Did you know that the third most populous city in Ireland its cultural capital? Yes! Living in Galway is a passport to bohemian nights, adventures, and multiculturalism. Of course, Ireland has long been a favorite destination for students worldwide. And, there is no city they love best than Galway. Why shouldn’t they? There’s cultural diversity, craft beer, cool people.
But, there’s so much more to this city than meets the eye. Come along with us and get to know everything you need to know about living in Galway and how to make it happen.
Living In Galway | Your Guide Into Ireland’s Culture Capital
Here at GrowPro, we know what we’re talking about life-changing experiences. After all, we’ve been doing it in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Canada for years. So, you can trust us when we tell you that living in Galway is a must for adventurous souls. And there are many reasons for that…
Style and Quality of Life in Galway
Originally, Galway was a fishing town, thanks to its location on the western coast of Ireland. A river runs through it, so it was perfect for the purpose. But, not many people know that it has Spanish roots. Indeed! During the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish ships came to Ireland for trade and other activities. Then, many of the Spaniards stayed to live in Galway, as that was the port where they disembarked.
While living in Galway you will notice that life is very dynamic and cultural. This is due to the presence of many young people who come to learn about Irish history and traditions. Its approximately 80,000 inhabitants are constantly on the rise!
As a bonus, Ireland is one of the most recognized ecological countries in the world. Living in Galway means being a direct witness of the eco revolution.
5 Reasons for Living in Galway
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of coming to Ireland. Or perhaps your lifetime fantasy was to study abroad, even emigrate. But, if you’re still undecided on the city that’ll be your new home, we’ve made a list of advantages. After this, you may be sure living in Galway is your way to go 😉
Visit tourist attractions while living in Galway
We’ve always said a small city doesn’t need to be boring. Besides, Galway isn’t that small anyway. Especially if we consider that it is one of the most visited cities in Ireland. By living in Galway you will be close to various tourist attractions. Such as the Spanish Parade, the Lynch Memorial Window, and many museums and galleries. We’ll tell you all about that later.
Breathe better in a green city
The tax on oil, tobacco, and caring for the forests are just a few of Ireland’s environmental policies. They have taken many clever steps towards an entirely green city. While living in Galway you will be able to enjoy that love for the planet. Besides, you will notice an improvement in your health and wellbeing. The Emerald Isle is a nickname that suits the land of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow quite well.
Enjoy a student environment and lots of culture while living in Galway
There’s a reason why Galway was named European Capital of Culture 2020. In fact, there are many reasons. The cultural and historical wealth are its strongest points. Also, one of the top universities in Ireland is here. Imagine everything together to live a unique experience.
While living in Galway, you’ll find many work opportunities
There are many international companies in Ireland. Facebook is in Dublin, Apple in Cork and Galway has many others. For example, Coca-Cola, HP, and Oracle. There are many young and not so young people making their move to this city. Also, there are student jobs, such as bars, hotels, and restaurants that welcome people constantly, especially during touristy seasons.
Affordable costs of living in Galway
Another point in favor of living in Galway is the cost of living. Compared to other cities in the Emerald Island, here you’ll find affordable solutions. Whether you’re looking to share an apartment or have the entire space for yourself, you’ll find accessible opportunities.
Since the city’s not that big, you can choose to live further from the center and reach your school and workplace easily. But, we’ll delve deeper into that later.
Weather in Galway
An important issue when choosing where to move or what destination to visit is the weather. And if living in Galway is your dream, then you cannot ignore this aspect either. Let’s review the temperatures throughout the year. And, of course, the best times to travel to Galway.
Temperatures in Galway
The heat in Galway lasts from June to September. And the hottest day is June 26, with a temperature range of between 13ºC and 19ºC. So the average at this time is 17ºC. In this season the days are longer, lasting almost 17 hours.
The cold in Galway begins in mid-November until March 17, right on St. Patrick’s Day. Coincidence? We do not know. Anyway, the coldest day of the year is February 18, with a temperature range between 4ºC and 9ºC, the average being around 10ºC at this time. In mid-December, the days are shorter, with natural light for no more than 8 hours.
