Galway is gearing up to be European Capital of Culture 2020. With an action-packed programme of world-class creative events, there’s never been a better time to visit. Here are some highlights of the region
1 Galway 2020
Next year, Galway will stage extraordinary events highlighting its rich and diverse culture. Galway 2020 will take place in some of the most unexpected places in villages, towns and islands themed on migration, landscape and language.
The year will be marked by four fire festivals to symbolise the ancient seasons of Ireland’s Celtic calendar, and feature the best of Galway’s cultural organisations, alongside European and international artists.
2 Galway city
The city of Galway has a reputation for artistic creativity and an infectious up-tempo vibe that’s showcased in a packed calendar of festivals and events. Meanwhile, its past can be seen in its city walls, distinctive Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum.
There’s plenty more for visitors to experience, including vibrant pubs like O’Connor’s, which appears in Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl music video, and Kai restaurant, home to quality local produce.
3 Connemara National Park
The national park offers numerous breathtaking walks, including the Diamond Hill Loop, which suits most fitness levels. Recommend a visit to check out the dramatic new interpretation of the story of Gilgamesh in April and May, while stunning artwork will be displayed on LED walls inside a mirror pavilion in Galway City and Connemara between April and October.
4 Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Garden
Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian Walled Garden is just an hour from Galway and is one of Ireland’s top attractions. In its grounds is Kylemore Castle, built in the late 1800s. Guests can go on woodland and lakeshore walks, and see Ireland’s largest walled garden.
New to the attraction is the visitor experience in the abbey, bringing the stories of people who lived, worked and studied there to life through photos, presentations, costumes and beautifully restored period rooms.
5 The town of Clifden
Known locally as the ‘Capital of Connemara’, the vibrant town of Clifden nestles between the Twelve Bens mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean. This is a great place to base yourself to experience Galway 2020, with stylish restaurants, coffee shops, lively bars and an eclectic mix of traditional shops, as well as sailing, canoeing pony trekking and guided walks.
Getting to Ireland will remain as easy as ever
The Common Travel Area, which allows the free movement of people between the United Kingdom and Ireland, will remain in place post-Brexit. Therefore, there will be no travel restrictions between the UK and Ireland.
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