It’s almost that time of year when everyone’s favourite question is creeping into the conversation again.. so what is Santy bringing ye for Christmas?
Christmas music is playing in the shops, the decorations are being installed, and most importantly, the Christmas markets are coming to towns across Ireland. We love the hustle and bustle these markets bring at Christmas time, with the beautifully crafted gift options and festive appetisers to keep us all jolly. We have compiled a list of the best markets to visit during the holiday season to get you right in the Christmas spirit!
Coming in at number 1 is the Galway Christmas market! Close to our hearts and in the City of Tribes, the Galway Christmas market is back to bring its beautiful sparkle from 6pm on Friday, 11th November, until Thursday, 22nd December 2022.
This will be the thirteenth year of the market in Galway. Visitors can enjoy various stalls in Eyre Square along with amusement rides, including a 32-metre-high Ferris Wheel and Santa’s Express Train! Enjoy a magical walk through the enchanted light gardens with friends and family, which can make for the perfect insta photo!
The 2022 Market will also feature Christmas gift ideas from local and European traders.
Looking to get to the Galway Markets this year? We have daily services up to every 30 minutes from Dublin Airport and Dublin City to Galway!
Every year, Glow Cork transforms Bishop Lucey Park into an enchanting Christmas festival in the centre of Cork city. This year Glow runs from November 25th – January 8th. Here you will find Santa’s magical workshop deep within a winter wonderland. Here, Santa’s elves prepare him for his busiest night of the year, delivering presents to the world! But, before you go, get the kids to write their Santa letter before going so they can post it in Glow’s letterbox when you get there.
If you plan on making the family trip to Glow Cork from Galway or Dublin, you can travel with Irish Citylink or Gobus!
3. Dublin Castle Christmas Market
At number 3, we have the Dublin Castle Christmas Market! Making its return to the courtyard of the castle for the fourth time, the market will be filled with more than 30 traditional market stalls. A little bit different to other markets, this is a tickets market that only lasts the 13 days before Christmas! Each stall features an array of crafts and gift ideas for treating your loved ones with some unique gifts. Not to mention the food and drinks stalls that will have some delicious festive goodies on offer! So let your inner child roam free and enjoy the light displays and fun fair with a vintage carousel.
Don’t miss out on the festive fun! Book your journey NOW at Irish Citylink or Gobus to any of these amazing destinations over the Christmas holiday season!
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While winter conjures up thoughts of dark, rainy weather, it is a season for some wholesome, cosey days by the fire with a mug of hot choco. So as the days get shorter and nights get longer, why not beat those winter blues with a lovely Winter Escape?
We have searched for some of Ireland’s best Winter Escapes for you!
As our Head Quarter’s are placed in Galway, Connemara has a special place in our hearts! One of the best spots to enjoy the thrill of stormy weather and a cosy home from home is the McEvilly family’s beautifully located country house hotel on Cashel Bay.
With a well-earned reputation as one of the country’s most relaxing retreats, it’s set in extensive gardens. They’re known for quiet, comfortable accommodation and good food (we hear their breakfasts are to die for!). With open fires at every turn, it’s the perfect place to chill out with a good book in winter. Sounds like heaven to me!
Dating back to the 18th Century, Dunraven Arms is a four-star hotel situated in Limerick with luxurious rooms and breathtaking views. Their rooms are wonderfully adorned with antiques and flat-screen televisions, with some suites featuring four-poster or canopy beds. You can live out a Victorian Era-styled weekend in these lavish rooms! The hotel also has a spa, indoor pool, and exercise rooms. In addition, there are three reading rooms where guests can enjoy relaxation or afternoon tea. A bit of luxury before Christmas could be precisely what you need.
The Imperial Hotel is a timeless landmark in the heart of Cork City with real character and a boutique design.
