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About Galway

The unique combination of a bustling city and a thriving university means that Galway has something to offer everyone and caters to young people like few other places. Galway is currently ranked as the top destination to visit in Ireland by The Lonely Planet Guide (2012). They describe Galway as being steeped in history yet with a contemporary vibe.

Cultural Galway

Galway is a cultural centre, attracting thousands to the many festivals throughout the year. A few of the big attractions include The Cúirt International Festival of Literature, the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Racesand the Oyster Festivalthey are famous throughout Ireland and beyond. Theatre lovers are particularly blessed with a number of superb theatre companies based in the city, including the world-renowned Druid Theatre Company. The state-of-the-art Town Hall Theatrewas opened in 1993 and covers all aspects of the performing arts including concerts, ballet, musicals, and operas.

Vibrant Galway

ph_2314a[1] Even though it is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, Galway has retained the friendly character and intimate feel that make it so popular.

Galway is young at heart, with students making up 20% of the population here. They bring youth, excitement, curiosity and energy to the city, and this added dimension is what makes Galway the place to be. Students benefit from all the facilities that a modern city has to offer including extensive shopping outlets and entertainment venues, two cinemas, cafes and restaurants, nightclubs and an abundance of music venues to choose from. Galway is the most international place in Ireland with 1 in 4 people born outside of the state.

Sporting Galway

Galway is a great sporting city. Whatever you are into, from horse racing, Gaelic games, soccer and rugby to rowing, motorsport, greyhound racing and more.

The Galway Racesare a popular international event and the highlight of the Irish horse racing calendar; while the Galway International Rallywas the first international rally to take place in the Republic of Ireland.

Gaelic games:The city has hurling and Gaelic football teams at all levels, and major matches are played at Pearse Stadium located in the city.

Rugby: There are two senior rugby union teams in the city, Galwegians RFCand Corinthians RFC,as well as provincial Connacht Rugbywho play in the Heineken Cup and hold their matches at the Galway Sportsground.

Water sports: Sailing and rowing on the River Corrib are also popular in Galway and there are five rowing clubs in the city, including the University's own club.

The Hinterland

Galway is in close proximity to some amazing natural sites, including:

The Burren: an area of beautiful limestone landscapes in nearby County Clare. Burren is Irish for "stony place"

Connemara: Oscar Wilde called Connemara a savage beauty. NUI Galway is only a stones throw from the seaside, mountains and lake-rich bogland of beautiful Connemara.

Irish in Galway: NUI Galway is a great location for those who are interested in the Irish language. The campus is near the Gaeltacht centres in An Cheathrú Rua, Carna and Gaoth Dobhair. Find out more about our Irish language Centre and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.

Quick facts

Image of the quad in Spring

NUI Galway has over:

  • 17,000 students.
  • 2,000 international students from 92 countries.
  • 2,400 staff members.
  • 120 links with universities across the globe.
  • 90,000 alumni in 107 countries.
  • 165 years experience of providing university education. 

NUI Galway is:

  • Ireland's top University for student retention - Sunday Times 2011.
  • Irelands's top University for graduate employability with 96% of our graduates employed or in further study within six months of graduating.
  • the largest and oldest university in the west of Ireland.

NUI Galway is world leading for research in:

  • Biomedical Science and Engineering 
  • Web Science
  • Human Rights
  • Marine Science, Energy and Environmental Science
  • Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy
    Humanities, in particular literature, Theatre and Irish Studies

NUI Galway was awarded a QS Five Stars Rating in 2012