This museum focuses on the history of Galway, with exhibitions covering everything from the traditional Galway hooker boat to local literary figures. Among the items in the collection are prehistoric stone ax-heads, a medieval cannonball, and an execution warrant for Myles Joyce, a local who was wrongfully hanged for murder in 1882.
Galway City Museum is designed to be explored independently, with informational text providing context for the various objects on show. Well-presented collections focus on topics including Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age history, as well as Galway during World War I and the Irish independence movement. The museum hosts occasional talks, family-oriented guided tours, performances, and workshops.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Galway City Museum is a must for those interested in local history.
- A café on the ground floor offers refreshments and views over Galway’s landmark Spanish Arch.
- Galway City Museum is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Galway City Museum is situated in central Galway on the banks of the River Corrib, overlooking the Spanish Arch. If you’re in the center of Galway city, the best way to get to the museum is on foot. Walking from Eyre Square should take just 10 minutes
When to Get There
The museum is open every day except Monday. It’s typically busiest 12pm–3pm, so come early in the morning or in the late afternoon to beat the crowds.
The Spanish Arch
Galway City Museum sits beside the Spanish Arch, an add-on to the city’s medieval walls that was erected during Galway port’s 16th-century trading heyday. Despite its name, the arch itself has no known connection to Spain; its title, rather, is believed to reference the Spanish merchant ships that once docked here. Nowadays, the arch is a popular photo op for tourists and a busy sunny-day hangout, with people congregating here to socialize and to listen to street musicians.