Places to visit in Galway: Galway’s Westend
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Places to visit in Galway: Galway’s Westend

Cross the bridge into the heart of the west side of Galway city - Galway’s Westend. This is the spot where locals go to enjoy award-winning food, boutique stores, atmospheric bars, relaxed vibes and a warm welcome! There are plenty of reasons why Galway’s Westend should be on your radar so let’s check them out!

TEMPT YOUR TASTE BUDS

Enjoy a proper Galway experience in the Westend by treating yourself and your loved one to an evening of food in one of its many eateries. You really will be spoilt for choice! For an experience that is not easily replicated, the Michelin-starred Aniar Restaurant offers a tasting menu that is an immersive dining experience of Irish food through the ages with a contemporary filter. Over the road, the beautiful Daróg Wine Bar is perfect for date night or friends to catch up over a glass of wine. Here, they have curated gorgeous pairings between their artisan wine list and their range of hot and cold plates, as well snacks and cheese & meat boards.


above: photo of Daróg Wine Bar, by Ciarán MacChoncarraige 

If award-winning dining takes your fancy, you need to book yourself and your significant other in for a meal at the romantic Il Vicolo. It was named Ireland’s best Italian Restaurant in 2023 so it is definitely worth a visit. If you’re visiting with friends, the award-winning gastropub John Keogh’s can cater to groups of all sizes and provides an evening of fantastic food, drink and entertainment. Their neighbours are the sensational seafood restaurant, Oscar Seafood Bistro, who always deliver an exceptional feast of the finest local seafood. Alternatively, Hooked on Henry St is a fantastic option for families. This seafood restaurant is a big hit amongst locals and their fresh catch of the day is always delish.

For exquisite French dining, Rouge offers an experience second to none. During the day they open as a café, and every evening they offer a gorgeous menu that is beautifully complemented by their wine selection. Offering both stunning seasonal lunch and dinner menus, if you have never eaten at Kai Restaurant take this as your sign to visit as soon as possible. We guarantee you’ll love it! Another cosy and intimate space in Galway’s Westend is The Universal, which serves a fabulous variety of small plates alongside their drinks menu. Mona Lisa provides an authentic Italian experience, and is highly recommended if you’re feeling cravings for fresh pastas. If you’re meeting a friend in the Westend we simply must point you in the right direction, and that is.. Deli La Tasca. This Spanish tapas restaurant is home to a spectacular tapas and Spanish wine selection and we promise you’ll love it from the moment you step in the door.

Both Spice India and Kashmir run unmissable weekly offers, making them the perfect destinations to try some of the finest Indian cuisine in Galway city. However if you’d prefer some burgers, craft beers and cocktails, BóTOWN and Handsome Burger will never let you down. Both have earned their impeccable reputations for their quality dishes and are top of the list for foodies visiting Galway for the first time. The latest addition to the Westend’s food scene, Smashbird is every foodie’s dream. They offer takeaway chicken dishes, burgers, and vegan junk food and are well worth adding to your must-visit list. Their sister business,  Birdhouse in the beer garden of Carroll’s on Dominick St is the ideal solution for a filling and delicious meal of tasty chicken wings, sides and award-winning sauces. Pair it with a pint or cocktail from the bar and you’re laughing. Carroll’s itself is a fab choice for your night, cosy and traditional indoors, its outdoors but covered beer garden is home to a quirky and unique caravan club.


above: photo courtesy of Handsome Burger

If you’ve picked the Westend as the destination for all your drinking and partying needs, well you’ve made the right choice, as the options here are all incredible. Widely known for a great pint of Guinness, quality signature cocktails and a large portfolio of whiskey and spirits, MP Walsh is a traditional-style Irish bar well known for their céad míle fáilte. If you are a lover of all things craft beer, you are going to love The Salt House! Here you can sample the award-winning range of Galway Bay Brewery craft beers and maybe even learn a bit about them as you do. On the corner of Henry Street, Bierhaus is the spot where all the locals go so do as they do and make sure to call in for a pint. Additionally, their cocktail menu is a thing of beauty and we highly suggest you call in to sample it for yourself.

If you’re out for the night, Massimo and The Blue Note have been keeping the craic and dancing around Galway’s Westend going for decades. Providing entertainment and food to all who visit them, these are both popular choices in Galway for unforgettable nights out. When night falls, let your hair down at one of the nightly Róisín Dubh events. From Silent Discos to independent gigs, there’s plenty of craic to be had. If you’re after some trad music, The Crane Bar is famous for it, best get down early though to ensure a decent seat. Additionally, a night out in Nova, Galway’s only gay bar is always a lot of fun. All week long, Taylor’s Bar and Beer Garden is buzzing with live music and DJs, and their late bar on the weekends is the source of many great nights out.


above: photo courtesy of Taylor's Bar & Beer Garden 

SAMPLE SOMETHING SWEET - COFFEE AND A TREAT

In order to keep yourself fueled on your adventures in Galway’s Westend, check out the stores where coffee and retail merge. At Plámás, treat yourself to an early morning coffee and treats from Hapi Bakery. Their lovely retail shelves include beanies, artwork from Irish artists, cookery books, coffee beans and more. We also adore starting our day with a delicious hot chocolate from Espresso 44. This is best enjoyed along with one of their yummy pastries, cakes or takeaway sandwiches, don’t you agree? However, if you are more of a tea drinker we feel you are going to fall a little bit in love with the huge selection of teas available at The Secret Garden. This gorgeous café is home also to a lovely cat named West, so be sure to say hello if you see her on your visit. A favourite amongst all Galwegians is Gourmet Tart Co, with other locations across the city and Salthill you’ll also find them on the corner of Raven’s Terrace where they are always busy serving lunch and breakfast snacks and hot drinks.

