The Connacht Hotel


The holiday season is the most magical time of the year, and Christmas in Galway is even doubly spectacular.

When the lights go up, the decorations twinkle, and the novelty Christmas jumpers appear, you just know it’s time to start decking the halls and rocking around the Christmas tree. But before that, make sure you explore the City of Tribes – after all, Christmas activities in Galway are plentiful.

So, join us on a virtual sleigh ride as we dash through this list. 


When the Christmas lights are switched on, it’s officially festive season in Galway – and this usually takes place early-to-mid November. It’s always a fun event to attend because it means the holidays are only around the corner. A wonderful experience, it’s a great excuse to pop on a Christmassy outfit and maybe combine it with a family day out in the city.


It wouldn’t be Christmas in Galway without the fantastic Elftown, one of the best and most magical family events you can enjoy in the city. As always, it will be taking place at the Ballybrit Racecourse, and this year it will open on November 24th. This two-hour experience is jam-packed like Santa’s sack, and always lots of fun for adults and little ones alike – after all, everybody, no matter what age, is happy to meet up with Santa Claus himself in the cosy grotto! 


Why not take a visit to the Wildlands Galway Winter Wonderland and enjoy a truly unique festive experience? Here, children can enjoy fun in the ‘Baile Beag Play Village’, relish a delicious hot chocolate, and receive a toy from the jolly big man himself. Plus, you’ll get to hear Mrs. Claus bring The Night Before Christmas to life – and there is plenty more fun in store, besides. Now, that sounds like a Merry Christmas! 


Holiday cuisine, hot drinks perfect for the winter season, and expertly crafted goods you’ll love to get your hands on – just a few of the reasons the Galway Christmas market is so popular. Add in a merry atmosphere, twinkly lights, and some festive beverages, and it’s no secret why you’ll spend hours ambling past stalls and into tiny boutiques. Perfect for a family day of fun, there’s just so much to see and do here. 


The Connacht Hospitality Group has lots of delectable options for a festive lunch. At The Connacht Hotel, we have lunch and dinner options that are made especially for this time of year. Chef-crafted delicacies that almost sing with holiday cheer are sure to entice you, while there will also be festive drinks to enjoy. HYDE, 1520, An Púcán, and Galway Bay Golf Resort also have plenty of seasonal treats that you can count as an early present to yourself. 


If you’re staying in Galway throughout the holiday season, and you feel like you’re brave enough to embrace the elements, then the Christmas Day Swim might be your cup of tea. Every year, people turn out in Salthill to take to the water for a refreshing start to December 25th – so many people swear by it. Might it be for you? 


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