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13 November 2017

5 Reasons to Move to Galway

Posted By: AIB Business

Known for its rugged, untamed beauty – Galway – a county along the Wild Atlantic Way, is not only home to some of the best festivals in the world, but it also attracting an influx of tech start-ups that are availing of its well-established and growing business infrastructure.

Businesses, with the necessary support systems and the positive community energy that courses through the area, are flourishing in the vibrant, energetic innovation community that calls Galway home. Here are the top five reasons why you should consider a move to Galway?

Rich Tradition and Culture:

Life doesn’t stop at five PM, and there is a richness and quality of life in Galway that is hard to match anywhere else. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or prefer a quiet, more relaxed life, there’s something in Galway to suit every personality. Why not take advantage of Galway’s coastline and try your hand at surfing or try scaling some of the picturesque mountains that form part of the counties beautiful landscape? Perhaps you could indulge in the rich musical heritage of Connemara or explore the many historical sites that are spread abundantly throughout the country, such as Kylemore Abbey.

The honour of becoming the European Capital of Culture 2020 has been awarded to Galway and it is a fitting recognition of the counties status as a cultural melting pot. The varied and eclectic cultural framework that makes up Galway and the regions’ well known custom of hosting festivals was combined with a strong and unified community spirit and the right to become the 2020 European Capital of Culture was won in what will be a financial and societal fillip to Galway.  Known for its nightlife and rich traditional music scene, it combines these inherently Irish traditions with a modern and continental twist. It is not uncommon, especially on a sunny day, to see people eat Al Fresco, in a manner not to dissimilar to a French or Spanish city. Galway pays homage to its past and its ingrained traditions, but also has its feet planted in the here and now.

Also, Galway is known for its culture of film, both producing and hosting festivals of film, and hosts an annual film festival, the Galway Film Fleadh, which has run, to huge acclaim, for 29 years. Galway has the distinction of being one of only five cities in the world listed as a UNESCO City of Film.

Quality of Life:

Galway is an ideal place to raise children, and the many sports clubs- ranging from Rugby to sailing- are sure to keep the most energetic young people entertained. The educational system is strong too, with numerous secondary schools supplying students to the counties

two third level institutions, the University, NUIG, and Institute of Technology, GMIT. With a student population of 25,000 there is a palpable dynamism and positivity that engulfs the city.

Fresh produce, particularly dairy and fish, service a thriving food and restaurant industry in Galway, which is supplemented by restaurants and foods, Irish and international, to suit all tastes. Galway’s burgeoning gastro culture- which boasts two Michelin Star restaurants, Loam and Aniar- will see it become the European Region of Gastronomy in 2018.

The cost of living in Galway City is, on average, 28% lower than in Dublin. Couple this with a booming economy, a relaxed atmosphere, young dynamic community and- according to Travel and Leisure Magazine, the friendliest city in the world- and it’s no wonder that Galway is the fastest growing city in Ireland. 

Great Place to Work:

Galway has the innovation programmes in place to nurture start-up businesses. With a culture of knowledge sharing and support schemes, Galway has emerged as a prime location for business innovation, and is the perfect place for those with entrepreneurial tendencies to start and grow their enterprises. There are several start-up enterprises based in what is now known as Silicon Square. Silicon Square is a bustling, collective of organizations, co-working spaces and innovation hubs located in close proximity to one another in the heart of Galway City, Eyre Square. These hubs are dedicated to providing new businesses with the tools necessary to grow and eventually expand into global markets. Included in this innovation enclave are PorterShed (backed by AIB), Ipswitch, Mathworks, and SuperPixel, each with a proven track record of aiding in the growth and sustainable development of the start-ups based with them. The growth of Galway’s innovation district hasn’t gone unnoticed on the international stage and the region was awarded the title of Europe’s Best Micro City for both economic potential and businesses friendliness for 16/17 by the Financial Times’ Fdi Magazine. 

NUIG and GMIT, the cities two third level institutions, see 8,000 of their students graduate annually, many of whom obtain employment in Galway’s medtech sector. Nine of the ten biggest medtech companies in the world are based in Galway, showing that there is an international recognition of the highly skilled working population of Galway. Medtech isn’t the only internationally prominent businesses sector with a large base in Galway, however, with four of the five top ICT(Information and Communication Technology) companies in the world, such as Hewlett Packard and Cisco, based in the city, benefiting from and availing of the high standard of internet connection.

Scenery and Location:

Combining the raw beauty of the counties world famous countryside with all the modern amenities of the city, Galway enjoys both the fruits of nature and technological advances of a contemporary, developed city. Serviced by an excellent travel network, of both bus’ and trains, the breath-taking natural terrain of Connemara is just over an hour away from the bustling hive of industry that is Galway City.


Ultimately, the most important facet to consider when talking about an area are its people and the populace of Galway are known for their relaxed attitudes and high skill levels. The numerous festivals, events and strong community spirit that take place in and are prominently evident in Galway are indicative of the ambition, positive energy and pride of place of Galway’s people.

Find Out More About How We Can Support Your Start-up

If you’re a startup based in Galway or around the country, we have a whole range of services to support and back your business. Get in touch with us at your local AIB branch and make an appointment with a member of our team online at a time that suits you. Keep up to date with our latest news and updates over on our AIB LinkedIn page or tweet us @AIBBiz

Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.

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