It is famous for being Cork’s first hotel built over 200 years ago. Situated in the centre of the pedestrianised zone in Cork City, it is the prime location for the perfect winter escape. The world-famous English Market and the hustle and bustle of Patrick Street and Oliver Plunkett Street are right on the doorstep! The Imperial Hotel is regarded by many as the ‘Grande Dame’ of Cork. You can enjoy the finest afternoon tea, relax is their luxury spa or enjoy their vibrant cocktail bar.
If you’re looking for more of a homely feel, then the Wineport Lodge is just the place for you. With a unique sense of cosiness and comfort at every turn, the Wineport Lodge is situated on the banks of Lough Ree. Its tranquil country setting, paired with the native woodland and water, creates the perfect peaceful atmosphere for those looking for time away from a busy lifestyle. They even have rooms with private balconies overlooking the lake! You can cosy up in the lakeshore lounge with a warm glass of mulled wine and savour a leisurely breakfast in bed the following day.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!
The air is getting crisper, the leaves are getting crunchier, and pumpkin-spiced lattes are back in town. All of this means one important thing… Spooky Season is upon us! As the land of myths and legends, Halloween is a tradition that has been celebrated in Ireland for well over a thousand years.
Which got us wondering… what exactly are the origins of Halloween? Although wildly popular in America (as one of the best nights of the year), Halloween is filled with street decorations, on people’s houses and costumed kids running around. Some might think it came from Mexico’s Day of the Dead. However, the festival of Halloween actually originated in Ireland as a pagan festival called Samhain (pronounced saw-when). This was when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts before welcoming the darker months of the year.
In modern times though, Ireland is very similar to America in the tradition of good old trick or treating, not to mention the barmbrack tradition, bopping for apples and fireworks! Since this Halloween is the first without social distancing in two years, we imagine everyone will only be itching to get out and have some spooky-filled fun.
We’ve done you the favour of finding some of the best Halloween-themed events happening in Ireland over the next few weeks!
THE NIGHTMARE REALM – DUBLIN
At Number One is The Nightmare Realm, known for being the ‘Most Entertaining Horror Experience’ and even awarded ‘No.1 Haunt in the world!’
From humble beginningsin Tralee, Kerry, back in 2009, to now having its 7th year in the Big Smoke (Dublin City), The Nightmare Realm set out to terrorise the people of Ireland. Each year is different to the last as they redesign haunt themes and mazes, switch up characters and update their most infamous rooms! Nothing is ever the same as it once was. It’s innovative, entertaining and, most importantly.. absolutely terrifying!
Known for their infamous Halloween Parades, Macnas are up to something very different this year. Instead of roaming the streets of Galway, you can find them at Macnas HQ at Fisheries Field, Galway, where apparently an ancient giant named Con Mór lives! Professor Marjorie Morrigan, an expert in Giants & Where They Come From, has said – “This giant seems to have been here for centuries. There is a very large iron nose, so big and rusty, you could park a car in one of the nostrils.”
The word on the street is this big fella belongs to the legendary Tuatha De Danann tribe and comes from an ancient Island of Giants off the coast of Connaught. Con Mór was so famous across Ireland for his love of birds and nature that his friends called him The Bird King!
Perfect for the family and kids, or even those really big kids who just never knew how to grow up. You can see CON MÓR, The Giant, situated on the banks of the River Corrib from 12 noon on Saturday, 29th & Sunday, 30th October 2022. Keep an eye out and see if you catch the pop-up performances from the Macnas Drummers, Macnas Brass, Macnas Stilters and Macnas Youth Theatre across Galway city!
Travel from Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Kinnegad and more! Check out our website for more details at citylink.ie
3. LIMERICK CIVID TRUST HAUNTED HALLOWEEN WALKING TOUR
This year, the Limerick Civic Trust offers the opportunity to take a walking tour of Limerick’s haunted medieval quarter in St. Munchin’s Graveyard and Bishop’s Palace, Church Street, Kings Island. Hear about all the tales of Limerick’s ghastly past with tales of ghosts that are said to haunt The Bishop’s Palace and the area of King’s Island to this very day!
