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Brighten a rainy day in Galway with these things to do.
Showery skies are perfect for seeking out Galway indoor activities and making hidden discoveries. The city provides a myriad of rainy day choices in a destination teeming with culture, history and art. Whatever the weather, a break in Galway city is awash with ideas for things to do.

Check out our list of Galway city suggestions to enjoy on your visit, come rain or come shine.

Take in a show or watch a movie

1 | Róisín Dubh 

The two stages at the Róisín Dubh regularly feature a stellar lineup as the venue brings established names to Galway while also providing a platform for emerging artists. Some of the many musical highlights include appearances by artists from Billy Bragg to Ellie Goulding, while comedians like Stewart Lee and Rich Hall name it as one of their favourite places to perform.

2 | Monroe's Tavern

In its historic building Monroe's Tavern presents free live music seven nights a week. For over five decades, stars like Christy Moore have entertained in the original wooden bar interior with its snug. Added in 2009, the adjoining Monroe's Live venue's changing lineup includes featured acts like Kodaline, The Academic and Mary Coughlan.

3 | Black Gate Cultural Centre

The Black Gate Cultural Centre has a café and wine-bar, but it’s also a venue, mini cinema and library. In these versatile spaces you’ll find concerts, book readings, exhibitions and screenings. This is a home for artists and a haven for lovers of art, a hip space with heart and plenty of room for music, literature, art, film and dance to thrive.

4 | Town Hall Theatre

Dating from the 1820s, the Town Hall Theatre is the major performance arts venue in Galway. Hosting drama, concerts, musicals and diverse events it’s a regular venue on the festival circuit. Most of the Druid Theatre Company’s performances also take place here. The Druid is a writers' theatre, nurturing playwrights through its programmes while also presenting Irish and international classics.

Take in a show at the Town Hall Theatre.
Take in a show at the Town Hall Theatre.

5 | Pálás Cinema

If you fancy an arthouse flick, there’s a gem in the heart of the Latin Quarter at Pálás Cinema. At this three screen cinema, there’s a programme bursting with a mix of homegrown and international movies. The eclectic schedule includes features, shorts special events and festivals.

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Tap into Galway’s creative scene

6| The Kenny Gallery 

Specialising in contemporary Irish art, The Kenny Gallery focuses on work from the 19th and 20th centuries and also hosts exhibitions from international artists. As a bonus, spend hours browsing in their bookshop next door, in existence since 1940.

7 | 126 Artist-Run Gallery

Find emerging talent at 126 Artist-Run Gallery. Here, professional creatives donate their time to maintain an exhibition space committed to challenging art. Pushing the boundaries is top of the agenda and cutting edge work by recent graduates and early career artists is a highlight.

8 | Galway Arts Centre

The Galway Arts Centre‘s historic Dominic Street building features two galleries showcasing Irish and international contemporary pieces. This hive for cultural activity hosts a range of classes in art, writing and photography, and workshops in drama, music and voice. The Arts Centre also manages the nearby Nun’s Island Theatre, a restored church presenting live performances and visual arts installations.

Time travel through centuries

9 | Galway City Museum

Gathering clouds present the ideal opportunity to delve into Galway's past. A trip to the Galway City Museum by the Spanish Arch unlocks the city’s heritage through hundreds of evocative objects. Put yourself in the boots of an infantryman in the Great War or marvel at the MONUMENT exhibition as you get glimpses of everyday life at the iconic clifftop Dún Aonghasa fort.

Only a few minutes’ walk away from the museum in the Latin Quarter, Ard Bia at Nimmos is the ideal stop to refuel. Try the Connemara crab tostada’s or buttermilk and orange pancakes for brunch, or warm up with a grilled Gubbeen cheese and chorizo toastie for lunch before heading back out to dodge raindrops. 

10 | St Nicholas' Collegiate Church 

Pop into St Nicholas' Collegiate Church for a self-guided tour of the largest medieval parish church in Ireland in continuous use as a place of worship. Among several monuments and memorials the oldest belongs to a Crusader named Adam Bures, with a marker dating from the 13th century. At the roof edge the church is topped off by gargoyles carved as the heads of horses and humans, a manticora and a fierce stone lion.