Rain and traveling times
The rains in Galway are variable. But the highest concentration of precipitation is between December and January. On the contrary, the time with the least probability of rain is almost at the end of April.
The best time of year in Galway is from late June to late August, for outdoor activities and general sightseeing. Keep that in mind when you get your plane tickets unless you want to experience inclement seasons.
Cost of Living in Galway
Another thing that we cannot ignore is the cost of living in Galway. As we said, Galway is more affordable than Dublin when it comes to rent, shopping, and services. Here are the approximate costs of basic products to live in Galway.
Accommodation and meals while living in Galway
We must say that with good financial order, living in Galway will be quite easy. But, it is important to remember that you may not have a life of luxury here. It is better to simply cook at home and keep saving as your priority.
Now, back to our business: the basic items to eat cost you more or less like this. Of course, it depends on the supermarket, the neighborhood, and other factors:
- 1 dozen eggs: € 2.80
- A liter of milk: € 0.97
- 1/2 kg of cheese: € 5.10
- 1 kg of apples: € 1.92
Regarding rent, there are many things to consider while living in Galway. For example, the size of the property, the area, the services, etc. Here are some scenarios:
- 85m2 furnished apartment in an expensive area: € 1500
- Basic services (electricity, water, heating): € 105
- 60mbps Internet: € 50
Fun while living in Galway
Of course, not because you’re living in Galway to study and work, that’s all you will be doing. We only live once. Imagine being in Guinness beer country and not taking advantage of it. Having fun is as important as studying or working, but it comes with a price. So, to give you an idea, these are some prices:
- A pint in a quiet bar: € 6
- Cinema ticket: € 10
- Dinner for two: € 39
- Monthly subscription to a gym: € 49
On average, an estimate for living in Galway is € 1960 per month, including rent. In other words, it is not exactly a cheap city. But you won’t have to worry once you start working because the salaries easily cover the cost of living.
Transport in Galway
The first thing you should know is that public transport in Galway relies mainly on buses. This is because the center is not large enough to require, for example, large train networks or many bus routes.
This is an advantage for those who hope that living in Galway will be a calm and cozy experience. Of course, bikes are the other most used means of transport to move around the city. Next, we are going to tell you a little more about the buses that are in this picturesque Irish city.
Buses in Galway
The bus service is much smaller than in other cities in Ireland due to the short extension of the urban area. But you’ll need them if you’ll be living in Galway to go to the outskirts of the city. For this, you can take one of the 9 bus lines that depart from Eyre Square, in the center.
They usually operate from 7 am. until 11 pm. on weekdays. And the hours are shorter on Saturdays and Sundays. The regional Bus Éireann line takes you from Galway to the surrounding area. So, for example, line 50 goes from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher on an express service. Line 424 takes you to the port where you take a ferry to go to the Aran Islands.
As this is quite an ecological country we could not put aside this popular and healthy means of transport. With it, while living in Galway, you can move around easily and ecologically. Here’s how it works. You can rent a bike from one of the various services throughout the city. It is even very common to find hotels with bike rentals. Companies like West Ireland Cycling have bikes from € 15 a day.
Where to Live in Galway
When it comes to considering where to live in Galway, there is not much to ponder. It is a small city. So the important thing, in this case, is not to stray too far from the center.
This is the area with the most movement and youth activity in Galway. It consists of the most important points such as the famous Latin Quarter, full of bars, Eyre Square, the Cathedral of San Nicolás. So, even if you don’t make your home here while living in Galway, it’ll be an obligatory stop.
If you always dreamed of living in front of the sea, Salthill is the best choice for you. Here, you find the best views. It has a 2km promenade and many bars and restaurants. It is a very touristy area due to the number of hotels and watery activities available.
This fishing area is considered the cradle of Gaelic culture. And, as such, it is quite an interesting place to live in Galway. It is connected to Galway Bay and the most visible attraction in this part of the city is the famous Spanish Arch.
