On Christmas morning I opened a letter from Eoghan saying we were going glamping in Killarney. I have literally been been plaguing him ever since, “when are we going to Killarney?”. Last weekend, it was finally time. Although I waited over half a year, it was so worth the wait.
I’ve set myself a little road trip challenge: To visit all of Ireland’s National Parks! I’ve realised, I’m starting to run out of things to do in Ireland. I took it upon myself to see as much of this Island as I could, given that I love to travel, but am ridiculously afraid of flying.
It’s road trip season! Not saying you cant get into your car and explore at any time of year, in fact I encourage you. But we all know, Summer entices you to travel and now that the temperatures are soaring, I have a few tips to help you avoid any unnecessary road trip stress.
Midway through January, we were off on a longer road trip. It had been months since we’d gone away for longer than a day, so with a couple of days to spare, we thought what better time. We were initially meant to go to Cork, but because of a few hiccups, car troubles and such, we were late leaving and headed for Galway instead.
What will solo travel do for you? You may blossom, grow comfortable in your own skin, have your confidence soar and really open up your eyes to the world. Or you might become more independent and say goodbye to comfort zones. But when it comes to solo female travel, us girls can sometimes have to be a bit more careful of the destinations we choose. While it’s nice to believe us women can travel where ever we like without feeling wary, it may not always be the case. That being said, I am fully confident in saying that Galway is a great place for solo female travellers, and that Galway is probably the best place in Ireland for women traveling alone. Why? I thought you’d never ask! Here are 9 reasons why Galway is great for female solo travel in Ireland.
Great Atmosphere for a solo female traveller to Ireland
I have visited places where I have felt a tense or unfriendly atmosphere, even in a group. But thankfully there is no chance of feeling negative vibes in Galway. Galway is such an inviting and happy city, perfect for making you feel safe when traveling alone as a woman. I know you’ll feel comfortable and right at home in Galway.
Friendly Locals – why Galway is perfect for Solo Female Travel
Not only is Galway city welcoming, but so are the people. Generally, people in Galway are smiley, happy and friendly people. Plus, always up for the craic! One thing that makes or breaks a city for me is how the other people there make me feel. A manic city where people rush around disconnected and stressed is a huge NO from me. But in Galway, the locals, shop keepers and bar men will always be happy to chat and give you any recommendations or advice.
There are lots of tourists – Female solo travel Ireland
With the high number of friendly tourists too, you will end up making lot of friends to explore and enjoy the city with. You can meet people in your hotel/hostel, or at least I guarantee you will get chatting to some girls in the pub and nightclub toilets! I still wonder how all my huns from the women’s toilets are doing!
I once met a guy from London on a night out with two Americans. They had all met in their hostel and decided to stick together while touring Galway.
If I’m honest, I live in Galway and not a night out or day drinking session goes by without getting chatting to locals or tourists.
Once while day drinking outside the ever-so-popular “Tigh Neachtains”, an Italian guy who had just arrived in Galway asked could he sit with me and my friend, as he was alone. He told us all about where he was from and we were able to recommend him places to visit in Galway. It’s always nice to get talking to other people.
Great pubs for meeting other tourists in Galway:
- Tigh Neachtains – Cross Street
- Taffes – Shop Street
- O’Connells – Eyre Square
- Tig Coili – The Latin Quarter
Rebecca @Ineffable.rbkh visited Galway alone so I’m sure you’d like to hear what she had to say. I mean, I live in Galway so I can understand you may not trust my biased opinion, so who better to share their experience than a lone female traveller:
“I was always wary of being in cities since I usually stick to more nature attractions. But I had to visit Galway. It was a long time ago… but I believe I tried to avoid dark or dimly lit alleyways but for the most part (a very large one at that) I definitely felt safe… Eyre Square was alive and bustling and I remember just wandering through to people watch and take photos. I remember seeing street performers on one of the main streets. I remember slipping through smaller streets and visiting old bookstores like Charlie Byrnes Bookshop…Even though as a solo female traveller, precautions were necessary, I definitely didn’t feel anxious or worried for myself no matter where I was. ”
Galway city is small – perfect for solo female travel in Ireland
Galway city is really small and compact. So small you would wonder how it’s classed as a city at all. But I think this is one of the factors that makes it really great for solo female travel. There is nothing more daunting for me than to land in a new place, especially a big city, and having to try and navigate my way around alone.