You’ll get to hear first-hand about the haunting experiences that the Limerick Civic Trust staff and volunteers have experienced in the building. The tour takes you all around these areas where terrible murders took place. Where ghosts that warn of impending death live, such as the Delmedge ghost that is said to haunt the area.
Due to the scary nature of the tour, apparently, participants are even asked to sign a waiver before partaking in the tour! Saying all those who manage to complete the tour will receive a certificate of completion will show just how brave you are.
Tours run every day from Wednesday, 25th October to Tuesday, 31st October, inclusive at 5 pm & 6 pm.
This year marks the awakening of a giant and beautiful beast. Coming out of her slumber and calling out to her legion of otherworldly night creatures to celebrate Samhain. The moment when our human world and the other world, the unseen world of shadows, coexist freely.
Welcoming its 17th year, the Dragon of Shandon Parade is the highlight of CCAL’s annual arts calendar. Working with local artists to create a cultural hub and provide a friendly and carnival atmosphere within the entire city on Halloween night.
Some of the groups already involved in this year’s parade so far are the Cope Foundation, National Learning Network, YMCA, Aisling Cap, Joan Denise School of Dance, Cork City Samba, Circus Factory, The Tribe Dance Academy, UCC Film and Screen Media, Aatma Indian Dance Troupe and many more.
For a relatively small island, Ireland is blessed to have several airports for passengers to travel through. Each of the four provinces has at least one international airport, which makes Ireland a very well-connected country. In recent months, now that travel has returned to near normal, major airports across the world have seen delays and disruptions. However, cork Airport, Ireland’s second-largest airport, was ready to adapt and grow and is still expanding services, offering a lot of international routes.
Citylink proudly serves Cork Airport as part of the 251 Galway-Limerick-Cork Route, offering times to compliment outgoing and incoming flights. Our team recently took a trip down to Cork Airport to see how handy it is to get through the airport – From Door to Departures.
Citylink services pull up right outside the terminal building of Cork Airport. If the bus was any closer, it’d be on the tarmac with the plane! When you disembark the bus, you’re just a few metres away from the entrance to the building. Cork Airport is pretty compact. Everything is there for you as you walk through the main doors. You have your check-in desks in front of you, cafes and shops to the left, seating areas dotted along the building, and cool displays showing local bars and restaurants.
When you start making your way through the airport and get through security, it will literally take a couple of minutes to get from the front door to your departure gate (not including a stop in Duty-Free, mind you).
A trip through the airport is not complete until you spend some time in Duty-Free. When you get through security, you’ll find yourself in “The Loop.” Alcohol, perfumes, chocolates, and Clonakilty sausages and rashers are the perfect items to be shopping for before boarding your plane.
On our trip through the airport, we were amazed at how quick and convenient the airport was and how easy it was to navigate, which, for any traveler, is very reassuring.
The same can be said for inbound passengers to Cork Airport. You disembark the aircraft, and you’re nearly immediately at passport control. Once you’ve finished up there, you simply turn around the corner, and you’re at baggage claim! Before you know it, you’re passing through the doors to the arrivals lounge – back to where your journey through Cork Airport began.
Citylink offers 8 daily services to and 8 daily services from Cork Airport, bringing you to/from the airport’s front door.
Now that Cork Airport is adding more departures – including new routes to Rome and Newcastle, maybe a winter break is on the cards? We sure are tempted anyways!
What you need to know about the cost. Travelling from Galway City to Dublin Airport by car can be an expensive and often stressful effort. However, your trip to the airport should be filled with excitement and relaxation, rather than worrying about the price. So let us help you figure out how to avoid the headache and empty wallets of today’s road travel. We calculated the cost of fuel, tolls, and parking versus the cost of a Citylink return fare.