There is also a very famous symbol of love and friendship linked to this locality: the Claddagh ring. Additionally, you can take a look at the website of Gort na Coiribe, a student complex. Staying here gives you a ton of friends the moment you start living in Galway.
You can also take a look at Daft, the rental website where you can get an idea of the accommodation prices and prepare a budget.
Advice to find accommodation while living in Galway
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t add a section of recommendations on places to live in Galway. Especially since you’ll be adjusting to an entirely new place:
- Do not book from your country. Sometimes, cammers put fake photos online to lure people. It is best to stay a few days in a hotel and see the spots for living in Galway by yourself.
- Deal with owners directly. Sometimes, some subtenants sublet a place that is not theirs. This causes problems in the long run. So make sure you’re dealing with the owner.
- Always requires some proof. This is a requirement to obtain your residence and stay to live in Ireland.
- Consider peak seasons. For St. Patrick’s or during warm seasons, tourism increases. This is inversely proportional to the availability of accommodation.
Nights Out While Living in Galway
It would not make sense to be living in Galway and not visit its bars and enjoy a good pint. Therefore we are going to go into detail on the best places to go out in Galway and have a great time.
At GrowPro, we always make sure to have something for all tastes. So, we’re starting with the Barrio Latino. By day and by night, the bars, restaurants, and cafes welcome hundreds of people. These include travelers, students, and locals. If you are looking for action, street parties, and variety, this is the place that suits you best. The best-known bars here are Tig Coili, Murphy’s Bar, Drop Inn or the Taaffes. If you visit, be sure to let us know how it went in the comments!
The name of this well-known bar is in Gaelic and means Black Rose, alluding to a very famous song for the Irish. The Roisin Dubh has a variety of shows and events. So, depending on the day, you can find comedy shows, live music. And, of course, a great variety of beers and traditional and seafood.
The Red Square is the bar of the Eyre Square Hotel, one of the most notable in the center. And is located right in front of the square of the same name, so it won’t be hard to find ;). Due to its large size, it is also suitable for celebrating special events: birthdays, weddings, parties, etc. There is a good drink menu and very friendly staff, typical of the Irish.
Continuing along Eyre Square, in the heart of the city, is O’Connell’s, another iconic bar of Irish tradition par excellence. Just looking at the facade you’ll know exactly what we mean.
But once inside, you will see it for its peculiar decoration and for its assorted menu. The main course is its beer garden, ideal for hot days where the body asks for a cold beer.
Sure, the name has a German vibe, but the wide variety of beer here is quite Irish. Bierhaus never runs out of the emblematic Guinness beer. But you will also find other international varieties in its more than 20 taps. Live or DJ music is also never lacking to liven up your nights. This guarantees a good time while living in Galway.
Something to keep in mind is that the night in Galway begins and ends early, as the venues close at 2 or 3 in the morning. But that does not mean that the scene is small or boring. Quite the contrary, we could go on and on, but the idea is that you discover the scene for yourself.
Places to Visit in Galway
Of course, nights out are not everything, you will also want to do the touristy rounds. So, here’s a list of some of the best places that you cannot miss while living in Galway. And we say “a preview” because there’s so much more to see. But, you’ll have to discover those places for yourself!
We’ve mentioned it before in this article, and it will often pop up when talking about Galway. That’s because it is the heart of the city. From here, you can reach any point in Galway. Oddly enough, the official name of this main square is John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Of course, the name is in honor of the American president who gave a speech in this square before 10,000 people.
This is another of the most iconic places to visit when it comes to living in Galway or visiting as a tourist. So, if you have any temporary visitors, be sure to take them here! The Arch was built as a fortress. And its legacy still lives on today, as a testament to the historical richness of this coastal city.
Cliffs of Moher
Ok, the Cliffs are not exactly part of the city. But it’s an hour and a half’s drive south from Galway. This undisputed natural monument was nominated as one of the 7 wonders of the world. The Cliffs of Moher are an example of the imposing nature that characterizes Ireland.
