By BRENDAN SPIEGEL. Published: September 09, 2012. FREQUENTLY called Ireland’s most Irish city, this coastal metropolis is a place where Celtic culture and literature have long thrived, often in the traditional Gaelic language. But these days you’re just as likely to hear Spanish, Polish or Japanese along Galway’s crowded streets in this increasingly international college town (the National University of Ireland, Galway, is here). While the fall is less crowded than the tourist-clogged summer, Galway’s festival culture keeps going strong, with the 10,000-person Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival in late September and the Galway Theater Festival in early October, to name just two events. Of course, the city’s notoriously lively pubs can provide a few pints and plenty of craic (Irish slang for “a good time”) any night of the year.
Friday, 3 p.m.
1. WALL TO WALL
Get a crash course in 800 years of history in the span of just a few blocks, starting at the Hall of the Red Earl (free; Druid Lane; galwaycivictrust.ie), the crumbling remains of Galway’s 13th-century seat of power. The site was discovered during a construction project and opened in 2010. A few blocks away, the Spanish Arch is one of the last remnants of the centuries-old city walls that once stretched around Galway; today it looms over a grassy patch of waterfront that serves as the de facto gathering spot for university students starting their weekend imbibing….
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