Based on a one-week return trip to Dublin Airport by car, the cost would be €131.10 compared to Citylink’s online ticket price of €28. Not to mention the freedom of sitting back with free WiFi, plug sockets, and air-conditioning. Why not let someone else do the work and enjoy some quality me time?
Keep reading to see how much choosing to book with Citylink can save you.
The Cost of Fuel – €75
The average cost of fuel from Galway to Dublin is €75
According to the AA.ie route planner calculator, it would cost approximately €75 to complete a round trip from Galway to Dublin Airport based on the average vehicle. This estimate is based on a route via the M6 motorway. The price may vary based on the fuel used, the car you’re driving model, and when you ultimately decide to travel.
The Cost of Tolls – €16.40
Tolls on the M6 and M4 come to €4.80 one way. Toll plazas are the unfortunate necessity of a trip from Galway direct to Dublin. While travelling by car, they are something you will have to take into account. You will come across three toll plazas on your journey from Galway to Dublin City / Airport. One at Ballinasloe (€2.00 one way) & one approaching Kilcock (€3.00 one way), M50 Barrier (€3.20 one way). Meaning a return journey adds up to €16.40.
The Cost of Parking – €66.50
Dublin Airport parking is paid by the day for a long-term stay. Parking at Dublin Airport costs €40.00 per day or €4.00 per hour for a short-term stay, a price that can add up quite quickly. Long-term, however, which would be applicable in the case of our one-week stay example, would come to €14.00 per day – an astronomical price for a family holiday. In total, the cost of a return trip to Dublin Airport from Galway by car would be between €140.90 and €150.90, compared to Citylink’s online price of €28. That’s over five times as costly to travel by car.
So Why Choose Citylink? Opting to take a Citylink coach service to the airport instead of driving could save you as much as €112.90! This saving would make quite a difference to your holiday funds.
We have over 20 daily services from Galway – Dublin Airport. And 20 daily services from Dublin Airport – Galway, so you are guaranteed to find a time that suits you. Plus, our services provide free WiFi, plug sockets, air conditioning, on-board toilets, and reclining seats – the perfect environment to relax while you head to the airport.
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At Citylink, we are proud to serve the region of Connemara. Clifden, Cleggan, Oughterard, Letterfrack – the list of stops along our 923 route are as beautiful as each other. Connemara is the perfect place for any visitor to experience the Wild Atlantic Way. It offers visitors some of the most scenic views and natural beauty you can find across Ireland. Places like Inishbofin Island, Clifden Town, Wildlands Adventures, and others provide top-notch experiences for anyone who finds themselves out in this beautiful part of Ireland.
We had the pleasure of filming and producing our brand new “Hidden Gems” ad campaign highlighting Citylink 923 Galway to Clifden/Cleggan route. With each diverse shot, you’ll be amazed by the stunning surroundings of the Wild Atlantic Coast. To coincide with this ad, we thought we’d run through some of the iconic landmarks featured in the clip that you just MUST Visit.
Known as one of the best pubs in Clifden and Voted Best Traditional Bar, Ireland 2019, 2018 & 2015, Lowry’s Bar is the perfect place for a bite to eat and a lovely pint. You will have a fantastic time with their amazing traditional style interior and charming staff. A special shout out to barman Damien, whose smile would brighten up any oul grumps day! Lowry’s Bar also has one of the most fascinating backstories we’ve ever heard, bringing a rich character to the place.
Lowry’s Bar Clifden has been in the Lowry family since 1949. At this time, Patrick Lowry, a Garda sergeant stationed in Donegal, decided to retire and move back home to his native Connemara. Upon his return, he decided to buy a pub. As chance would have it, a cousin of his was selling a pub in Clifden located at Market Street, then known as Connolly’s Bar.
So he bought the pub in Clifden, renamed it Lowry’s Bar, and sure the rest, as they say, is history! Patrick ran the business as not only a pub but a grocery as well. The grocery section was situated at the front, and the public house section was at the back. We can imagine that was very handy if you were tired after doing a day’s shopping! You could stop out the back to Lowrys Bar, where a well-poured Guinness would give you some strength for the walk home!
