We'll be in Cork and Galway for two nights each, name some fun things to visit and do that aren't too expensive. Well... besides all the drinking ;)
You'll find "all the drinking" to be one of the expensive things. Cork has the English Market, several nice museums, and a beautiful cathedral. Blarney is nearby, too.
Galway is a fantastic choice. The 'buskers' on Shop Street and Williamsgate entertain during the day. If you are traveling in the summer Galway has alot of cafe's. Local art scene usually has something going on and then there is always 'the Quay's' for local live music.
Also, you can walk up the Strand to Salthill w/in walking distance of the Claddagh. You can see the Burren in Co. Clare across Galway Bay. One thing I like to do when I visit Salthill, where my grand parents had lived after their retirement is going to the 'slots'. In memory of our traveling and gambling irish granny we always play the one armed bandit(slots).
The Galway Arts Festival is from July 14th to July 27, 2008 & there are alot of pedestrian activities that cost nothing.
Finally, check out: www.druidtheatre.com
have fun... I LOVE GALWAY!!!!!
If in Galway on a Saturday, walk around the outdoor marketplace right outside St. Nicholas (the Church, not the Cathedral) off Shop Street. Great food vendors, nice crafts/jewelry, etc.
Definitely lots of places to go listen to live music (and not all of it is Trad) at night. Claregirl's suggestion of the Druid is a good one if you can get your hands on some tickets.
We took a bus tour of the city which was not expensive,very interesting and the driver came on top and sang DannyBoy.We also took a day tour to the Connemara which also was very good.Both leave from downtown Galway which was a short distaance from our B&B.
You don't say when it is you are going. In the fall (at least last fall) Cork had a large art fair that was kind of fun. In June 2006 we stayed in a B&B just a few houses from a dog race track. I'm not into racing, but one night I wandered over and watched a few races over a pint. It was very spontaneous, free (except the beer), local, and fun.
Good day trips from both cities.
Have a great trip!
Just got back from a weekend in Galway, can't recommend it enough. It is the most fun city in Ireland, at least as good as Dublin! Check out Róisín Dubh and The King’s Head.
While you are there, a trip to the Aran Islands is well worth it. Its about €30 for a bus from Galway city centre and then ferry out the islands. Go out at 10am, back at 5pm, you are back in the city in time for dinner and going out. The islands are not the tourist trap I imagined they would be, and if you rent a bike and ride out of the town for about 30 min you will be in a whole different world where Irish is the primary language and there are more seals than people! I would advise checking the weather before you head out though!
Last time I went to the Aran Islands from the quay in Doolin the mainland was having not just 'a soft day', but 'a hard' day w/the rain. Myself, my mam, my sister, niece & aunt all waited in the rain for the ferry in our rain gear. We got on the ferry and as we are leaving the quay the waves are slapping against the hull & my niece looked a little worried or perturbed(more likely) and I said in a sinister voice "We are now the Dangerous Catch!" ; which made everyone laugh and once away from the coast and heading to the Islands water was suddenly calm.. we could see the sun light over the Islands... I was a beautiful nice and sunny day. I got some awesome photo & I am looking at right now and still can't believe I was there and that the sky was that BLUE!. Ironically, when we were on ferry on way back to Doolin they had to stop the ferry a bit of a way from the quay. They then made an announcement that we had to put on life jackets and get on a dingy back to the quay.
The 'dingy' was actually another boat that could only take 11 passengers at a time + 3 crew member. We all took it in stride and my group volunteered to be last to go over... I made a comment to a crew member as we were getting our life jackets on that I don't think he appreciated or understood. I said, "I guess this hasn't been a tranquil day." The name of the boat was: The Tranquilty. We all had a good laugh at the pub that night over our adventure.