food really speaks for itself. Their kitchen is open from Wednesday to Sunday, making it the perfect spot for weekend and post work dinner and pints. Featuring a drinks menu that is to-die for, big screens for all the must see games, a large beer garden and loads of interesting eye-catching décor, the craic is always mighty at this iconic Woodquay bar. One bar that should be on your radar is also the area’s coolest snug bars - Tigín. Its vibrant atmosphere is topped off with live music every Wednesday to Sunday by local artists and musicians, delicious pints, a fabulous cocktail list - which includes a favourite of ours; The Tigín - and an amazing team who go above and beyond to give their customers a terrific experience. You’ll feel right at home the moment you step through the door!

Bursting with personality and old world charm, Barr na Chaladh is known across Galway for its lively two Irish music sessions seven nights a week and its signature energetic party feel. Always a big hit for party-goers, if you are out for the night with friends Barr na Chaladh is definitely worth checking out. If Guinness is your poison and you haven’t visited Hughes’ Bar, what are you doing? One of the oldest bars in Woodquay, Hughes’ has been bringing Galway quality Guinness for decades. This bar is rumoured to have once sold more Guinness out of their two humble taps than any other pub in the city, so if that doesn’t convince you to pay them a visit we don’t know what will. Tucked away in the back of Hughes’ is another lovely hidden gem; their beer garden! Decorated with a unique horse-racing mural, if you are fond of placing an ol’ bet than good news because there is always some sporting event on the screens to keep punters and the regulars entertained and right next door Paddy Powers is there for anyone feeling confident in your predictions.

above: photo by Ado Lyons 

Visit Woodquay’s finest coffee shops and tea rooms

Within walking distance of everything, Woodquay is a desirable location for many businesses including ones that appeal to your sweet tooth! Corrib House Tea Rooms is one of our favourite places in Galway city for a coffee and slice of cake, but they’ve also got divine savoury dishes if that is more to your taste. Every Wednesday to Sunday, you can avail of brunch in their cosy tea rooms and we highly recommend that you do as this brunch is a really lovely way to catch up with friends and family while enjoying breathtaking views of River Corrib. To catch a break away from the bustle of the city, Brazco Coffee Academy sits on the border of Woodquay and the City Centre. With the bus stop directly outside, it’s the perfect place to fill up on some yummy baked treats when you first arrive in the area. While you are snacking, you can admire the artwork of local and international artists that decorate its interiors and good news if you see something you like as these pieces are all for sale and would love to be coming home with you! On Eyre Street, the homemade bakery and coffee shop, Bridie Murphy’s Home Bakery is a peaceful retreat on the edge of Woodquay’s main street. Serving fresh home baked pastries, breads, and scones each day, pop in during your visit to Woodquay this summer and treat yourself to a coffee and scone in their cosy and welcoming café space.

Book your Accommodation near Galway’s City Centre

Thanks to its prime city location, Woodquay is the ideal spot for all travellers to rest their heads when they spend their days exploring the surrounding Woodquay area and Galway city. Here, you’ll find the one of a kind Corrib House Guest Accommodation. Set in a beautifully restored Georgian townhouse, the riverside views it offers from its bedrooms are breathtaking. Comprising five luxurious guestrooms, all visitors to Corrib House can unwind in elegant surroundings before heading out into the busyness of the city streets outside. If you are travelling on a budget this summer, then the friendly independent Woodquay Hostel will take good care of you and help see that all your needs are met. Not only are their standards of hospitality and comfort incredibly high, but it is also the perfect hostel for meeting fellow travellers and enjoying all the fun Woodquay has to offer. At Woodquay Hostel they are all about great value, great vibes and providing you with a great time!

above: photo of Corrib House & Tea Rooms

This campaign is supported by Galway City Council.

Feature photo by Ado Lyons

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