If all the walking has left you a bit tired, call into one of the many amazing sit in eateries that call the Westend home. Over at Greens & Co it’s all vegetarian and vegan goodness. Their daily specials are always seriously divine and this is always a popular choice for lunch or coffee date. An Tobar Nua offers a unique coffee on the canal experience, so stop by for a refreshing cuppa along with creative sandwiches and delicious 'in-house created' baked goods. If you are after a delicious early morning feed, Urban Grind are top of their game. They are a big favourite amongst the locals so be sure to try it while you are in the area.


above: photo courtesy of Greens & Co 

GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

If you want to immerse yourself fully in the Westend buzz, why not book your accommodation here? Comprising seven varied en suite bedrooms, Over Massimo provides its guests with incredible comfort, but it’s the location that makes this spot so popular! Surrounded by some of the best restaurants and pubs Galway’s got to offer, soaking up the unique atmosphere and adopting the laid back pace of the Westend is an ideal way to spend a trip to Galway. Book Here.

TAKE A TRIP AROUND THE SHOPS

Start your Westend shopping spree with a browse of all fabulous collections of books and vinyls at Bell Book and Candle. A short stroll from there, the herbalist health store Dr. Clare Apothecary should be your point of visit as they specialise in natural remedies, oils, cosmetics as well as offering unique gifts and speciality teas. At Ernies, the local grocer,  visitors can discover the very best of local produce and bag themselves loads of fresh fruit and veg. Ernies is the sole stockist for some local producers so you seriously need to plan a visit for a taste of the best produce in the West. We also recommend popping into their neighbouring Galway Simon Community Charity Shop because you never know what treasure you might find for a stellar price!

For a gorgeous new outfit, shop sustainably at Aplomb and The Sustainable Studio. The Sustainable Studio showcases one-of-a-kind preloved vintage designer bags, clothing, accessories and shoes. Aplomb offers both sustainable fashion from brands across Europe, and styles from closer to home. Thanks to both these clothes stores, building your wardrobe of stunning, high-quality staples has never been easier and we can guarantee you’ll love every piece you find.

Head into Daisy Bowl Florists to pick up a stunning floral display or cute new indoor plant to help brighten your home. However, if plants aren't your thing but art is, Just Art It is home to a large variety of art supplies and handmade crafts that are sure to wow all ages. If you’re shopping for your significant other and looking to get them a gift you can both enjoy? Call into Laura Jane Adult Boutique Store to get a present that you are both guaranteed to love.


above: photo of The Sustainable Studio, by Ciarán MacChoncarraige 

QUALITY ACTIVITIES AWAIT

There is one very special part of Galway city where the changing of the seasons is especially palpable; Galway’s Westend. Cross the bridge into the heart of the vibrant activity because there is alway loads to see and do, as well as new foods to try and drinks to be enjoyed! Things to do include; a stroll along the canals, a visit to the playground and Fr. Burke Park each offers their own enjoyment and are all lovely ways to pass a day in Galway. Pop into the free exhibitions at Galway Arts Centre to admire the stunning artwork by local artists and get chatting to its staff to learn more about Galway’s growing art scene.

If you want to feed your more adventurous spirit, why not partake in something activity based on your trip to Galway’s Westend. With a group of friends, take on the challenge of solving an escape room at Escape Rooms Galway. This is a fantastic option for those rainy Galway days. Or if you’d prefer something a bit slower paced, An Seomra Yoga runs a series of weekly classes ranging from all types of yoga to breathwork. For the cinephiles out there, you simply must experience the thrill of Silent Cinema Galway at least once! Here, you can watch classic silent films accompanied by live music, it’s an unforgettable experience so be sure to check it out. Additionally, there is always something going on over at Áras na nGael. The permanent home to Irish in Galway city, they offer Irish language courses throughout the year as well as weekly casual Irish practice sessions. In their club, they run live music and entertainment based events and gigs with local community organisations. Be sure to keep an eye out for these as they are loads of fun!

If you’re someone who loves a bit of pampering, get your hair styled with the wonderful team at Envy Hair Salon or The Face Hairdressing. Alternatively, if you fancy some fresh new ink, Galway’s Westend is home to a number of tattoo artists who are all top of their game, check their work out at Westend Art Collective, Claddagh Art Collective, and Galway Bay Tattoos. And finally, the perfect way to wrap up our visit to the Westend is with a visit to Train Station Galway. They run a variety of fitness classes throughout the week, as well as being home to a fabulous wellness garden which offers all guests a chance for relaxation. Take a plunge in the ice bath and sit in warmth in the sauna, followed by a fresh fruit juice and coffee from the dock. Doesn’t that sound like bliss?!


above: photo courtesy of Train Station Galway

Feature photo courtesy of Galway's Westend

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