Travelling to Galway

LATEST NEWS: iPhone users can now access a national journey planner for Ireland; it's available from the App Store - simply search for “journey plan”.
The service helps people plan their personal journeys from door to door, anywhere in Ireland, using public transport, and is the first of its kind in Ireland.  The Planner covers travel by bus, rail, tram, taxis, ferries and on foot, with fully mapped-out route information, printable timetables and details of overall journey times – all in one place.
An Android App is also available. Other users can access the planner at TransportforIreland.ie‌

Media Preview Ireland is on the network of major international airlines, so that there are regular connections from most parts of the world. The principal airports are at Dublin (on the east coast) and Shannon (on the west coast, approximately 130 km from Galway), and there is another, smaller airport called Ireland West, located at Knock, some 70 km north of Galway.
You will be able to reach Galway easily from any of these airports using public transport, and remember that you can avail of a reduced rate for travel on some bus and train journeys if you have an International Student Identity Card.

Dublin to Galway

From Dublin Airport to Galway – Direct
This is the most convenient way to reach Galway.  The companies Bus ÉireannCitylink and GoBus all operate frequent direct bus services to Galway, departing from Terminal One of Dublin Airport.  The direct bus journey takes about 3 hours.

From Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre
Dublin Airport is situated around 10 km north of Dublin City. If you wish to visit the city before coming to Galway, you can take the "Airlink" bus, which leaves from directly outside Terminal One: departures are every 15 – 20 minutes. It connects the Airport with Busáras (the central bus station).  Check the Dublin Bus website for timetables and further information.

From Dublin City to Galway - by Train:
There is a frequent train service from Dublin (Heuston Station) to Galway each day. The journey takes just over two-and-a-half hours. 

From Dublin City to Galway - by Bus:
There is a regular Bus Éireann service from the Dublin central bus station (Busáras) to Galway. Some of the routes of the private bus operators Citylink and GoBus also stop in Dublin City en route from the Airport to Galway.  Please check the websites for full details.

Shannon Airport to Galway

There are regular bus services between Shannon Airport and Galway, run by Bus Éireann.  The journey takes approximately one and a half hours.

Arrival in Galway

Upon your arrival at Galway Bus and Rail Station you can hire a taxi to take you to your final destination. Or you can use the journey planner app mentioned at the top of this page, or the corresponding website, to find public transport options.

You should try to arrive in Galway on a weekday and preferably not too late at night, especially if you still have to arrange accommodation. If long-term accommodation has not already been secured before your arrival it is advisable to pre-book temporary accommodation. See the accommodation section for further details. Please note that University offices are not open on Saturdays or Sundays, and that office opening hours from Monday to Friday are 09.15 - 17.00, with many offices closing for a period over lunchtime between 13.00 and 14.00.

Useful Web Addresses

Iarnród Éireann train timetables can be found at: http://www.irishrail.ie/
Bus Éireann timetables can be found at: http://www.buseireann.ie/
Dublin Bus timetables can be found at http://www.dublinbus.ie/
Private Bus Operators from Dublin Airport to Galway: http://www.citylink.ie/ and http://www.gobus.ie/
Dublin Airport Website: http://www.dublinairport.com/
Shannon Airport Website: http://www.shannonairport.com/  
Knock (Ireland West) Airport Website: http://www.irelandwestairport.com/

Helpful Hints for our Erasmus Students

Please check our Accommodation Office website for general information on finding accommodation in Galway.