For now, this is it but be sure to do some exploring on your own and then tell us all about it!
Working while Living in Galway
As we mentioned, several multinational companies have their European branches spread over Ireland. Add to this the large student population that takes advantage of the educational system. And, as it often happens, they decide to stay and work while living in Galway.
The most common jobs to work as a student are in the areas of tourism: bars, cafes, restaurants, events, etc. Of course, knowledge of English is a huge advantage in your work search. But, knowing an additional language, like Spanish or German, will take you even further! Importantly, the minimum wage in Ireland is €1,656.20 per month. Keep this in mind when looking for a job to make a living in Galway.
Of course, the salary depends a lot on how qualified you are. Remember to click on our Working in Ireland article for more details. We know that one of the main questions that arise is what it takes to work in Galway. Below we list the main requirements to work in Ireland.
Requirements for working in Galway
We know that one of the main questions that arise is what it takes to work in Galway. Therefore, below we list the main requirements to work in the country.
Be over 18 years old
We know it seems obvious. But it never hurts to remind you that the legal minimum age to move to another country and find a job is 18 years old.
Study and work visa
This is the most important requirement to work while living in Galway. The need to request it varies depending on your country of origin. You can check if you need a visa and continue with the process here. The most recommended visas for Ireland to study and work are:
- Study and work visa (stamp 2)
- Working Holiday Visa
- General Employment Permit
Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
The IRP (previously, the GNIB card) is a certificate that allows you to live in Galway and the rest of the Irish cities of your choice. That is, to have a residence that can be extended. With it you can renew your visa, in case your citizenship does not belong to the European Union. The investment: € 300.
Personal Public Service Number (PPS)
The PPS is a seven-digit number that is assigned to you and with which you will be able to work. It also enables you to use public services such as hospitals, scholarships, and tax returns.
Studying and Living in Galway
Among the visas for living in Galway and Ireland, the study and work visa (Stamp 2) is the most requested. And from which you can take advantage of to study and work at the same time. Also that your CV is enhanced as never before.
Here, we have for you all the interesting choices you have available:
VET (Vocational Education Training) courses certify your mastery in a certain skill in an area of your choice. They are relatively short and you can take them with the Stamp 2 as well. In this case, the only educational programs authorized to obtain a work permit appear in the ILEP (Interim List of Eligible Programs). Visit it if you’re interested in these opportunities.
The National University of Ireland is located in Galway. And there is also the Galway-Mayo Technology Institute (GMTI) and Mercy College, just to mention some of the reasons why many students come to Galway to train. Also, if you have more exotic tastes, you can take Irish and Gaelic courses. Uamhnach!
Steps for studying and living in Galway
To take advantage of your time living in Galway and study you must meet a series of requirements. Also, you’ll have to follow certain steps and not get lost along the way. We will tell you the steps to get you a bit closer to your dream goal.
- Select the course and the school you want to study in and get proof of enrollment.
- Apply for your study and work visa. Remember that the procedure depends on your country of origin.
- Prove your level of English.
- Certify that you have sufficient funds. In the case of the EU, applicants must have € 3,000. For the rest, the amount is € 7000.
- Get international medical insurance for students.
You can find more details in our article about studying in Ireland. Come on, you didn’t really think that we wouldn’t give you more details, did you? Have a look!
Working, Studying, and Living in Galway with GrowPro
At GrowPro we are specialists in travel and experiences. For several years, we have been helping young, adventurous souls to fulfill their dreams. So, if paperwork isn’t your thing, we will take care of that. Our mission is that you only worry about enjoying the experience of living in Galway. Adding, of course, your professional and personal growth.
With us, you’ll have access to exclusive benefits in our grower area. And you will be part of events and talks to meet new people and learn how to move around Ireland. Remember to choose your favorite experience and get your budget online.
The only thing you have to regret is not trying. You are just one click away! See you in Galway!