Take a tour of Ireland's largest medieval parish church.
Take a tour of Ireland's largest medieval parish church.

Grab an umbrella and do a tour

11 | Galway City Sightseeing Tour with Lally Tours

If you prefer to travel on wheels, stay dry while you see all the key sights with Lally Tours on their double-decker, open-top, sight-seeing bus tour. Spend an hour in comfort as the route winds its way past Galway Harbour, The Claddagh, Salthill Promenade, Galway Cathedral and many more of the city's landmarks. With regular departures from Eyre Square and Salthill and 48-hour ticket options, hop on and off as you explore the city at your own pace.

12 | Galway City Tours & Galway City Walking Tours

If walking in the rain is your thing, don your hooded jacket and comfortable shoes to take a stroll with Galway City Tours. Learn about the rich history of the City of the Tribes and the impact of the Famine on the region as you’re guided through the streets of Galway. Or why not arrange a private ramble with Galway City Walking Tours? Departing from Eyre Square (or the starting point of your choice), your guide takes you to historical spots like Lynch’s Castle, St Nicholas' Collegiate Church and The Kings Head pub before finishing at the Spanish Arch.

Delegates out walking by Galway Cathedral
Take a tour of Galway City.

Explore Galway’s natural history

13 | Galway Atlantaquaria

Visit Galway Atlantaquaria and take a deep dive into our rivers, lakes and oceans. Located along the Salthill Promenade, it’s Ireland’s largest native species aquarium. Angel sharks, stingrays and porcelain crabs float, glide and scuttle through displays designed to reflect natural habitats. Dedicated to biodiversity and conservation, with a collection from around the world it’s a celebration of life under water.

While in the Aquarium Building, pop into Ground & Co. and grab a window seat with a view of Galway Bay. A Nutella hot chocolate will sweeten any damp day. Savoury specials include a buttermilk chicken wrap with ranch and iceberg, or halloumi, avocado and red onion on ciabatta.

14 | Zoology and Marine Biology Museum

Escape the drizzle at the National University of Ireland Galway, also home to the James Mitchell Museum, and discover over 500 examples of creatures at Galway’s Dead Zoo. The Zoology and Marine Biology Museum on the ground floor of the Ryan Institute is positively stuffed full of exotic animals from the four corners of the globe. The collection of mammals, birds, and fish includes specimens once owned by Charles Darwin. 

Boy looking at fish inside Galway Atlantaquaria
Observe sea creatures at Ireland’s largest native species aquarium.

Have a bite to eat or an afternoon treat

15 | Galway Food Tours

Bring an empty belly and a curious mind and join Galway Food Tours on a journey of culinary discovery. Whether you prefer a day or evening option and want to move around on foot or by bicycle, a choice of itineraries seeks out local specialities. If you’re looking for wonderful whiskey, artisan chocolate or ocean fresh oysters, you’ll be guided straight to Galway’s best delicacies.

16 | Micil Distillery

While away a wet afternoon immersed in whiskey making history. Head upstairs at the Oslo Bar in Salthill to the Micil Distillery that’s been six generations in the making. Learn about their poitín based on a centuries old recipe and taste test their award-winning gin. On a behind the scenes tour you’ll see where the magic happens at this fully functional distillery and visitors centre.

17 | Kai Restaurant

Named in the top three places to eat in the world by Lonely Planet, Kai Restaurant's simple formula of serving high quality organic or wild produce has seen it win awards every year since it opened. Visit at lunchtime for warming fare like the chicken noodle bowl or their own Kai sausage roll, while dishes like Roscommon lamb chops followed by malt ice cream and strawberries make for a delicious dinner experience.

Visit Kai as part of the Galway Food Tours.
Visit Kai as part of the Galway Food Tours.
Get ready for your rainy day getaway in Galway city

Discover all the fantastic free things to do in Galway city whatever the weather and plan your trip to this dynamic destination.

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Coastal escapesTake off to Galway city car-free

Everything you’ve heard about Galway is true. The capital of the West is colourful, musical and forever creative, and that spirit of invention is applied with equal vigour on the stage, the canvas and in the kitchen. Galway’s bohemian essence is in evidence throughout the city, but you’ll get a pretty strong sense of it by exploring the West End and sampling some of its extraordinary cuisine.

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