  • Please be aware that it may not be easy to find student accommodation in Galway, and that it can be expensive. Particularly in semester 1, there will be a lot of students looking for somewhere to live, so you are advised to start your search early. 
  • The only type of accommodation that can safely be pre-booked before you arrive in Ireland is a room in a Student Residence - see the Accommodation Office webpage for details of all the approved residences.
  • You should bear in mind that Corrib Village is the only student residence with any formal link to the university, but all the residences are managed independently of the university and any reservations must be made by dealing directly with the residences. Demand is usually high, and early booking is advisable.
  • For all other forms of accommodation, students need to be in Galway so that they can go and look at the property. Never book accommodation that you have not actually viewed in person, and never make any payments to private individuals offering accommodation over the internet. BEWARE OF ACCOMMODATION SCAMS. A scam is an attempt to trick you, in this case to trick you into handing over money as a deposit for an apartment that does not exist. Usually you'll see an ad on the internet showing the interior of an apartment or flat with what looks like a Galway address. Very often if you google the name of the contact person, you'll find they have several other properties to let in various cities. They will correspond with you by e-mail but will be unable to meet you - instead they'll ask you to transfer a substantial sum of money to their account and they'll promise to send you the keys. You will never get the keys and you will never see your money again. Be warned - this has happened a number of times in Galway in recent months. 
  • Even if you apply early, you might find that some residences are fully booked. We recommend that if you are interested in particular residences, you should apply to join their waiting list if this option is given. In the case of Corrib Village, for instance, it is likely that there will be cancellations: an e-mail is usually sent to everyone on the waiting list around the 20th August and the available rooms will then be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You should sign up for "My StudentPad", a message board service operated by NUI Galway's Accommodation Office - at the bottom of that page you can find information specifically for International Students. My StudentPad allows you register your details and get e-mail alerts if suitable accommodation becomes available. 
  • If you need to search for accommodation in Galway, it's important that you arrive here at least one week before lectures begin (consult the calendar on the Academic Procedures page). Make sure to book temporary accommodation in Galway for the first days after you arrive. Some Galway hostels are Kinlay HouseSleepzone and Snoozles.
  • Once you're settled in your temporary accommodation, make your way to the Student Accommodation Office at NUI Galway. Up-to-date registers of available housing will be provided, along with maps of the area and general advice. 
  • The NUI Galway Student Accommodation Office does not inspect properties in the private sector. Individual students will need to view these properties personally before committing themselves to a lease. NEVER RESERVE A ROOM OVER THE PHONE. Making a reservation in person ensures that you are happy both with the conditions of the property and your future housemates. 
  • It is worth noting that there are restrictions involved in certain forms of accommodation. If sharing a house with the owner (self-catering), or living in the student residences, you are not allowed overnight guests. If you intend having friends or family from your home country to stay with you in Galway, it is advisable to rent either a house or an apartment in the private sector.
  • The Galway Advertiser, a local free newspaper, issues a list of accommodation each Wednesday at 11am at a cost of €1. Their office is located on Eyre Square, Galway. You can access a list of houses/apartments for rent from their website and it is continuously updated. 
  • Another useful source of information on apartments, etc, for rent is daft.ie (see under "Lettings").
  • Another possibility worth investigating is FlatClub.
  • There is a Facebook page called Erasmus Galway 2015/16, and you may find other students there seeking to share houses, etc. We expect that another such page may be set up for 2016/17 - check it out. Another Facebook page worth checking out is Househunting Galway for Sound People
  • It's a good idea to buy an Irish SIM card for your mobile phone, to enable you to make appointments to view accommodation, as phone calls from your home number will be very costly. 
  • It is anticipated that other residence-type accommodation options will become available closer to September, so you should keep an eye on the Accommodation Office website.

Finance

The Euro

Ireland adopted the euro as its currency in 2002 and is one of the 17 EU member states that comprise the eurozone. The other countries participating in the single European currency are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
One euro is made up of 100 cent.

Estimated Cost Of Living

The following is an indication of the approximate cost of living in Galway during term time.

Monthly
Rent € 390
Food € 260
Books and other academic requisites € 60
Clothes, laundry € 60
Recreation € 180
Other € 100
Total € 1,050

When making your decision to study in Ireland you should ensure that you will have enough money to see you through to the end of your studies. National University of Ireland, Galway will not be in position to offer you any funding. If you are going to receive an Erasmus mobility grant your home university will administer this to you.

Banking and Finance

International students can open a bank account after they have registered as students of NUI Galway. Banks on or near campus are:

Bank of Ireland, NUI Galway
Tel. no. 353 91 524555 Fax no. 353 91 527671

Allied Irish Bank, Distillery Road, Newcastle, Galway
Tel. no. 353 91 524466 Fax no. 353 91 524095.

To open a bank account you will need a number of documents: a photocopy of your passport, your NUI Galway ID card, your own national ID card and a letter (which you may obtain from the International Office) confirming your personal and course details. The electronic transfer of funds from abroad will usually take 3 – 5 working days.

 Ireland places no limit on the amount of money that you may bring into the country in euro or foreign currency notes, traveller’s cheques, banker’s drafts, or letters of credit, but you may need the approval of exchange control in your own country for any transfer of funds. You will certainly require, immediately on arrival, a certain amount of cash to cover such expenses as train, bus and taxi fares, overnight accommodation and meals. It is advisable to have about €250 in cash, and a credit card will be very useful. A convenient way to have cash at your disposal here is to make sure your foreign credit card account is in credit and then use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM in Ireland - but do check first with your bank whether fees apply to cash withdrawals. Some account types will allow you to withdraw cash abroad without incurring transaction fees. 

 Most banks in Galway provide a Bureau de Change facility. There are also Bureaux de Change at Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport. Normal bank opening hours in Ireland are from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Services you may need

Post Offices

There are several post offices in Galway, including one adjacent to the university campus on Newcastle Road. A standard 50g sealed letter to Britain or mainland Europe costs €1.05. The General Post Office, on Eglinton Street, is normally open from 09:00 – 18:00. Smaller post offices may close for lunch.

Climate and Clothing

Western Ireland’s proximity to the Gulf Stream ensures that the temperature in winter rarely falls below 0ºC. However, the climate is damp, so be prepared for frequent rain and wind. Waterproof clothing, a warm jacket or raincoat, an umbrella, and woollen sweaters are essential items for winter wear. These can all be purchased cheaply in the larger chain stores in Galway.

