Best things to see and do in Galway as it’s named European Capital of Culture

Looking for a getaway that's budget-friendly and offers heaps of culture? Then you may want to head to Galway.

That's because the Irish hotspot has been named the European Capital of Culture for 2020, and it's celebrating the new accolade with a jam-packed programme.

We're talking heaps of exciting theatre shows, concerts, exhibitions, literary events and even specially created artwork from the likes of David Best and John Gerrard.

Highlights include a light show turning the Mountains of Connemara green on St Patrick's Day, created by Finnish artist Kari Kola, and an appearance from Margaret Atwood for the International Women's Day celebrations.

Oh, and to kick it all off, Galway 2020 will open with a free week-long festival of fire moving through six towns and villages and culminating with an opening ceremony in Galway City on Saturday 8th February 2020.

According to the official website, the theme of the programme will be 'Making Waves' which aims to create new ways of thinking, working and more partnerships for a creative Galway.

Alongside all of the exciting events, there is of course plenty to see in Galway if you want to go exploring.

Take a leisurely stroll through Galway City's streets and you'll find hotspots like the medieval Kirwan's Lane, where you can take in the architecture or pop into the restaurant for a spot of lunch.

The Galway Old Town right by the harbour is also a pretty sight thanks to its colourful pastel buildings and waterfront location.

Another highlight includes Eyre Square where you'll find plenty of shops and restaurants, as well as seasonal markets and a few grassy spots which tend to be popular on sunnier days.

Galway City Museum and Galway Cathedral are also well worth a visit (and handy for those days when the weather lets you down).

Meanwhile intrepid explorers will want to head to the picturesque Galway Bay where you can take in views of the Aran Islands (and even take a trip to see Aran Island Castle). Salthill Promenade tends to be one of the popular vantage points.

Adventurers may also want to leave space on the itinerary for a trip to Connemara National Park with its sweeping landscapes, countless walking trails and picturesque villages.

Looking for budget accommodation? can be a good source for cheap hotels in Galway .

You can find out more on the official Galway 2020 website . Tickets for events will go on sale in November 2019.

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