Galway is Ireland
I visited Dublin before Galway. Dublin had lots to see, but the utilitarian/business atmosphere left it a bit hurried and cold. Galway is the perfect Irish city. Steeped in history and culture, music and food, but the convenience of big city shopping and transportation are very present. I used Galway as a jumping off points for The Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, and Connemara (all wonderful) but would have been content to walk Galway's shores and twisting Medieval streets. I LOVE Galway City
Insider Tip:The big cathedral is actually not ancient (1950's) St Nicholas' abbey is much more the historic church to see. Look out for special night life events, it's a college town so there's always something fun going on on the weekend, as long as you're not intimidated by being surrounded by young people having a good time. If trad music and little pubs are more your thing, check out the pubs on shop st. Closer to St. Nicholas'