The most interesting part of Lowry’s history is the unique selling point of offering patrons the chance to cure a toothache! A dentist called Mr. John Bermingham operated his dental practice from a small room at the back of the pub. The story goes that patrons in Lowrys Bar would be sent out to have a sizeable Jameson after a visit to the dentist to numb any pain and, of course, settle the nerves. It’s no wonder it soon developed the reputation for being one of the best pubs in Clifden!
In 1977 Patrick’s niece Eilish and her husband Paul took ownership of Lowry’s Bar which they ran until Paul passed away in 2010. Paul was a natural in the pub, a particularly popular figure with all customers, locals, and visitors, and is sorely missed. Eilish is still involved in the pub but is now taking a well-deserved break from the business’s day-to-day running. Damien, the current owner, is the third generation of the family to own and run the pub. He hopes to emulate the great success of Patrick, Paul, and Eilish before him.
If you are looking for a place to stay while in Connemara, the Clifden Station House is the perfect base to explore the majestic beauty of Connemara.
The Clifden Station House is Galway’s most popular family hotel. Immersed in the heart of the Wild Atlantic way. The cosy modern hotel has many rooms to choose from, with double rooms, family rooms, junior suites, and deluxe double rooms available. As well as an indoor swimming pool, spa and free kids throughout the school holidays including movies shown in our own 200-seat theatre.
You can also indulge in their delicious gourmet dinners created for you by our award-winning Chef Pascal Marino. They have a fantastic 10% discount on their Gourmet Dining Breaks which are not to be missed. We treated ourselves to their stunning lunch menu at their Signal Bar & Restaurant, and we must Connemara seafood tastes divine!
Clifden Bookshop is one of the staple retail outlets in Clifden. Based on Main Street, this little gem is the perfect store to visit when you’re in the area.
The Clifden Bookshop opened in 1997. It is a niche business in the beautiful town of Clifden, known as the Capital of Connemara. When you walk through the door, you’re greeted by walls filled with gorgeous colourful books and the lovely smiling face of Nicole, the owner of Clifden Bookshop. They state, “Our mantra is that there is a book out there that is the key to unlocking a lifelong love of reading.” And have first-hand knowledge of their stock in their “Room with the Books.”
One of the very cool parts of Clifden Bookshop is you’ll see walls of familiar faces who have passed through the store over the past 25 years. You’re sure to find some inspiration here and a chance to chat about your most recently read books!
Cleggan is a beautiful seaside village right on the edge of Ireland. Cleggan is also the point for those wishing to travel to Inishbofin Island will catch the boat. When you arrive in Cleggan via Citylink, you’ll see the village has four bars Olivers, Joyces, Newmans, and The Pier Bar. One a grocer, a sit-down restaurant, and a seasonal take-out.
In addition to trips to the local islands, leisure activities for visitors include horseback riding and fishing.
We’d always recommend a trip out to Inishbofin Island – It’s the perfect place for a bike ride or a stroll. The lads at Inishbofin Ferries and the office staff are quick to recommend things to do or places to go for a bite on the island.
Last but not least, situated in the West of Ireland in County Galway, Connemara National Park covers some 2,000 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980.
Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School, the remainder having been owned by private individuals. The southern part of the Park was at one time owned by Richard (Humanity Dick) Martin who helped to form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century. The Park lands are now wholly owned by the State and managed solely for National Park purpose.
The views here are absolutely breath taking and the hike will be sure to get those steps in!
Does this sound like the perfect weekend for you? Well then you are in luck! We are hosting a Weekend Giveaway for Connemara over on our Instagram page. Head there now to enter!
Athlone is the gem in the centre of Ireland. With Dublin to the east and Galway to the west, Athlone is the perfect middle point. Loaded with great shopping and beautiful surroundings, it’s the ideal place for a day trip or to visit for a weekend.
