Photo Spots in Galway
On Ireland’s west coast, facing Galway Bay and right in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, the historic city of Galway is a mandatory stop for anyone looking for culture, nature, or Instagrammable spots. The city boasts the best of what Ireland, or Éire in Irish, has to offer. From lively pubs and cafes to amazing street performers, Galway has an unparalleled festive vibe. No wonder it was once named the world’s friendliest city, topping Dublin and Cork. Here at Flytographer, we connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. We asked our local photographers in Galway to recommend the very best spots for pictures. Let’s see what they said. Here are the top five places to take photos in Galway. 🇮🇪
1. Spanish Arch
On the edge of the city, where the river Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find one of Galway’s most famous historical landmarks, the Spanish Arch. The structure was first built in the 16th century and the name comes from the Spaniard merchants who anchored their ships in the nearby docks during the Middle Ages. They visited the city to sell spices, wine, and other delicacies. 🌶️
The archway serves as a picturesque backdrop to Galway’s lively riverbanks and makes an excellent spot for a photoshoot. Do as the locals do and find your place on the grassy patch by the river to admire the view. The scenery becomes incredibly magical when flocks of elegant swans appear on the water. When the sun goes down, everything becomes even more idyllic.
While in the area, you can also visit the Galway City Museum, just a stone’s throw away from the Spanish Arch. The Museum is also the starting point for “The Long Walk”, a short scenic route along the river where you’ll get plenty of views of colourful houses on one side and pretty boats on the other.
2. Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter is the beating heart and cultural center of Galway. Strolling its pedestrian-only streets, you’ll find many boutiques, restaurants and pubs, as well as historical landmarks.
The lovely Kirwan’s Lane is a great spot for photographs because of the stunning medieval architecture. Just around the corner, Cross Street offers more entertainment and gorgeous facades. On Quay Street, many shops sell wooden toys and vintage clothes and on Shop Street, you can, well, shop—until you drop. 🛍️
An ideal spot for a shopping break is Eyre Square, a park officially known as John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. It has a bust of the late American president where he made a speech when he visited the city. The park also has a beautiful fountain with a sculpture of the Galway Hooker, the traditional fishing boat from Galway. Since medieval times, seasonal markets, such as the most anticipated Christmas Market, have taken place here. 🎄
While visiting the Latin Quarter, don’t miss the Galway Cathedral, one of the city’s largest buildings. It is a renaissance church with a stone interior, a dramatic dome, stained glass windows, and a majestic organ making it one of the best places to take photos in Galway.
Time for a pint? Head to O’Connell’s, an old-fashioned pub that has kept its quintessential Irish interior intact. Just next to the pub’s entrance, there’s a gate with a pair of wings painted on it. This eye-candy street art work by American illustrator, Kelsey Montague, is a total hit on social media.
3. The Claddagh
Across the river from the Spanish Arch is the former site of a 5th-century fishing village just outside the Galway city walls. The village, built of houses with thatched roofs on cobblestone streets, tragically experienced a tuberculosis outbreak in the late 1920s. For health reasons, all the houses were demolished, but the gorgeous views remain. 😍
Head to Nimmo’s Pier. Besides being a perfect spot for bird-watching, it offers a beautiful view of the river Corrib with its vibrant houses on the other side. A few steps away, a causeway connects the mainland to Mutton Island, where you’ll find even more beautiful vistas. This spot is popular for marriage proposals, especially during sunsets.
For more lovely views of Galway Bay, the neighbouring area of Salthill is ideal for a pleasant walk on a sunny day. Look for the Blackrock Diving Tower, one of Galway’s most cherished landmarks, a diving board that’s become a symbol of fun memories for locals. The view from it is rather romantic, making it one of the top places to take photos in Galway. 👍
As the name suggests, the Claddagh is the birthplace of one of the most recognizable symbols of Galway, the Claddagh Ring. Its unique design—a heart with a crown at the top held by a pair of outreached hands—symbolises love, friendship, and loyalty.
4. High Street
The liveliest street in the Latin Quarter is High Street, a continuation of Quay Street. Countless flags from every country you can possibly name decorate the road, adding extra touches of colour to the already bright facades of the buildings. The uniquely Irish atmosphere is always made livelier with the presence of talented street performers.
Don’t miss the 700-year-old St Nicholas Collegiate Church, with its picturesque medieval stone facade and modest interior. Another remarkable building in the area is Lynch’s Castle, a great example of a medieval fortified house. Today, the building houses a bank, but it’s still one of the best places to take photos in Galway. The castle is beautiful on the outside with its stunning carved windows, gargoyles, ornamental mouldings, and cornices.
This is also a glorious spot to people watch, shop, or just soak in the festive vibes of this incredible Irish town. Extra tip: the pubs in Ireland have incredibly photogenic facades, it’s usually quite fun to pick a favourite. If you’re a true beer lover, try joining a pub crawl. It’s the best way to get to know the many incredible pubs in the area in only one day. 🍻
5. Ashford Castle and Cong
Straddling the borders of County Mayo and County Galway, the tiny and scenic village of Cong is only a 40-minute drive from Galway and is totally worth the trip. Home to fewer than a thousand people, the village is between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask (lough is the Irish word for lake).
On the River Cong nearby, there are more picturesque ruins, such as the remains of a fishing house from the 16th century on a platform above the water. The structure is framed by stunning green fields and mossy trees. 🌳
The highlight of the village is Ashford Castle. This 800-year-old medieval castle was once owned by the Guinness family—yes, the very family that owns the famous brewing company. Today it’s a luxury hotel, one of the best in the country.
If you want to take this road trip further, less than an hour’s drive from Cong, the Connemara district is home to the Connemara National Park. The park has sweeping mountain views, woodlands, grasslands, and bogs, and is a freshwater environment typical of Ireland.
The Diamond Hill walk is a local’s favourite because of the striking views of the coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean and the magnificent Twelve Bens mountain range. In the heart of Connemara, you’ll also find the impressive Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920. A visit to its pristine Victorian gardens is a delightful experience of beauty and serenity.
Capturing Memories in Galway
There’s no shortage of things to see and do in Co. Galway. Another unmissable spot is Dunguaire Castle, a stunning tower house from the 16th century built on the southeastern shore of Galway Bay.
For more beautiful nature, make sure these places are on your bucket list: the Cliffs of Moher, the Sky Road in Clifden, Killary Fjord in the Connemara district, and Doolin, a gorgeous village and the gateway to the Aran Islands. Day trips to the scenic villages of Leenane and Menlo are also highly recommended as some of the best places to take photos around Galway. For more of the best things to do in Galway, check the tips from our community of travellers. 👌
To make your time in Galway even more unique, book one of our local Flytographers and let them capture all your fun moments in this Irish gem. 🍀
“Alanna is incredible! She knew all of the best places to get unbelievable photos. She gave us great direction which helped so much, as my fiancé and I had never done something like this. She was so warm and patient and went well beyond the hour shoot to make sure we captured the perfect shots! We loved her and can’t recommend her enough!”
“We couldn’t have had a more positive experience with Alanna as our Flytographer… The hour went incredibly smoothly and our whole family was truly happy with the quality and natural feel of the resulting photographs (and it isn’t easy to please everyone!). We highly recommend booking with Alanna!”