Steeped in history, the charming city of Galway is often referred to as the 'most Irish' of Irish cities, where the language can often be heard in the shops and the streets. The city also boasts a contemporary vibe, and this exciting contrast means that between the remains of the medieval city walls and beautiful 16th century buildings, there is an array of brightly-painted pubs and a long promenade leading to the famous bay.
Galway began as a tiny fishing village catching salmon from the River Corrib. In the 13th century the then-town was captured by English forces, who built the defensive fortifications that remain today. Supporting the English crown ensured that Galway thrived, and its coastal location meant that it was soon trading wine, spices and fish with much of Europe, becoming one of the continent's largest ports in that time. Today the city is still a major tourist attraction, still famed for its fishing heritage - in particular, the oysters from Galway Bay. Highlights of the city include the grand harbour area and the mighty Galway Cathedral, whose distinctive dome is an icon of the city's skyline.