Exploring Galway through the eyes of Student Ambassador Yvonne Waweru. Discover her five favorite places in the city!

My name is Yvonne. I am currently a first-year Applied Biology and Biopharmaceutical Science student at Atlantic Technological University (ATU). I moved from Nairobi, Kenya to Galway at the end of the summer of 2022, in late August. Despite only having lived in Galway about three months, I like to think I know my way around certain parts of the city quite well. Out of all the places I’ve visited so far, here’s some few of my favourites, so far.
I hope this list comes in handy to anyone who finds themselves in Galway but doesn’t know what to do or where to go.

1. The Galway Christmas Market
The Christmas Market is an open market made up of dozens of little wooden stalls selling holiday-themed wares. The items range from handmade clothes and hats, Christmas decorations and trinkets, cooked food and baked goods and, my favourite attraction of all, a gigantic glittering white Ferris wheel! This has to be one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever witnessed. I was taken by complete surprise when one day Eyre Square was transformed into a jolly and festive marketplace. Whenever I happen to be in town, I try my hardest to pass by the market, take in the sight and smells, and maybe even grab a treat for myself for the bus ride home. I’ll miss it deeply when it is taken down and already cannot wait for next year so that I can experience it all over again.

2. Charity stores
One of my favourite things to do is shopping. If you’re anything like me, a good thrift store or second hand shop is almost as important to live nearby as a hospital! Luckily, Galway has a number of second hand shops which are run by really friendly volunteers, and the stores are filled with wonderful and unique items. St Vincent’s, Oxfam and The Irish Cancer society are all charities that have stores in Eyre Square. They all offer a cheaper, more sustainable alternative and have provided me with some of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe.

3. The Galway City Museum
Looking out on the River Corrib, the Galway City Museum is located in a gorgeous modern building. Each exhibit is its own immersive experience, offering information about the history of Galway, the history of Ireland as well as lots of information about the many natural wonders of Galway. It’ s also free to visit and a lovely way to spend a weekend afternoon!

4. The beaches
Because it borders the Atlantic Ocean, there are so many wonderful beaches to visit in Galway. Although it’s no longer summer, the beaches here are still a peaceful, sombre and beautiful place to sit down and relax and let your mind wander. The view is still breath-taking and the sound of the beach is perfect if you want to sit with your thoughts or read a good book.

5. The library
Ireland has a lovely system of libraries and the Galway City Library is a wonderful place. It is quiet, clean, and peaceful and has a great collection of both Irish and international literature ranging from classic works to more contemporary ones. In addition to books, Galway library also offers printing and photocopying services, audio books and a companion app that helps to track which books are on loan and for how long. The librarians are very friendly and happy to answer any questions you might have. Library cards are free and easy to acquire, all you need to do is walk in and ask a librarian!

Yvonne Waweru is studying Applied Biology and Biopharmaceutical science at ATU Galway.