by Rachel Garvey
Galway; the compact city known for its nightlife and ancient history, which silently awaits attention from the locals and tourists in the areas of Eyre Square, Shop Street, The Spanish Arch, and The Claddagh. A city is known for its vast selection of pubs and clubs to choose from when you’re on a night out on the town, but we have forced ourselves into an unhealthy habit of thinking that Galway’s pubs and clubs are all that Galway has to offer. I strongly disagree with the statement that apart from pubs and clubs, the Galway nightlife has nothing else to offer. We are underestimating our beautiful city by ruling out all the hidden places that stay tucked away in Shop Street and down the backstreets, but fear not, let me shed some light on a couple of places that are worth the visit whether it’s day time or night time.
Pubs and clubs are great and all, there’s no denying that, but we need to stop thinking they are the only places in Galway to go. Let’s all just rule out the pubs and clubs for a few minutes, just a few short minutes while I take you on a small tour, I promise they’ll still be there when you get back. Let’s start with Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, situated in the backstreets of Galway in the Cornstore. It’s a quiet place filled with brand new and second-hand books at a good price too. It is the ideal place to find your favourite books and get away from the hustle and bustle in the crowded main streets. Now, let’s move on a little further down past the Spanish Arch and we take a right turn down towards the Roisìn Dubh. Venture past that venue and we will stumble upon The Secret Garden, a cozy little café with cushions to sit on surrounded by fairy lights, and it is the ideal place to go for a quiet cup of tea and a slice of cake, not to mention you’ll be able to chill with their resident cat. Right, back into the city centre and we will head towards the Galway Shopping Centre, to The Planet Bowling Alley, where students can enjoy a free bowling experience. Every Monday and Tuesday at 7pm, students can enjoy bowling if they purchase a drink at the bar, but it’s on a first-come-first-served basis.
As I said previous, we need to put a stop to underestimating our city. There’s so much to experience if we explore a little more. Take a look at the little things like taking a walk on the Salthill Prom, going for a tasty milkshake or smoothie at Shake in the Eyre Square Shopping Centre, going for Jumbo pancakes covered in Nutella, bananas and almonds in Pascal Coffee House, situated at the back of the Eyre Square Centre. Even taking a stroll down the Claddagh and watching the boats and swans pass by can be quite therapeutic, especially with exam season approaching, as well as the stress of submitting numerous assignments. That pretty much concludes the tour, hopefully it has shed some light on the fact that there’s more to do in Galway other than pubbing and clubbing. It is perfectly understandable to know that the majority of students prefer the nights out to blow off steam after studying, but for those who want to take a break from the crowds and loud music, then the previous places mentioned are well worth a visit to relax and give your mind some space to think about things that aren’t related to your college course. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go to Insomnia and down a hot chocolate, not caring if I had a chocolate moustache after it, instead of being in a crowded pub and having some intoxicated person bump into me with their pint of alcohol. Alcohol is no substitute for a nice cup of hot chocolate.