4. You’ll meet some of the friendliest people in Ireland
It’s natural to be a little shy when you’re speaking to people in your second language. And it can be intimidating to approach strangers even in your own home city. But Irish people are famous all over the world for their friendliness. Galway in particular has been voted one of the friendliest cities in the world by travellers many times, even more so than other Irish cities.
The relaxed pace of day to day life and fantastic nightlife make Galway the ideal place for making new friends. Galway is full of students, artists and other interesting people who will tell you that they had intended to come here for a short visit and never left. I’ve been living and teaching at a Galway school for several years and I’m still delighted every time I’m sitting outside a café on shop street and someone strikes up a conversation with me, because it’s guaranteed to be good!
3. You’ll experience all the advantages of an international city in the safety of a small town
With all these world travellers, walking down busy Shop Street on a sunny day, you might imagine Galway as a big city. It does have several celebrated theatre companies, countless pubs and restaurants, not to mention festivals, cinemas, and sports teams.
But with a population of less than 80,000, it really is just a big town. The truth is that people in Galway know each other, it’s not at all unusual to bump into friends while you’re doing your errands. The city centre is compact and very walkable. I don’t guarantee that you’ll never get lost in the charming medieval streets, but if you do, someone will help you.
And above all, you will feel safe and comfortable, because Ireland is a country with a low level of crime and Galway is a very safe city. (All the same, you should of course be sensible and take all the sorts of precautions you do when you’re going about your day to day life in any city.)