Luckily, everywhere within Galway city centre is within walkable distance. Even the nearby village of Salthill and the outer areas are within walking distance.
You won’t need to worry about trying to work out bus routes or finding taxis or getting lost on confusing public transport. You can get there on foot and stop and ask someone for directions if you are stuck.
Distance from the City Centre:
- Shop Street to Salthill: 21 min walk(1.7 km)
- Shop Street to Nuig: 15 min walk (1.2 km)
- Shop Street to Newcastle: 32 min walk (2.5 km)
- Shop Street to Menlo Castle: 40 min walk (3.3 km)
Public Transport is easy if you need it – Traveling to Ireland alone
For those of you who don’t like walking or maybe have mobility issues, or want to explore a bit further, there is great public transport within the city.
Bus stations in Galway City:
There are regular buses from Eyre Square going all over town and you can buy your ticket when getting on the bus. Because of the cities size, the bus routes are small and not complicated. There is also a taxi rank across from the bus stop and even the popular “Tourist Train” route through town.
It is so easy to get to Galway from the airports and other cities. With the train, bus stations and bus stops and taxis all located in one hub.
To find a great synopsis of the Galway City Services and the Regional Routes, visit THIS LINK where you can click on the correct option for further information.
Train Station in Galway City:
The Irish rail station is also right beside the square, with links to the nearby towns of Oranmore and Athenry. One route goes to Athlone in the midlands and on to Dublin. While a further route goes to Limerick.
You can view these routes in more detail HERE.
Before you arrive, be sure to check out the routes and times online so that if you do need to use public transport, you are well informed before visiting. Also, there are so many tour companies but we’ll talk more about that soon!
Kerri (@Kerristable) visited Galway solo after friends and family members let her down. She decided feck it, and went alone. Kerri, I could learn a lot from you! Here’s some of her feedback:
“My first day in Galway, as I was traveling the cobblestone street after dinner, I came upon street performers. Within minutes, a group of women had ascertained that I was alone, introduced themselves and promptly bought me a drink. They all connected with me on social media and urged me to reach out if I needed anything at all. When they left, I wasn’t ready to go so I wandered further into the bar.
While waiting to order a drink, another woman introduced herself and her friend and bought us all around. They also exchanged information with me. The rest of my trip was exactly like that…
I never felt alone. Instead, I made connections with people very like me and very different. It was nothing but magic!”
So many fun day tours- perfect for making friends while solo traveling Ireland
Galway is a perfect base to go on so many different day tours. Offering great opportunities to see the beautiful unique countryside and coastlines of the west of Ireland. But also, will allow you to make friends along the way.
The majority of those doing tours will also be tourists and will likely be open to making friends on their travels. (people are so much more open to meeting people on vacation why is that?!). All you need to do is ask a simple question like “where are you from” to get the conversation going.
One of the most popular tours that departs from Galway is: Clare – The Burren – Cliffs of Moher
Tours within Galway City on foot:
IG Tours Galway – This tour will bring you around some of the most Instagrammable Places in Galway City. You will learn how to take great pictures to make your Instagram feed stand out. And whether you’re in a group or traveling solo, everyone is welcome!
Tour Companies :
- Corrib Cruises take you along the Lough Corrib. This leaves from Connemara.
- The Corrib Princess is similar to the above only this departs from Galway City
- Faherty Tours offers multiple different tours through Connemara, the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher.
Galway is English Speaking making it great for solo travel
A language barrier is the last thing you need when traveling alone as a woman. That barrier can easily make a girl feel vulnerable alone and unable to seek help if you need it. No one has time to play charades in an emergency!
Well, that’s another reason why Galway Ireland is a perfect place for the lone female traveller. We all speak English. Sure you might come across the odd Gaeilgeoir (Irish-speaking person) but English is spoken everywhere. It will be difficult to find someone who can’t speak English making you feel comfortable from the get-go.
