Galway has been given a major tourism boost ahead of its stint as European Capital of Culture as it beat the likes of Dubai and Vancouver to be named as a must-visit city next year by travel bible Lonely Planet.
The global publication has ranked Galway as the fourth-best city in the world to visit next year in its new publication Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020, a collection of the world’s hottest travel trends, destinations, and experiences for the coming year.
The list was topped by Austrian city Salzburg, with Washington DC and Cairo also ranked ahead of Galway. The list also includes German city Bonn, Kochi in India, Denver in the US, and Bolivian capital La Paz.
Lonely Planet describes Galway as “arguably Ireland’s most engaging city,” where “brightly painted pubs heave with live music” and “cafes offer front-row seats to watch buskers perform”. Galway is European Capital of Culture 2020, and the publication urges people to travel to enjoy the city’s street spectacles, live art, theatre, music and dance, and award-winning food.
Long Walk, Galway. A rare sunny day pic.twitter.com/y3MpJdUJzR— Ben Robinson (@RobinsonBenP) October 20, 2019
It recommends live music at Tig Cóilí, a traditional Irish music pub at the heart of the city’s Latin Quarter, Tigh Neachtain on Cross Street, and the Michelin-starred restaurant Loam. Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s VP of Experience, said: “Exuberant, vibrant, and full of imagination, Galway in 2020 will be home to a year-long celebration and amplification of culture and creativity which travellers will love.”
The news of the accolade was welcomed locally. Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020, said:
It’s official — Galway is the place to be in 2020. Right across the city and county momentum is building and preparations are well under way.
“The Lonely Planet Best in Travel accolade is a fantastic endorsement of this incredible place on the western edge of Ireland and at the heart of Europe.”
Tourism Ireland has also planned to capitalise on the accolade and will roll out a global promotional campaign in the coming weeks, including video clips, extensive social media marketing and highlighting the accolade at travel fairs, like the upcoming World Travel Market in London, the world’s largest business-to-business global travel event.