Travel

Saturday 17 November 2018

Ireland's Top 10 home holiday destinations - 'The moment I get off the bus, I get this buzz...'

Reader Travel Awards 2018

Galway: Ireland's favourite home holiday destination for 2018
Galway: Ireland's favourite home holiday destination for 2018
Reader Travel Awards 2018, as revealed in Weekend Magazine and Independent.ie.
Galway's food scene is booming.
Galway at dusk. Photo: Deposit
Morning view of Galway's docks.

Online Editors

We asked you to nominate the place you love most in Ireland, the place in which you return to again and again. Here's the 2018 winner!

Best home holiday destination

Winner: Galway

“It has to be Galway,” you told us. And so it proved.

Last year, Dingle took pride of place among your favourite home holiday destinations. But for 2018, the west has won, with Galway banking almost double the votes of any other place.

“There’s something about that city,” you said. “The moment I get off the bus, I get this buzz. I've yet to have one bad out night there.”

You hailed Galway’s “great energy” as “a perfect blend between traditional Ireland and modern society”, and called it Ireland’s “culture capital”.

The city is “young, vibrant and distinctly Irish,” readers added, with “heart-warming hustle and bustle” that is “always welcoming at different times of the year.”

It’s a “cute” town perfect for “music, hospitality, food and banter… with the added benefit of rugby matches.” “Going down Shop Street just brightens up your day… Galway is a place I can go back to again and again.”

Ireland's Top 10 holiday destinations

  1. Galway
  2. Killarney, Co Kerry
  3. Dingle, Co Kerry
  4. Cork
  5. Donegal
  6. Wexford
  7. Westport, Co Mayo
  8. Clare
  9. Kilkenny
  10. Kinsale, Co Cork

Our judges agreed. Combining the country’s hottest food scene with serious cultural heft (‘Galway-West of Ireland’ is a European Region of Gastronomy 2018, and will be a European Capital of Culture in 2020), this city has it all within an intimate and friendly layout — “a city that feels like a town” as you put it.

Galway at dusk. Photo: Deposit
Galway at dusk. Photo: Deposit

Traffic and public transport are growing problems, of course — but that’s our only qualifying point.

It’s not just the city, of course.

“I love the combination of lively Galway City with the rural Gaeltacht areas,” you told us. “Every summer growing up my family would make the long car journey from Wexford to Connemara,” one reader reminisced.

“Nothing but amazing memories from fishing by the rocks to swimming in almost abandoned beaches and endless evening strolls through the walled roads…”

“I left my heart there years ago and always find it when I go back.”

Your say:

“I’m a Cork girl born and by choice, but Galway with its year-round festivals, especially the summer arts festival, always has my heart racing.”

Read more:

The Irish Bucket List: 30 things to do in Ireland before you die

Weekend Magazine

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