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Galway City Museum
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Galway City Museum is located on the banks of the river Corrib overlooking the famous Spanish Arch and some of the finest remains of Galway’s medieval wall.  

The top floor of the musuem offers spectacular views of the Claddagh and Galway Bay where the city meets the sea along the Wild Atlantic Way.  Three floors of exhibitions engage visitors in the archaeology, history and sea-science of the region and special temporary exhibitions are programmed throughout the year.

The original museum, situated in Comerford House, adjacent to the Spanish Arch, was first established in the early 1970s and had been home to the artist Clare Sheridan.  It developed from a collection of medieval stone fragments from the city that Sheridan had acquired. This building closed in 2004 and was replaced by a new purpose-built museum designed by the Office of Public Works.  An initiative of Galway City Council, the new museum was officially opened in April 2007 to advance the cultural and heritage life of Galway City.  

Special exhibitions include

Statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire This original statue was carved by sculptor Albert Power in the 1930s to commemorate one of the greatest modern writers in the Irish language, Pádraic Ó Conaire, born in Galway in 1882.

The Galway Hooker. This traditional Galway Hooker sailing vessel, the Máirtín Oliver was built for the museum in 2006 and hangs theatrically in the museum atrium. The Galway Hooker exhibition illustrates the pivotal role these vessels played in the working and social lives of Galway coastal communities. 

Keepers of the Gael. This exhibition will explore Gaelic culture and society through the hereditary keepers of the arts – the learned families of historians, poets, lawyers, physicians and musicians who were the predominant voice of Gaelic peoples in Ireland between 1200 and 1600 AD. 

Revolution in Galway, 1913 – 1923. The arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1169 AD marked the beginning of a 750-year turbulent relationship between Ireland and Britain. By 1913, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, ruled from London. A decade later, twenty-six of the thirty-two counties of Ireland were independent. This exhibition explores Galway’s participation in the revolutionary events that shaped the nation. 

Sea Science - The Wild Atlantic. This exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the Galway City Museum, the Martin Ryan Institute, NUI Galway and the Marine Institute.  Visitors can explore the wonders of the marine world from the rocky shore to the ocean depths.

New exhibitions for 2020 include 'A Forgotten Polish Hero of the Great Irish Famine: Paul Strzelecki's Struggle to Save Thousands' and ‘Monument’, a major new partnership project with Galway2020 that celebrates the cultural landscape and visual language of islands in Europe with a primary focus on the stone forts of Aran.


Highlights include:
  • The Padraic O'Conaire statue - a Galway icon
  • A Galway Hooker - traditional sailing vessel
  • Keeps of the Gael Exhibition
  • Spectacular views of the Claddagh and Galway Bay
  • Interactive 3-D model of Medieval Galway

Visitor Information

Open Year Round

The Ground Floor Galleries only, open from TUESDAY 21 JULY AT 10 AM with two new exhibitions 'MONUMENT' and 'The Corrib, Myth, Legend and Folklore'.

Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00

Sundays (from Easter to end of September only): 12:00 to 17:00

Closed on Mondays  


Contact Details

Galway City Museum,
Spanish Parade, Galway, Co. Galway

T: +353 (0) 91 532 460
W: www.galwaycitymuseum.ie

Closed: Mondays (and Sundays from September to Easter Sunday). Closed December 23 - 29 inclusive and on January 1.

Last admission: 16:45

Approx. visit duration: 60 to 80 minutes


Admission Prices 2020

Admission is free


Other Useful Information

Available on request. Email museum@galwaycity.ie or call +353 (0)91 532460. 

Free paper leaflets available in Irish, English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. 

The Kitchen Café on-site serves a range of refreshments.

Paid car parking and coach parking nearby. Two disabled spaces are operated by the Museum at the Long Walk side. 

Fully wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets.

Group rates available (minimum 20 people). Pre-booking required. 


  • Earning a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 4 years consecutively.
  • Bank of Ireland Opus Architectural Award 2006


Map Location

Galway City Museum is located in the Spanish Parade in Galway City Centre.  Entrance is through the famous Spanish Arch.

 Galway City Museum    Nearby Attractions

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