My husband recently returned from a stag weekend in Galway. He was more than happy to offer some advice for any best man considering this beautiful West Ireland city as an option for a stag.
The following tips are based on a very successful stag that took place from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th September 2006. Follows these guidelines and you will be more than half way to having a stag weekend that the groom will never forget!
Travel to Galway :
Aer Arann flies into Galway from Belfast City, Cardiff, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Luton, and Manchester. Flying directly into Galway means you are a 15min taxi ride (approx €15) from the city centre.
If the stag party is coming from the South and East of England and in particular London you may find cheaper options by flying to Shannon on RyanAir. Parties travelling from the South West of England can take advantage of EasyJet's flight to Shannon. A full lisitng of airlines flying to Shannon from the UK can be found here.
Shannon is 90Km (56miles) from Galway and though this might not seem far, it can take as long as 90 minutes. The AA's route planner for Ireland suggests it will take about 75 minutes but as the roads are poor expect it to take longer. There is a bus service operated by Bus Eireann, but again with the single carriageway roads the journey takes just under 2 hours.
Accommodation in Galway :
It is highly recommended that you stay at Jurys Inn on Quay Street in Galway. This hotel wins over on all accounts. The location is central, and right in the heart of the city. If you are driving in be sure to print this map, so as you are fully aware of the one way systems. When you have spent over an hour and half drving from Shannon, the last thing you want is to having difficulty finding the hotel. Unfortuantely with the roads in Galway it is all to easy to end up looping the city a few times!
As well as a central location, you should be able to negogiate rates of approx €60 per person sharing a 3 person room. Ideally you will get a twin room with a sofa bed, but this isn't always the case so it is best to check.
The hotel bar is perfect for meeting up pre stag nights. Many stags can break up into smaller groups half way through the night if some people haven't eaten. Thus take advantage of the hotel's menu before heading up Quays Street for your evening out. The bar is open until 1:30am.
Breakfast is served in their restuarant called "Innfusion". Available from 8 - 11 am, so ideal for those parties who have been out late.
Pubs in Galway :
By all means visit other pubs and clubs in Galway but without doubt a great stag can be had by sticking to these 4 amazing venues:
The Kings Head at 15 High Street
Everyone recommends The Kings Head and it is easy to see why. This is a large pub that stretches over 3 floors and their nightly rock gigs at the back of the pub are fantastic. Other attractions include lunchtime theatre and Sunday jazz sessions.
Sonny's Bar & Restaurant on the High St / The Front Door on Cross Street
Sonny's is spread over two floors and stretches between two streets. A great pub for a stag party with 4 bars. Food is served from 10am to late evening.
Taaffes Pub at 19 Shop Street
Taaffes is by far the smallest of the four recommended pubs. The Guinness is great here and the live Irish music at the back of the pub make for an excellent craic!
The Quays on Quay Street
Finish your night in The Quays and I promise you a night to remember. This venue is split into two parts with two separate entrances. It is important that you move to the part that has the live music (on the right hand side as you look at it from the outside) and the later drinking hours for the ultimate craic! An admission charge of approx €10 charged near the end of the night is well worth it. You can't fail to have a terrific night.
Where to Eat in Galway :
Of course there are many places to eat in Galway. This review is simply here to tell you what the best Indians in the city are:
i. Kashmir is across the bridge from the Spanish Arch.
ii. Tulsi beside the Augustine Church on Buttermilk Walk, Middle Street
iii. Eastern Tandoori on Spanish Parade
iv. Kumar's Tastes of Asia at Swan House on Flood Street
Head for the Charcoal Grill on Cross Street Lower for an excellent kebab and burger. At a minute's walk from Quay Street there is no doubt you will be there come 3 in the morning!
Activities in Galway :
For the mature stag there is alway Galway golf club as they accept visitors on Fridays and Saturdays (limited).
Typically though you will want something a little more adventurous - The Killary Adventure Centre fits the bill perfectly. It is 70km (44 miles) from Galway - but please don't let that deceive you into thinking you will be there in under the hour. I would suggest leaving at least an hour and a half, though the scenery is stunning the roads are slow and winding. Contact the Centre here to organise a fantastic day out before you hit the bars at night.
Finally chill out on the Sunday at the famous Galway Races. There are three meetings every year, called Summer (7 days), Autumn (3 days) and October (2 days).
Enjoy your stag or hen party in Galway. Please leave comments on your experience and any information that you feel would help someone planning their stag.
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