Athlone is served by Citylink’s Multi-Stop 763 Route, which provides services from Athlone to Dublin, Galway, and many towns between the two. Citylink has recently joined as proud Athlone Chamber of Commerce members and enjoys being part of the community. For those unfamiliar with Athlone, we thought we’d give you an idea of what you can do and see in this beautiful town in the heart of Ireland.
Food & Drink
Athlone is lucky to have a great selection of food and drink places to choose from, from fine dining to little coffee shops – all of which are perfect for a trip to the town. Here are some great spots we’d recommend.
Poppy Fields is a cute place to go for breakfast. Poppy Fields’ menu boasts a great selection of foods, with four Hot Specials available daily to compliment the regular menu. They also offer healthy options every day, which are really delicious. In addition, Poppy Fields makes its own bread, scones, and cakes and offers an all-day breakfast option.
Lunch is essential when you’re roaming around and shopping. We love Bastion Kitchen in Athlone. They offer a vast range of healthy options, which are so tasty. Not only is it a great place to pop in for a bite, but they also have a range of sustainable items for sale, so you can take the Bastion Kitchen journey with you! Check out their site for their range of goods.
There are so many options when it comes to dinner and drinks! Our team members have a few options for eating: Dead Centre Brewing, Gertie Browns (Hatter’s Lane), or Il Collesseo for dinner. Dead Centre is more chill vibes, and who doesn’t love a pizza and craft beer combo. Their selection of beers is really cool too! Then you have Gerties/Hatters or Il Collesseo, which are excellent for a more formal-style, sit-down meal.
Shop Til You Drop
Athlone has some top-quality shopping – from boutique stores to shopping centers, full of great outlets. Golden Island is a firm staple of the Athlone retail scene and offers shoppers some great choices from Penneys, Born, Park Jewellers, and more! In addition, you’ll find great shopping spaces in the center of town, including Athlone Towncentre, a mall with a whole host of shops and cafes.
There are a lot of neat boutiques around the town, so it is well worth spending a couple of hours wandering around, popping in and out – you’ll definitely find a good bargain for yourself!
Many outdoor activities require good weather – which can be hard to come by in Ireland. Nevertheless, we’ve decided to mention a few outdoorsy things and fun activities you can do in Athlone!
Bay sports, just on the outskirts of Athlone, is pure fun for all the family with its giant inflatables out in the water at the Hodson Bay Hotel. If you’ve ever seen the show “Total Wipeout” and wanted to try it out, this place would be perfect for that. Hodson Bay is a great spot for leisure and water activities.
Nearby, for the golfers, is Athlone Golf Club, a great course to play and take in the sights and sounds of the Midlands.
If you start discovering Athlone, be it for a day of shopping at Golden Island, to sample the delicious cuisine at Dead Centre Brewing, or to enjoy some of the outdoor activities, be sure to share your pictures and #DiscoverAthlone
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Galway is one of those places that when the sun starts to shine, you just don’t want to be at home. You’d much rather be out and about, taking in the sights and sounds of everyone enjoying the summer sun. Galway has some iconic places to spend a summer evening like Spanish Arch, Eyre Square and Woodquay – all with stunning views and perfect for a cheeky drink.
Summers in Galway can be electric. You’ll see tourists and locals mixing with culture and music and there’s always so much to do. We’ve decided to give you guys an idea of how to best spend a summer night in Galway and make the most of the upcoming warm and sunny days.
Dinner in the Dean
The Dean, a recently opened hotspot, is one of those iconic landmarks in Galway. Situated just off of Eyre Square, sitting on their rooftop terrace on a warm day while you eat is idyllic. Acknowledged as “a slice of boutique bliss in the heart of Galway, one of Europe’s friendliest cities”, The Dean and their rooftop restaurant, Sophie’s will offer any visitor a high-class, spectacular dining experience while you take in the view of Galway City.
