Most people have a clear preference of which place they prefer in IrelandGalway or Dublin. This may be a pretty controversial one BUT, I’m going to tell you why Galway is better than Dublin. In fact, I’ll tell you why Galway is the best city in Ireland.

1. Galway is the Cultural Capital of Ireland – we have the most fun! 

Ohhh guys I’m starting with a big one! For sure this is Galway’s biggest selling point! For those of you who don’t know, Dublin may be the capital of Ireland, but Galway is the Cultural Capital. That’s right, Galway city is absolutely buzzing with everything that makes Ireland, Ireland!  

You’ll find allllll the craic, the Irish language, Irish festivals and folklore. I mean for christ’s sake you will find a leprechaun standing on shop street all day in the summer just waiting to get a photo with you.

Amazing festivals take part every week for example the famous international arts festival.

You will hear Irish spoken on the streets around you. And there are endless pubs to visit.

I mean the city is hosting the European Capital of Culture for 2020 so that says it all.

2. Galway has the best atmosphere – Galway VS Dublin

top places you need to see in ireland, shop street, galway

When I think of Dublin city, I think of people rushing around, walking as fast as they can through the streets, glued to their phones and getting to their next destination. The atmosphere is cold.

Now to jump to Galway. How do you even compare it? As well as cultural capital, the city is bathed in bohemian vibes that every visitor falls in love with.

It feels like Galway is one long 24/7 festival. There is music always drifting through the streets, there are crowds of people milling around and if there is sun, you will find every patch of grass occupied by groups of people drinking, laughing and having the craic.

Life is a lot slower in Galway. People walk slower, they are not rushing and focused on where they need to get, they just enjoy walking around the city. The relaxed vibes emanate from the cobbled streets of the Latin quarter.

It is such a happy atmosphere in the streets coupled with amazing performers enticing walkers by to stop and enjoy the entertainment.

3. People in Galway are much Friendlier – Why Galway is better than Dublin

To me, I walk through Dublin and find that most people are just busy. I feel as though someone could knock into you and not even take the time for a second glance. You definitely don’t get smiles from strangers on the street.

Walking through the streets of Galway you will be met with friendly faces. You just can’t be unhappy in here. You’ll be sure to get chatting to shop owners or people sitting next to you at Spanish Arch.

Get ready to make new friends in Tigh Neachtains or whatever pub you choose to visit. It’s going to happen!

4. Galway has the BEST pubs

Christmas in galway, galway city, christmas time, christmas lights, street photography, tourist

Speaking of pubs. When you ask a visitor to Ireland what is their favourite pub in Dublin is, you know what they say? Yep, the temple bar. 99% of tourists will have the same answer.

Now ask a person who has visited Galway what their favourite pub is. You will be met with an endless array of answers. Galway is for sure one of the best cities in Ireland for nightlife too.

Christmas in galway, galway city, christmas time, christmas lights, street photography, tourist

From Tigh Neachtains to The Quays,  The Dail Bar to O’Connors and Taffes. Every pub in Galway is loved by tourists and natives alike, and for good reason.

5. Galway is more compact & Easier to get around – Which do you prefer, Galway or Dublin?

In Galway, there is so much more stuff in such a small area. The City Centre is super compact, but in a good way. Everything is within walking distance. Even Salthill and the beach is just a 25-minute walk from the city centre.

We’ve all stayed in Dublin and got back to our hotels and collapsed on the bed, feet throbbing having dragged ourselves around the city all day. Not in Galway though!

6. Galway has Constant Festivals Year Round – Another Reason why Galway is better than Dublin

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There are constant festivals in Galway year-round for you to enjoy. In fact, there there are at least 13 major festivals, just in the summer alone. Yep, Galway is mad for a good festival.  Dublin has ~13 major festivals in an entire year.

Need convincing, where do we begin?

7. Galway is prettier than Dublin – Let’s be real, Galway has SO much Charm

instagrammable places in galway city, canal walk galway, galway is prettier than dublin

Galway is a maze of cobbled streets full of character, colour, fun shops and pubs. The entire city is crazy picturesque with extra beautiful scenery along the River Corrib and the canal.

Remnants of its medieval past can be seen scattered around the centre. From the popular Spanish arch, the old city walls and of course, the charming Latin quarter.

Sure Dublin has nice spots but just doesn’t have the charm of the West of Ireland.

8. Galway has beautiful Islands just off the Coast to Explore

There are amazing islands just a short boat journey from the city. Just off the coast, you have incredibly scenic Aran Islands. Off the West coast of Galway you also have Inish Turk and Inishbofin.

When you head off the coast in Dublin, your nearest landmass is the UK!

