Shop Street is the central location for shopping in Galway, with plenty of locals and tourists checking out the variety of stores and strolling the sidewalks. Some long-standing brick buildings and artsy cafes give certain sections of the street a more intellectual feel, while street performers in other places create a laid back atmosphere. Shop Street also features one of Galway's oldest architectural structures, Lynch's Castle.
My Shop… Granny Likes It, is an art & crafts design store situated at the Upper Abbeygate Street. The store has in stock unusual range of products made of ceramics, glass, metal and clay that are not available at every other store. Celebrating Irish craft, design and art, their items make great souvenirs or gifts for family and friends. If looking for something offbeat, this hidden gem is a lovely stopover.
"Charlie's", as this shop is colloquially known, is a veritable bookworm's paradise, with nooks and crannies bursting with a wide selection of second-hand books. Separate sections contain history, psychology, philosophy, science and travel titles, while the front part of the Charlie Byrne's Bookshop has a great range of popular fiction. A cozy yet comprehensive children's section can be found at the back. Many locals come in here and browse for hours as they catch up with local gossip, and there are invariably posters on the walls depicting upcoming cultural events.
This shop is steeped in history, located on the site of the Church of St.John of Jerusalem. This church was inhabited by the Jesuits until Cromwellian forces took it over in 1650. One possible explanation for why this spot is called the Four Corners is that this area was previously the only crossroads in Galway.The shop has been owned by Powell and Sons since 1918, when the family began selling snuff from the premises. They now specialize in traditional Irish and classical music, selling a varied range of musical instruments, tapes and CDs. Upstairs there are various painting implements such as paintbrushes, oils and charcoal.
Judy Greene has created a full range of domestic earthenware and lamps, most displaying "country" patterns featuring hand-painted flowers and leaves. The result is unique, delicately painted pottery, available in a selection of seven different floral patterns. Each piece is crafted by hand by skilled potters, making for a unique gift or souvenir. The store itself is a pleasant place to browse, and the knowledgeable staff are friendly and helpful. This hidden gem is well worth a stop in the heart of medieval Galway.
Opened only last year in Galway's main shopping street, Dubray Books has a welcoming air which encourages browsing. This well-lit and spacious store carries a wide selection of books, from poetry to horror to children's favourites. All of the latest titles from the bestseller list are also stocked here. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable about books.
This camera shop carries an array of high-quality photographic products, from digital cameras to Ilford black-and-white film and developing services. A good range of brand names in camera and video equipment are displayed. Various services are also provided, from one hour developing to passport photos. This shop also does a healthy trade in camera repairs.
Eason's is one of Galway's largest bookstores. On the ground floor there is a vast selection of literary publications, including magazines, travel guides, cookbooks, literary fiction and bestsellers. Upstairs is the largest stationery department in Galway, with a small section displaying videos, music and CD ROMs to the left of the escalator. The staff are generally helpful and you can make inquiries or order books at the information desk.