Swan Out To Salthill
It’s almost criminal to be in Galway on a warm summer day or evening and not venture out to Salthill. Salthill on a warm day is world-class – you may even think you were in Spain. Taking the 401 city bus from Galway and getting off near the church in Salthill, you’re only a stones throw away from the beach. There’s a lot of cool places to stop and grab a bite, a drink or a coffee in Salthill. O’Reilly’s Bar has a stunning rooftop veranda where you can have a chilled drink and look out to the ocean.
Head down towards Blackrock Diving Tower and you’ll arrive upon up to Jungle Café where you can get delicious coffee and treats which are just perfect for a warm summers evening while listening to the waves.
Booze in the Blue Note
Galway’s Westend is where it happens. There are so many cool bars, restaurants and cafes. The Blue Note is a staple of the Westend’s bar scene. Just on the corner of William Street, the Blue Note is a perfect place to continue your day out in Galway in the sunshine. Sit in their beer garden, which is a hub of activity in the evenings and weekends and listen to some great local music – we can’t think of a better way to chill out!
According to galwaywestend.ie, the philosophy of the Blue Note is “drinks are something to enjoy while you talk to friends, not something you talk about.”
Get A Load of GIAF
July in Galway is massive. From mid to end July, you’ll meet some of the finest talent and artists both local and international under the roof of Galway International Arts Festival. GIAF 2022 kicks off on July 11th and is the first full programmed festival since 2019. Have a pint and ice-cream at the Festival Garden in Eyre Square, take in a world-class music act at the Heineken Big Top or see one of the street acts – there’ll be plenty of music, art, theatre and performances for everyone to go and see.
As proud Friends of the Festival, Citylink will be giving away tickets to shows during the festival so be sure to check out @citylinkireland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your chance to win!
Galway is the fourth largest city in the Republic of Ireland and has one of the island’s most vibrant and diverse cultural scenes! From Art, music, and theatre to just the people you meet on the street, there is a reason Galway was voted the Capital of Culture in 2020. With many events happening here, it’s difficult to get bored. Especially during the summer months!
Citylink is proud to become a Friend of the Galway International Arts Festival this year as we appreciate how important the arts are for fostering creativity, empathy, and education. In July, GIAF invites world-class acts from all over the globe to the City of Tribes for two weeks of cultural extravagance! 2022 will be a particularly special year for the Festival as it will be the first full programme of events since Covid, and it’s set to be a big one!
In 2019, over 200 events took place in 30 venues for 14 days, with attendance above 260,000. The festival not only attracts the locals but people from all over the world travel to Galway for these two weeks as well. The Guardian has even named the Festival one of Europe’s Top 5 Summer Festivals.
Previous festival highlights include Medicine, Madness, Robert Plant, Joni Mitchell, Sam Jinks, Jenny Greene, Gavin James, Kodaline, St. Vincent, Burt Bacharach, Macy Grey, etc.
Some of the gigs and shows our team is looking forward to the most are:
Deservedly billed as “One of Ireland’s most exciting live acts,” the Academic is one of Ireland’s prolific rock bands, with several sold-out shows. They have also supported some huge acts like Twenty-One Pilots on tour! Some of their hits include “Bear Claws” and “Fake ID” – This is set to be one of the festival highlight shows, and they’re sure to rock the Big Top Tent!
This will be the ninth installment of “The Rooms” series by Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh. Enda Walsh is a multi-award-winning Irish playwright who has had many shows in the festival over the years! Previous installments of this series include “A Girls Bedroom,” “Bathroom,” and “Kitchen.” This immersive theatre piece is held in Columban Hall, a unique venue in Galway. The “Rooms” series has toured to Washington and New York; most recently, five of the works were presented at the Barbican, London. This is definitely a must-see show.