9. Galway is Cheaper Than Dublin – ever so SLIGHTLY cheaper! 

They say money makes the world go round right? Well, the cost of living in Galway city is 28% lower than in Dubin. Can’t argue with that!

The commuter towns like Barna, Spiddal and Ougherard are just as inviting and are more affordable again. BUT they’re still close to the city and have so much character.

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Galway is the real home to Supermacs.

So for those of you who don’t know, Supermacs is Ireland’s own version of McDonald’s – just a lot better (ohhh this post is full of controversial topics isn’t it!)! Although the first one was in Ballinasloe, Galway, the one on Eyre Square is huge and is where you will find half the city after a night out.

11. Galway has some of the HAPPIEST people in the country

Galway people are happy people. In fact, in a study done by NUIG, a whole 98% of people were happy with the quality of life here. I mean normally you can’t please everybody, but in Galway, apparently, you can!

12. Finally, The West is BEST- We all know that! 

Okay, so we all know west is best. The west of Ireland is straight out of a landscape calendar with endless green countryside and rugged wild coastline. Not only that, from Galway City is smack bang in the middle of it. Perfectly positioned halfway through the Wild Atlantic Way. You don’t have far to go to see any of it. Just a stone’s throw away from never-ending beautiful sandy beaches. From Salthill just off the city, to Silver Strand and right the way out to Connemara, with Gems like Dog’s Bay.

You have everything from the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara national park with Diamond Hill, Cliften and the beautiful scenic Sky road drive, amazing beaches

Beat that Dublin.

galway is better than dublin

Ahhh Dublin is Okay though

Now just so I won’t upset too many people, Dublin has its good things too.. just not as many as Galway (:P)

Why you might think Dublin is better than Galway

  • better transport links – although Galway is so compact you don’t need the same level of transport!
  • close to the main airport – Galway is not far from Shannon airport
  • more things like shops and cinemas – BUT Galway now has a very luxurious Omniplex in Salthill with leather electric reclinable seats. The restaurant and bar are due to open next year too – delivered right to your seat. Ya love to see it!
  • More jobs and pay more. Can’t really argue with that one!

Okay guys hope this doesn’t offend too many people! I may be biased as I’ve lived in Galway for years, so why not tell me in the comments below what you think?! Galway VS Dublin? which do you prefer?? If you wana fight your side of the battle, comment below

If you like my images, be sure to check out my Instagram 🙂


Why You Should Visit Ireland | What Attracts Tourists To Ireland?

Some things to do near Galway:

Visiting the Cliffs of Moher Honest Guide | Do you have to pay to see the Cliffs of Moher?

Diamond Hill Galway | Guide for Diamond Hill Connemara

Sky Road Drive | Scenic Drive in Connemara Galway Ireland



  1. If we’re talking cities, I think Dublin is way prettier than Galway. It also has a lot of charming suburbs, like Howth, Dalkey, Killiney etc. It has lots of beautiful castles, such as Malahide, Howth, Drimnagh, and beautiful ancient churches/cathedrals. As for asking visitors for their favourite bar, naturally they’ll say Temple Bar, because they don’t know any better. Just ask a local instead. 😀

  2. Hey,

    Nice blog!

    I’m going completely off-piste here. It’s Belfast for me! A city with plenty to do and lots more so close by! The joys of living in a micronation – mountains, beaches, walks and more all within a short distance of each other! Belfast is also not too expensive like Dublin but it’s getting there. Good job I prefer to cook and grow my own then! I’d like to visit Galway and the west of Ireland some time and maybe do some fishing. That’s how I found this blog. I’ve done the east coast of Ireland over 10 years ago now but I must say I have always heard the West is Best from different people…

    Where i’m from we have 2 (what i’d class as) cities – Belfast and Derry/Londonderry… Although Derry is a cool’s still relatively small….I mean it’s no Paris, Glasgow or New York,,,Those places are proper cities to me. They have since made a load of other places cities here…Ridiculous really – Lisburn, Newry and my old home town of Bangor and there’s definitely no way it’s a city…in fact its a running joke among people! We have the city of Armagh too LOL. So how long could someone honestly spend in Galway and is it a city or a nice town?

    • Tinyboots Reply

      Ahhh haha I love that! I do love the North and have considered moving quite a few times! I love Belfast but I think I am a Derry girl really! Such a charm to the city! I think people could easily spend a week in Galway, doing a couple of days in the city and then doing some day trips to nearby places – the cliffs of moher, connemara, the Aran Islands etc. Galway will always be perfection to me haha. You’ve reminded me that I need a trip to Belfast again soon though!

  3. I live in Dublin, but will be going to Galway for the first time soon! Thanks for this article; I’m excited to see which place I prefer!

    • Tinyboots Reply

      ohhhh I’d love to know your verdict!! Come back and let me know 😀

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