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The administrative capital of County Galway, the city of Galway is a wonderful place to explore before touring further into the surrounding countryside. The city centre is vibrant and energetic, with a thriving nightlife. Eyre (or John F Kennedy) Square is the hub of Galway, and most of the highlights of the city can be reached quickly from here, including the attractive Medieval District. Galway has a reputation for a lively arts and culture scene, helped in part by the large student community and bohemian atmosphere. Every summer the Galway Arts Festival attracts thousands of visitors for a superb selection of theatre, music and street performance. There are plenty of historic attractions in the city centre. Lynch’s Castle dates back to 1490 and is the oldest Irish medieval town house still in use today. Legend has it that St Nicholas Collegiate Church (originally built in 1320) is the place where Christopher Columbus attended mass before setting sail for the New World in 1477.
There are some stunning natural attractions surrounding Galway. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore County Galway at your own pace. Often called "The Gateway to the West", the city looks out onto the western Gaeltacht. Lough Corrib is a beautiful big lake with some stunning fishing and scenic picnic areas. You could also tour further along the rugged Atlantic coastline.