Galway is a busy city – female solo travel Ireland
Galway city centre is bloody busy. The roads in particular but so are the main city streets. With a population of almost 80,000 people and a whopping 1.7 million tourists passing through the narrow streets each year, the city is always buzzing with excitement.
Having so many people milling around can be a comfort to any female solo traveller and help you feel safe in your surroundings. We all know that feeling on the back of your neck and pit of your stomach when walking down empty streets always feeling the need to peer over your shoulder. You’ll not get that feeling in Galway. There are also so many other tourists buzzing about so you won’t feel out of place.
Galway city is a very safe city – solo female travel
Galway is a city you will feel safe in, and let’s be honest, our safety is one of the first things we have to think about as a female solo traveller.
Well firstly, Ireland is noted as the 6th safest place for studying abroad in Europe in Europe. Sure you will have some crime and rowdy behaviour everywhere, but Galway is incredibly safe and friendly
What about the nightlife?
To make you feel more at ease, Galway City has been awarded a “purple flag” for nightlife. Part of what this means is having a safe nightlife and offering a safe way to travel after dark. Nightlife in Galway city meets the criteria for having a vibrant but safe nightlife. A lot of which is centered around the Latin Quarter.
How to make friends as a solo female traveller in Ireland?
- Staying in hostels is the easiest way to make friends in Ireland. Especially a large dorm with lots of different people. And don’t forget to invite your new room mates on a night out. Nothing forms a bond better than drunken conversations in a toilet cubicle, am I right?!
- Hang out in the girl’s toilets. Is that weird? Maybe. But for real this is a great way to chat to other girls.
- Go on some day tours.
Tammy (@Tammy_Hikes) has visited Ireland alone a few times now. Although she hasn’t spent much time in Galway city, she has stayed in Rural Galway so I thought it would be nice to hear about her experience too as well as any tips she has to share:
“I felt very safe and comfortable traveling in Rural County Galway during my solo road/hiking trip. Everyone I met was very pleasant and more than happy to share ideas with me on where I should go next. The one tip I can think of that really helped me was to know exactly where I was staying each night. I planned my lodging itinerary very careful before I left”
Safety tips for women traveling alone – female solo travel Ireland
Regardless of how safe a place is, it’s only. to be cautious no matter what, especially as a female solo traveller. Follow these tips:
- Don’t get too drunk. Yes, it’s sad to think you have to worry about your safety when you are drunk but I mean this for men as well as women. When a lot of drink is consumed, rowdy behaviour normally follows. Have a good time but it’s never safe for anyone to get so drunk they don’t know what they are doing.
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Although it’s so small and pretty impossible to get lost, it is no harm to carry around the business card of your hotel/hostel in case you forget the name and need directions.
- Have a lockable bag.
- Don’t flash valuables.
- Have your trip well planned in advance so you always know your plans for the following day.
Conclusion – Why I think Galway is the best place for solo female travelers in Ireland
Galway really is perfect for solo female travel, in fact, I would say Ireland overall is probably a great place for a solo travellers first venture alone. You are going to feel at home and have some weird and wonderful conversations and experiences.
If you have travelled to Galway alone, I would LOVE if you would leave your experience in the comments as well as any tips you have for your fellow female travellers 🙂
Here are some resources and places Close to Galway City I would recommend visiting:
Places to Eat in Galway City:
Near the City:
Some Nearby Places:
- Diamond Hill | Amazing Hike in Galway Ireland
- Rosscahill Woods | Quiet and Peaceful woodland in Galway
- Knockma Hill Walking Trail – Scenic Walk Near Galway City
- Visiting the Cliffs of Moher Honest Guide
- Brigit’s Garden
- Clifden Castle | Beautiful Castle Ruins In Clifden Galway
- Sky Road Drive – A Scenic Drive in Connemara Galway
- Galway Wind Way – Beautiful Walk in Connemara Galway
- Things to do in Cong
If you need any more convincing, check out my post on why Galway is Better than Dublin!
Thank you for reading my “Why Galway is a great place for Solo Female Travel Ireland”
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