Telephone Services

The main mobile phone providers in Ireland are Vodafone, Meteor, Tesco Mobile and Three.  There will be an option of “bill-pay”, where you have an account and monthly charges, or “pay as you go”, where you buy call credit as you need it.  There are plenty of mobile phone shops around Galway where you can investigate the various packages.  You should shop around to find the one that best suits your own requirements and the duration of your stay here.

Prepaid international call cards are a cost-effective option too, and they can be purchased in newsagents or post offices.

When dialing Irish telephone numbers from overseas, you should omit the zero in the local area code. 

Police and Emergencies

A police officer in Ireland is called a Garda Siochána (Irish for "guardian of the peace"). Full details of national and local Garda stations can be found on the Garda website. In Galway, the main Garda station is located in Mill Street, telephone (091) 538000.

If you have an emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the service you require. The telephone number for University College Hospital is (091) 580580.

Shopping

City-centre shops and department stores are open six days a week, most closing at 6pm; some larger shops also open until 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and may also open on Sunday afternoons. Supermarkets are usually open till 9 or 10pm, including on Sundays. If you are cooking for yourself, you will find all the basic foodstuffs are cheapest in the main supermarkets (Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Supervalu, Lidl and Aldi), and some of these also have suburban branches. Most supermarkets will have own-brand foodstuffs, which will be cheaper than regular brands.

Driving in Ireland

A full driver’s licence from other EU countries is valid in Ireland. Traffic in Ireland travels on the left-hand side of the road. Cars can easily be rented provided you have a full driver's licence.

Electricity

The standard mains voltage is 220v. Three-pin plugs are standard on most electrical equipment.

Irish plug

Embassy Addresses

Austria
15 Ailesbury Court, 93 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 269 4577; Fax: 353 1 283 0860
e-mail: dublin-ob@bmeia.gv.at

Belgium
2 Shrewsbury Road, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 205 7100; Fax: 353 1 205 7106
e-mail: Dublin@diplobel.fed.be

Czech Republic
57 Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 668 1135/1343; Fax: 353 1 668 1660
e-mail: Dublin@embassy.mzv.cz

Denmark
Block E, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Rd, Dublin 2
Tel: 353 1 475 6404; Fax: 353 1 478 4536
e-mail: dubamb@um.dk

Federal Republic of Germany
31 Trimleston Avenue, Booterstown, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Tel: 353 1 269 3011; Fax: 353 1 269 3946
e-mail: info@dublin.diplo.de

Finland
Russell House, Stokes Place, St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
Tel: 353 1 478 1344; Fax: 353 1 478 1050
e-mail: sanomat.dub@formin.fi

France
36 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 277 5000; Fax: 353 1 277 5001
e-mail: chancellerie@ambafrance-ie.org

Italy
63-65 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 660 1744; Fax: 353 1 668 2759
e-mail: ambasciata.dublino@esteri.it

Malta
15 Leeson St Lower, Dublin 2
Tel: 353 1 676 2340; Fax: 01 6766066
e-mail: maltaembassy.dublin@gov.mt

The Netherlands
160 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 269 3444; Fax: 353 1 283 9690
e-mail: dub-info@minbuza.nl

Poland
5 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 283 0855; Fax: 353 1 269 8309
e-mail: Dublin@msz.gov.pl

Portugal
15 Leeson Park, Dublin 6
Tel: 353 1 412 7040/5; Fax: 353 1 497 0299
e-mail: embport@dublin.dgaccp.pt

Spain
17A Merlyn Park, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 269 1640; Fax: 353 1 269 1854
e-mail: emb.dublin.inf@maec.es

Switzerland
6 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 01 218 6382/3; Fax: 353 1 283 0344
e-mail: dub.vertretung@eda.admin.ch

Turkey
11 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 668 5240; Fax: 353 1 668 5014
e-mail: embassy.dublin@mfa.gov.tr

United Kingdom
29 Merrion Road, Dublin 4
Tel: 353 1 205 3700; Fax: 353 1 205 3885
e-mail: chancery.dublin@fco.gov.uk

Some Final Points to Remember

  • Make sure that you return your Erasmus Application Form by the appropriate deadline.
  • Make sure that your travel arrangements enable you to be in Galway for the Orientation sessions.
  • If you have to arrange accommodation please arrive at least one week before the start of the semester.
  • Please remember to have the following with you on arrival in Ireland:
    • Your passport
    • Some other form of identification
    • Your European Health Insurance Card
    • The name of your NUI Galway Erasmus Academic (Departmental) Coordinator
    • Letter (e-mail) of Acceptance
    • Visa (if required)

Useful Addresses

Ireland West Tourism
Áras Fáilte, Forster Street, Galway
Tel: 353 91 537700
Website: www.discoverireland.ie

Irish Council for International Students (ICOS)
41 Morehampton Road, 
Dublin 4
Tel: 353-1-660 5233
Website: 
www.icosirl.ie

Department of Foreign Affairs
80 St Stephen's Green, 
Dublin 2. 
Tel: 353-1- 4780822 
Website: www.gov.ie/iveagh