galway and dublin

Galway VS Dublin: A Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Ireland Getaway

Table of Contents

Ireland, with its charming landscapes and rich cultural heritage, beckons travelers to explore its cities, each offering a unique blend of history, modernity, and distinct character. 

Among the gems of the Emerald Isle, Galway, and Dublin stand out as two captivating destinations, each with its own allure. For first-time visitors facing the dilemma of choosing between Galway and Dublin, let’s delve into a comparative journey to help you make an informed decision.

Finding Your Vibe: Bohemian Escape VS Bustling Metropolis


Nestled on the West Coast, Galway exudes a bohemian charm that captivates all who wander its cobblestone streets. The city is renowned for its vibrant arts scene, with lively street performances and cultural festivals throughout the year. Quirky shops, traditional pubs, and the enchanting Spanish Arch add to Galway’s unique appeal. The rugged beauty of the nearby Cliffs of Moher and the Connemara region offers breathtaking natural wonders.


As the capital and largest city, Dublin is a bustling metropolis with a rich historical tapestry. Home to iconic landmarks such as Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and the Guinness Storehouse, the city seamlessly blends its ancient past with modern amenities. Dublin’s literary heritage, celebrated in the bustling Temple Bar district, complements its dynamic cultural scene. The River Liffey, dividing the city, adds a picturesque touch.

2. Budget-friendly Stay VS Upscale Getaway


Galway, while not immune to Ireland’s overall costliness, tends to be somewhat friendlier to the budget-conscious traveler. Accommodations, dining, and activities may come with a more modest price tag compared to the bustling capital.

An overnight stay in this stylish hotel in Galway City, for instance, starts at €103.28 whereas a Dublin hotel (of the same booking date and similar amenities) starts at €179.


Dublin’s status as a major European city brings with it a slightly higher cost of living. Accommodations in the city center and popular tourist areas can be pricier, and dining out might be on the upscale side. However, the city also offers a range of budget-friendly options for savvy travelers.

Also read: Choosing the destination for your next trip

3. Artistic Charm VS Historical Grandeur


Galway is a haven for those seeking a relaxed and artsy atmosphere. It appeals to travelers with a penchant for live music, cozy pubs, and intimate gatherings. 

Cobbled streets weave through the medieval heart, where brightly painted shopfronts and traditional pubs exude a lively atmosphere. Galway Cathedral, a testament to the city’s rich cultural tapestry, and the Spanish Arch, a historical landmark overlooking the River Corrib, are must-sees. For a taste of Irish artistry, explore the bustling Eyre Square and the Galway City Museum, which houses an impressive collection of archaeological and artistic treasures.

Galway, nestled along the Wild Atlantic Way, offers a different perspective too. The city’s proximity to natural wonders makes it an ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts exploring the scenic landscapes of western Ireland.


Dublin, being the capital city of Ireland, caters to a diverse audience. It welcomes history buffs, literary enthusiasts, and those seeking a cosmopolitan experience. 

Steeped in history, Dublin offers a plethora of iconic landmarks. From the imposing walls of Dublin Castle to the literary haven of Trinity College, where the Book of Kells resides, the city is a treasure trove for history buffs. Dublin is also home to the Guinness Storehouse, a testament to Ireland’s brewing heritage. 

The city’s nightlife is vibrant and varied, offering everything from traditional Irish pubs to trendy clubs, making it suitable for a wide range of traveler interests.

4. Accessibility and Getting Around


While Galway is well-connected by road and rail, it’s situated on the western side of the country. Travelers often find the scenic journey part of the adventure, but it may take a bit longer to reach from major transport hubs.


Dublin, centrally located on the east coast, is easily accessible by air, sea, and land. Dublin Airport serves as a major international gateway, making it a convenient starting point for many travelers.

In a nutshell: 

If you love history and iconic landmarks, Dublin is your go-to. It’s a city full of historical sites and museums. And if you’re into a buzzing nightlife scene with lots of entertainment options, Dublin has that too.

Now, if you’re more into a chill, artsy vibe with a strong cultural scene, check out Galway. It’s got a relaxed feel, an artistic community, and beautiful landscapes with charming villages. Plus, if you’re watching your budget, Galway is a bit easier on the wallet while still offering a unique cultural experience.

Ultimately, the “better” city depends on your individual preferences. Both Dublin and Galway offer unique experiences, and you might even consider visiting both to experience the contrasting charms of Ireland’s captivating cities. 

Author Bio:  Carmina Natividad is a daytime writer who spends a fair amount of time discovering new cafes, watching live music, and visiting cultural gems after shift. Her fondness for travel, food, music and cultural appreciation makes it easy for her to write inspiring pieces of content about them. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Imperial Hotel Galway.

Scroll to Top