An art installation in the main gallery of the Festival. Ana Maria Pacheco is a Brazilian sculptor and artist. Recently exhibiting at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2017, pieces like The Longest Journey, Dark Night of the Soul, a masterpiece of myth and history, and a plethora of prints lined the gallery. Her exhibition was incredibly popular and drew a crowd to see the beautiful sculptures.
Dublin-born singer-songwriter Orla Gartland began her career posting videos on Youtube in 2009. Skip to now, and she has amassed 24+ million total views. She has now gone on to have her music featured on the acclaimed Netflix series “Heartstopper,” which was released earlier this year. Orla’s indie pop/folk vibe is definitely going to create a fantastic atmosphere for the audience, and we are super excited to go!
Druid Debuts 2022:
This is undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights of the Galway theatre and culture scene. Druid Debuts is an event of rehearsed readings that takes place annually and showcases some of their “New Writing Programme submissions.” Each summer, the selected playwrights are provided with professional support, a director, a cast, and space to develop their script to a rehearsed reading level. After the reading, audience feedback is invited as a means of further development.
Traveling to Dublin has never been so easy! From Galway, you can hop on a Citylink bus at nearly any hour to be in Dublin 2.5 hrs later. With the stress of day-to-day life, it is important to wind down – do some retail therapy, indulge in some culture, or just go up for a nosey.
Recently, our marketing team took a lovely trip up to Dublin City to look around and take in some of the sites. Here’s what they did:
Early Lunch at Mind The Step
After a 2.5-hour bus journey, the first port of call should always be a caffeine fix. After a short walk through Liffey Street and nearby lanes, Mind the Step on Strand Street caught our eye. You’re greeted by high ceilings, cool décor, and smiling baristas when you walk in.
The menu is small but full of delicious items. A variety of sandwiches from classic ham & cheese to turkey and cranberry can come with some super tasty soup too. The sandwiches are served on fresh sourdough bread with a side of crisps. Once the food is in front of you, your belly will rumble, and your mouth will water. One of the most essential items is coffee. The coffee is strong, fresh, and perfect for giving you the jumpstart you need to continue the day.
Mind the Step also doubles as a dance studio. As you wander around the building, you’ll see little nooks and crannies with spaces to read and relax – it’s a perfect little oasis in a busy neighbourhood and is totally worth a visit.
Stroll along the Liffey
After lunch, it’s important to get your steps in! Walking along the Liffey does that perfectly. Make sure to stop in one of the many Starbucks along the way to get an icy beverage as you take in the sights and sounds. You’ll see a contrast between old and new buildings, monuments, and cool industry buildings like Hubspot HQ. It’s cool to walk up and meet the Samuel Beckett bridge, a super unique bridge crossing the Liffey. It gives you a great view of Dublin Port and, on the other side, Dublin City.
A Tour of the EPIC museum
Epic Museum is one of the must-see gems in Dublin City. Our team was lucky to visit and tour the magnificent building and see the exhibit. EPIC Museum presents the life and story of Irish Emigration. The museum shows everything from the far-reaching parts of the world to the impact it has at home. The building itself is a piece of history – a restored merchant’s dock where goods were loaded/unloaded.
Each room in the museum shows many different aspects, from religion to celebration to modes of transport. Each aspect is presented uniquely through audio productions, interactive displays, voice-overs, sculptures, and video clips. The team at Citylink spent over an hour wandering through the various rooms, mostly saying “Wow” and “Oooh,” as most of the information was unknown or new to the team. It was fascinating to see the impact Irish emigration has had on Ireland and the world and how the Irish community expanded into nearly every corner of the globe. We couldn’t recommend them enough, especially for all those instagramble opportunities! Check out some of the fab shots we got inside:
A Day out in Dublin is something everyone should pop into the schedule, and be sure to check out Citylink timetables to find a time that works for you! Want to have an even better look at how our day went? Check out our How to spend your day in Dublin Vlog on our Instagram and TikTok page!