TRANSPORTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
With its many pedestrian-only and one-way streets, Galway is best seen on foot. Other forms of transportation are of use mostly to those staying outside of the city center or planning excursions from the city. Buses and trains stop near Eyre Square, a central block of lawns, monuments, and lounging tourists; the train and bus stations are up the hill on its southeast side. To the northeast of the Square, along Prospect Hill, a string of small, cheap B&Bs await your business, while Forster Street, to the southeast, takes you to the tourist office. The northwest comer of the Sq. is the gateway to the pedestrian center, where daytime sees hordes of shoppers looking for a good coffee, and nighttime sees partiers looking for a pint. From the Sq. Shop Street becomes High Street, which then becomes Quay Street. Without the passing traffic, all three streets feel like a single, long stretch of street-camival fun. For the more adventurous, head over the bridges into the bohemian left bank of the Corrib, where great music and some of Galway’s best pubs await.
Trains: Eyre Sq. ( 561 444). Open M-Sa 9am-6pm. Trains to Dublin (3hr. 4-5 per day, ‚21-30) via Athlone (‚11-14). Transfer at Athlone for lines to all other cities.
Buses: Eyre Sq. (562 000). Bus Eireann travels to: Belfast (7hr. 2-3 per day, ‚28); Cork (4V2hr. 13 per day, ‚16); Donegal (4hr. 4 per day, ‚16); and Dublin (4hr. 14 per day, ‚12). Citylink, Michael Nee Coaches, and P. Nestor Coaches also run private bus lines to Dublin. Inquire at the station for more info.
Local Transportation: City buses (562 000) leave from Eyre Sq. (every 20min, ‚0.95). Service runs M-Sa 8am-llpm, Su llam-llpm. Europa Cycles, Hunter Buildings, opposite the cathedral, rents bikes for ‚9 per day, ‚40 per week. Deposit ‚40. Open M-Sa 9am-6pm, Su 9am-noon and 4-6pm.
Tourist Office: Forster St. ( 537 700), one block south of Eyre Sq. Ask for the free Galway Tourist Guide if you don’t want to pay for info. Bureau de change available. Books accommodations for a ‚4 fee. Open July-Aug. daily 9:30am-7:45pm; May-June and Sept. daily 9am-5:45pm; Oct.-Apr. Su-F 9am-5:45pm, Sa 9am-12:45pm.
Banks: Bank of Ireland, 19 Eyre Sq. (563 181), and AIB, Lynch’s Castle, Shop St. ( 567 041), both have 24hr. ATMs and are open M-F 10am-4pm, Th until 5pm. ATMs can also be found throughout the pedestrian area.
Emergency: 999; no coins required. Police (Garda): (538 000), on Mill St.
Pharmacies: Flanagan’s, ( 562 924) Shop St. Open M-Sa 9am-6pm. Matt O’Fla- herty’s, ( 566 670) Shop St.
Hospital: University College Hospital, Newcastle Rd. (524 222).
Internet Access: Neatsurf, 7 St. Francis St. (533 976). ‚0.75 per lOmin. Open M- Sa 9am-llpm, Su llam-llpm.
Post Office: (562 051) Eglinton St. Open M, W-Sa 9am-5:30pm, Tu 9:30am-5:30pm.
In the last few years, the number of accommodations in Galway has tripled. Nevertheless, it’s wise to call at least a day ahead in July and August and on weekends. Hostels are spread throughout the city, while most B&Bs are concentrated in the nearby Salthill area.
USIeepzone, Bothar na mBan (566 999), northwest of Eyre Sq. A comfortable hostel replete with a huge kitchen, big rooms, and free Internet before 10am and after 8pm. Dorms ‚17-20; singles ‚40; doubles ‚54. Weekend and off-season rates vary.
El Salmon Weir Hostel, 3 St. Vincent’s Ave. (561 133), has a homey feel that is reinforced by the laid-back staff and the affable guests. Laundry ‚6. Curfew 3am. Dorms ‚9-15; doubles ‚35. O
Kinlay House (IHH), Merchants Rd. (565 244), half a block off Eyre Sq. A well-located hostel with all manner of rooms and services. Discounts when you book with their other locations in Cork and Dublin. Bureau de change available. Breakfast included. Laundry ‚7. Dorms ‚15-19; singles ‚27; doubles ‚40, with bath ‚48.
The Galway Hostel, Eyre Sq. ( 566 959), right across from the station. Despite its tight dorms, this hostel is extremely clean, and has a helpful staff. Breakfast included. Internet ‚5 per hr. Dorms ‚15-22; doubles ‚45-50.