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Places similar to Galway

  • 26-08-2022 6:08pm
    Registered Users Posts: 35

    Hello everyone,

    I lived in Galway for a few years with my wife and toddler before we both lost our jobs in 2020 (thank you Covid) and had to relocate to the US. We are now planning on coming back before next summer and, as we all know, finding a rental property around the area (or anywhere) is quite hard right now.

    I will be working from home but the wife will probably have to commute. We loved Galway and we are looking for something similar in case we cannot find anything in/around Galway:

    • No big cities (like Cork, Limerick, Dublin)
    • Maybe a river passing through where people relax (like Galway)
    • Main street that has all the shops (like Shop St in Galway)

    What other cities/areas would you recommend? We are thinking of Kilkenny, Waterford, Ennis, Killarney...


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,948 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Kilkenny, sort of, but a lot of the retailers are out of town or in MacDonagh Junction which is relatively central, but a shopping centre none the less. Ennis is a bloated small town really.

    Waterford has problems - loss of industry causing the same types of issues that does in the USA. They're getting over them, but it's not there yet.

    Killarney is a tourist horror. Really wouldn't want to live there during tourist season, or around Christmas.

    Slightly odd suggestion would be Wexford Town. Pedestrianised main street with most of the large retailers, seafront rather than river (the river is outside the town) albeit its not as much of a thing as the seafront in Galway, decent mix of restaurants, craft beer, culture (Opera house) etc. Its still a town rather than a city, so hasn't got as much as Galway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,524 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Been to Waterford recently looks vibrant and decent, has a uni too. Tramore nearby is great. Wexford town not bad too but smaller, similarly has Rosslare nearby.

    You would probably love Wesport, Sligo etc too.

    You may like some towns down in Kerry also, Kenmare.......

    Lots of the towns are looking nicer these days as the economy has picked up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,274 ✭✭✭RINO87

    Clonality, or even Dungarvan

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,257 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Westport is like Galway, 20 years ago. According to Mr O'Bumble anyways.

  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    I second Dungarvan. Lovely seafront with pubs/restaurants. Lots of shops. Plenty to do in the area as well. Half of Galway holidayed in Waterford in 2021.

    Westport is also lovely.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,125 ✭✭✭saabsaab


    Cloich na Coillte, meaning 'stone (castle) of the woods'),[2] sometimes shortened to Clon,[3][4] is a town in County Cork, Ireland. The town is located at the head of the tidal Clonakilty Bay. The rural hinterland is used mainly for dairy farming.[5] The town's population as of 2016 was 4,592.[6] The town is a tourism hub in West Cork, and was recognised as the "Best Town in Europe" in 2017, and "Best Place of the Year" in 2017 by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.[7][8] Clonakilty is in the Cork South-West (Dáil Éireann) constituency, which has three seats.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 geanmage13

    Amazing input guys! Thank you all so much! Sorry for the late response as I have been youtube-ing all these places with walkarounds etc...

    I am optimistic that by the time we move there (May 2023 or so) there will be more rental options around Galway as most of the students are getting ready to leave the city.

    If not, the places that intrigued us the most are Kenmare, Dungalvan and a small town called Enniscorthy!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,125 ✭✭✭saabsaab

    Honourable mention Athlone. Very central, has the Shannon and has come on a lot in recent years. Plus prices of housing are cheaper than Galway or Dublin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 geanmage13

    Athlone looks nice as well but didn't really do it for us.. it's one of those things that you can't really say why! Although we only passed by just a few times on the way to and from Dublin.

    At the end of the day, the reasons we are coming back to Ireland will be there no matter which city or town we end up in.. That's the weather, the scenery and the amazing people!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,037 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm

    I would have said that Gorey has more life than Enniscorthy which while it is on the Slaney is a fairly dead/decrepit town.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    Hi. You mentioned you have a young child so I just want to point out that you will want to consider school options in any area you’re interested in. You will find that the quality of education is fairly consistent across schools/areas (certainly relative to the US) but most schools are affiliated with a specific religion (usually the Catholic church). These schools all cater to kids from varied backgrounds these days but it is something to think about. There are more and more non-denominational schools but not all these towns will have one. Good luck!

  • Registered Users Posts: 330 ✭✭cezanne

    Im from Galway rental s gone through the roof, students may not vacate next year as there is a such a crisis they are actually looking to stay in a room in peoples private homes. Any student who gets a place will hold onto it through the summer 2023. We have a huge influx of Uklranians more than we can cope with and they have priority on every single rental in the country. I suggest you begin your search now and dont stop until you get something . Also be wary of scams i.e getting an agreement & even a key and on arrival finding its occupied. The scams are rife. I am glad you have happy memories of Galway but mark my words its radically changed & we cannot see an end to it the refugees are storming in on every flight as the government left it open ended.. Start your search now and engage an irish person to be your legs on the ground in the County. Best of luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 661 ✭✭✭Glenomra

    Ennis, close to Limerick, Galway and Shannon Airport. lovely town.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 geanmage13

    I must admit.. that thought did not even cross my mind!!! Unfortunately there are very few non-denominational schools from what found out.

    Yeah, it looks like students leaving ain't happening this year. I am confident however that there will continue to be other options in our price range outside the town. Hoping that students/refugees will not be able to afford the houses we want and in the locations we want, since they have to commute to work. I am lucky enough to work from home.

    Ennis is definitely on the top of the list and the only one along with Kenmare on the West coast, as an alternative if Galway things don't work out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 661 ✭✭✭Glenomra

    Kenmare is a lovely town but doesn't compare in terms of accessibility to centres of business like ennis does.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,081 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice

    Tralee or Killarney third-level college in Tralee so would have the edge for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 330 ✭✭cezanne

    Students can afford most things as they are very indulged and a few rich kkids can take the high end houses so dont count your chickens as they say. I would suggest a more rural location within a half hour of Galway towards Connemara out through Spiddal or Oughterard. You could also go north through Tuam onwards to Milltown Dunmore etc. all with in easy reach of Galway city. Kilcolgan, Clarinbridge Kinvarra are lovely villages & still with in a commute of the city.